Sayonara Amerika, Sayonara Nippon

Yosano Akiko

Posted in Japanese literature by bourdaghs on the February 2nd, 2010

Over at The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus this week, they have a set of excellent new translations by Roger Pulvers of tanka poems by the one and only Yosano Akiko (1878-1942). Akiko broke all the rules of decorum when she began publishing her passionate, disorderly poems in the first decade of the twentieth century, and she is still capable of astonishing readers today. Here’s a sample, but by all means check out the whole collection:

  • The day lengthens…
    I snap off wild roses
    Grasp them, put them in my hair…
    I am weary of waiting in the field
    For you!
  • 野茨をりて髪にもかざし手にもとり永き日野辺に君まちわびぬ

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