The Kobe Hotel

Yesterday I went to tutor my student, but her mother's phone service had gotten cut, which meant the student's did too. The school kept texting but never got answers. When the student's family regained phone service, they all got new phone numbers but neglected to inform the school, until 5 minutes before the tutoring was to begin.

Having arrived early, and not knowing about the aborted tutoring session, I walked to BookStop, a used bookstore on hipster 4th. I picked up an old paperback of Catch 22, which I have neither read nor seen. Wandering the aisles, a spine for The Kobe Hotel caught my eye, because my first wife was from Kobe and I had thus visited the city many times. I had never heard of Saitou Shinki, who was a leader in charting a new course for haiku in the post-Taishou prewar years.

Though it seemed a bit pricey at $6.50 for a rather slim volume, the vignettes from his life in the hotel on Tor Road, which I have walked in places a number of times, are quite engaging and often touching. I look forward to the haiku that fill the latter third of the book.