by ars_maki

<   2011年 01月 ( 30 )   > この月の画像一覧

Dried Sardines


decades gone
there they are--
dried sardines


in two hundred years
there they are--
dried sardines

these are dried sardines on sekwer.
had not tasted them over twenty or more years;
don' t remember when I had them last.

these are called "me-za-shi" or "pierced eyes" since skewer
runs through their eyes.
the synonym is "stare," which we read in Issa's crow haiku:

crow's stare--
he thinks
there is tomorrow

Issa wrote this haiku in 1807.
by ars_maki | 2011-01-27 00:39 | 翻訳
Here are three Medieval poems on bush warbler.

spring has come, yet
the valley I live in
still in snow, however,
comes out the singing
of bush warbler

Court Lady in the Shinkokinshyu days

春もなほ谷のふるすはうづもれて雪よりいづるうぐひすの声  宮内卿

in the valley
snow keeps falling, yet
the arrival of spring
is int he singing
of bush warbler

Master Dogen the founder of Soto Zen

をやみなく雪はふりけり谷の戸に春きにけりとうぐひすぞ鳴く  道元

before dawn
through the valley
passes spring wind
bush warbler is seduced
and sings to the dale wind

Syunzei's Daughter
or Teika's sister who esteemed ethereal beauty.

あけやらぬ谷の戸すぐる春風にまづさそはるるうぐひすの声  俊成女
by ars_maki | 2011-01-26 01:08 | 翻訳

Poems by Ryugen and Dogen

I should have posted this much earlier, at least shortly
after I wrote about vernal nanakusa gayu or "porridge of seven herbs
in spring time."

On the very right is the 31syllable poem consists of the names
of those seven herbs for the porridge for you to relish after
having heavy meals during the first New Year's week, i.e.

seri, nazuna, gogyo, hakobera, hotoke no za, suzuna, suzushiro,
these are the seven herbs.

Here are two poems about the vernal seven herbs.

spring is here
a maid, with her sleeve
tucked up, comes
to pick up herbs
over the hedge

poet and priest in the latter Heian Era

春くればかたみぬき入れしづの女が垣根に小菜をつまぬ日ぞなし 隆源

spring comes
over the hedge
manservant to
pick up the herbs
in the country

founder of Soto Zen

し津の男の垣根に春の立ちしよりふるのに生ふる若菜をぞつむ   道元

by ars_maki | 2011-01-26 01:04 | 翻訳

Wild Horse in Dogen's Poem

It is said that they used to look outside through a tiny gap
or space; their eyes caught a horse running and passing away
in a jiff. They must have felt how fast time flying.
Here "wild horse passing trough fleeting moments" is
the metaphor for time and tide wait for no man.

And now Dogen's poem in the photo:

wild horse
passing through
fleeting moments
where it stops
few gets the Way


とどまらぬ隙ゆく駒のゆくすゑに法の道うる人ぞ少なき 道元

to-do-ma-ra-nu hi-ma-yu-ku-ko-ma-no yu-ku-su-e-ni

no-ri-no-mi-chi-u-ru hi-to-zo-su-ku-na-ki

You might love this poem:

should I catch and retain
wild horse passing through
a tiny space of time
the way back to the past
would I certainly ask

from the Senzaishyu


by ars_maki | 2011-01-25 00:07 | 翻訳

Warriors and Poetry

In the Medieval days of Japan, 数寄 or suki meant
1. being skilled in writing poems,
2 being sensible to fleeting transitory world one lives in
and one should read and write poems, for one could get
more sensitive to the inevitable i.e. life, ageing, sickness
and death, which consequently entails that reading and writing
poems was the very reminder of this Buddhism belief.

To the first group belonged those who were reputed as poets,
renga poets or those who could teach others poetry.
To the second group belonged people in recluse, monks and

Warriors did read and write poems.
Warriors had been employed by noblemen and others
so that they could get things in the remote areas.
However, warriors got stronger than noblemen, when
the government system stopped working and their national
budget worked no more. Here Warriors got more power
than noblemen. The Heiji clan and the Genji clan were
the two major samurai families. These two clans fought
for 30 years; first the Heiji clan had their supremacy, but
later they were defeated by the Genji.

Warriors had been regarded unsophisticated than noblemen.
Samurai tried to be masterful in poetry writing, so that they
could get some respect from noblemen, which is to be attributed
to their longing to ancient court culture.

There are some more factors involved for warriors to write poems.
According to this book, by writing poems warriors tried to be
united among their own families as well as between masters and
subjects; they tried to commune with deities and Buddhist figures;
they used their poems as well as their poetry skills to negotiate
with the others. In sum, warriors needed the best poetry skills.

They paid expensive tuition to poetry master, who could teach
warriors in the country sides.

For those in the first group, the Way of Poetry had been in very
words of their poetry, which they believed to be from the very beginning
of the legendary history of Japan.

