HANA NO KAGE [Shadow Of A Flower] is a Zen-poetic travelogue of Bristol-based poet and writer Ralph Hoyte’s travels in Northern Japan in the footsteps of the 17th century wandering Haiku Master Matsuo Basho.
In the spring of 1689, Basho set off from present day Tokyo on a 6-month tour of the places in Northern Japan made famous by Japan’s most revered poets.
His travels resulted in one of Japan’s best known works of literature, oku-no-hosomichi (The Narrow Road to the Deep North). This is the work on which Ralph Hoyte based his Arts Council-funded five week solo-trip to Japan in the autumn of 2005.
Hana no Kage was conceived to be both a book and a performance piece. The performance version is a film-based narrative and performance piece written, directed, produced and presented by Ralph Hoyte (with Haruka Furuka and Stephen Ives). It is based on the Japanese literary form of a ‘haibun’ (traditionally prose set with haiku).
Hana no Kage had a rapturous reception at its premiere at the Bristol Poetry Festival at the Arnolfini, Bristol in September 2007. An excerpt from the ms was broadcast by BBC R4 Hometruths later that same year.
In 2015 Hoyte made an audio-remix of Hana no Kage for the DIVAcontemporary Bandcamp 'coast to coast' series (see left).