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E�a Pound & Japan

Ezra Pound



edited by Sanehide Kodama


C o pyri gh t © 1 98 7 The Trustees of the Ezra Pound Lit e ra ry
Property Trus t
C o p yr i gh t © 1 98 7 Sanehide Ko d ama
C o pyr i g h t © 1 98 7 M ichael Reck
C o py rig ht © 1 98 7 Mary de Rachewiltz
C o py r i gh t © 1 98 7 B lack Swan Books Ltd.
Ackn owledgements con t i n u e copyright statement.
All rights reserved .

Thi s publ ication has been grea tly assisted by a generous

gra n t from

First edition
Published by 72
P . O . B o x 327
r .)_
Red d i ng Ridge , CT 0 6 8 7 6
ISBN 0-93 3 80 6-27-2
Frontispiece: painting by Tami Koume




by John Walsh


by Sanehide Kodama

I Pound's Early Contacts with Japan: 1911-23 I 1
II PoundiKitasono Correspondence: 1936-66 I 25
III Pound's Post-World War II Contacts with Japan: 1956-68 I

IV Pound's Contributions to Japanese Periodicals: 1939-40 I 148


I Tami Koume, The Art of � Etherism I 192

II VOU Club I 200
Ezra Pound, VOU Club I 201
Katue Kitasono, Notes I 202
VOU Poems I 204
James Laughlin, Modern Poets of Japan I 207
Katue Kitasono, The VOU Club I 209
III Michael Reck, Memoirs of a Parody Perry I 211


Mary de Rachewiltz, In Place of a Note to Letter 71 I 214





First I should like to thank Mary de Rachewiltz both for what she has done for me
and for the publication of th is book. The idea of collecting Ezra Pound's letters to his
Japanese friends started with her. She i ntroduced me to John Walsh i n 1 980 and
together they provided me with much valuable material for the text and notes. They
have read the expanded manuscript, and provi ded a preface and a postscript for the
book. I am also gratefu l to Mrs. Sakae Hashimoto, widow of Katue Kitasono, and to
Yasuo Fujitomi, poet, for their enthusiastic help in Japan.
I wish also to thank the following people for their assistance in many forms:
Donald Gallup, Carrol l F. Terrell, Jim Generoso, John Solt, Naoki Inagaki , and above
all Megumi Nakamura for providing me with information that I needed for the
notes ; Kenji Arai for his arrangement with the Japan Times, Inc. for permission to
reprint Ezra Poun d's articles; Michiko Sh imizu for typing the greater part of the text;
Toru Haga for recommending me to the Suntory Fou ndation; Akiko Miyake,
Motoyuki Yoshida, and the librarians and staff at the Beinecke Library at Yale
University for their courteous help and encouragement; and the Trustees of the
Su ntory Foundation, Osaka, for their generous financial assistance for thi s publica­
tion .
Grateful acknowledgement and thanks are given to the following for permis­
sion to include the varied Ezra Poun d material: The Ezra Pound Literary Property
Trust and New Directions Publishing Corp. ; The Heinecke Rare Book and Manu­
script Library , Yale University ; Ikuko Atsumi, for a letter from Yone Noguchi's
Collected English Letters (Tokyo: Zokei B ijutsu Kyokai, 1 9 7 5 ) ; Koichi Iwasaki, for
letters to his father, Ryozo Iwasaki; Yukio Sato, for a letter to the Japanese Ambassa­
dor i n Rome; Tokutaro Shigehisa, for a letter to Tomoji Okada; Townsman, for the
essay "VOU Club"; and Shiro Tsunoda, for his help and for the fragment of the letter
ad dressed to himself. The citations for previously published material by Ezra
Pound are as follows: The Cantos (copyright 1 9 34, 1 9 3 7 , 1 94 0 , 1 94 8 , 1 95 6, 1 95 9 ,
1 9 6 2 , 1 9 6 3 , 1 96 6 , 1 9 68 by Ezra Pound; copyright © 1 972 by the Estate of Ezra
Pou n d ) ; Selected Letters, 1 907-1 941, ed. D . D . Paige (copyright 1 950 by Ezra
Pou nd; copyright© 1 971 by New D irections Publishing Corp. ) ; Ezra Pound Speak­
ing, ed . Leonard Doob (copyright © 1 9 78 by the Ezra Poun d Literary Property
Trust) . Permission to reprint the articles which first appeared in the papers pub­
lished by the Japan Times , Inc. has been granted by Gyo Hani, Chief Editor, The
Japan Times , Inc.
Likewise grateful acknowledgement and thanks are extended to the following
for permission to include the varied material by Pound's Japanese correspondents.
The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale Un iversity; Lilly Library ,
Indiana University; Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, the University of
Texas at Austin; Kunio Ito ( Koreyo Senda) for letters by his brother, Michio Ito;
Koichi Iwasaki, for letters from his father, Ryozo Iwasaki; Masayoshi Kume, for
material of his father, Tamijiiro Kume; Yosh inobu Mori, for a letter by his father,

