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This is a haiku lesson from the upcoming June 2021 issue of Makoto e-zine. For many more lessons like this, please become a Makoto+ member by clicking here

ホテルの() まよほたるの 一人旅ひとりたび

Hotel lights / a stray firefly / traveling alone

  • ホテル hotel
  • の (light) of (hotel) [modifier which limits the information: It isn't just any kind of light but the light of a hotel]
  • 灯【ひ】lamp; light
  • 迷い【まよい】being lost
  • 蛍【ほたる】firefly; lightning bug; glowworm
  • の (modifying particle: shows who is traveling alone)
  • 一人【ひとり】one person; by oneself; being alone [note the irregular pronunciation: ひとり]
  • 旅【たび】journey; trip; travel
  • 一人旅【ひとりたび】traveling alone; solitary journey

  • COMMENTARY:

    さびしい田舎町いなかまちで、ホテルのかりがついています。そのそばをほたる一匹いっぴきふわりふわりとんでいます。迷子まいごになって一人旅ひとりたびをしているようにえます。

    VOCABULARY:

    • 寂しい lonely; lonesome; solitary
    • 田舎町 country town; rural town
    • で in [indicates the place at which an action or event takes place]
    • ホテルの明かり lights of the hotel [ホテル (hotel) + の (of; modifier; limits the scope of 明かり to the ホテル) + 明かり (light; illumination; glow)]
    • 明かりがついています light is on [明かり (light) + が (indicates 明かり as the subject) + ついています (is on; ています-form of つく (to be lit; to light) which is used to describe the actual state, condition, appearance of the subject)]
    • その that; the
    • そば by; side; near; close; vicinity
    • を (indicates the direct object of action)
    • 蛍 firefly; lightning bug; glowworm
    • 一匹 one (small) animal [一 (one) + 匹 (is used for counting small or medium-sized animals, sea creatures, and insects)]
    • ふわりふわりと softly; gently; lightly [ふわりふわり (onomatopoeic adverb) + と (is used with sound words; can be used after onomatopoeic adverbs)]
    • 飛んでいます is flying [ています-form of 飛ぶ (to fly) which is used to describe an ongoing action, continuous action that is happening in the present; how to form: Verb て-form + います (polite)]
    • 迷子になって to get lost and; be lost and; become lost and [迷子 (stray; lost) + になって (て-form of になる (become; turn out) which is used to connect with the succeeding phrase, creating the meaning of “and”; ~になる indicates change and is similar to “become” in English. How to form: Noun/な-adjective + になる)]
    • 一人旅をしている traveling alone [ている-form of 一人旅 をする (travel by oneself; make a solo journey) which is used to describe an ongoing action, continuous action that is happening in the present; how to form: Verb て-form + いる (casual)]
    • ように見えます to look; to seem; to appear~ [ように (as; like; similar to~) + 見えます (to be seen; to be in sight; appear); How to form: Verb (casual form) + ように見えます]
    • 作者 author; writer; creator (of a work)
    • 青木かよ子 Aoki Kayoko [Yumi's mother!]

    In a lonely country town, the lights of a hotel are on. A lone firefly is softly flying by. It looks as if it is lost and traveling alone.


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