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Voices from Japan
Ricketson Theater Lobby
The American School in Japan
1-1-1 Nomizu
Chofu-shi Tokyo 182-0031

March 4 — March 16, 2013

It is said that the island of Honshu shifted eight feet to the east
and that the Earth shifted on its axis by about ten inches —
roughly the length of a pencil. We have all been moved by the
events of March 11, 2011. Remarkably the movement continues
— not geographically but in this case poetically. When we first
encountered the Voices from Japan collection of tanka, we were
moved by the searing images and honesty. When we interviewed
the poets, and during the weeks that followed while preparing for
the exhibit, we often heard that Japanese people do not like to
show emotion. This paradox moves us.

In our work with the Tsujimotos, the students, the poetry, the
photographs, and most importantly with the poets, we have
revisited our own experience of the crisis and rekindled our
interest in and commitment to the reconstruction of spaces and
lives that were changed on March 11. Perhaps the exhibit will also
form a new community of those who can move Japan forward —

March 2013

Kyoko Inahara, Kathy Krauth, Karen Noll, Sarah Sutter

The American School in Japan

私たちが最初にVoices from Japanの短歌を読んだとき、その真摯で痛ましい


Since the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake & Tsunami on 3/11 in
2011, and the subsequent nuclear disasters, many affected people
in Tohoku and other concerned Japanese started writing poems.
Many painful but beautiful tanka, a traditional poetic form of only
31 syllables, have been published every week in newspapers in

Why do the Japanese write poems during a time of crisis? Voices

from Japan are usually not very audible in the world. But when
Japanese voices are composed as tanka, amazingly, one can hear
them as a common world language.

The Studio for Cultural Exchange (SCE) presented an exhibition,

Voices from Japan, in New York at the Cathedral of St. John the
Divine in the summer of 2012. It featured 75 tanka, which were
assembled mainly from the poetry section of Asahi Shimbun
newspaper. We are grateful that three American scholars on
Japanese literature volunteered contributing their expertise in the
English translations.

Inspired by the New York exhibition, this exhibition at The

American School in Japan (ASIJ) is the fruit of a collaboration
between teachers and students. Presented here are the records of
interviews with some of the poets and photos taken by the students
and teachers, in addition to this 100-tanka anthology which has
been reassembled. The voices and images of Japanese people after
the disasters are now being heard and seen in an intimate way.

The people at ASIJ have listened carefully to these voices from

Japan and have made a wonderful effort offering their voices back
to Japan. This project has gone beyond a mere exhibition and has
evolved into an educational project for understanding more about
humanity. We at SCE share the same goal and are honored to work
on the project. We are grateful for the cooperation from ASIJ,
the poets, the three translators, the calligrapher, and many others
who willingly participated in this extraordinary journey of cultural

March 2013
Isao & Kyoko Tsujimoto
Studio for Cultural Exchange

2011 年の 3 月 11 日に東日本大震災が起こってから、東北の被災者たち


「Voices from Japan(日本からの声)展覧会」として、ニューヨーク

イン ・ ジャパン(ASIJ)の先生たちが、生徒とともに新しい ”Voices from
Japan” を作り上げました。ここでは、昨年夏以来私たちが新たに収集し

に自分たちの声を重ねようと努力しました。そのためVoices from Japan

辻本 勇夫
辻本 京子

This 100-tanka collection in Voices from Japan was compiled by Studio for
Cultural Exchange with the cooperation of the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

The tanka in Voices from Japan were translated by Laurel R. Rodd, Professor
of Japanese at the University of Colorado, Boulder; Amy V. Heinrich, former
Director of C.V. Starr East Asian Library at Columbia University; and Joan E.
Ericson, Professor of Japanese at Colorado College.

The anthology consists of two parts:

First Collection (tanka 1 to 75) compiled in the spring of 2012
Second Collection (tanka 76 to 100) compiled in the winter of 2012

The tanka in both collections have been arranged in chronological order

according to when they were written. An asterisk* by the tanka number
denotes background information in the notes on pp.57-59.

The interviews with the poets took place in Tokyo on November 7, 2012
and January 19, 2013; in Miyagi on November 11, 2012; and in Iwate on
December 2, 2012. The interview texts in the exhibit and the anthology
were translated by a community of people who are acknowledged on p.62.
The photographs were taken by students and teachers from ASIJ.

Mr. Kanji Chiba of Kesen-numa did the calligraphy for the exhibit and the




両歌集とも、それぞれの短歌が詠まれた月の順に紹介されています。歌番号に 印



Tanka 1st Collection
短歌 第一集

* 1. in broad daylight
the sea rose up and attacked –
a great tsunami
in this world
Nobuko Kato, Iwate March 2011

真昼間の 海盛り上がり 襲い来る 大津波この世のものと思えず

加藤 信子(岩手県 2011年3月)

2. after the tsunami has receded

the sun begins to set
over the high ground
where family members
call out each other’s names
Nobuko Kato, Iwate March 2011

津波引け 日は暮れかかる 高台に 家族の名をば 呼び合う光景

加藤 信子(岩手県 2011年3月)

3. if my wailing
could return everything
to what it once was
I'd weep until
my eyes were swollen shut
Nobuko Kato, Iwate March 2011

号泣して 元の形に もどるなら 眼つぶれる までを泣きます
加藤 信子(岩手県 2011年3月)

8 Tanka 1st Collection

* 4. after seismic tremors greater than six
at my parents’ place,
I call my father and mother;
it rings ten times … eleven times …
terror at no response
Yo Kikuchi, Iwate March 2011

震度6強の実家に 父母はいる 呼び出し音十回十一回 応えぬ恐怖

菊池 陽(岩手県 2011年3月)

5. the sky I gaze at

from near my window
is the Fukushima sky
that is unchanged
from how it looked last week
Rieko Hatakeyama, Fukushima March 2011

窓辺から 見ている空は 福島の 先週までと 変わらない空

畠山 理恵子(福島県 2011年3月)

6. picking up
a newspaper dated
the tenth of March
heart breaking, that it was
before the great earthquake
Tomoko Nakamura, Saitama April 2011

三月の 十日の新聞 手に取れば 切なきまでに 震災前なり

中村 偕子(埼玉県 2011年4月)

短歌 第一集 9
* 7. to the mother who
birthed her baby
in the midst of the earthquake
I want to deliver
some nice hot stew
Wako Matsuda, Toyama April 2011

地震の中で 赤ちゃん産んだ お母さん 温かいシチュー 届けてあげたい

松田 わこ(富山県 2011年4月)

* 8. the Muslim kids

walk around
with “Support Japan”
stickers pasted
on their backpacks
Etsuko Dunbar, New York April 2011

モスレムの 子供が歩く カバンには 日本に援助をと 張り紙つけて
悦子 ダンバー(アメリカ•ニューヨーク州 2011年4月)

* 9. my town
has become
and we have become refugees
with no hope of return
Keiko Hangui, Fukushima April 2011

わが町は チェルノブイリと なり果てし 帰るあてなき 避難民となる

半杭 螢子(福島県 2011年4月)

10 Tanka 1st Collection

10. in the evacuation center,
for my breakfast of
a single ball of rice,
I too joined
the snake-like line
Keiko Hangui, Fukushima April 2011

避難所の おにぎり一つの 朝食に 我も加わる 長蛇の列に

半杭 螢子(福島県 2011年4月)

11. one who is able

to respond calmly
to a rude query
is a person whose father and mother
have been washed away by the waves
Kimiko Kawano, Gunma April 2011

ぶしつけな 問いにも静かに 答えるは 父母を波に さらわれし人

川野 公子(群馬県 2011年4月) 

* 12. a boy, circling around

the evacuation center
holding up his mother’s and
his father’s names,
is about nine years old
Miyuki Azuma, Fukuoka April 2011

お こ
父母の名を かざしひとりで 避難所を 回る男の子は 九歳という
東 深雪(福岡県 2011年4月)

短歌 第一集 11
* 13. waiting for water
five hours in a row
under snowy skies
with unknown companions…
holding our umbrellas aloft
Tokuo Omiya, Miyagi April 2011

水求め 五時間並ぶ 雪の空 見知らぬ同士で 傘さしかけつつ

大宮 徳男(宮城県 2011年4月)