Yasotar6 Mori; Masao Noguchi, for letters of Yonijiro Noguchi; and Eiichiro Oshi­
ma, for a letter by his father, Sh6tar6 Oshima; Townsman for Katue Kitasono's
"Notes" and New Directions for the VOU poems and "Modern Poets of Japan."
Further acknowledgement and thanks are offered to the following for various
permissions: Mary de Rachewiltz, James Laughlin and Fosco Maraini, for their own
material; Omar Pound, for letters by Dorothy Pound (copyright© 1 98 7 by Omar S.
Pound); and Michael Reck , for his own material, and that by Ezra Pound and Katue
Kitasono included in his Ezra Pound: A Close-Up (NY: McGraw-Hill, 1 96 7 ). Ac­
knowledgement is also made to Basil Bunting, Collected Poems (Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 1 9 79, copyright © 1 97 8 by Basil Bunting), and to Van Wyck
Brooks, Fenollosa and His Circle (NY: E. P. Dutton, 1 96 2 ).
Finally, my special thanks are due to John Walsh . I should like to express my
heartfelt appreciation for the encouragement and assistance I received from him in
many forms and over a period of many years.-S. K.


In ren dering the Pound materia l in typeset format, certain translations have been
utilized: underlined words have been placed in italics ; double underlined words
are indicated by boldface; and triple underlining appears as italic capitals . Words
originally in block letters appear in small capitals. Handwritten inserts have been
placed in the text where indicated by Pound and appear in italics within angle
brackets. Ph rases and words in foreign languages. as well as titles , have been
italicized. With few exceptions , Pou nd's original spelling. punctuation and spacing
have been retained , and a l i ne-for-line approximation has been attempted. In only a
few cases have the letters from Japanese correspon dents been corrected to aid
clarification ; no attempt has been made to regularize Japanese names and terms. as
this forms one of the themes of the correspondence. The following manuscript
abbreviations (fol lowed by the number of pages of the original) have been used: TL
= typed letter; TLS = typed letter signed ; PC = postcard ; AL = handwritten letter;

and ALS = handwritten letter signed .

In the Notes , citations to the editions of Pound's works as listed in Donald
Gallup's Ezra Po und: A B i bliography, 2nd ed . (Charlottesville: University of Vir­
ginia Press. 1 983 ) have been placed within brackets .
Two additional references are to be included: Ezra Pound , Ploys Modelled on
the Noh ( 1 9 1 6). ed. Donald Gallup (Toledo: Friends of the University of Toledo
Libraries , 1 987); and Octavio Paz. Jacques Roubaud , Eduardo Sanguinetti and
Charles Tomlinson , Rengo: A Chain of Poems (NY: Braziller, 1 9 7 1 )-with special
reference to letter 73: The modern chain poem is a descendant of the Japanese
"kusari-renga" ["li nked poems"] developed between the Heian ( 7 94- 1 1 83 ) and
Muromachi ( 1 3 3 6-1 5 7 3 ) period s.


ON THE WALLS of the Boston M u seum of Fine Arts ha ngs a painting by the
American pa inter Wi l l iam Paxton entitled The New Necklace . In the pai nt­
ing is dep i cted a young America n woma n , wrapped in an oriental jacket
p laced over her long fri l led d ress ; she is seated by an oriental screen, set i n
front o f the Western pa i n t i n g a n d tapestry o n the wal l ; a n encased oriental
statuette is on top of the woman's lacquered wri t i ng des k-chest . The date of
the painting is 1 9 1 0 .
The interm ixing of styles in this painting reflects the extent of the
current vogue of Japon isme, in a setting most l i kely prox i mate to one of the
ports of the Yankee c l i p per trade which flourished between Yokohama and
S a le m. " Th ings Japanese" had most defi n i tely entered American fash ion by
this time , a good fi fty years after the American painters La Farge and
Whistler h a d begun their col lections of Japanese Ukiyoe [woodbl ock]
prints. Such artistic transport , faci l itated by the speed of the Ya nkee cl i p per
s h i p s , p rom pted Van Wyck Brooks to remark that "the Far East seemed
closer to S a le m than to any other A merican town when Ernest Fenol l osa *
was born there in 1 8 5 3 " ( F e n o l l os a and His Circle).
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston , and the nearby Peabody M u seum
in S a lem , were the rec i p ients of much of the art an d arti facts of tra d i t i onal
J a panese culture that were shored u p against t ime, thanks to a determ ined
effort on the part of a gro u p of B oston-based Americans who had travel led
to Japan-fort u i tously arriving at precisely the critica l moment for their
en terprise. Ernest Fenol losa and Edward Morse , fol lowed by W i l l iam Stur­
gis B igelow and Percival Lowel l , and later by Hen ry Adams, John La Farge.
and then Lafcad i o Hearn-a l l arrived in Japan within nearly a decade
( 1 8 78-90) , at a t i me when the trad itional culture of Japan was on the brink
of bei ng swept away. "For twenty years , " remarks Van Wyck Brooks, "the
most precious works were treated as rubbish." Masterpieces were paradox­
ica lly more commonly to be fou n d in trash -heaps than in showroom s . \tVith
a broad gest ure, the Japanese had turned their backs on their past in favor of
Western modern ity. A year after Feno l losa had arrived i n Japan , he had
been able to acqu i re a masterpiece by the p a inter Ganku from a dealer who
had never even heard of the master's name , and he was st i l l able to find in
1 884 a fine ceramic head of the B u d dha-one of the earl iest rel ics of Tend a i
scu l p ture-in an a s h ba rrel where it had been d i sca rded . Along w ith
Feno l losa and Morse, these Americans eagerl y took to the task of attempt-

