What’s the use?: Basho’s Poetics


Bunjin is referred to as an intellectual who lives in literature, prefers creative solitude, appreciates arts and natural beauty. Basho ...
Read More

Maverick in Style: Basho’s Poetics


Since serenity and simplicity are characteristic to his later works, especially in his most popular traveling journal, Oku no Hosomichi, ...
Read More

New Year’s and the Snow: Manyo (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves)


Manyo-shu is the oldest anthology of short poems (waka, directly translated as short songs) in Japanese history, including 20 volumes ...
Read More

Enlightenment At This Moment


Enlightenment is pretty much misunderstood. People tend to believe enlightenment is something you are yet to attain or achieve, but ...
Read More

Fish, Birds and Day-to-day Enlightenment


Do you obsess yourself with full research to prepare for your trip or try to make it as spontaneous as ...
Read More

Lost in Enlightenment


Some ten years ago I came across an interesting book on the definition of "beautiful" women. It examines how beauty ...
Read More

Let go: Lyricism of Kokinshu

『古今集(古今和歌集)』和歌「あきかぜに あへずちりぬる もみぢばの ゆくへさだめぬ われぞかなしき」英語訳

Lyricism of Kokinshu is characterized by expressing emotions while singing about nature. Falling leaves arouses a certain kind of sadness ...
Read More

One of My Pet Peeves is…: Sei Shonagon and Her Language


We all know too well that making a mistake makes us feel awkward and annoyed. For a change, why not ...
Read More

For All Eternity: Basho’s Poetics


Here is the opening part of his most popular travel prose, "Oku no Hosomichi (The Back-country Trails)". Aesthetic sensitivity here is ...
Read More

The Stillness: Basho’s Poetics


Matsuo Basho, a haiku master in the 17th century, is famous for his travel journal, Oku no Hosomichi (The Back-country ...
Read More

Let Life Flow


With its variability and frailty, what do you compare life to? Let's look into the opening of "Diary from a Cabin" ...
Read More

Full moon, Full bloom


Why is it that your heart throbs to see the clouds covering the moon, the withered flowers on the ground?花は盛りに、月は隈なきをのみ見るものかは。雨にむかひて月を恋ひ、垂れこめて春の行方知らぬも、なほあはれに情け深し。咲きぬべきほどの梢、散りしをれたる庭などこそ見どころ多けれ。 Who says we ...
Read More

Shades and Absence

額田王「君待つと わが恋ひをれば わが屋戸の簾動かし 秋の風吹く」英語訳

What about Japanese culture fascinates me? Its attention to shades over lights, absence over presence. As pensive and pathetic as ...
Read More

Flawless Completion Is Something Undesirable


Learning is something of a journey with no perfection in sight. すべて、何も皆、事のととのほりたるは悪しきことなり。し残したるを、さてうち置きたるは、おもしろく、生き延ぶるわざなり。 In everything, flawless completion is something undesirable. Intriguing ...
Read More