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A Few Modern Japanese Tanka
translated by Kozue Uzawa

like a child
making fresh, crispy sounds
you eat celery sticks
I don't need a reason
to adore you

---Yukitsuna Sasaki


flower buds
of the apricot tree
are about to open
anxiously in the rain
as if waiting for love

---Kazuhiko Ito


a chair
of illusion beside me
now I no longer
wait for him
longing at night

---Tamiko Ohnishi


looking at
the Noh mask of a young woman
I feel white arrows
silently flowing
under the faraway ocean

---Kimihiko Takano


swiftly
the mist enclosed your silhouette
a movement
from a symphony
started to come to my mind

---Yoshimi Kondo


Biographical Notes:

SASAKI, Yukitsuna (1938). Born and lives in Tokyo. University professor. Started writing tanka in his early twenties. Leader of the Kokoro no Hana (Flower of Heart) Tanka Group. Published numerous books. One of the leading tanka poets in Japan.

ITO, Kazuhiko (1943). Born and lives in Miyazaki, Kyushu. High school instructor, counselor. Started writing tanka during his college days in Tokyo. Senior member of the Kokoro no Hana Tanka Group. Published many tanka collections.

OHNISHI, Tamiko (1924~94). Born in Morioka, Iwate. One of the founders of Keisei (Formation) Tanka Group. Published many tanka collections. Her sudden death (heart failure) was mourned by many tankaists.

TAKANO, Kimihiko (1941). Born in Ehime, Shikoku. Lives in Ichikawa, Chiba. College instructor. Senior member of Kosumosu (Cosmos Flower) Tanka Group. One of the founders of Sanbashi (Pier) Tanka Group for young poets. Published many tanka collections.

KONDO, Yoshimi (1913). Born in Korea. Lives in Tokyo. Leader of Mirai (Future) Tanka Group. Published numerous tanka collections. One of the senior tanka poets in Japan.

Translator: UZAWA, Kozue (1942). Born in Tokyo. Immigrated to Canada in 1971. University instructor. Published her first tanka collection in 1998. Member of Kokoro no Hana Tanka Group, Japan Tanka Poets’ Society, Tanka Society of America.


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