ing to preserve what they feared to be the last surviving traces of a vanishing
civil i zation. Fenollosa took sculpture and painting as his specialty, while
M orse chose pottery. Morse also took lessons in the trad itional tea cere­
mony , and studied Japanese singing with the No master, M inoru Umewaka ,
under whom Fenollosa studied as well.
At a time when the Japanese feudal system was in its death-throes and
noble families fou n d it necessary to sell their great collections to stave off
poverty , excellent exam ples of traditional art-sword s , guard s , emble m s ,
l a c q u e r boxes , a l o n g w i t h s t at u e s , p a i n t i ngs , scrolls a n d p ottery­
abou n d ed in a rad ically d evalued market. And Fenollosa and Morse bought
d i scerningly and extens ively, s h i p ping off vast collections to the Museum
of Fine Arts in Boston.
Along with Okakura Kakuzo (who organized the Imperial Art School in
Tokyo ) , Fenollosa acted as I mperial Commissioner of Fine Art and scoured
the countrysi d e in search of cast-off treasures. Ironically , however, most of
this trea s ure was being shipped to America. Mors e , well aware of the
contra diction, remarked : "It is like the life-blood of Japan seeping from a
h i dden wou nd . " But this wound was soon to be staunched ; in 1 884 , further
transport of national Japanese treasures (now recogn i zed to be so) began to
be d iscussed by the Japanese government. By 1 88 5 , a rebirth of interest in
the tra d itional culture of Japan had begun .
Certainly , t h e crucial role played by this small grou p of American
Japanophiles had not been forgotten by the Japanese; in the words of Prof.
Yaichi Haga , "An America n , Ernest Fenollosa , taught us how to admire the
u n i que beauty of our a rt . " And u pon preparing to return to A merica in
1 88 6 , Fenollosa was told by the Emperor: "You have taught my people to
know their own art ; in going back to your great country , I charge you , teach
them also. "
* * *

When Ezra Pound in London rece i ved his first letter from a Japa nese
correspondent in 1 9 1 1 (a year before the p ublication of Fenollosa 's Epochs
of Ch inese and Japan ese A rt). he probably was not as yet fam i l iar with the
work of Fenollosa . Perhaps he had not yet at that time thought much
d i rectly about Japan , even though he was certa inly familiar with the art of
Whistler. Were he in London at the time, he most probably wou l d have seen
the Ja panese Exhibition held at Shepherd's Bush in 1 9 1 0 . Perhaps he had
even d iscussed Fenollosa when he met, in Oc tober 1 9 1 3 , the A merican
photographer Alvin Langdon Coburn , who had intens ively studied the
collection of Chi nese and Japanese art se t u p by Fenollosa in the Boston

