Basho’s “The sea of summer”

In the preface to this haiku, Basho refers to Matsushima, Japan, which overlooks many little islands of all kinds of shapes. Since ancient times, and even now, it’s considered one of the most beautiful places in Japan. It is located near Sendai, which was damaged during the tsunami this year, but the effect in Matsushima was not as bad because of all the islands breaking up the waves.
My Translation
All the islands
Broken in a thousand pieces—
The sea of summer
Original Japanese

Shima-jima ya
Chiji ni kudaki-te
Natsu no umi
Literal Translation
Islands and
Thousands into breaking
Summer’s sea
Note:  the “” character means to repeat the previous character, usually making it plural. In this haiku, it is used after the character for “island,” making it “island-island” or “islands,” and after “thousand,” making it “thousands”

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