Haiku poets in Russia

30/March/2023 in Tokyo

Came across an interesting book

"Seeing wartime Russia through Haiku/俳句が伝える戦時下のロシア(馬場朝子編訳)"

A collection of Haiku(Japanese style poem) written by 8 Russian ordinary citizens & interviews with them

According to the book, Haiku has been popular there & this book introduces what they express in their Haiku regarding the current situation

Looks like a collection of Haiku written by Ukrainian citizens will also be published soon

While reading it I was remembering one news I saw a year ago

It was about uni fresh students who had chosen Russian studies as their major

In Japan, new school year starts at April, and Jan/Feb is an entrance exam season

When the war began in the late Feb, these high school students already decided their major & already passed an exam

Probably before their excitement of passing exams faded away, the war started and choosing Russian studies suddenly seemed "inappropriate"

According to the news, they got criticised or convinced to change the subject by their family, and consequently they themselves became hesitant to reveal their major is Russian in front of classmates/friends

Then in March, some universities & professors released a statement for them

Saying, please don't be discouraged by this current situation, it is not your fault. Rather, your knowledge and experiences you will get through learning Russia will be more important in the future and please be the ones who make the bridge between us, not the division. We're saddened by the war and this should stop immediately etc..

Basically trying to encourage young students, trying to ease their feeling or regret of choosing Russian studies

Actually I'm not quite sure why this news got my interest, and still clearly remains in me 1 year later

.......Perhaps sympathy for these young teens

.......Perhaps finding a certain unreasonable element, or drama. Nobody questioned their decision, but 1 month later it turned upside down. And it's all caused by completely remote, completely irrelevant reasons from them

.......Perhaps it brought a question to me

After the war began, every single media reported a horrible situation in Ukraine 24 nonstop. And gradually some sort of mood was built up, as if it's okay to blame everything & everyone related to Russia just because of Russia. And indeed some Russian restaurants, and businesses which looked Russia-related yet actually un-related, got attacked by some Japanese

These Japanese did this just because it's related, or it looked related, to Russia. But then, will they do the same thing to those, who were also Japanese, who were very young, who chose the major before the war & who were also "victims" by the war? Probably not. Hope not