14. praying that my

friend’s name is not there,
I search the names
in the newspaper column
listing the victims
Satoshi Ito, Niigata April 2011

友の名の ないこと祈り 新聞の 犠牲者欄に その名を探す

伊藤 敏(新潟県 2011年4月)

* 15. I worry for those

like me who wear
artificial legs –
how could they possibly have escaped
the rushing tsunami ?
Shogo Endo, Niigata April 2011

われの身と 同じ義足つけし ひと想ふ 早き津波を いかに避けしや

遠藤 勝悟(新潟県 2011年4月)

12 Tanka 1st Collection

16. during a business trip
he was overwhelmed
by the tsunami,
and silently returned,
to keep a vigil on a cold clear night
Masanori Fujibayashi, Hokkaido April 2011

出張中に 津波に呑まれ 無言にて 戻りし人の 通夜冴え返る

藤林 正則(北海道 2011年4月)

* 17. because I have to

go on living
even on the day
of the atomic explosion
I am polishing rice
Toko Mihara, Fukushima April 2011

生きてゆかねばならぬから 原発の 爆発の日も 米を研ぎおり

美原 凍子(福島県 2011年4月)

18. holding still

breathing softly
at my window
where black rain falls
O the sadness of my home town
Toko Mihara, Fukushima April 2011

ただじっと 息をひそめて いる窓に 黒い雨ふる ふるさと悲し

美原 凍子(福島県 2011年4月)

短歌 第一集 13
19. the rice paddies and the fields
are left to lie fallow
in my home town
where wind blows in a heavy
nuclear power plant sky
Toko Mihara, Fukushima April 2011

田も畑も 黙り込んでる ふるさとの 風が重たい 原発の空

美原 凍子(福島県 2011年4月)

20. no place to go but here –

in my home town
where the sky above
the nuclear plants begins,
I drink some water
Toko Mihara, Fukushima April 2011

原発の 空のしかかる ふるさとの ここにいるしかなくて水飲む

美原 凍子(福島県 2011年4月)

21. it hurts to hear about both

the one who left his dog
tied up when he evacuated,
and the one who reproached him –
the nuclear power leak tragedy
Miyo Kitamura, Fukushima April 2011

犬つなぎ 避難せし人 責める人 聞くもつらしや 原子漏れ事故

北村 ミヨ(福島県 2011年4月)

14 Tanka 1st Collection

* 22. as we air the bedding
I wonder, “could I protect you
at such a time ?” –
my child who turned off
the news in fear
Yuka Sato, Niigata April 2011

怖がって ニュース消す子と ふとん干す その時あなたを 守れるだろうか

佐藤 由佳(新潟県 2011年4月)

* 23. somehow or other

everyone has become
on the crowded streets
as the aftershocks continue
Mikio Fukuhara, Miyagi May 2011

なんとなく 皆がやさしく なりにけり 余震が続く 雑踏の街

福原 幹夫(宮城県 2011年5月)

24. still, after all,

spring has come again –
dimly shrouded
blossoms of Fukushima:
plum, peach, cherry
Toko Mihara, Fukushima May 2011

それでも春は巡り来て けぶるがに 咲くふくしまの うめももさくら

美原 凍子(福島県 2011年5月)

短歌 第一集 15
25. building these
coffins filled with sorrow
for infants
for one-year-olds –
how tiny they are!
Shojin Tamura, Tokyo May 2011

零歳も 一歳もある 悲しさの 棺を作れば 如何に小さき

田村 精進(東京都 2011年5月)

26. though cherry blossoms

in the skies of Tokyo
bloom in profusion
sorrow abounds within the
ten-kilometer radius of my home
Keiko Hangui, Fukushima May 2011

東京の 空に桜の 満ち満てど 十キロ圏の わが里哀し

半杭 螢子(福島県 2011年5月)

27. my home place

has become a town
without voices, without humans
it is as distant
as the end of the earth
Keiko Hangui, Fukushima May 2011

ふるさとは 無音無人の 町になり 地の果てのごとく 遠くなりたり

半杭 螢子(福島県 2011年5月)

16 Tanka 1st Collection

28. “I’m home,” I cry
as I enter
the empty house –
my voice responding
to the familiar smells
Keiko Hangui, Fukushima May 2011

「ただいま」と 主なき家に 声かける 懐かしき匂いに 声あげて泣く
半杭 螢子(福島県 2011年5月)

29. grazing on grass

contaminated by fallout
in an empty field
left behind to roam
Shoji Uehara, Gunma May 2011

原発に 汚染されたる 草を食む 人なき野辺に 放たれし牛

植原 昭士(群馬県 2011年5月)

30. “so my cows and I

are going to die ?”
the dairy farmer
within the fallout area
Isao Funabe, Fukushima May 2011

俺も牛も 死ねというのか 原発の 警戒区域の 酪農家哭く

舟部 勲(福島県 2011年5月)

短歌 第一集 17
time and again
of the nuclear accidents
I shall not accept
that this was unimaginable
Yukiko Endo, Fukushima May 2011

たびたびの 事故隠したる 原発を 想定外と 吾は認めぬ

遠藤 幸子(福島県 2011年5月)

32. among pupils, a low voice responds

to the roll call
at the entrance ceremony,
the voice of a mother
holding a photo of the deceased
Toru Momose, Nagano May 2011

入学式の 返事の中に 低い声 遺影を抱いた 母親の声

百瀬 享(長野県 2011年5月)

33. clutching photos of the deceased

at the entrance ceremony,
especially sorrowful –
voices respond with “here”
when roll is called
Minoru Kitaoka, Osaka May 2011

遺影抱く 入学式こそ 悲しけれ 呼ばれし名前 「はい」という声

北岡 稔(大阪府 2011年5月)

18 Tanka 1st Collection

34. standing behind the children
lined up at the school’s
entrance ceremony,
two mothers, holding
photos of the deceased
Itsu Kato, Chiba May 2011

起立する 子等のうしろに 遺影抱く 入学式に 二人の母よ

加藤 伊津(千葉県 2011年5月)

* 35. panting as I climbed up the incline

I sighted
my mother's back
in the hallway
of the relocation center
Takeko Mifune, Iwate May 2011

うし で
喘ぎつつ 坂登り来て 避難所の 廊下に見つけし 母の後ろ姿
三船 武子(岩手県 2011年5月)

36. left for a month

in a gymnasium
three hundred unidentified corpses
have finally been
carried away
Takeko Mifune, Iwate May 2011

ひと月を 体育館に 過ごしたる 亡骸三百体 運ばれゆきぬ
三船 武子(岩手県 2011年5月)

短歌 第一集 19
37. while it is still light
I eat a rice ball and
pass the long night
wrapped up in a blanket –
a single candle
Rokuya Suzuki, Iwate May 2011

明るい内に おにぎり食べて ローソク一本 毛布にくるまり 長き夜を過ごす

鈴木 六也(岩手県 2011年5月)

38. embracing
a corpse still shouldering
its book bag –
a member of the Self Defense Force
in the muddy bog
Miyoko Shiraishi, Chiba May 2011

ランドセル 負いたる遺体 抱きしめて 自衛隊員 泥沼の中

白石 美代子(千葉県 2011年5月)

39. at the repeated sound

of the helicopters
heading north
I think of the devastated area
and my tears don’t stop
Eisaku Kanari, Fukushima May 2011

北へ向かふ ヘリコプターの 音頻り 被災地思ひ 涙止まらず
金成 榮策(福島県 2011年5月)

20 Tanka 1st Collection

40. unkempt and unshaven
the town mayor
encourages his staff
“we can do it !”
all the while crying
Yoshihiro Yamauchi, Iwate May 2011

ぼうぼうの 髭面市長 泣きながら 「がんばろうな」と 部下を励ます

山内 義廣(岩手県 2011年5月)

41. reunited with

their only daughter
laid to rest in the morgue –
lamenting parents
parents with unheard prayers
Isao Yamanaka, Tokyo May 2011

安置所で ひとり娘と 再会し 号泣する親 叶わずにいる親

山中 功夫(東京都 2011年5月)

42. my son
in a nuclear plant
nibbling on hard crackers and
catnapping on a blue tarp
Teruko Yamana, Tokyo May 2011

