Inku
Japan Society of Fairfield County

Tanka(2)
by Dr. Ikuko Anjo Jassey

来てみてよ母の指差す西方は浄土の色か朱に墨衣
Ki te mi te yo   ha ha no yu bi sa su   sa i hoo wa   joo do no i ro ka   shu ni su mi go ro mo

Come over here
Mom pointing to the western sky
The colors of the Pure Land, I wonder
orange and black


現世を乗せて流るる思川水面の月よ粉と砕けよ
U tsu shi yo o   no se te na ga ru ru   o mo i ga wa   mi na mo no tsu ki yo   ko na to ku da ke yo

Omoi River—
Running with worldly affairs
Oh, the moon on the water,
crush yourself into fragments!


しののめに阿弥陀仏に手を引かれ振り返りつつ逝きし母はや
Shi no no me ni   a mi da bo to ke ni   te o hi ka re   hu ri ka e ri tsu tsu   i ki shi ha ha wa ya

At dawn
Mother departed with Amitabha
taking her hand,
she looking back, turning around


命日の師走の二十日に母が来た泥つき大根いっぽん下げて
Me i ni chi no   shi wa su no ha tsu ka ni   ha ha ga ki ta   do ro tsu ki da i ko n   i ppo n sa ge te

On the twentieth of December
her anniversary day
Mom came visiting,
carrying one daikon radish still muddy




紅き桃また咲きめぐり借りし恩返せぬままに懐にあり
A ka ki mo mo   ma ta sa ki me gu ri   ka ri shi o n   ka e se nu ma ma ni   hu to ko ro ni a ri

Crimson peach flowers
blooming again this year
My debts are still in my bosom
without repaying for her love


かるかやの父母を見送り友送りたたずむ原に時雨風花
Ka ru ka ya no   hu bo o mi o ku ri   to mo o ku ri   ta ta zu mu ha ra ni   shi gu re ka za ha na

Parents bid farewell; friends are also gone
In the fields, pampas grass standing alone
Winter showers
and flurries


「姉さんはよく兄貴に仕えた」と 飯炊き子を産し母は死にたり
“Ne e sa n wa   yo ku a ni ki ni   tsu ka e ta” to   me shi ta ki ko o na shi   ha ha wa shi ni ta ri

“Sister-in-law well served my brother”
Is your brother a feudal lord, eh?
She cooked rice, bore children, and—died
That’s my mom


葬列に両の手合わせる婆さまの肩に淡雪普陀落浄土
Soo re tsu ni   mo ro no te a wa se ru   ba ba sa ma no   ka ta ni a wa yu ki   hu da ra ku joo do

On the shoulders of an old woman
folding her hands to the funeral procession,
praying Bodhisattava waiting in the Pure Land
Soft snow falling
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