Ono no Takamura’s “Tell the people of the heaven-tempting boat!”

Ono no Takamura (802-852 AD) was a noted poet and state councilor exiled for a year to an island for feigning illness to avoid a mission to China. He wrote this upon his exile. My Translation Ono no Takamura Rowing out Through sea plains And …

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Basho’s “It’s a fleeting world”

My Translation It’s a fleeting world, As Sogi said— Like shelter in the rain Original Japanese 世にふるも更に宗祇の宿りかな Japanese Pronunciation Google Translator Yo ni furu mo Sara ni Sogi no Yadori kana Literal World gets old and Moreover Sogi’s Shelter how! [rain shelter] Note: Sogi (1421-1502 …

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Basho’s poetic philosophy #2

My Translation Follow nature, return with it, and be united with it. Original Japanese 造花にしたがい、造花にかへれとなり Pronunciation Zoka ni shitagai, zoka ni kaere to nari Literal Nature to follow, nature to return it means Source: Toshiharu Oseko’s Basho’s Haiku, citing Hattori Doho’s “San-Zoshi.” Doho was a …

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Semimaru’s “Osaka’s rendezvous gate”

My Translation By Semimaru This is the place— Of comings and goings And partings of ways; Of knowing and not knowing too: Osaka’s rendezvous gate. Original Japanese 蝉丸 これやこの 行くも帰るも 別れては 知るも知らぬも 逢坂の関 Pronunciation Google Translator Semimaru Kore ya kono Yuku mo kaeru mo Wakarete …

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Basho – “The sound of the tower hit by waves”

My Translation The sound of the tower hit by waves Freezes through my bowels— This night of tears Original Japanese 櫓の声波を打つて腸氷る夜や涙 Pronunciation Google Translator Ro no koe nami wo utte Harawata koru Yo ya namida Literal Tower’s voice waves hit [“Tower” could be read as …

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Priest Kisen’s hermit hut

My Translation By Priest Kisen My hermit hut Looks over the capital; Living with just a deer, The world is a mountain house— And the people, abandoned. Original Japanese 喜撰法師 わが庵は 都のたつみ しかぞすむ 世をうぢ山と 人はいふなり Pronunciation Google Translator Kisen Hoshi Waga io wa Miyako no …

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