Museum of Fine Arts. But when towards the end of 1 9 1 3 he received fro m
Mary Fenollosa the notebooks conta i ning Fenollosa's notes on oriental
literature , d ra ft translations of Ch i nese poetry and Japanese No dramas ,
along with h i s essay "The Ch inese Written Character as a Med ium for
Poetry"-with the sti pulation that Fenollosa wanted the material treated as
l iteratu re , not ph ilology-a world opened . In March 1 90 9 , Pound had
heard Laurence B i nyon lectu re on " Oriental and European Art," and in the
s pring of 1 9 1 1 , he had wri tten his haiku - l i ke poem on the Paris Metro (see
Sanehide Kodama, American Poet ry a n d Japanese Culture). He had also
written in 1 9 1 3 , prior to the receipt of the bulk of Fenollosa material , the
Chinese-inspired poems " After Ch'u Yuan , " " Fan-Piece for Her Imperial
Lord , " and "Liu Ch 'e. " Most significant ly, Pound 's "A Few Don 'ts by an
Imagiste " had already a ppeared . But what accom panied China in the
Fenollosa notebooks was the near-virgin world of Japan-territory which
he set about exploring a l most i mmediately. Pound and W. B . Yeats spent
much of the w inter of 1 9 1 3 in Stone Cottage immersed in the study and
translation of No d rama. By January of 1 9 1 4 Pound was able to send off to
Harriet Monroe of Poetry the fin ished vers ion of Nis h i kigi. And so began
his lifetime enthral l ment.
Iro n i cally, Pound 's d iscovery of Japanese drama coincided with an­
other phase of modern Japan's turning a\Nay fro m its trad iti onal culture.
When the Japanese dancer M ichio Ito arrived in London in 1 9 1 4 , he knew
next to noth ing about c l assical Japanese dra ma-but, most fortunately, a
fel l o w expatriate , the painter Tami Koume, did . So it was in London, not
Tokyo , that Ito learned about his own cultural trad ition. ( Perhaps the
apocryphal story of Ito 's visit with Yeats to the London zoo to watch the
movements of a caged hawk j ustifiedly merits being preserve d . ) From these
seeds , the study of No drama became an enduring pass ion for Pou n d .
The i m portance of t h e No drama for Pound echoes throughout this
corres pondence. Seated in the c i nema in Rapallo watching the film Mit­
souko, Pound is filled with nostalgia , struck by the sound of the si ngi ng.
and rememberi ng a No performance enacted in Paris by Ta mi Koume and
other Japanes e : " You have a treasure like nothing we have in the Occident. "
In a later letter of 1 9 5 7. Pound most succi nctly and poignantly remarks:
"Hagoromo is a sacra ment. " And Pound seriously and fondly ho ped that
his own play, \'\'omen of Trach is ( 1 9 54). would be translated into Japanese
and be staged by a No troupe: "Am convi nced the Noh techn ique is only
way of doing i t properly , in whatever language . "
I t was t o preserve this indupl icable treasure o f the No that Pound went
to the extreme of s uggest ing that the America n-occupied island of Guam be

negoti ated w ith the Japanese i n exchange for a set of fi lms of c l assic No
pl ays-along \vi t h their authentic m u s i c . "I0:SIST," wrote Pound to the
Japanese poet Katue Kitasono, "on having 300 Noh p lays done properly A:'\D
record ed on sound film so as to be able to EDUCATE such American students
as are capable of being cu l tured ."
Iro n i c i n deed that this was being said by an American at a time when
many modern Japanese were in another p hase of turn i n g away from their
c ul tura l h eritage-the a vant-gard e poet, Katue Kitasono. m ost certai n ly
i nc l u d ed . When i n 1 9 52 tvli ch ael Reck-who made a p i l grimage to Fenol lo­
sa's grave above Lake B iwa (cf. Canto LXXXIX)-u pon Poun d's urging met
K i tasono, h e di scovered that the Japanese poet evi d enced no enth u s i asm at
a l l a t the pros pect of attend ing a No performance-to such an extent that he
sent his w i fe i n his p lace to accompany the young Am eri can. And after a
s h ort time, she p o l i t e l y excused hersel f and l eft the performance. leaving
the American to d i scover the classical world of Japan on his own. There i s a
certa in h um o r i n the fact that Pound in h i s letters to Kitasono is cont i n u a l lv
asking questi ons abou t Japan's trad itional cul ture-ironic in that K i tasono
was not a t all a s interested in it as was Pound h imself. For Kitasono
embo d i ed contemporary Japan.
What Ki tason o , in turn , presented to Pound was not the past but the
new. He i ntrod uced Pound to what the young avant-garde was d o i ng as