原発の 中で働く わが息子 カンパン齧り シートでごろ寝

山名 輝子(東京都 2011年5月)

短歌 第一集 21
43. the nuclear plant worker
with only his lower limbs
on camera
talks hesitantly
of recovery
Etsuko Shibuma, Yamagata May 2011

下肢のみが 映る 原発作業員 躊躇いがちに 復旧語る
渋間 悦子(山形県 2011年5月)

44. he hangs up
saying “you don’t have to worry” –
my strong-minded child
staying behind
in Fukushima
Mutsuko Sawada, Kanagawa May 2011

心配しなくていいよと 電話切る 福島に残る 意志堅き子は

澤田 睦子(神奈川県 2011年5月)

45. in the morning

it's still a hole,
just dug up –
with the coffin laid to rest
in the evening it's quiet
Michiko Muraoka, Miyagi May 2011

朝はまだ 掘られしままの 穴なるも 棺納めて 夕に静もる
村岡 美知子(宮城県 2011年5月)

22 Tanka 1st Collection

46. “there's no malice
in this ocean”
the disaster-stricken area
fisherman relates
into the microphone
Kazuyo Nishide, Tokyo May 2011

この海に 恨みはないと 被災地の 漁師は語る マイクの前で

西出 和代(東京都 2011年5月)

47. how unfeeling

to ask of an old person
lingering alone
with nothing at all –
is there anything you want now?
Kaneyo Yamakawa, Miyagi May 2011

何もない 一人佇む 老人に 今何がほしいと 聴く無神経

山川 かねよ(宮城県 2011年5月)

48. fishing prohibited

along the shore
in white fish season,
the fisherman’s fire lure
lights up my distant dream
Hisao Suzuki, Miyagi May 2011

漁止めの 浜は白魚 寄せる頃 漁火はるか 夢に灯りぬ
鈴木 久雄(宮城県 2011年5月)

短歌 第一集 23
49. “since that day”
has become
my favorite phrase –
although time has
stopped completely
Rei Sakurai, Miyagi May 2011

口ぐせに なりしことばの 「あの日から」 時間はずっと 止まれるものを

桜井 レイ(宮城県 2011年5月)

* 50. from the muddy stream

he saved three children for us –
a diver
with eyes wild and bloodshot
like a wandering samurai
Fujiko Suda, Miyagi June 2011

濁流に 三人の子らを 救ひたまふ 野武士のごとき 目の潜水士

須田 富士子(宮城県 2011年6月)

51. even though I turn sharply

at curves in the mountains
I never reach
familiar towns
in Sanriku
Yoko Yamada, Miyagi June 2011

山なりに カーブを切れど 三陸の 見なれた町の どこにも着かない

山田 洋子(宮城県 2011年6月)

24 Tanka 1st Collection

for those in heaven
may the faint purple
paulownia flowers
already have
Toko Mihara, Fukushima June 2011

天上の 人らのために 花桐の うすむらさきは 咲きにけるかも

美原 凍子(福島県 2011年6月)

* 53. when the rescue vehicles file by,

with tears brimming
I pray
with palms together –
he salutes in return
Etsuko Asano, Miyagi June 2011

救援の 車列に涙 こみあげて 合掌すれば 敬礼返る

浅野 悦子(宮城県 2011年6月)

* 54 . my daughter returning
from volunteering
in the disaster zone
eating warm rice
with few words
Etsuko Shibuma, Yamagata June 2011

被災地で ボランティアせる子 帰り来て 熱き飯食う 言葉少なく

渋間 悦子(山形県 2011年6月)

continued on page 41

短歌 第一集 25
Nobuko Kato
加藤 信子

I was watching television on March 11 when the earthquake hit. This one is
different, I thought. But while my husband and son and I were running for our
lives, other people in town were just standing around. “A tsunami is coming!
You’ve got to get out of here!” I yelled at them. I was the first one to make it to
high ground. Twenty minutes after I got to the evacuation center, a huge tsunami
surged over the first seawall. I couldn’t believe it. The pine trees were scattering,
falling like dominoes. It was surreal. I thought I must be watching anime. Can this
be real? It felt like I was in a dream. Even though two years have gone by, it still
feels like it was all just a dream. Sometimes I wish it had been a dream. Even now,
there are moments when I feel I could drive half an hour and my house would still
be there. That’s why I try to avoid that area as much as possible — the place I used
to live, I mean, before it was washed away.
Everyone at the evacuation center was in the same situation. Everyone was thinking
about how they’d lost their homes. If I had been the only one whose home had
been washed away, I would have been crying my eyes out, but everyone’s situation
was the same, and we Japanese don’t show our emotions (tanka 3). There was
nothing to do at the evacuation center. I was sad but I had a lot of free time. So I
thought about writing tanka. “If I only had a pencil and paper,” I thought. More
than food, I wanted pencil and paper, and finally about a week later, I was able to
get them.
After the disaster, my husband was hospitalized for a month, and I was left alone.
While I was thinking about how sad and lonely I was feeling having come to this
unfamiliar place, I heard a Japanese bush warbler singing. It was so healing to hear
a bird of spring. I thought now that spring has come, I should try to hang on. I had
survived, so I should live together with my husband. It’s better to have someone
to talk to, someone to share your thoughts and feelings with when you get home.
Even if we argue sometimes, two is better than one.
What I wish for most is a final place to rest before I die; I want to be settled in my
final home. This place is called “quasi-temporary housing,” so I should be happy
compared to those people who have to live in places where you can hear your
neighbors’ voices through walls, but I just can’t settle in. It still feels like “temporary
lodging.” I just want someplace where I can die in peace, and there I want to die.

26 Interview
第一堤防にわーっと波が来たの。えーっ “…this is where my home used be…”
と将棋倒しになって。それがね、現実感が 避難所では全員が同じ状況でしょう? 皆が
ないの。アニメを見ているんじゃないか 家を流されたっていう思いをしている。私
なというようで。これって本当なんだろ だけ流されたなら、おいおいと泣くけれど、
うか。幻想でも見ているような気持ちで みんな同じだから、日本人は感情を表わせ
した。2年近く経ってもまだ幻みたいな気 ない(歌番号 3)
がするの。あれ夢じゃなかったかなと思 ことない。悲しいけど、手は暇なの。こう
うこともあるのね。今でもときどき、30分 いうときにやはり、歌のことが頭にありま
走って行けば、自分の家があるんじゃない した。ああ紙と鉛筆がほしい、食べるもの
か、と思うときもある。だからできるだけ より、私は紙と鉛筆を欲しいと思ったのね。
行きたくない。自分の住んでいたさらわ 1週間目ぐらいに紙と鉛筆が手に入りました。


インタビュー 27
Yo Kikuchi
菊池 陽

At the time of the earthquake, I was at home in Kitakami. It’s about an hour away
from Morioka. My parents’ home is in a village in the mountains, a little to the
east of Kitakami. They are 84 or 85 years old and live there together, just the two
of them (tanka 4). I couldn’t get to my parents for three days because the roads were
impassable. They were fine. I started to cry as soon as I saw them, and they did
too. As the horrific news of the disasters reached us, I was happy just knowing
that they were alive. My children are in Tokyo. I couldn’t reach either of them by
phone. These days, when we just assume that we can get through by phone at any
time, it’s scary when we can’t. If you can’t get through to someone, you think that
something must be wrong.

I began writing tanka in elementary school. Actually, my parents composed tanka,

and so I wanted to try it. When I submitted a tanka to a magazine and got a prize,
I thought “this is fun.” When I read the feedback from the ASIJ students who had
read my tanka, I was so happy that I had been able to reach them through my
poems. The great thing about tanka is its ability, with only thirty-one syllables, to
express the feelings of the author at that time in a way that people can relate to,
even if they weren’t there. The quality of communication suffers if too many words
are used. To convey something in so few words, all excess must be cut. It’s essential
to have a means to express yourself, whether it’s tanka, or poetry, or even prose.
When something moves you, or you feel sadness or pain, if you don’t express
those feelings of the moment, they will vanish. I have my high school students
compose tanka. When you go on a school trip, usually you just come back and
that’s it. But if you write a tanka, your feelings at the time are shaped into a form
that really comes through.

