Simply Haiku is unlike any other online Japanese short form journal.
For some it's an enigma. Saša Važić and I, as Co-owners, don’t play follow the leader and we don't cater to egotistical prima dona's who think they're God's gift to one or all of the genres of Japanese poetry we present in the English language.
We've garnered respect by those who take Japanese short form seriously in the academic communities, because, instead of bastardizing or trying to turn the aforementioned genres into so called "Western" genres, we advocate and support a deeper study into the hermeneutics, aestheticism, historical foundations, codification, etc. of these genres.
Japan has given the world a wonderful gift. We think it's imperative to better understand the Japanese mind and how they view and understand art. The Occidental world primarily is built upon a German based object-biased educational system whereas most of the East, especially Japan, adheres to an event-biased hermeneutical system. The two systems view and understand languages differently. We also recognize that little penned by Japanese scholars of Japanese short form poetry has been translated into the English language necessitating reliance upon "Occidental" professors for a lot of what we learn. This is beginning to change, thanks to experts in the field who are translating into English some of the Japanese scholars' essays and writings. For some of our interviews, we've asked Japanese speakers to translate questions into the Japanese language, then translate the interviewees' answers into English for Simply Haiku's over 6,000 readers.
We find it ludicrous that some well meaning but misinformed pseudo scholars are trying to "westernize" Japanese short form poetry, when they know so little about the Japanese mindset, the complexities of the language, and why the Japanese use the aesthetics they use in their poetic expression. Blyth, Henderson, the Haiku Society of America definitions, etc. are useful, but they in themselves are not sufficient to give students of the aforementioned genres enough information to base their conceptualizations on.
We are foremost, an academic journal and a showcase for the finest in traditional English- language Japanese short form poetry written internationally. We also include, with English translations, the poets' original languages when possible.
Because a person or an ethnic group can speak English does not mean he or they think alike or have the same definitions for every English word. The spirit of each person is diversified as are cultural memories. In an article written for this edition, we'll explore what the term "Western" stands for.
It'll generate controversy because as people and groups are advocating and declaring the formation of genres of haiku and tanka as "Western" and many publications are accepting them as such, the article questions in length the authenticity of the term "Western."
In this issue, you will visit the mind of a leading Irani academic poet/citizen. We are also delving deeper into Eastern European insight into haiku, a people with conceptualizations regarding hermeneutics and spiritual beliefs that differ in many ways from Western European thought. Interestingly, when we delve deeper into these differences, we begin to see a pattern that could be construed as ethnically slanted.
Our staff is a truly international staff with editors from Australia, India, Croatia, Serbia, and the Philippines.
There are many fine journals online and we are but one. Read our journal, read other fine journals, and get as much information as you can from reading them. Reading is an unbiased bridge that creates understanding.
Robert D. Wilson
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