reflected i n poems wri tten by members of the VOU Club and publ i shed i n
its magazine. Pound s e i zed u pon the potential offered b y this poetry­
washed clean as if by acid-written i n h a l t i ng Engl ish transl ati ons by these
young Japanese, for he saw that they approached the language w ith fresh
eyes , w i th o u t preconcepti ons. and used Engl ish freely. i d i osyncratica l ly
and i n ventively. " A l l the m oss and fu zz that for twenty years we have been
trying to scra pe off our language-t hese young men start wi thout i t . . He
pra ised this "vo rtex of poet ic alertnes s ' ' for its im mense clarity and ra pid­
ity: "The Japanese eye is l i ke t h ose new camera shutters that catch the
b u l let lea v i ng the gun . . . . They see the crystal set . the che m i cal laboratory
and the pine tree w i th u ntrammeled clearness . . . . The Japanese poet has
gone from one peak of [t hought] to a n other faster than our slow wits perm i t
us to fol l ow before w e have got used t o h i s pace .··
Rather than condescendi ngly d i s m i ssing these poems for their techni­
cal flaws , P o u n d pos i t i vely saw i n them a new b eg i n n i n g and enth usiasti­
ca l l y recommended them to Ron a l d Duncan of Tol\'nsman and James
Laugh l i n of New Directions for publ icat ion. \'V hile one need not necessari ly
agree w i th Poun d's generous eva l uat i o n of them as "better work than any
save those of E. E. Cum m i ngs , " by see i ng them in the manner that Pound

saw them and for the qualities that he ci ted , lessons could be learned . Here
Japa n was making its contempora ry con tribu tion to the West.
This c o l l ection of letters and essays documents Pound 's l i felong in­
volvement w i th the a rt . l iterature and culture of j a pan. Exten d i ng from
1 9 1 1 to 1 968, Pou n d 's corres pon dence w i t h j a panese arti sts and poets
forms a record of a vital cul tural interchange from which both East and
West gai ned through the interaction. Incl uded in this volume are letters
from the Japa nese pain ter Tam i Koume and the d ancer Mich io Ito dat ing
from Pound 's early years in London-when he was at work with W. B.
Yeats o n translating Japanese No dramas-and his years in Paris during the
early 1 92 0's; the correspondence between Pound and the japanese mod­
ernist poet Katue Kitasono (editor of VOU) wh i le Pound was res i d i ng in
Rapa l l o (and later from St. E l i zabeths): and articles wri tten by Pound which
appeared in the japan Tim es just prior to the outbreak of vVorld VVar II.
promoti ng cross-cultural communication a nd ins isting that '' d i plomacy
a lone cou l d not d o i t . " Letters from Mary Feno l losa and various other
Japanese correspondents, a l ong w i th the perti nent materia l i ncluded i n the
appen d i x , fu rther round out the portra it.
S i m i l a r to the infl uence exerted by a previ ous generation of Americans
who had trave l l ed to Japan ( Fenol losa . B i gelow, Morse , La Farge and
Hearn ) , Ezra Pound from afar a lso made his contribution to the preservation
of the classic Japanese trad ition , draw ing attention to its masterworks as an
essential component of world cul ture and a crucial means to i ncrease
East-West u n d erstand ing.
-Joh n \tVa lsh

*For further on Fenollosa, see note to letter 4 on Mary Fenol losa: see a lso Van \Vyck
Brooks, Fenollosa and His Circle (NY: E. P. Dutton. 1 962).


IN THIS BOOK a re collected letters exchanged between Ezra Pound and his
Japanese fri e n d s , ranging between the years 1 9 1 1 to 1 968. These letters are ,
i n most cases , chronologica l l y arranged s o that the reader may have a n
h istorical overvi ew o f Pound 's i nvolvement w ith t h e art a n d culture of
Japan. The book also includes Pound 's contributions to Japanese per­
iod icals written shortly before World War II, at a t i me when he had l ittle
outlet elsewhere. S up plementary l etters , such as those between Ezra Pound
and Mary Fenollosa , Katue Kitasono to Dorothy Pound and Mary de Rache­
w i lt z , etc . , which touch on material regarding Japan have also been in­
I n the sum mer of 1 9 1 1 Ezra Pound received a completely u nexpected
l etter postmarked from Japan. "Dear Mr. Poun d , " the letter opened , "As I
beli eve you may not know my work at a l l , I send you , under a separate
cover, my new book of poems called The Pilgrimage . . . " It was from

Yonej i ro Noguchi , a Japanese poet who was ten years ol der than Poun d and
had been favorably received in Engl and and America. He had publ ished a
few books of verse and prose i n Engl ish i n both countries: Seen a n d Unseen
( 1 897) , Th e A merican Diary of a Jap anese Girl ( 1 90 2 ) and F ro m the Eastern
Sea ( 1 9 0 2 ) , and had returned to Japan after spendi ng thirteen years abroad.
I n his polite response to Noguchi Pound wrote, "of your country I know
a lmost nothing. " B ut he also wrote, "I had, of course, known of you . " One
may wonder how much knowledge Pound actual ly had of Japan when he
sai d , " I know al most nothi ng. " It can be assumed that by 1 91 1 Pound
already had some knowledge of Japanese haiku , as he had regul arly been
attend i ng T. E . Hul me's meeti ngs at the Cafe Tour d 'E i ffel s ince 1 90 9 ,
where h a i ku h a d b y t h e n become common knowledge . B a s i l H a l l Chamber­
lai n 's Classical Poetry of the Japanese ( London, 1 880) had long been out.
One of the members of the gro u p , Joseph Campbe l l , had written three-l ine
poems such as "The Dawn Whiteness , " and Edward Storer had written
" Image . " F . S. F l i n t had translated some haiku i nto Engl i s h from Pau l-Loui s
Couchou d 's French translations , i nclud i ng a piece b y A rakida Takeari,
which Pound was later to quote. Actual ly Pound m ight a l ready have read
Coucho u d 's and Chamberl a i n 's translations h imself.
B ut haiku was not the only aspect of Japan that Pound was acqua i nted
with by that t i m e . He surely wou l d have known someth ing of Japan 's
pol itical and social aspects as we l l : news of the unexpected victory of Japan

