signature seal (hanko) impression for KURI-SU CHRIS'S JAPAN PAGE title bar amulet for one born in a Monkey year, from Tadou Taisha shrine, Mie Prefecture

"Seeing a dream"

an exploration of Miyazawa Kenji

page 3
READINGS from Miyazawa Kenji
1. from: "Diary of an Agriculture Student" (in ref. 3.11, pp. 29-30) 1. "Aru nougakusei no nisshi"
August 21, 1927
 
After everything, the rice plants have ended up flattened. I don’t know what to do anymore. Until yesterday they were firming up so well, but at dawn there was a violent thunderstorm, and by a little while ago most of them had half fallen over. Privately we had tried to go by the program, but sure enough they fell over. It’s still raining even now. Father smiles and says “it’s alright,” but that is just to sooth me. In actual fact it is quite terrible. Mother is all worried just about me.
 
To me, if it was only the rice at our place that fell over, it would be easy to take. If it was just a matter of the fertilizer program I taught, it wouldn’t be a big thing. If it was just that, I’d go on the railroad for the winter and work as a peddler, and for sure I’d earn everything back. But after taking so much care, after taking so much thought for the fertilizer, with all that, for matters to end up like this – there won’t be any prospect for the village to improve itself in any way. There’s noplace I can turn to talk it over. Going to the school is out of the question. Teacher ___ would just smile and say something like: “Ah, as for their falling over, the rice shoots must have been weak, and it just won’t do if they lose too much vigor, you know.”
 
The diary – if I didn’t have this diary to write things down in, tonight how would I get by? The intake dam is closed, and the outlet is shut off, and I can’t get out in the ricefields yet, so I can’t do anything. I just have to sit quietly, listening to the sound of the rain as it comes driving down and gets louder again, as if making a threat. Suppose this rain does clear up by tomorrow, what can be done anyway?
 
Oh, it’s alright, what will be, will be. For, whether the rain clears up by tomorrow or if it doesn’t, tonight one thing at least is quite certain – I can make myself a pair of ___.
 
 
1927 nen 8 gatsu 21 nichi
 
ine ga toutou taorete shimatta. boku wa mou doushite ii ka wakaranai. are gurai kinou made shikkari shite ita no ni, akegata no hageshii raiu kara sakki made ni hotondo hanbun taorete shimatta. kisaku no mo kossori itte mita keredomo yappari taoreta. ima mo mada futte iru. chichi wa waratte daijoubu daijoubu da to iu keredomo sore wa boku wo nadameru tame de jitsu wa taihen hidoi no da. haha wa maru de boku no koto bakari shinpai shite iru. boku wa uchi no ine ga taoreta dake nara nandemonai no da. boku ga hiryou wo oshieta kisaku no datte sore dake nara nandemonai. sore dake nara boku wa fuyu ni tetsudou he dete mo gyoushou shite mo kito torikaeshi wo tsukeru. keredomo are gurai teire wo shite are gurai hiryou wo kangaete yatte sore de konna ni naru no nara mou mura wa doko mo motto yoku naru mikomi wa nai no da. boku wa doko he mo soudan ni iku toko ga nai. gakkou he itta tte dame da. ___ sensei wa aa taoreta no ka, nae ga yowaku wa nakatta kana, anmari ryoku wo otoshite wa ikenai yo, gurai no koto wo itte warau dake no mon da. nisshi, nisshi, boku wa kono kakitsukeru nisshi ga nakattara konya doushite iru darou. seki wa tometa shi otoshiguchi wa kitta shi ta no naka he wa mada hairenai shi dou suru koto mo dekizu damatte ano boshobosho shitari mata odosu you ni tsuyoku nattari suru ame no oto wo kiite inakereba naranai no da. ittai kono ame ga ashita no uchi ni hareru da nante koto ga aru darou ka.
 
aa, dou demo ii, naru you ni naru n da. ashita ame ga hareru ka harenai ka yori mo, konya boku ga ____ wo issoku tsukureru koto no hou ga yoppodo tashika nan da kara.
2. from: "Daikawa" (in ref. 3.11, pp. 32-33) 2. "Daikawa"
“Let’s get started.” Certainly the light is moving on, so everyone gets up. From the short grass where they’d been sitting. Heat haze or something like that is shimmering. Not heat haze. It’s the kind of light that’s just a sensation of the retina.
 