Because, in Tohoku after the disaster, even though people lost everything, just to
start over again is something. If people start over again, they will begin to look
ahead to the future, and things will start moving. I think people have done an
amazing job to have survived those hellish circumstances. We just have to keep
on living, and for me I want to go on with life while keeping in mind that both
wonderful things and sadness can arise out of all kinds of situations. Right now I’m
feeling happy about having composed these tanka about the disaster, as writing
them has given me the opportunity to meet all of you.

28 Interview

地震のときは、北上の自分の家にいまし かおうという気持ちになって、動き始め
た。盛岡から1時間くらいのところです。 ています。本当にこの地獄絵みたいな状
私の実家はもうすこし東側の北上山系の 態をよく乗り越えたと思います。人はこ
山村で、84歳、85歳になる年とった両親 うやって生きていく訳で、いろんな場面
が2人で住んでいます(歌番号 4)。両親と ですばらしいこととか悲しかったことと
は3日ぐらいたって、道路が通れるように か、そういったものをとどめながら生き
なってから会えました。無事でした。両 ていきたいなあと思います。この震災の
親と会えたらすぐに涙が出てきました。 短歌をきっかけにして、こうして皆さん
両親もそうだったけどね。ひどい被害の とも出会えた。だから、歌を作っていてよ
ニュースがどんどん入ってくる中で、生 かったなと思うのはこういう瞬間ですね。

“…it’s essential to have a means to express yourself…”

インタビュー 29
Fujiko Suda
須田 富士子

The diver that I wrote about in my tanka (tanka 50) saved three elementary school
children who had been swept away by the tsunami near Yuriage Ohashi bridge.
Later, he saved a man who was stranded up in a tree near the elementary school.
This diver lost his home in Yuriage and so was living at the evacuation center. I was
looking after the evacuees there. The tanka came to me suddenly at night when I
was sleeping at the evacuation center. I like writing tanka but I don’t write them
all the time. But when I submitted my tanka for publication, it felt like a normal
thing to do.

At the evacuation center I was very scared and shaken by my experiences. But I
didn’t want to upset the other people there, so I put on a brave face and said things
like, “It’s OK…the tremors are getting smaller,” but in reality, I was terrified. The
evacuation center was located five kilometers inland, but we frequently heard
the sounds of the earth rumbling coming from the direction of the sea as the
aftershocks continued — it was unnerving.

I work excavating archeological sites. As an archeologist and a geologist, what I

can do for society is conduct research and write reports. We are extremely careful
now when excavating the sites of ancient earthquakes or tsunami, and we have to
document everything. Because archeology is in the field of humanities, tsunami of
the past weren’t documented. My specialization is geology, so I now advise young
staff members in various localities who are in charge of this documentation. On
the coastline, we’ve found evidence of the occurrence of about eight tsunami over
the past 2,500 years or so, so they seem to come about once every 300 years, but
yet no artifacts or records of these events remain. After a tsunami occurred, the
people probably moved away, but then it’s forgotten, and people start to live there
again. I was at an excavation site on 3/11, and the quake occurred just after I had
found traces of a tsunami.

I went to the opening of the exhibit in New York in June 2012, and at the cathedral
where it was held, everyone was so attentive and kind; I was very much moved.
Their empathetic attitude and willingness to share in our suffering made a big
impression on me. In November that year, a hurricane hit the U.S. and over a
hundred people lost their lives. When I watched the news of the disaster that
hit New York, I worried about the safety of all those people who showed such
sympathy to us. As a victim of disaster myself, I know exactly what it’s like to have
been in that position, so I can sympathize.

30 Interview
短歌(歌番号 50)に詠った潜水士は、閖上 発掘し、必ずそれを記述しなくてはいけ
大橋の近くで津波に流されていた3人の ません。考古学は文系なので、これまで
小学生を助けました。その後小学校で、1 津波の記載をしたことがないんですね。
人の男性が取り残されて木につかまって 私は地質学を専攻しているのでそのアド
いるところも助けたのです。この潜水士 バイスを各市町村の若い担当者にしてい
は閖上の自宅を失い、避難所にいました。 る状況です。沿岸部ですと津波のあとが
そこで私は避難した人の世話をしていま 大体2500年前から8回くらい見つかって
した。この短歌は夜避難所で寝ている時 いて、300年に1回ぐらいは来ているよう
にふと思いついたのです。短歌は好きだ ですが、痕跡がなく記録がなくなってし
けれども、いつも作っているわけではな まう。多分津波のあとみんな引っ越して
いです。でも短歌を投稿すると、普通の しまうんですね。そして忘れた頃にまた
生活をしているような気がしました。 住む。わたしも、3月11日に発掘現場で津
避難所では自分も非常に怖い思いをして たのです。
ちに不安を与えてはいけないので、平気 2012年6月、ニューヨークの展覧会のオー
な顔をして「大丈夫ですから」「だんだん プニングに行きましたが、会場の大聖堂
揺れは小さくなります」と言っているん では、人びとがいたわってくれることを
ですが、でも本当は怖い。避難所は海か とても強く感じ、みんなが気持ちを共有
ら5キロ以上内陸に位置していますが、海 して苦しみを分かち合おうという姿勢に
の方角から地鳴りが頻繁に聞こえ、余震 感銘を受けました。その年11月にアメリ
が来たので不安でした。 カはハリケーン被害をうけ、100人を超え
仕事は遺跡の発掘です。考古学・地質学 クをニュースで見たとき、私たちを思い
者としての自分に何ができるだろうかと やってくれた人々の身の上を心配しまし
いうと、社会のために調査をして報告を た。被災者としての自分が、思いやる立
書くということなのです。昔の地震の痕 場になったことを具体的に知ったのです。

インタビュー 31
Keiko Hangui
半杭 螢子

I started writing tanka fifteen years ago when my mother died. I’ve written so
many tanka about the sadness I felt when she passed away. I can only write tanka
when I feel pain or sadness and despair; it’s at those times that the words flow
naturally from the heart. I can’t write when I’m feeling happy. What I wanted to
convey through these tanka was the overwhelming sense of loss that I felt after
losing my hometown due to the nuclear accident. I used tanka to express these
emotions, so that people would understand how it feels.

It is now the second winter since the disaster, and I thought the sadness would
have lessened by now, but it hasn’t gotten better – it’s actually gotten worse.
Writing tanka to express my feelings of hopelessness somehow rescues me from
despair. It is healing to write when I feel sad or lonely or deeply depressed, and so
I write. Sometimes the Asahi newspaper selects my tanka for publication so that
everyone can read them. And people have responded to my tanka, which has been
really encouraging.

As it happened, Mr. Tsujimoto of the Studio for Cultural Exchange was moved by
my tanka, and the Voices from Japan project was begun. I was honored to attend
the opening of the exhibit in New York and read my tanka in the Cathedral of St.
John the Divine. I met Americans there who were also moved by my tanka. I had
never dreamed that composing tanka would allow me to have such a wonderful
experience. I’m also thrilled that students at ASIJ have become interested in these

I wrote the tanka about the narcissus (tanka 75) when I was allowed to return to
my home one year later. I love narcissus and had about 100 bulbs planted in my
garden. During the brief time that I was allowed to return home, there they were
in my abandoned and ruined garden, blooming so innocently…no, I didn’t realize
that traditionally narcissus means “come back to me.” Narcissus bloom with such
dignity and courage; that's what I like about them.