over Im perial Russia in 1 905 and reports co ncern i ng the Baltic Fleet, the
battles at h u n , and the fol lowing negotiations at Portsmo uth , New
Ham pshire , most certa inly.
Moreover, Pou n d 's juvenescence had coincided with the period of
Japon isme. Certai n ly, Japan had been "opened" to the American market for
some time. Even Sears , Roebuck and Co. had l isted Japanese fans with
i l l ustrations i n their catalogue of 1 90 2 . Lacquer ware, paper napkins, kimo­
no , netsuke, wood-block prints , and other objets d'art had been imported
through Yamanaka & Co . for domestic usage. French and American pain­
ters had been infl uenced for some time by Japanese art , and i n h i s early
essays Pound had already made frequent mention of the connection be­
tween Whistler and Hokusai .
B u t Pound i n 1 9 1 1 was sti l l looking at Japan through the back end of a
pair of opera gl asses . Pound viewed Ja pan as a far-away, beautiful country,
i nhabited by peo p l e w i th a d e li cate and subtle sensi b i l i ty , by women
pretty, gent l e , obedi ent , and loveabl e , and by men courageous enough to
defeat Imperi al Russia. When he received a businessl ike l etter from Yone
Noguchi , th erefore, Pound must have been surprised , but he does not seem
to have changed h i s basic view of Japan . The i mage of a dream-like Japan
had been so strongly i mprinted on h i s young mind that i t could not eas i ly
be changed or removed.
When he wrote "The Encounte r , " Pound compared the gracefu l fingers
of a Lon d o n woman to the " tissue" of a soft a n d l i ssome "Japanese pa per
napki n . " And when he wrote the "Metro " poem suggested by haiku , Pou nd
presented th e i m age of the glim mering petals scattered upon " the wet,
black bough " as i f painted on soft Japanese paper, to be "superimposed "
u pon the i mage of the beautifu l faces of women and c h i l d ren i n Paris .
By the t i m e Pound m e t Mary Fen o ll osa , in 1 9 1 3-and soon afterwards
received the bun d l e of her late h usband 's notebooks on the No p lays and
Japanese i n terpretations of Chinese classics-hi s knowledge of Japan had
been substantial l y enhance d . Yet he does not seem even then to have
changed h i s basic i m age of Japan. Rather, he became more enthusiastic
about "beautifying" Japan . Whi le promoting the prod uction of Yeats ' At the
Hawk's Well, Pound met M i chio Ito, Tam ijuro Kume and Jiso ichi Kayano,
and through them became acquainted w i th the Japanese language, Japanese
custom s , the No p lays, Zen and various other aspects of Japan . H e ex­
perienced , as it were, some new phases of the real i ties of Japan, including
the awkward Engl i sh of many Japanese . B u t sti l l he ra refied and mytholo­
gized Japan by translating the No plays and the Chinese classics i nto
beautifu l Engli sh poetry. Certa i n l y Pound tried to finish the translations as