“So, let’s get going. Just the ones who want to go.” Too bad about those who haven’t arrived yet. We’ve waited 20 minutes already. Though of course it was nice and pleasant relaxing at this green rest spot alongside the road.
 
To make the round trip from here and back, we had to arrive at the inn across the way at 11 o’clock.
 
“Where’s it we’re goin’?” So, it seems some of the boys don’t know we’re going up to Kamabuchi. “As far as Kamabuchi, only about 30 minutes.”
 
The gentle, fresh whiteness is very nice, first in the midst of the greenery, then out in the open. It’s okay if we go and leave here those sweets wrapped in burlap. Knapsacks and things can be left in the grass too, since some aren’t coming along,
 
“I’m going to wait here, so …” It’s the principal. Heavyset, dressed up in jet black, the principal is relaxing in the roadside grass, stretching his legs out wide, toward the woods.
 
“Very well then. We will go on.” Green of the trees, green of the trees, today too the clouds in the sky sweet-sour, vibration of feet tramping and billows of light. Vibration of tramping and billows of light.
 
It’s a clay road. It’s dried off. It’s yellow. Road. Clay.
 
Young pine woods. Light and dark of the woods all kinds of green. Then too, the pupils all are new green.
 
Next, the blackness in the cliff over beyond really is, plainly, a dike of obsidian. You wouldn’t have thought you could see it so clearly from here.
 
Okay, good.
 
“Look at the cliff over beyond. There are black rocks standing out a little, like columns. That is volcanic rock which has forced its way into fissures in the sedimentary rock. It is obsidian.” They call it a dike, don’t they? No, ‘rock seam’ is right. “That sort of thing is called a rock seam.” Did they understand, I wonder.
 
“Understand? The black rocks in the cliff over there must have projected upward vertically. That is volcanic rock which rose up through the middle of the sedimentary rock. It’s a rock seam. That there.”
 
Shimmering, shimmering. Net of light.
 
“This mountain is composed of rhyolite tuff. Tuff with dolerite has very low fertility. Only red pine and various small trees will grow. On the other hand, in that area, the place with the gentle slope at the base of the cliff, fine, green broadleaf trees grow thick. That place is an old alluvial fan. It was washed down from above. It makes relatively fertile soil. The conditions for growing trees appear different. Let’s understand that.” They might understand, but they’re all walking along in silence. This is the way things always are. It’s a lonesome feeling, but that doesn’t matter.
 
In back, some boys are bending down and picking up rocks. It’s a young pine grove. It’s densely crowded. This road runs way upstream. Birds must come flocking here, that deposited lots of seeds and the like during the reforestation.
 
“There is a pleasant, beautiful mountain with lots of cryptomeria near Shidotaira, south of the Toyosawa River. There is no comparison between here and there in regard to the conditions for growing trees. Over there is a conglomerate of andesite; here is found rhyolite tuff. Lime and potassium and other nourishment for plant life is very little here. Something like a crptomeria won’t grow at all.” The one in back nodding his head is Fujiwara Seisaku. He is from Oota, so he knows this well.
 
(to be continued)
 
 
. . .
 
komatsu no hayashi. hayashi no meian iroiro no midori. sore ni seito wa minna shinsen da.
 
mukou no gake no kuroi no wa are da, akiraka ni ano kokuyouseki no dyke da.koko kara konna ni hakkiri mieru to wa omawanakatta zo.
 
yoshi umai

"mukou no gake wo goran nasai. kurokute sukoshi ukidashita hashira no youna iwa ga aru deshou. are wa suiseigan no wareme ni oshikonde kita kazangan desu. kokuyouseki desu." daiku to iou ka na. iiya ganmyaku ga ii. "aa iu no wo ganmyaku to iimasu." wakatta ka na. "wakarimashita ka. mukou no gake ni kuroi iwa ga tate ni tsukidete iru deshou. are wa suiseigan no naka ni fukidashita kaseigan desu yo. ganmyaku desu yo. are wa."
 
yurete ru yurete ru. hikari no ami.
 