32 Interview
私が短歌を書き始めたのは15年前、母が たまたま私が書いた短歌に文化交流工
亡くなったことがきっかけです。母が亡 房 の 辻 本 さ ん が 感 動 し て く れ て、 こ の
くなった悲しみを書いた短歌が圧倒的に Voices from Japan という企画が生まれ
多かったです。つらく、悲しい、絶望的な たんです。ニューヨークの展覧会のオー
気持ちになった時に短歌はできるんです プニングに出席するためにアメリカまで
よ。自然に、心からさらさらと。幸せな 行って、聖ジョン大聖堂というところで
時には短歌は書けないのですよ。伝えた 短歌を読ませていただいたの。短歌に感
かったメッセージは、ふるさとが原発事 動したというアメリカの人との出会いも
故によって失われた喪失感。そういう気 ありました。短歌を詠んでいるおかげで、
持ちを短歌に表して皆さんに知ってもら そういう経験をするとは夢にも思いませ
いたいという気持ちがありますね。 んでした。その上、ASIJの生徒さんも短
けど、寂しさが薄れるかなと思ったら、ま 水仙の歌(歌番号 75)は1年後の一時帰宅
だまだ薄れないのね。かえって悲しみが のときのものです。水仙が私は大好きで
深くなって。そんな自分のどうしようも 庭に100個ぐらい植えているんです。一
ない気持ちを短歌に表すことによって、 時帰宅したとき、荒れ果てた庭に水仙が
自分がすごく救われるの。悲しいとか寂 ポーッとこう咲いているんですよ。水仙
しいとかね、深い絶望感とか、そういうと の花言葉は「私のもとへ帰って」という
きに短歌を書くんですけど、書いている んですか・・・? そうとは知らなかった。
と自分自身が癒されるの。だから書くの 水仙は凛と健気に咲いている、そういう
ね。そして朝日歌壇に時々入選させてい ところが好きですね。

インタビュー 33
Etsuko Asano
浅野 悦子

My parents’ home was washed away in the disaster, and my home was a ruined was under those circumstances that I encountered the line of vehicles
that I wrote about in this tanka (tanka 53). I was so moved that I clasped my hands
together like I was praying. Tears came to my eyes; it was such a spectacular sight.
The trucks had come from Kansai: from Osaka and Nara, Kyoto and Kobe, Hirakata
and Sakai — the names were written in big characters on the tops of their fire
We received supplies from all over the country, and volunteers and members
of the Self-Defense Forces also came. I was so moved by this help that everyone
was providing, I decided to submit my tanka to a newspaper that was published
Having the opportunity to participate in this interview with you has been the most
significant day of my life. I am so grateful that just one verse of tanka could make
it possible to have this wonderful opportunity to meet all of you. It just shows how
powerful the pen really is.

34 Interview
“…my family grave was washed away…”

震災で実家が流され、自宅の中もメチャメ 皆さまとの面会に参加させていただき、
チャ・・・。そういう時にこの短歌(歌番号 53) これまでの人生で一番の有意義な日とな
に詠った車の列に遭遇したわけね。もう りました。たった一首の歌からこんなに
感激して合掌しました。かっこいいんで すばらしい皆さまとの出会いの機会をつ
すよ。目がうるうるしてしまいました。 くっていただいたことに感謝します。ペ
関西から来た車です。大阪とか奈良、京 ンの力はすごいと思います。


インタビュー 35
Mikio Fukuhara
福原 幹夫

I'm from Okayama in western Japan, but people from Tohoku are known for their
perseverance. People would form long lines and wait patiently in the freezing cold.
They lined up to go to the public bath because there was no gas to bathe at home.
They were handling this so well that I was moved, and that is why I composed this
tanka (tanka 23).

I write tanka as if I were keeping a diary. I write about twenty a month. When
I’m moved, when I’m sad, when I’m happy, that’s when I can write. I always feel a
need to record my feelings, and writing tanka provides a release.

The disaster area must be rebuilt quickly. I’m a researcher so all I can do is
conduct research. Now I’m working on the development of a new type of battery.
Eventually, we hope to get rid of power lines and create electric power plants
which supply electricity that originates from lightning.

Every week the Asahi shimbun newspaper carries a poetry page.

36 Interview
私は岡山出身ですが、東北人というのは粘 ときにできます。短歌を書くとほっとし
り強いですよ。みんなが長い列を作って寒 ます。残したいという気持ちがいつもあ
い中ずっと待っているんです。ガスがない るから。
んで。良くやるなあと感動しちゃって、それ 早く被災地を復興させなきゃいけない。
でこの歌ができたんですよ(歌番号 23)
。 私は研究者だから自分ができることは研
短歌は日記みたいに書いています。だい いて、最終的には送電線を廃止し、雷から
たい月に20ぐらい書いていますね。感動 電気の供給を得て発電所を作ろうと思っ
した時、悲しい時、うれしい時。そういう ています。

インタビュー 37
Takeko Mifune
三船 武子

We lost power the day of the earthquake and that night the stars were beautiful.
And it was cold (tanka 77).

I live in Kuji now, but I was born in Sumita-cho in the southern part of Iwate. My
mother lives in Rikuzen-takata which is near there. After the disaster, there was no
way to get ahold of my mother, and news came over the internet that the facility
where she was staying had been completely cut off. I was finally able to contact her
on March 19. I went there by bus, although there were only a few available. Many
people had died in Rikuzen-takata, and many people on the bus were on their way
to search for bodies. Everyone was quiet on the bus; no one spoke.

The river near Rikuzen-takata was so filled with debris you couldn’t see the water.
It was shocking. After walking an hour from the edge of town, I climbed up a
hill and finally arrived at the evacuation center. The place my mother had been
evacuated to was a hospital. In it was a large hall as big as a gymnasium, which
was overflowing with people. I saw my mother as soon as I entered. She was facing
away from me, but I recognized her by the clothes she was wearing — it was such
a relief to find her alive (tanka 35).

In that town, my cousin and his wife and son, the three of them, all died. I saw the
car that my cousin used to drive on the side of the road. It was an old car called a
“Lagoon” and hanging inside was a charm that I recognized. When I saw it, I knew
there was no chance they were still alive. I went there many times after the disaster
to try and identify my cousin’s body. On the other side of the town of Rikuzen-
takata, which is no longer there, was the sea, and it was so beautiful (tanka 78).


38 Interview
“…my journey to search for my mother…”

地 震のあった日は電 気がつかなかったし、星がきれいでした。そして寒かったんです
(歌番号 77)


所は病院で体育館のようなホールがあって、 その入り口までびっしりと人がいました。入っ
てたという感じがしました(歌番号 35)

(歌番号 78)



インタビュー 39



I’ve been writing tanka for a long time, but when you are in shock, the words
just don’t come. During this time, a tanka poet whom I admire told me, “Don’t
worry about it, just write. Anything is OK.” When I tried this, amazingly the words
naturally fell into five- and seven-syllable patterns to form tanka. It must be in the
DNA of Japanese people. I realized that the act of writing, writing by hand, moves
the heart.

These tanka were written quite a while afterwards. I don’t think that creating
something after you’ve suffered a shock is an instant cure, but it does have the
power to gradually lift your spirits. It is really hard to reread the tanka from that
time, because the memories of the things that happened then keep coming back.
It is painful to remember those things that I’d like to forget, but I also feel that
I shouldn’t forget them. I would be delighted if a verse of tanka I’ve composed
would live on for a long time.

Composing tanka about happy themes or beautiful things is more difficult. People
can immediately relate to sadness, but it is hard to write about bright and sunny

When this exhibit opened in New York, the first thing I thought was that maybe
this would comfort the spirits of the dead. The cathedral where it was held is
a famous place, and my friends who went to New York told me that it was a
spectacular scene. I thought it would end with that event, but that you’ve come to
see me now makes me even happier. I think it is wonderful that these things are
being passed on to the next generation.

