The pupils' names were Akiko(鳳 晶子１８７８～１９４２） and Tomiko（山川登美子１８７９～１９０９）, each of the two was called by her nickname "Shra-hagi"( white bush clover) and "shira-yuri"( white lily)by the teacher , because both of them
responded to expectations by composing excellent tanka poems and by their zeal minds.
Tekkan and his two pupils became more and more intimate, as their ideas and style of their poems became popular.
As the consequence of their situation,Tomiko stepped aside from them involuntarily and Tekkan ended up to remarry with Akiko to start together as leaders of the poetry group.
As Origuchi was interested in the original nuances of Japanese language, he dug deep into them, then it is supposed that his study influenced on his idea for Tomiko's tanka which tended to be introspective about herself and words.
Getting back to their nicknames, I wonder why Akiko, sensational and advanced person on her belief, got such a name of flower which is not so outstanding,
besides Tomiko's name was from fragrant and relatively showy flower.
In their era there might have been more such flowers in the fields, white lilies in spring and bush clovers in autumn.
Regarding to lilies of ecesis, nowadays it is difficult to find them except in some special gardens.
Probably "showy" is my impression on the lilies I can buy at a shop.
On the other hand we can find bush clovers everywhere, in the fields, at the street corner, and on some temple ground and so on, although white ones are much less than reddish purple ones.
Recently two books about Tomiko were published, and her tanka and her life are introduced by some contemporary tanka poets in them.
Her husband passed away suffering from tuberculous just after one year later of their getting married, and she herself suffered from the same disease after she restarted to create tanka poems trying to console herself.
|Tomiko's room where she struggled with illness in Obama City|
To know about Akiko and her tanka poems is not difficult, for many books about it including translations in English, and Wikipedia in English(here).
In a nutshell, she fascinated many people as a flag-bearer of main stream of Romanticism, while in private life she came to have twelve children and many offspring consequently.
Today I walked in a field of ruin of Nara that used to be the capital of Japan more than 1300 yeas ago.
The story of the two ladies and Tekkan was unfolded about 100 yeas ago.
It seems an old story, but when I think of them walking in this field it appeared to a story of only one hundred years old.
|the main building "Daigokuden" was rebuilt recently|
My shiny black hair
fallen into disarray,
a thousand tangles,
like a thousand tangles thoughts
about my love for you.
(translated by Sam Hamill and Keiko Matsui Gibson)
to get to know that
It makes me feel easier
to get to know that
a fur seal falls into a slumber
soundly and tranquilly
on its icy bed