"kono yama wa ryuumon-gyoukaigan de dekite imasu. sekiei-somengan no gyoukaigan, taihen chimi ga warui no desu. akamatsu to chiisana zouki shika haete inai deshou. tokoro ga sono hen, fumoto no yurui keisha no tokoro ni wa aoi rippana katsuyouju ga ippai haete iru deshou. asuko wa furui chuusekisen desu. hakobarete kita no desu. wariai-hiyokuna dojou wo tsukutte imasu. ki no hae guai ga chigatte miemashou. wakarimashou." wakaru darou sa. keredomo minna damatte aruite iru. kore ga itsudemo kou nan da. sabishii n da. keredomo nandemonai n da. …
 
" … mukou wa anzangan no shuukaigan, kotchi wa ryuumon-gyoukaigan desu. sekkai ya kari ya shokubutsu-youryou ga zuuttou sukunai no desu. koko ni wa totemo sugi nanka sodata nai no desu."
 
. . .
 

3. from: "The Northern Cross and the Pliocene Coast," chapter 7 of Night of the Milky Way Railroad 3. "Kita Juuji to Purioshin Kaigan," Ginga tetsudou no yoru
What they saw were the pale bones of a great big beast sticking out of the soft white rock. Having collapsed to the side, it had become broken up. It was more than half excavated. Also, when they looked more closely, some of the adjacent rock in which prints of cloven hoofs were impressed had been neatly cut into ten or so squares, and a number was attached to each.
 
"You must have come to observe" said the one who looked like a professor. When he turned their way, it made his glasses flash.
 
"You must have seen all the walnuts. Well, those walnuts are from about 1.2 million years ago — rather on the recent side. 1.2 million years ago, in the late Tertiary Period, this area was shoreline, and so seashells are dug out from under here too. In the place where the river is flowing now, it was all saltwater ebbing and flowing. As for this beast, it is called Bos, you know. — Hey, hey, leave off with the pickaxe there. Do it nicely with a chisel! — Anyway, this Bos is the ancestor of the present-day cow. The animal was abundant in the past."
 
"Are you going to put it on exhibit?"
 
"No, it's needed as evidence. From our viewpoint, this place is a fine, thick stratum, with proof built up that it was formed about 1.2 million years ago. However, the view of some people who differ from us is to question whether or not this kind of stratum is what we really see here or whether it may be wind or water or empty sky. Understand?"
miru to, sono shiroi yawarakana iwa no naka kara, ookina ookina aojiroi kemono no hone ga, yoko ni taorete tsubureta to iu fuu ni natte, hanbun ijou horidasarete imashita. soshite ki wo tsukete miru to, sokora ni wa, hizume no futatsu aru ashiato no tsuita iwa ga, shikaku ni juu bakari, kirei ni kiritorarete bangou ga tsukerarete arimashita.
 
“kimitachi wa sankan ka ne.” sono daigakushi rashii hito ga, megane wo kiratto sasete, kotchi wo mite hanashi-kakemashita.
 
"kurumi ga takusan attarou. sore wa maa, zatto hyakunijuuman nen gurai mae no kurumi da yo. goku atarashii hou sa. koko wa hyakunijuuman nen mae, daisanki no ato no koro wa kaigan de ne, kono shita kara wa kaigara mo deru. ima kawa no nagarete iru toko ni, sokkuri shiomizu ga yosetari hiitari mo shite ita no da. kono kemono ka ne, kore wa bosu to itte ne, oioi, soko tsuruhashi wa yoshitamae. teinei ni nomi de yatte kuretamae. bosu to itte ne, ima no ushi no senso de, mukashi wa takusan itta sa.”
 
"hyouhon ni suru n desu ka.”
 
"iya, shoumei suru ni iru n da. bokura kara miru to, koko wa atsui rippana chisou de, hyakunijuuman nen gurai mae ni dekita to iu shouko mo iroiro agaru keredomo, bokura to chigatta yatsu kara mite mo yappari konna chisou ni mieru kadouka, aruiwa kaze ka mizu ya garan to shita sora ka ni mieyashinai ka to iu koto na no da. wakatta kai."

Copyright © 2003 C.J. Brunner TOP: Moonlight ride: detail, sketch by Hiroshige (1797-1858) CLOSE: Descending the Kiso River: detail, sketch by Hiroshige (1797-1858) Comments or questions? Contact:
Kurisu