40 Interview
continued from page 25

* 55. fear of radioactivity

shared by
one and all –
they’ve come to understand us now,
we survivors of the atomic bomb
Kikuko Otake, California July 2011

放射能の 恐怖が皆の ものとなり 分かってもらえた 被爆者我等の

大竹 幾久子(アメリカ•カリフォルニア州 2011年7月)

56. how sorrowful

to have been born
in this beautiful country
children who are made to carry
Geiger counters
Toko Mihara, Fukushima July 2011

美しき 国に生まれて あはれなり 線量計を 持たさるる子ら

美原 凍子(福島県 2011年7月)

57. a mother embraces

a child who clings tight
to his father’s photograph –
within the twenty kilometer radius
not even a burial is possible
Yoshiko Ishijima, Tochigi August 2011

父の遺影 抱きしめる子を 母が抱く 埋葬も出来ぬ 二十キロ圏

石島 佳子(栃木県 2011年8月)

短歌 第一集 41
* 58. in the disaster area
that trumpet
sounds again –
perhaps just my imagination –
but today again I pray
Yoko Nojiri, Gunma August 2011

被災地の あのトランペットが 聞こえきて 空耳なれど 今日も祈れり

野尻 ようこ(群馬県 2011年8月)

59. as aftershocks continued

they fled their islands –
black-tailed gulls
seem to sleep each night
rocked by the waves
Yoichi Yamamura, Aomori August 2011

余震続く 島を離れし 海猫ら 波に揺れつつ 夜は眠るらし

山村 陽一(青森県 2011年8月)

60. these men

who sift through the rubble
of the ocean floor –
with each passing day
they’ve returned to being fishermen
Yoko Yamada, Miyagi September 2011

海底の ガレキをすくう 男たち 日ましに漁夫の 顔に戻りぬ

山田 洋子(宮城県 2011年9月)

42 Tanka 1st Collection

61. even though the ocean
is right in front of me
my GPS never wavers,
directing me
to keep going straight
Yoko Yamada, Miyagi September 2011

目の前は 海であるのに カーナビは 迷うことなく ゆけと指示する

山田 洋子(宮城県 2011年9月)

62. since that day

neither trains nor people
visit the station –
a sunflower taller than I am
blooms here now
Yoko Yamada, Miyagi September 2011

あの日から 電車も人も 来ない駅 吾より大きな 向日葵の咲く

山田 洋子(宮城県 2011年9月)

63. sunflowers
now have become
flowers of sorrow –
so many are blooming
on polluted land
Toko Mihara, Fukushima September 2011

ヒマワリは かなしき花と なりにけり 汚染の土地に あまた咲きいて

美原 凍子(福島県 2011年9月)

短歌 第一集 43
64. infants
extend both hands
grasping at hope
as their degree of internal radiation
exposure is assessed
Chiaki Saito, Tokyo September 2011

幼子ら 希望を掴む 両手出し 体内被曝量測らるる

斎藤 千秋(東京都 2011年9月)

* 65. dispatched to build

temporary lodgings
my son returns
with eyes that now take in
much more than in the past
Miyako Tsuchiya, Kanagawa September 2011

仮設住宅 建設に就きし 子が帰る 前よりずっと 深き目をして

土屋 美弥子(神奈川県 2011年9月)

* 66. the souls of the dead

sheltering in the moon
descend to the lone pine
in Rikuzen-takata
autumn comes round again
Shoichi Hirai, Saitama October 2011

精霊は 月に宿りて 松に降る 陸前高田 秋巡り来て

平井 正一(埼玉県 2011年10月)

44 Tanka 1st Collection

the full moon
climbs up over
the mountain of rubble
like a silent
Saburo Shinohara, Shizuoka October 2011

満月が 瓦礫の山を 上りゆく 閑かなること レクイエムのごと

篠原 三郎(静岡県 2011年10月)

68. moon of a thousand years

quietly shedding its light
on one temporary roof
after another
ushering in autumn
Toko Mihara, Fukushima October 2011

千年の 月が仮設の 屋根屋根を ひそと照らして 秋を降らせり

美原 凍子(福島県 2011年10月)

69. I pushed through

the wild grass to my house –
had a premonition
I never would return
the brief time I was allowed home
Keiko Hangui, Fukushima November 2011

荒草を 分け入る我が家 戻れざる ことを予感す 一時帰宅に

半杭 螢子(福島県 2011年11月)

短歌 第一集 45
70. my old home
now a deserted ruin –
the sadness of a town
where Cesium rains down
without a sound
Keiko Hangui, Fukushima November 2011

わが里は 荒れ寂びにけり 音もなく セシウムのふる 町のかなしさ

半杭 螢子(福島県 2011年11月)

71. In the bath, my child

stills her voice
and weeps
longing to see her father
who stayed behind in Fukushima
Yuki Kabuki, Kanagawa December 2011

お風呂場で 声を殺して 泣く我が子 福島に残る パパ恋しくて

蕪木 由紀(神奈川県 2011年12月)

72. her husband still

missing after ten months
my young cousin
acknowledged his death
and left her home town
Takeko Mifune, Iwate Februar y 2012

十月経て いまだ不明の 夫を死と 認めて従妹 ふるさとを去る
三船 武子( 岩手県 2012年2月)

46 Tanka 1st Collection

sixty thousand
people have left
will-o-the-wisp of a spring
when mountains and rivers are sad
Toko Mihara, Fukushima March 2012

六万の 人ら去りたる 福島の 山河さみしき 春の陽炎

美原 凍子(福島県 2012年3月)

74. there is no end

and also no beginning
the pain is profound
and unceasing
Ryoko Watanabe, Fukushima March 2012

終わりなく 始まりもなく フクシマは 苦しみ深し これからもまた

渡辺 良子(福島県 2012年3月)

75. in one glance –

reduced to a blotted wasteland,
narcissus blooming heroically
in a garden
Keiko Hangui, Fukushima March 2012

一望の 荒地と化しし 汚染の地の 庭にけなげに 水仙の咲く

半杭 螢子(福島県 2012年3月)

短歌 第一集 47
Tanka 2nd Collection
短歌 第二集

in the advancing
the whole village
was swallowed up
without a scream
Kenjiro Yamamoto, Tottori March 2011

襲いくる 津波の中に 町一つ 悲鳴聞こえず 呑まれてゆけり

山本 憲二郎(鳥取県 2011年3月)

77. until the dawning

of that one lovely
starry night
we never envisioned
the tragedy of a tsunami
Takeko Mifune, Iwate March, 2011

美しき 星の一夜の 明くるまで 津波の惨事 思いもみざる

三船 武子(岩手県 2011年3月)

78. the swelling tide of

the sea rises
beyond the rubble
a blue that pierces the eyes
Takeko Mifune, Iwate April 2011

大潮の 海きららかに 盛り上がり 瓦礫のむこうは 目に沁む青さ

三船 武子(岩手県 2011年4月)

48 Tanka 2nd Collection

79. a week, ten days
passed by, and yet
black surging waves –
dreams of the tsunami
stop my breath
Yo Kikuchi, Iwate April 2011

一週間 十日経っても 黒怒濤 津波が夢で 呼吸を止める
菊池 陽(岩手県 2011年4月)

80. a solitary survivor

I was left behind
just so I
would weep
Yo Kikuchi, Iwate April 2011

一人だけ 生き残りたる 人が言う 「泣くために残されたなんて」と

菊池 陽(岩手県 2011年4月)

* 81. that time –

whenever I think of it,
whenever I talk of it,
somehow my whole body
starts trembling
Yoko Yamada, Miyagi May 2011

あの時を 思い出すたび 話すたび 体の何処か 震えはじめる

山田 洋子(宮城県 2011年5月)

短歌 第二集 49
82. caught
in the sparse branches
of the pines at Yuriage
the waning moon passing over
the Pure Land
Fujiko Suda, Miyagi May 2011

まばらなる 閖上の松に かかりたる 二十日月行く 浄土の上を
須田 富士子(宮城県 2011年5月)

83. after changing

evacuation centers time
and time again,
at ninety-three she wrote “I’ll find
refuge in the grave,” and died
Yukinori Negishi, Saitama August 2011

避難所を 転々とせし 九十三 墓に避難すと 書きのこし逝く

根岸 敬矩(埼玉県 2011年8月)

84. unable to proclaim that

you work for Tokyo Electric –
yet I, your mother,
am watching you and I know
how hard you work day and night
Yoko Suzuki, Tokyo August 2011

声高に 東電にいるとは 言えねども 母は見てるよ 昼夜働く君を

鈴木 陽子 (東京都 2011年8月)

50 Tanka 2nd Collection

* 85. wiping away the mud
of the sea with a soft brush
to keep from ruining
the smiling faces
in the photograph
Atsuko Kobayashi, Saitama September 2011

やはらかき 筆にて 海の泥ぬぐふ 写真の笑顔 こはさぬやうに

小林 淳子(埼玉県 2011年9月)

86. a lifetime
of being checked over,
the heart’s exposure to radiation
be measured
Yo Kikuchi, Iwate November 2011

一生の 間検査を 受けること 心の被曝は はかることなく

菊池 陽(岩手県 2011年11月)

87. this one year

in one thousand
in Fukushima
just slips by
in silence
Toko Mihara, Fukushima December 2011

