Japanese Literature




Koichi Yakushigawa



Cry 1


You are fusing now.

As a candle is.

As life is.

Is your duty finished?

Is your enlightenment completed?

I don’t know

when your melting began,

but I am sure you have the reason for it.

Is it nonsense to ask you the reason?

Right, I will not.

But tell me what you are shouting.

Is it a cry in agony?

Or in blessed delight?

Ah, now the stone is fusing down,

the stone Rakan is cryin





My old Home


My old home

where is it?

The small textile factory

standing by a brook

streaming through.

The pretty village of Neyagawa,

where my mother was born

has long been disappeared.


in an old album

covered with brown back skin,

when touched, fingers stained brown.

There may be my old home.



There are

a thin and frail figure of myself,

mother in marumage.

Father a bank clerk with stick on his arm,

waving banners of


The Scene of good older world

there is!


My Old Home.



Neyagawa ..................:  Name of an small town between Osaka

                                                            and Kyoto.


Marumage: ................    One of the married women’s hair style.


Kinoshita Big Circus:  Name of one of the biggest travelling

                                                           circus band.








Takashi Arima








Traduction française des deux poèmes de Takashi Arima

par Jacques Lalloz


En l’église Saint Germain des Prés

Matinée de mai

sur la chevelure de cette tête enfantine au nez tordu.

Un pigeon dépose sans bruit sa fiente

pareille à une crème capillaire se répandant

sur l’Apollinaire signé Picasso.


Clocher qui pointe vers le ciel couvert.

Sur un vieux banc du petit square qui le précède

un vieillard aux cheveux blancs s’appuie sur une ombrelle.

À mon côté et, reniflant

tourne les pages d’un épais grimoire.




« Cogito ergo sum »


Les échos solennels de l’orgue

emplissent la seconde chapelle à gauche du choeur

où le philosophe en buste dresse la Tête.


Un rai de soleil filtre d’en face

des quatre vitraux. Au-delà

frémissent de vagues frondaisons.


Je m’interroge depuis un moment

- Ce que tu as vécu de vie jusqu’ici

ne l’aurais-tu pas passé à douter ?


« Dubito ergo sum »


* * *


Du livre :

Florilège de poésie japonaise

d’aujourd’hui – an 2005

(Édition : Takashi Arima

Traduction : Jacques Lalloz)






Kiyoko Ogawa




Like my own mother I felt attached to a German lady, who used to rent her upstairs rooms to us strangers for eighteen months.


Our three-year-old daughter pretty soon started haunting downstairs, settling herself down there for hours. She often played the mischief with two black cats. Our landlady was much indulgent to the little one, giving her a lot of sweets. I had to go downstairs to take our child back home. Meanwhile, the lady also let me inside the house: everything was immaculately in order.


One day, our German mother showed me her old albums. Being a native of Silesia, nowadays a part of Poland, she went hither and thither escaping from the relentless bombings by the American aircrafts during the Second World War. Grabbing her two small daughters by her hands, she managed to arrive in the West. She finished her story with outbursts of emotion. “Look!” she added, pointing at the several photos taken during the War.

- Everybody looks thin. It’s because I couldn’t feed  them much.


Even though she chose an easy word for me who was not fluent in German, I was impelled to laugh, for she talked in a matter-of-fact way, making the eating gesture. The next moment, I realised the irretrievability of my deed.


Shortly after this event, I came to turn my eyes to what was happening in the world. That unprepared laugh was the remorse akin to the pain of a tooth with advanced decay whose nerves are not incapacitated.


* Actually she used the German verb, “fressen”, which is not strictly equivalent to the English verb, “feed”.