To keep the balance of power between the warriors and the court,
they set up Prince Munechika as shyogun. He went down to Kamakura
but was forced to return to Kyoto; he was a sort of robot; only poetry
consoled him; he wrote excellent poems, which made him an eternal poet.

Prince Munechika wrote this poem, after all those years of rise and fall.

used to think
heaven and earth
should be moved
by the Words
and the Way of Poetry

あめつちを うごかす道と思ひしもむかしなりけり大和ことの葉 宗尊親王

I was to write more about poems by warriors,
like how competent Minamoto no Yoritomo was
when Jien( the priest whose Imayo on the four seasons
you might have read) went to see him. Jien needed
Yoritomo's protection so that his land or propoerty would
not be jeoparized. Jien was rather astonished to find
witty, shrewd and good poems Yoritomo recited.

However, Prince Munetaka was rather a tragic figure;
he was betrayed by his wife, who had an affair with their
priest; the prince had to have a meeting for this illicit affari.
I said to myself, "Have a gut and . . ." I rather felt sorry for him,
though I guess they had got their own stories to tell.
Prince Munetaka returned to Kyoto; he gave up writing poems
after old Way. He had loved Chinese poetry. Now his poetry
taste had a change and new blossoms came out.

door being closed
fireflies' shadows flicker
in the sky
there the moon
looks brighter


たえだえに飛ぶや蛍のかげ見えて窓しづかなる夜はすずしき 宗尊親王
by ars_maki | 2011-01-24 22:09 | 翻訳
At the Orange CraneTower* Bidding Farewell to Mèng Hàorán

                                         Li Bai

My good friend is to leave the Orange Crane Tower in the west

In flower blooming March, he is to go down destined to Yanghou

The single ship in the distance gradually fades into the blue sky

Only the vast water of the Chang River expands into the horizon

The Orange Crane Tower has its legend. An old man used to
come to drink at an tavern. He invited himself as guest.
One day he drew a crane with orange rind. When a customer
clapped his hands, the crane danced. The tavern became famous
and the owner rich. One day the old man returned. He got
on the crane's wings and they flew away. In memory of the
orange crane the master of the tavern built the tower.




故人 西の方 黄鶴楼を 辞し
 烟花 三月揚州に下る
  孤帆の遠影 碧空に 尽き
  唯見る 長江の 天際に 流るるを
by ars_maki | 2011-01-24 00:32 | 翻訳

Tsutomu Yamaguchi

You might wonder who he is, right?

The Economist tells you about him:


I came to know him via Yahoo News that he was made
fun on in BBC's programme called Q1. Read the news
and here is my impression:

BBC broadcast
Tsutomu Yamaguchi
as the most unfortunate man
Tsutomu went to Hiroshima
on business and there
he became a victim.

on the following day
he returned home in Nagasaki
there again was exposed to radiation

if BBC did not broadcast the show
few would have ever known
that he died January in 2010

he was 93 years
one of the studio audience said
Tsutomu lived long enough for a victim

there arose a peal of laughter

isn't it amazing that train was running
just after the atomic bomb was dropped?!
it would never be possible in England

there arose a peal of laughter

Trustomu Yamaguchi said he hated
the atomic bomb because of "what it does
to the dignity of human beings."
by ars_maki | 2011-01-23 02:16 | ネット

Mt favorite poem by Wang Wei

softly rains in the northern west of Chang'an,
the sand dust getting wet

willow trees in front of the inn are all green
and all bright, washed up by the rain 

now, drink up one more glass, before you begin
your journey to Mongolian area

when you pass the oasis city of YangGuan,
no one will offer you a glass to toast for you

Wang Wei










by ars_maki | 2011-01-23 01:22 | 翻訳




・・・ 『臨在録』
by ars_maki | 2011-01-21 23:56 | 読書

Chinese Poems

I've written a few Chinese poems.
This is the shortest one.

    鹿柴                     Deer Park

空山不見人  空山人を見ず   the mountains and the skies never see men

但聞人語響 但だ人語の響を聞く only hear the echoes of men's words

返景入深林  返景深林に入り   the sunset light pierces the deep woods

復照青苔上  また照らす青苔の上  reflects back the surface of green moss

This poem by Wang Wei has been loved by many people for centuries
because of the vast dimension--vertical and horizontal---the dynamic
descending from the sky to the earh, which shows the perfect
comprehension of the three elements consisting the universe, i.e.
the heaven, the earth and us humans. The poet is a great painter, too,
by offering his readers the colours of nature; this could be a sort of Tao, too.
Looks very simple but pretty contrived, too.

I've just found this rendition:

So Lone seem the hills; there is no one in sight there.

But whence is the echo of voices I hear?

The rays of the sunset pierce slanting the forest,

And in their reflection green mosses appear.

–Wang Wei (王维), Deer Park Hermitage from the Wang River Collection (ca. 750CE)(W.J.B. Fletcher transl., 1919)
by ars_maki | 2011-01-20 03:30 | 読書