千年に 一度の年を フクシマに ただ声もなく 終えてゆくなり

美原凍子(福島県 2011年12月)

短歌 第二集 51
88. I call it radiation –
what even the rain
cannot wash away –
the unrelenting sound
of the winter rain
Toko Mihara, Fukushima December 2011

降る雨も 流せぬものを 放射能と 呼べば止まざる 冬の雨音

美原 凍子(福島県 2011年12月)

* 89. not knowing how long I can live,

with not much time remaining,
dreaming of
a safe, final resting place
I sleep
Nobuko Kato, Iwate December 2011

つい すみか
あてど無き 余生なりせど 安住の 終の住処を 夢見て眠る
加藤 信子(岩手県 2011年12月)

90. locally grown

hardly sell –
I eat my heart out
this evening
Toko Mihara, Fukushima June 2012

地元産の 野菜小さく 売られいて そのかなしみを 買いし夕暮れ

美原 凍子(福島県 2012年6月)

52 Tanka 2nd Collection

* 91. on music stands,
our poems about the earthquake
are arranged and
the great cathedral
begins to breathe
Etsuko Dunbar, New York June 2012

譜面台に 震災詠が 並べられ 大聖堂は 呼吸を始める

悦子 ダンバー(アメリカ・ニューヨーク州 2012年6月)

* 92. my poem
from the 3/11 nuclear evacuation –
I read it aloud
in the cathedral
in New York
Keiko Hangui, Fukushima June 2012

う た
3.11の 原発避難の われの短歌 ニューヨークの大聖堂に 声あげて読む
半杭 螢子(福島県 2012年6月)

* 93. in the cathedral

one woman alone
drew close to me
and praised me
using only gestures
Keiko Hangui, Fukushima June 2012

大聖堂に ひとりの婦人 近よりて 身ぶり手ぶりに われを讃へし

半杭 螢子(福島県 2012年6月)

短歌 第二集 53
* 94. oh, the warmth
of the woman who read aloud
my translated poem
in the great cathedral,
and then gave me a hug
Keiko Hangui, Fukushima June 2012

う た ひと
英訳の 短歌を 大聖堂に 詠みあげて われをハグする 女のぬくもり
半杭 螢子(福島県 2012年6月)

* 95. as I look up to read

the brilliant brush calligraphy
of our poems of disaster,
a man with a cane comes by
and asks me about them
Fujiko Suda, Miyagi June 2012

見上げれば 墨痕しるき 震災歌 杖突く人に 尋ねられけり

須田 富士子(宮城県 2012年6月)

* 96. Ms. Joan

walking along
the town that used to be
Fujiko Suda, Miyagi August 2012

Ms.ジョーンは 一人歩めり 閖上の かつての町を 無言のままで
須田 富士子(宮城県 2012年8月)

54 Tanka 2nd Collection

* 97. no reason to make a fuss
over such trivial an explosion
I shouldn't say this,
me, an atomic bomb
Kikuko Otake, California August 2012

あれしきの 被爆で何を 騒ぐかと 言ってはならぬ 我は被爆者

大竹 幾久子(アメリカ・カリフォルニア州 2012年8月)

98. when I said my

photographs were washed away,
an acquaintance
gave me a young father,
one I had never seen
Nobuko Kato, Iwate August 2012

写真流れしと 言えば知人は 若き日の 見たこともなき 「父」をば呉れし

加藤 信子(岩手県 2012年8月)

99. beautiful and

beloved is that village
where autumn has come
without the rustle of golden waves
of ripening grain
Keiko Hangui, Fukushima September 2012

美しき 愛しき里に 秋来れど 黄金の穂波の そよぐことなし

半杭 螢子(福島県 2012年9月)

短歌 第二集 55
* 100. the first time
for me to receive
so many guests
at my temporary dwelling –
like family
Nobuko Kato, Iwate December 2012

わが仮家 これほど客を 迎えしは 初めての事 家族の如し

加藤 信子(岩手県 2012年12月)

56 Tanka 2nd Collection


1. Ms. Kato lost her house where she had lived for a long time in the Taro area of Miyako City, Iwate.
See her interview on pp.26-27.

4. Mr. Kikuchi lives in Kitakami in the central part of Iwate. It took him three days travel to see his
parents who live in a village in the mountains. See his interview on pp.28-29.

7. Wako was ten years old when she wrote this poem. She lives in Toyama, far away from the disaster

8. Ms. Dunbar contributed this poem from Queens, New York. She has lived in the US since 1983.

9. Ms. Hangui evacuated from her home town of Tomioka, within the 10-kilometer range of the
Fukushima nuclear plant. She now lives in Tokyo as an evacuee. Since then, she has visited her
home only a few times. See her interview on pp.32-33.

12. After the disasters, it was widely reported that there was a nine-year-old boy looking for his parents
in Ishino-maki, Miyagi. He came to the evacuation centers everyday with signs that read, “Please
wait for me, I will come back again tomorrow.”

13. Mr. Omiya wrote: “This poem reflects reality. Such events continued for a week. Lining up every
day, I thought of the warmth of human hearts and of what kind of people the Japanese are. We
knew that the water delivery trucks were here to help us from all over Japan.”

15. Mr. Endo wrote: “I was working for the national railway in 1943 when I was seventeen and was
injured at work near a station. The lower part of my left leg was amputated. I had a frightening
experience in 1964, when the Niigata Earthquake occurred. That night, I tried to attach my artificial
leg, which in an emergency takes time. Once the shaking quieted down, I was finally able to
escape. From this experience, the thought immediately came to me whether people who used
artificial legs were able to avoid that fast tsunami and were safe, and my thought became a tanka.”
遠藤勝悟氏の手紙から: 「私は国鉄に勤務していた1943年17歳のとき、駅構内で作業中に受傷し、左下腿の足の下
る皆さんが、避けることができて無事であったであろうかとする思いが、すぐに浮かびそれが短歌となったのです。 」

17. Ms. Mihara remarked in November 2011: “I have been swallowed up in the unending flow of time,
even in this particularly cruel year, and tomorrow will bring December, year’s end. Even so,
people go on “pounding their own stakes” in order to keep on living here.” She also mentioned:
“In the poems of mine that were translated to English, it seems one can see the barren trunks and
branches of trees of winter.”
分の歌は、花や葉が散って幹と枝だけになった冬の木を見るようです。 」

短歌注釈 57
22. On a spring day after the disasters, Ms. Sato, who lives in Niigata Prefecture, felt the need to show
her frightened ten-year-old son as much as possible that she was doing everyday things just as
usual. The weather that day was particularly fine, so she decided to air out the futons with her
son. On the other side of the snow-capped mountains, she could see in the distance Fukushima

23. Dr. Fukuhara lives in Sendai, Miyagi as a researcher on metallic materials. See his interview on

35. Soon after the disaster, Ms. Mifune, resident of Kuji, Iwate, searched frantically for her 95-year-old
mother, who lived in Rikuzen-takata, in southern Iwate. She found her mother nine days later at
the evacuation center. See her interview on pp.38-40.

50. Dr. Suda, archeologist and geologist, met the diver in this poem at the shelter where she was
helping. She noted the expression in his eyes was grim, and they were the eyes of a soldier on the
battlefield, eyes that had seen hell. See her interview on pp.30-31.

53. On the third evening after the disaster, when Ms. Asano was driving in Sendai and stopped at the
red light, she saw a rescue party of 50 to 100 vehicles from all over the country approaching from
afar. See her interview on pp.34-35.

54. Ms. Shibuma's 26-year-old daughter volunteered to work in Ishino-maki, one of the worst stricken
areas, where her best friend worked as a teacher in a junior high school and became a victim. It
was not until ten days later that an email message arrived from her friend.

55. Ms. Otake was exposed to the atomic bomb in Hiroshima when she was five years old. She has
lived in the United States since 1968 and published the book Masako’s Story: Surviving the Atomic
Bombing of Hiroshima. Also see tanka 97.
「Masako’s Story: Surviving the Atomic Bombing of

58. The poem is inspired by a photo of a young girl playing the trumpet as she stood facing the ocean
near the terribly destroyed Rikuzen-takata, which the Asahi Shimbun newspaper carried one
month after the disaster. She lost both her mother and her grandmother in the tsunami. After the
cremations took place on March 29, 2011, she played her mother a song she had loved.

