Showing posts with label poet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poet. Show all posts

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Kaneko Misuzu

A mural of Kaneko Misuzu in her hometown of Senzaki, Nagato on the Japan Sea  coast of Yamaguchi. Born in 1903, she started writing poetry and nursery rhymes at age twenty. She was in an abusive marriage and her husband passed on an STD to her as well as forbidding her from writing. She committed suicide aged 26. Her work was rediscovered in 1972 and has since been traslated into numerous languages.

The mural is interesting as each tile is inscribed with a message from either a local resident or a visitor to Senzaki. Several other similar murals can be seen around the town and the idea has grown so that now a building has been opened as a modern art installation featuring such tiles along with lighting and projection.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Santoka Taneda

Pricks and pussies
Boiling together
In the overcrowded bath.

This is the most common translation of a poem by Yamaguchi born poet Santoka Taneda. The draincover is in Yuda Onsen, and I am informed that the meaning is read nowadays to mean that both men and women are welcome in Yuda Onsen's spas.

He was a very interesting poet, by all accounts an inveterate drunk who came under the influence of the Free Haiku Movement.

After what was probably a failed suicide attempt he became a monk and then spent the rest of his life wandering Japan, begging, and writing poems a la Basho.

His poetry, like much of Japanese "folk" culture is quite crude and earthy, displaying a very human and natural attitude. Those who prefer the sanitized Victorian/Puritan/Confucian version of japanese culture that prevails today may not like his stuff, but its worth searching out.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chuya Nakahara's hat

One day in Yamaguchi City 5932

Recently someone described me as having a fetish for manhole covers. Not sure if it's true and accurate, but I do find them a fascinating way to learn about places.

For anyone who truly has a fetish for them, Yuda Onsen in Yamaguchi Prefecture is the place to go. In this small town they have dozens and dozens of different designs.

One day in Yamaguchi City 5931

This group of four all show Chuya Nakahara' hat. He was a local boy who made quite a name for himself as a poet during the Taisho period. He was influenced by Dadaism and later French Symbolism, and though not so well known outside Japan was known for his avant gardeism and bohemianism, though apparently he is most wull known for the hat he wore.

One day in Yamaguchi City 5930

He died young at only 30 years of age. There is an excellent site in English on him here

One day in Yamaguchi City 5933

The town has a small museum containing his manuscripts and other materials from his short life.

One day in Yamaguchi City 5927