"Ernest Fen o l losa would have wanted them done . " But i n any event the
more Pou n d learned about Japanese rea l i t i es , the more he emphas i zed their
beauty and posi ti ve val u e .
T h e same can be sai d of Canto 49. That i s , P o u n d read t h e manuscript
poems i n Japanese an d Chi nese on the lakes and h i l l s around the River
Hisa io-Hs iang in China , and he used the i mages to create an u nworld ly
lyrical worl d of " sti l l ness" suggestive of the paradiso terrestre . And aga i n
w e find that aspect when he began correspondence w i t h Kitasono i n 19 3 6 .
Pound rea d t h e "crystal " poems by the members o f the VOU Club , and
i ntroduced them as the "vortex of poetic a lertness " i n the Townsman ( see
Append ix) . He urged the publ isher James Laugh l in to i n troduce them al so
in his yearly New Directions A n thology. In his essay " Orientament i " i n
Broletto ( 1 93 8), Pound a l so i ntroduced Japan favorably a s being in a new
"cycle ," though he was aware of the Japanese i nvasion of Manchuria.
In 1 9 39 Pound had begun to s ubscribe to the Ja pan Times & 1\tlail, and
was thus exposed to much more concern i ng the pol itical , economic and
social rea l i ties of contem p orary Japan . But in 1 940 he mythologized the
whole hi story of Japan by wri t i ng that a l l the emperors " were of heaven
descen d e d " in Ca nto 5 8. (His source was most probably Hei nrich J u l i u s
K laproth's translation of Nippon Odai Ich ira n . See Pound's l etter t o Kitaso­
n o . 3 March 1 93 9 .)
When we trace Poun d ' s view of Japa n , we com e to rea l i ze that even
though he con t inued to further h i s knowledge of Japan th roughout h i s l ife,
his earl ier i mage of Japan as a far-off, dreaml ike country persisted ; a treas­
ure land for the cesthet e , a country entangl ed with p l easant memories of
youth. We cannot neglect the basic fact that Pound grew u p in the era of
Ja pon isme , and the i mage of Japan registered in his m i n d in his early youth
as a land of lotus and butterfly was not to be erased from his m i n d through­
out h i s l i fe. And we m ust a lso remember that Fenol losa's i mpact was so
very strong on h i m that Fenol l osa's a d m i ration for Japanese val ues coul d
o n l y rei nforce Pou n d ' s idea l i zed i mage.
However, the important thing is that Pound had the i ntuitive cri tica l
sensib i li ty to sift "to kal on" from the chaff, and he d i d d iscover authentic
treasures i n his stu d y of Far Eastern cultures. Although one m ight wish that
Pound could have written more objecti v e l y of the rea l i t ies of Japa n .
whether ap provi ngly o r not, th e fact was that Japan rema ined for h i m the
d istant, mythic country of Hagoromo, Aoi. and Komach i .

-Saneh ide Kodama


IN THIS SECTION are col l ected three letters of Yonejir6 Noguchi to Pound , one
l etter of Pound to Noguchi, four letters of Mary Fenol losa to Pou n d , one
l etter by her to Dorothy Pou n d , three letters of Michio Ito to Pou nd , seven­
teen letters of Tamij iir6 Kume to Poun d , and an invitation card to Tamijur6
Kume's exhibition in Paris. Pound must have written back to his Japanese
friends at that tim e , but unfortunately most of Pound 's letters to them were
lost in the earthquake of 1 923 and d uring the bombing of the Second Worl d

Yonejiro Noguchi ( 1 87 5-1 947) , a Japanese poet , went to California in

1 89 3 , s tu died poetry u n d er Joaquin Miller for some tim e , and published
there his books of poems , S een a n d Unseen (San Francisco Press, 1 89 7 ) ,
a n d The Voice of the Valley (The Doxey Press , 1 89 7 ) . H e then went to
London to p ub lish Eastern Sea (1 903 ) , first at his own expense, and then by
Macmil lan. Because of the ]aponisme then fashionable, the Macmillan
edition went into three printings . After his return to Japan , he was invited
by Oxford University to give a series of l ectures , and he sailed again to
Engl a n d . While there ( 1 9 1 3-1 4) , he met, as he writes in his essay " Irish
Atmosphere , " W. B . Yeats a n d E zra Pou n d . The first two l etters printed in
the fol lowing pages were obviously written before these meetings had
occurre d .
After Noguchi returned t o Japan i n 1 9 1 4, he maintained a correspond­
ence with P ou n d . The strange artic l e , "To Criticize Ao i no Ue by Ezra
Poun d " which a p peared in Japanese in Yokyokukai (October, 1 9 1 6) may
most probably b e the anonymous translation , or rather adaptation, of
Pou n d 's " Introduction " to "Awoi no Uye: A P l ay by Ujinobu " which had
a ppeared in Quart erly Notebook (Kansas City, June 1 9 1 6). If so, Pound
must have sent to Noguchi a copy of the American journal . In the editorial
note to the articl e Pound is thus portrayed :
Mr. Ezra Pound is a young poet, born in the U . S . A . , now living in
Engl a n d . He has published three or four books of poems, and has
translated Li Po into English. He is a vigorous poet and is said to
have been c laiming himself a revol utionis t of the literary worl d . He
is a frien d of Mr. Yonejir6 Noguchi.
In certain ways , Noguchi and Pound did evidence a kinship . Both were
interested in "certain forgotten odours ": Pound in " the spirit of romance"
2 SECTIOi'\ 1: 1 9 1 1 -2 3

and Noguch i in "the spirit of Japan . " And both were fasc inated by the No
play. Though their sens i b i l ities and their styles of wri t i ng were d i fferent,
closer examination might reveal certain reci p rocal echoes.

