Thinking of a soul

Nan-en-do Hall (南円堂)is located at the southwest corner on the temple ground of Koufukuji, with octagonal shape and a Kannon statue, Goddess of Mercy, inside. The statue, holding a net called kensaku(羂索) with her hand for salvation, is a national treasure, and is sitting in the behind of the reddish door which is seldom opened.

At the next to this Hall, there is a small hall where an another statue, Hitokoto-kannon(一言観音)( Goddess for one wish) is situated.

I came here for prayer. I wanted to pray for an acquaintance who had departed from this life, for peace of his soul.
Praying I thought that his soul had been already in peace.
When I came to know that he had passed away, I had no tear as if my body rejected to accept the reality, while I felt that my soul accepted it slowly and quietly.

In front of the small hall, there is a small trellis for wisterias. The flowers of wisteria have gone and through the green leaves I could see sunshine in the afternoon after a couple of rainy days. I looked up at the sky thinking of a soul.

When I came here last time, my husband offered a long prayer for the One wish goddess, I remembered.

われよりも長く拝みて礼(あや)をしぬ 夫は一言観音さまに

After prayed

for longer than I have done

my husband bowed from the waist

at the Kannon statue

for One wish

Doves are flying away....
Where do you make streak for? There is no hurry. Never hurry.


Closed Up

Can't you see a vast poppy field through this photo? If you can, I'm very happy, but actually this is a photo of a pot of poppies which I planted seeds, as you can guess easily.

I took this closed up photo thinking of Akiko Yosano's famous tanka that she composed in southen France, I don't know exactly where it is, viewing
a field full of poppies.

君も雛罌粟(こくりこ)われも雛罌粟(こくりこ)( 与謝野 晶子)

( Oh, how fantastic this May is!
We are both here in France, on the field of colour of fire.
You are one of the plenty of coquelicots. And me, too )

Akiko Yosano (1878~1942)(与謝野 晶子) was a writer and a poet, besides she wrote a lot of tanka poems with Tekkan Yosano(1873~1935)(与謝野 鉄幹) who became her husband after he divorced. The two of them had twelve children together.

Akiko and Tekkan organised an association for poetry and started to publish magazine maned "Myojyou"(「明星」 明=bright 星=star) in 1900, and the passionate style of expression of their poems complied in it had quickly become a mainstream of the field of literature and was called Romanticism, which became popular in Europe about 150 years earlier than in Japan.

The tanka which is noted above was written when Akiko visited Tekkan who went to France for climbing out of his doldrums. She was truly a great accompanist for the earnest runner.

                                                                                           永田 和宏
(I lie on a spring ground and see dandelions being as high as they are.
Is it air turbulence or something of Chernobyl disaster ,
rising up behind of them, in a distance?)

This tanka was written by Kazuhiro Nagata( 1947~)who is a tanka poet and a scientist, and it is set in his the fifth tanka book, 「華氏」( Fahrenheit).
In the postscript of this book, Nagata mentions that he realised that he got used to feel the temperature as measure of Fahrenheit in US, during his sojourn with his family to study science.

This book was published in 1996, ten years later since nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl happened.
I think the tanka I wrote down above was composed in Japan after he returned from US.
I don't intend to say that Nagata predicted the same revel of disaster would occur at nuclear power plants in Japan.

What I wonder is how his experiences in different culture effected upon his poetry.
Through this tanka he gives us a message with a sight of being closed up and of defamiliarization that might come from some living experience of him, mentioning not only as his knowledge but as his sensory temperature.

What can you see in the distance?


First of May

About fifty days have passed since the northen area in Japan was attacked by unprecedented earthquake and Tsunami.
Recently flowerage of cherry blossoms in the district was on the news.
As thousands of people are living as evacuates, many of them might have seen the blossoms only on TV, or from far away.

What have I done for them? Just economise of possible amount for consecutive donation, so far.
It is somehow dazzling to see on TV people who are working voluntarily to help restoration in the disastrous area to the utmost of their ability.

Out of the window green leaves are shining in the Sun of May.
Sun shine is merciful for everyone and for everything.

Oak tree started to have young leaves. The leaves that just have come out look like tiny birds which try to learn how to fly, and they grow close together so rapidly.
May, it is leafy season.

Grown up oak leaves look thick and robust, though it is transparent like some peaces of paraffin paper when sun rays come though.
And they whisper each other when they touch with breath of wind.

I used to imagine some unknown words for me listening to their whisper.
I feel that so long time has passed since I wrote a tanka as the following.

Such a greenhorn I was.

まだ誰も聞かぬ言葉のあるならむ 若き青葉の零すささめき

Green and fresh leaves
are whispering
just like they let trickle their whisper from the tree
like unknown words for anyone

In Japanese language, words is ”kotoba”(言葉)(葉 means leaves).
In olden days people sometimes used the word koto-no-ha(言の葉), while words do not directly regard to leaves but leaves seem to represent some variety and plenitude.

On the ground, Saxifrage stolonifera(雪の下)is ready to have their little white flowers.

I wish this lovely season will last for a certain time.

Today when I turned on my radio "First of May"「青葉のころ」 was on air.(You Tube)
Listening to this fresh song, I thought I'd like to keep my desire for unknown and untold words in my mind.