Worship: Hymns in Haiku

At Morning Mass

The water has lost its chill:

Lent has come.

Japanese take to haiku as naturally as Canadians take to hockey; 1,000,000 Japanese habitually spend their leisure hours composing the 17-syllable poemlets. But the delicate work of a writer called Tetsu (Iron) is unique in the world of haiku. Tetsu is the pen name of the Rev. James Tetsuzo Takeda, 62, a witty, convivial Episcopal priest whose haiku are brief meditations upon the mysteries of the Christian year.

Takeda, who is senior chaplain at Tokyo's big (9,500 students) St. Paul's University, writes his Christian haiku in Japanese—and, although he knows English,...

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