Inku
Japan Society of Fairfield County

Tanka(5)
by Dr. Ikuko Anjo Jassey

紺青の夜空に明るき月あれど心砕けて先が見えない
ko n jo o no    yo zo ra ni a ka ru ki    tsu ki a re do   ko ko ro ku da ke te   sa ki ga mi e na i 

The bright yellow moon
in the navy blue sky;
and yet, everything blurred
Her heart crumbling


祖母フジは片目文盲心根はたとえれば海 春の内海
so bo hu ji wa    ka ta me mo n mo o    ko ko ro ne wa    ta to e re ba u mi    ha ru no u chi u mi

Grandma Fuji was one-eyed,
and she was illiterate
Nevertheless, her heart was, say,
the sea—the inland sea on a spring day


夢は夢叶わぬものが夢にして夢という文字草書して書きませ
yu me wa yu me    ka na wa nu mo no ga    yu me ni shi te    yu me to i u mo ji    ku zu shi te ka ki ma se

A dream is fragile
A dream is like water
So scribe its character in a cursive flow


夕暮れにからすが鳴いてその話地獄の底にストンと落ちた
yu u gu re ni    ka ra su ga na i te    so no ha na shi    ji go ku no so ko ni    su to n to o chi ta

In the dusk
with a crow’s croaking
Talk dropped right into the pit of hell


方言集<かくさま かあさん おっかさん>ああ、<かあちゃん>がこんなところに
ho o ge n shu    <ka ku sa ma  ka a san    o kka sa n>    a a ka a cha n ga     ko n na to ko ro ni

A Collection of Dialects
“mater”
“mamma”
“ma”
Ah, here you are
“mom”
 

軒先の会津みしらず十六夜の月を見上げて<まだ春来ねか>
no ki sa ki no    a i zu mi shi ra zu    i za yo i no    tsu ki o mi a ge te    <ma da ha ru ko ne ka>

Hanging from the eaves
dried persimmons looking up to the moon
of the sixteenth night
“Ain’t spring comin’ yet?”


満天の星を見上げて「寒いなあ」呟きながら放尿する父
ma n te n no   ho shi o mi a ge te   「sa mi i na a」    tsu bu ya ki na ga ra    ho o nyo o su ru chi chi  

Looking up to a heaven of stars
Dad is urinating
mumbling , “Shiverin’”


「臓腑も喰え」とは決して言わない父親の言葉待ち待ち青ねぎを喰う
「mo tsu mo ku e」   to wa ke sshi te i wa na i    chi chi o ya no    ko to ba ma chi ma chi    a o ne gi o ku u
Knowing it would never happen
and yet waiting for Dad to say
“Eat entrails, too”;
Only green scallions from the hot pot
We children eat


「ああ、冷みて」「ほんとに寒い」方言は過ぎし時世の無形財産
「a a chi mi te」   「ho n to ni sa mi i」   ho o ge n wa    su gi shi to ki yo no    i n ta n ji bu ru

“Ah, freezin’”
“Real Kold”
Dialects—a legacy of the past
Now disappearing
Intangible

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