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雲ひとつない天心に 十六夜の月があった
港には 何艘もの漁船が舫(もや)われたまま 月の光を浴びていた
波音ひとつしない 静かな一月の夜であった
しばらく その港のたたずまいを黙って眺めた
原郷 という言葉が 僕の胸の内にはあった
僕は 兵頭さんと抱き合って泣きたい気持ちであった
と 兵頭さんが言った
今晩ほど一杯の熱いお茶を 兵頭さんと共に兵頭さんのお宅で飲みたい晩はなかった
いえ 今晩はこのまま帰ります と言い
ひとりとしての 僕の月の道へと歩いて行った
僕が振りかえった時 ちょうど兵頭さんも振りかえったところであった


屋久島の原生林を これ以上一本も伐らせるな
という 深夜に至るまでの話し合いを終えて 帰ってきた夜であった




Copyright 1993 by Sansei Yamao
Artwork Copyright 2002 by Yoshimi



In the clear bell of a cloudless night, there appeared a sixteenth night moon.
A throng of fishing boats bathed in the moonlight at port in their moorings.
It was a calm January night; the sea was calm.
Hyodo-san and I stayed around awhile, taking in the port in silence.
Homeground was the word on my mind.
I felt like I'd cry with Hyodo-san, us clasping each other.
Will you have a cup of tea in my house? Hyodo-san asked.
A once in a lifetime thing, oh to have a cup of hot tea with him in his house.
But I answered, No, I will go home now.
I went off to walk my moonroad alone; as I chanced to look back,
so did Hyodo-san at that instant.


To never again bring down the virgin forest that grows on the Yakushima Island 
            was the topic of our meeting,
And the night was full by the time we were done.


1) a sixteenth night: It is called Izayoi in traditional Japanese. In the lunar calendar we start counting a night from a new moon, and a fifteenth night is a full moon called Jugoya. A sixteenth night is the next day of Jugoya and the moon appears later than Jugoya.
2) homeground: Sansei often uses this word in his poems. He expresses an essential home or land for an individual or one tribe by this word. For him a homeground does not always mean the land where someone was born. Sansei was born in Tokyo, but he lived on Yakushima Island from 1977 to his death, over 20 years as a poet and a peasant. He loved it there very much, and he thought Yakushima was his homeground. Sansei also wrote about homeground in his poem in this manner: 
The sea is our life's homeground.
We are born from the sea, and we return to it.

Sansei Yamao (1938-2001) is a Japanese poet who lived on beautifully green Yaku Island (Yakushima), which is located in the south of Japan.  In 1973, he went on a pilgrimage to India and Nepal with his wife and children for 1 year. After a while he came back to Japan he moved to a ghost village in Yaku Island with his family (1977). He began to build a village at Shirakawa mountain, and there he wrote his poetry and prose with farming his field until he died.

(translated on 14 September 2002)
From 'Birouba boushi no shita de/Yamao Sansei's Poetry' 1993 Published in Yasosha
Copyright 1993 by Sansei Yamao
English translation Copyright 2002 by Marek Lugowski, Ruth Foley, Kazue D.
Artwork Copyright 2002 by Yoshimi

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