A Law of the Universe

I’m patting my dog’s head

over and over.

Something amazing is happening.

I am becoming happier and happier.

.(1988)

TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE POETRY BOOK ON LOVE
OTOHIME KARA URASHIMA TARO NI TSUGU BY NAOMI OTSUBO.
FROM CHAPTER ONE, BEFORE MEETING

 

宇宙の法則

犬の頭をなでる

コロコロと なでる

なぜか 自分が うれしくなってくる

すごいことが おきている

(1988)

恋愛詩集「乙姫から浦島太郎に告ぐ」第1章出会い前 より

Posted in Uncategorized

I won’t cry

My funeral
A friend’s funeral

Not to cry after a death
with unexpressed gratitude

I will face them now
with “arigato.”

Note: arigato is an expression of thanks or gratitude in Japanese.

TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE POETRY BOOK ON LOVE
OTOHIME KARA URASHIMA TARO NI TSUGU BY NAOMI OTSUBO.
FROM CHAPTER ONE, BEFORE MEETING

 

(Original Japanese poem)

私は泣かない

自分の葬式
他人の葬式

死んでから
鳴いて感謝するよりも

向かい合った「ありがとう」を
私は選ぶ

恋愛詩集「乙姫から浦島太郎に告ぐ」第1章出会い前 より

Cinderella’s Carriage

Midnight parties are
sheer sadness

The taxi in front of me is
a mere pumpkin

Oh, pumkin, pumpkin

You are white tonight

(1990)

Note: In Japan, taxis come in a variety of colors: black, white, green, yellow, blue, etc.

TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE POETRY BOOK ON LOVE
OTOHIME KARA URASHIMA TARO NI TSUGU BY NAOMI OTSUBO.
FROM CHAPTER ONE, BEFORE MEETING

 

 

シンデレラの馬車

真夜中の宴会は
ただの かなしみ

目の前のタクシーは
ただの かぼちゃ

かほちゃよ かぼちゃ

今日のは 白いな

恋愛詩集「乙姫から浦島太郎に告ぐ」第1章出会い前 より

Posted in Uncategorized

Vacant

Ah!
How vacant it is

Wonderously vacant
Incessently vacant

But, my heart,
That’s OK

It’s a blessing
And indeed better

For just a litte longer
Stay this way and behave

(1988)

TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE POETRY BOOK ON LOVE
OTOHIME KARA URASHIMA TARO NI TSUGU BY NAOMI OTSUBO.
From chapter one, before meeting

 

(Original Japanese poem)

空き部屋

まあ
なんて からっぽ

みごとに からっぽ
ずっと からっぽ

でも
それでいいの 私のこころよ

それが なにより
ほんとに なにより

今しばらくは
そこでおとなしく しておいで

 

恋愛詩集「乙姫から浦島太郎に告ぐ」第1章出会い前 より

 

Solitude

On the days I can approach people,
Everyone seems beautiful.
The air sparkles.

I don’t understand myself.
Why have I held onto this solitude?

(1987)

TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE POETRY BOOK ON LOVE
OTOHIME KARA URASHIMA TARO NI TSUGU BY NAOMI OTSUBO.

From the chapter one, before meeting

 

 

(ORIGINAL JAPANESE POEM)

勇気の孤独

自分から 人に
話しかけることができた日は
どんな人も  美しく思える
大気が きらめいて見える

どうしたものか 自分よ
何もそこまで 孤独になるな

恋愛詩集「乙姫から浦島太郎に告ぐ」第1章出会い前 より

A Letter to the Stars

To the countless stars in the sky,

Does being round
make it easier for you
to travel through the universe?

Or, while on your travels,
did the universe beat you,
making you rounder and rounder?

Or, is it the space between us
that simply makes you appear round?

Is keeping a good distance your secret?

 (1985)

TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE POETRY BOOK ON LOVE
OTOHIME KARA URASHIMA TARO NI TSUGU BY NAOMI OTSUBO.
From chapter one, before meeting

 

(Original Japanese poEm)

お星さまへ

天空にまします数々のお星さま

丸ければ
宇宙で うまくまわっていられますか?

それとも
まわっているうちに
あの手この手で 宇宙が
丸くしにかかってくるんですか

それとも
何でもかんでも
遠くにおいてしまえば
丸く見えてくるもんですか?

つまり
距離をおくってことですね

恋愛詩集「乙姫から浦島太郎に告ぐ」第1章出会い前 より

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Tokyo Gate Bridge

If there was a defined edge to the city of Tokyo, this would be it. Tokyo Gate Bridge is the furthest public highway built out into Tokyo bay. The island on the horizon is Chuo Bohatei, Tokyo’s largest landfill, which is reaching the edge of the municipality’s border. This image is from Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Emptiness: Tokyo Landscape. The image is also an optical illusion: can you tell if the bridge piers are getting thinner or taller the further away they are? Click on the image for a larger view.

Edogawa

The levee along Edogawa or Edo river is 10m or 30 ft. above the river course. The land on the other side is near sea level. The population density for this Tokyo ward is 13,900 people/km² or 35,900 people/sq. mi. Millions of people are protected from riverine flooding by these structures. This image is from Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Emptiness: Tokyo Landscape. Click on the image for a larger view.