65. Ms. Tsuchiya wrote: “The son described in this poem is my own son, who seems to have come to
feel his own responsibility to go on living after having been shocked by seeing with his own eyes
the wastelands where the disasters occurred and after interacting with the people who suffered
these horrible events. Eight months after my son was born, his father was killed in an accident
during the winter on Mt. Fuji. I had to work desperately to raise my three children, so time to talk
with them was lacking, and, particularly with this son, who is now 42, and who still does not talk
very much to me. When I do see him, I read his state of mind by his expression and the look in
his eyes.”

66. In Rikuzen-takata the scenic Takata Pine Forest that grew along the coast also took the impact of
the destructive tsunami. Almost all of the seventy thousand pines that grew there were mown
down, and only a single pine remained. It was called “the miracle pine” and became a symbol of
the post-disaster revival. This poem is based on the photograph of this pine and the harvest moon
above it carried by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper about six months after the disaster.

81. Two months after the disasters, Ms. Yamada wrote 430 tanka within 5 days, starting with this piece.
According to her, this same state of mind still continues on even today.

85. This poem is based on Ms. Kobayashi’s own experiences working as a volunteer, trying to restore
damaged photos in afflicted areas.

89. See Ms. Kato’s interview on pp.26-27.


91. This poem is about the Voices from Japan exhibition in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New
York in the summer of 2012, which Ms. Dunbar attended. The poems were displayed on music
ニューヨークの聖ジョン大聖堂で開催されたVoices from Japan 展覧会のオープニングに出席した。

92. Ms. Hangui also attended the opening of the Voices from Japan exhibition in New York and read her
poems (tanka 9 & 27) at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
作者もVoices from Japan展覧会オープニングで自作の短歌(歌番号9, 27)を詠みあげた。

93. Also, at the exhibition opening in New York, an American woman who was apparently moved by
her poem approached her.

94. Dr. Amy Heinrich, one of three translators of this anthology, read her poems in English at the

95. An elderly American man with a cane approached Ms. Suda at the exhibition in New York in front of
the brush calligraphy works of some of the tanka.

96. Professor Joan Ericson of Colorado College, also one of the translators, visited the Yuriage area of
Natori City in Miyagi prefecture with the poet. The area was heavily damaged by the tsunami. See
Suda’s tanka 50 and 82.

97. See tanka 55.


100. In December 2012, ASIJ students and teachers visited Ms. Kato at her temporary apartment.

短歌注釈 59
INDEX of poets and tanka

Asano, Etsuko 浅野 悦子  53 Muraoka, Michiko 村岡 美知子  45

Azuma, Miyuki 東 深雪  12 Nakamura, Tomoko 中村 偕子  6
Dunbar, Etsuko 悦子 ダンバー  8, 91 Negishi, Yukinori 根岸 敬矩  83
Endo, Shogo 遠藤 勝悟  15 Nishide, Kazuyo 西出 和代  46
Endo, Yukiko 遠藤 幸子  31 Nojiri, Yoko 野尻 ようこ  58
Fujibayashi, Masanori 藤林 正則  16 Omiya, Tokuo 大宮 徳男  13
Fukuhara, Mikio 福原 幹夫  23 Otake, Kikuko 大竹 幾久子  55, 97,
Funabe, Isao 舟部 勲  30 Saito, Chiaki 斎藤 千秋  64
Hangui, Keiko 半杭 螢子  9, 10, Sakurai, Rei 桜井 レイ  49
 26, 27, 28, 69, 70, 75, 92, 93, 94, 99 Sato, Yuka 佐藤 由佳  22

Hatakeyama, Rieko 畠山 理恵子  5 Sawada, Mutsuko 澤田 睦子  44

Hirai, Shoichi 平井 正一  66 Shibuma, Etsuko 渋間 悦子  43, 54
Ishijima, Yoshiko 石島 佳子  57 Shinohara, Saburo 篠原 三郎  67
Ito, Satoshi 伊藤 敏  14 Shraishi, Miyoko 白石 美代子  38
Kabuki, Yuki 蕪木 由紀  71 Suda, Fujiko 須田 富士子  50, 82,
Kanari, Eisaku 金成 榮策  39  95, 96

Kato, Itsu 加藤 伊津  34 Suzuki, Hisao 鈴木 久雄  48

Kato, Nobuko 加藤 信子  1, 2, Suzuki, Rokuya 鈴木 六也  37
 3, 89, 98, 100 Suzuki, Yoko 鈴木 陽子  84

Kawano, Kimiko 川野 公子  11 Tamura, Shojin 田村 精進  25

Kikuchi, Yo 菊池 陽  4, 79, Tsuchiya Miyako 土屋 美弥子  65
 80, 86 Uehara, Shoji 植原 昭士  29
Kitamura, Miyo 北村 ミヨ  21 Watanabe, Ryoko 渡辺 良子  74
Kitaoka, Minoru 北岡 稔  33 Yamada, Yoko 山田 洋子  51, 60,
Kobayashi, Atsuko 小林 淳子  85  61, 62, 81

Matsuda, Wako 松田 わこ  7 Yamakawa, Kaneyo 山川 かねよ  47

Mifune, Takeko 三船 武子  35, 36, Yamamoto, Kenjiro 山本 憲二郎  76
 72, 77, 78 Yamamura, Yoichi 山村 陽一  59

Mihara, Toko 美原 凍子  17, 18, 19, Yamana, Teruko 山名 輝子  42

 20, 24, 52, 56, 63, 68, 73, 87, 88, 90 Yamanaka, Isao 山中 功夫  41

Momose, Toru 百瀬 享  32 Yamauchi, Yoshihiro 山内 義廣  40

60 INDEX of poets and tanka

Voices from Japan has been made possible by The American School in Japan
(ASIJ) in collaboration with Studio for Cultural Exchange (SCE) who first
initiated this project in New York in the summer of 2012.

We acknowledge invaluable cooperation from:

Drs. Laurel R. Rodd, Amy V. Heinrich, Joan E. Ericson (tanka translation);
Asahi Shimbun (tanka collection); Mr. Kanji Chiba (calligraphy), Mr. &
Mrs. Yoshihito & Saori Sasaguchi (damaged photo collages); Mr. Michihiro
Ishizaki (canvas art); Mr. Kijuro Yahagi (logo design) and 54 poets.

Voices from Japan(日本からの声)はアメリカン・スクール・イン・ジャパンと文化交


ローレル・ロッド、エミー・ハインリック、ジョーン・エリクソン(短歌翻訳) ;
朝日新聞社(短歌編纂協力); 千葉かん二(毛筆書);

We are grateful for the translation, photography and design work of the
following ASIJ students and teachers:

Ayumi Akiyama Mina McClure

Keiko Auckerman Kai McGuire
Jo Ash JiHee Nam
Leslie Birkland Michelle N. Sasao
Micaela Brinsley Ellie Nishikawa-Fu
Andrew Deck Karen Noll
Risa Endo Yoshitaka Onozaka
Tamara Fou Satoe Onizuka
Evan Gordenker Yoshitaka Saji
Yuri Goto Rebecca Sentgeorge
Andriana Honda Abby Sneider
Kyoko Inahara Angela Squilacioti
Sarah Ishibashi Ellison Stanley
Mariko Kanai Sarah Sutter
Kazuki Kobayashi Ricky Suzuki
Greg Krauth Saki Uwagawa
Kathy Krauth Greg Vikse
Katie Latimore Anju Watanabe
Eri Matsukawa Melanie Xu
Noriko Matsumoto Erina Yoh

Thank you to the students in the Web Design course who made the audio of
the poets' interviews available for the exhibit, as well as to the Painting and AP
Art students who drew and painted the portraits of children in the ASIJ English
Playground Program exhibited upstairs in the RT Lobby.

Book designed and printed by: Murooka Printing, Tokyo

A haiku offers a moment of inspiration. But a tanka is
like a sigh. People in Japan write tanka when they
love, mourn and even when facing death, as if making
a deep sigh to express an emotion from within the

Isao Tsujimoto, Studio for Cultural Exchange