Coco: In Search of Home


This post is going to be another unusual post because I’m going to introduce a Japanese song to give another perspective on the concept of “Home.” The poetry below is originally written by Toson Shimazaki (1872-1943). Romanticism in his poems has reached to a great height of ever-green lyricism. Combined with melodic elegance and innocence, nostalgia and reminiscences of the past are conjured up in a pleasant way. His attempt to create a longer verse in a modern style at the dawn of modern Japanese literature was a great success, leaving some poems nationally popular to the extent which some senior citizens still recite them on top of their head. This is considered to be one of the best poems representing the general sentimentality of Japanese people.


To many Japanese people, the concept of “Home” has been linked strongly to land. It is something you picture in mind when you are most away from where you were. It is something you have lost. It is something you will never get back. The sentimentality of Japanese people is characterized by these concepts of loss, unattainableness. Throughout history, people have shown keen sympathy for pathetic stories of tragic heroes and samurai warriors and people in exile.




Washed ashore is a coco
From an island whose name I never know

Far away is your homeland
How many months your voyage’s spanned

Fully grown is your mother tree
With ever-growing palms forming a canopy

Sailing with no one but me
Nights have been spent on the restless sea

Clasped to my bosom
The coco reminds me how far-off I have become

Over the foreign waters sets the sun
Through my cheeks briny tears start to run

My longing will sail the form
And some day find its way home



Series: In Search of Home

Pilgrim: In Search of Home

Prepared: In Search of Home

Away: In Search of Home

Coco: In Search of Home

Moon Palace: In Search of Home

Rappelle-moi: In Search of Home

Fear: In Search of Home

Who Knows: In Search of Home

Anchor: In Search of Home

Home: In Search of Home

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