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Kakinomoto no Hitomaro

Japanese poet
When I gathered flowers
For my girl
From the top of the plum tree
The lower branches
Drenched me with dew.
I sit at home
In our room
By our bed
Gazing at your pillow.
The colored leaves
Have hidden the paths
On the autumn mountain.
How can I find my girl,
Wandering on ways I do not know?

Kakinomoto no Hitomaro (柿本人麻呂 or 柿本人麿) was a Japanese waka poet and aristocrat of the late Asuka period. He was the most prominent of the poets included in the Man'yōshū. He is ranked as one of the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals. From the Heian period on, he was often called Hito-maru (人丸).

QuotesEdit

Kenneth Rexroth's translationsEdit

One Hundred Poems from the Japanese (1955)Edit

One Hundred Poems from the Japanese (New Directions Publishing, 1955), ISBN 978-0811201810

  • Sasa no ha wa
    Miyama mo saya ni
    Sayagedomo
    Ware wa imo omo
    Wakare kinureba
    • In the empty mountains
      The leaves of the bamboo grass
      Rustle in the wind.
      I think of a girl
      Who is not here.
    • XVII, p. 19
  • Hito goto wa
    Natsu no no kusa to
    Shigeku to mo
    Imo to ware to shi
    Tazusawarineba
    • Gossip grows like weeds
      In a summer meadow.
      My girl and I
      Sleep arm in arm.
    • XIX, p. 21
  • Asa ne gami
    Ware wa kezuraji
    Utsukushiki
    Kimi ga ta makura
    Fureteshi mono wo
    • This morning I will not
      Comb my hair.
      It has lain
      Pillowed on the hand of my lover.
    • XX, p. 22
  • Kurokami no
    Shira kami made to
    Musubiteshi
    Kokoro hitotsu wo
    Ima takame ya mo
    • Your hair has turned white
      While your heart stayed
      Knotted against me.
      I shall never
      Loosen it now.
    • XXI, p. 23
  • Aki yama no
    Momiji wo shigemi
    Mado inuru
    Imo wo motomenu
    Yama ji shirazu mo
    • The colored leaves
      Have hidden the paths
      On the autumn mountain.
      How can I find my girl,
      Wandering on ways I do not know?
    • XXIII, p. 25
  • Ie ni kite
    Waga ya wo mireba
    Tama doko no
    Hoka ni mukikeri
    Imo ga ko makura
    • I sit at home
      In our room
      By our bed
      Gazing at your pillow.
    • XXV, p. 27

One Hundred More Poems from the Japanese (1976)Edit

One Hundred More Poems from the Japanese, trans. Kenneth Rexroth (New Directions Publishing, 1976), ISBN 978-0811206198

  • Ito ga tame
    Hozu e no ume wo
    Ta oru to wa
    Shizu e no tsuyu ni
    Nurenikeru kamo
    • When I gathered flowers
      For my girl
      From the top of the plum tree
      The lower branches
      Drenched me with dew.
    • XXII, p. 24

External linksEdit