June 22, 2007
Welcome to our 'Water Planet' issue. As you may have noticed, our recent issues have turned away from season-specific kigo to broader themes that are not so tied to a single region. The idea of a water theme came from Lary Fraser, who mentioned it almost casually to me in an email.
Like so many good ideas, it stuck. It was prescient, too, as global warming, changes in weather patterns and the prospect of losing our polar caps dominated the news in the period while I was collecting haiga and preparing the issue. We share with all living things a dependence on H2O, so much so that we may be barely aware of how much. It's been calculated that there are 326 million trillion gallons of water on the planet. It's all in a constant cycle of flux between ocean, lakes, rivers, aquifers, snow and ice, clouds, atmospheric humidity, bottled drinks, and even 65% of our own bodies. Such a huge and important topic won't be fully covered in one issue of Haigaonline—call it an exploration, then, and we hope you enjoy the haiga we've assembled for you here.
It's always enjoyable welcoming newcomers to Haigaonline, but in this issue we have also one important goodbye: Hiromi has informed me that Shisen has moved away from Ehime Prefecture and is no longer able to be our resident calligrapher. We wish her the best in her new position, and thank her for her long participation in Haigaonline's most distinctive feature, the Traditional Haiga section.
Next year at this time, we will enter our tenth year of publication. The first issue of Haiga Online, (as it was called when Jeanne Emrich founded it) was published in May 1998. For an e-zine, that is longevity! Unfortunately, our archive of past issues on Geocities goes back only to when an'ya became editor. For me, the period before that is a dim memory and I've long wanted to know if anything from Jeanne's editorship still exists.
Quite by chance, I found a list of contributors to the original issue still preserved on Jeanne's site at AOL (http://members.aol.com/Jemrich/index.html), and the full May 2000 issue (http://members.aol.com/GlennE5/May2000mainpg.html). In addition to the Traditional Haiga section, the issue also featured Shishen's calligraphy for the poetry of her friend Okano Hitoshi. Please do take a moment to paste these urls into your browser and admire her beautiful work. We will miss her.
Once again, my profound thanks to our resident staff and to all the artists, poets and readers who have made this journal the wonderful resource that it is. And a very happy Summer Solstice to all of you!