Michio Ito ( 1 89 3-1 9 6 1 ) was a Japanese modern dancer, who p l ayed the
part of the hawk i n a performance of Yea t s ' A t the Hawk's Wel l i n 1 9 1 6. He
had gone to Germany to study music when he was 1 8 , but the course of his
l i fe was changed after he saw Isadora Dunca n . When the war broke out , he
escaped from Germany , but he was stranded when his father stopped
sending h i m money. One day in 1 9 1 4 when he d i d not have a penny to feed
the gasometer at his flat in London, he was i nvited to dance at a party. At the
d i n ner tab le he sat next to an el derly gentl eman who admired him highly.
But Ito cou l d not u nderstand Engl ish , and he asked him if he cou l d speak in
German. After hes itation the gentleman consented , and they talked for two
hou rs . A few days later Ito received from that gentleman , who turned out to
be Prime M inister Herbert Henry Asqu i t h , a letter enclosi ng a check for £20 .
Pound writes of the episode in Ca nto 7 7:
So M ischi o sat in the dark lacking the gasometer penny
but then sai d : "Do you speak German?"
to Asq u i t h , 1 9 1 4.
Pound had met Ito at the Cafe Royal where the refugee arti sts met. He
asked him to hel p him w ith the editing of the No plays in the Fen o l losa
notebooks , and then to h e l p Yeats with At the Hmvk 's \t\fel l . Ito had h i mself
l it t l e knowl edge of the No p lay then, but h i s Japanese c lassmates who
h a ppened to be in London were versed in it. Tamijuro Kume and J isoichi
Kayano (Torah i ko Kori )-especia l ly the former-taught them about the No
p lay and assisted Pound in i nterpreting Feno l losa 's notebooks, con t i n u i ng
even after Ito had left for Nmv York.

Tami juro Kume ( 1 893-1 923), a Japanese pai nter, had begun taking
lessons in No and Kyogen from M inoru Umewaka when he was s t i l l in
pri mary schoo l . His father, Tami nosu ke Ku me. a successfu l businessman,
had a No theatre in his l a rge house i n Yoyog i , Tokyo, where his fam i l y and
guests often sang and p l ayed . Not much is recorded about h is first son,
Tamijuro. But accord ing to the fam i ly l egend , he began pai nting w h i le he
was a student at Gakushui n M i d d l e Schoo l . He went to Europe after gradua­
tion to study oil painting. During vVorld \!\far I, he met Pound in London .
through his c lassmate, M ichio Ito. Obviously he played a crucial part i n
Pound 's rendering o f the N o plays a n d Dulac's prod uction o f Yeats ' At t h e
Hawk 's Wel l . H e performed u ta i, the vocal part o f the No. at Pound 's flat in
SECTION I: 1 9 1 1 -2 3 3

London . How much affection Po und had for him, espec i a l l y after Po u n d
l ost Gaud ier-Brzeska, may be gleaned from the fol lowing letters . But noth­
ing much is known about the actual role he played i n assisti ng Yeats and
Pound in their research .
He returned to Japan i n J u l y 19 1 8 , vigorously worked a t his "hideout"
stu d i o near Lake Yamanaka, and went to New York in Jan uary 1921 to
exhibit his paintings (February 1-12 ) . He then went to Paris in January 19 22
and there aga i n met Pound who arra nged an exhibition for "Tami Koume"
i n J u l y . Though Tamijur6 Kume had a l ove affair in Pari s , he left there in
February 19 2 3 , returni ng to Tokyo by boat. On September 1, 19 2 3 , he was i n
Yokohama, aga i n o n the verge o f sai l i ng abroad , this time t o America to
l aunch a secon d exh ibition i n New York. H i s wife, Kiyo, and his 5 -year-old
son , Masayosh i , were at their v i l la i n Kosh igoe , Kamakura , p l a n n i ng to j o i n
h i m briefly at Yokohama a n d then see h i m off at the p i er. However, the great
earth quake occurred , j ust when Tam ijur6 Kume was in the d i ning room i n
the basement of the Oriental Hotel w ith a friend o f h i s . H i s body was p u l l ed
o u t from under the bricks and ashes with his watch and ri ngs o n .
4 SECTION 1: 1 9 1 1-23

1 : Yone Nogu chi to Ezra Pou n d

ALS-1 Kamakura , Japan. 16 July 1 9 1 1

Dear Mr. Pou n d :

As I th i n k you may not know my work at a l l , I sen d you , u nder a

separate cover, my new book of poems cal led Th e Pilgrim age . As I [am] not
yet acqu ai nted with your work, I wish you will send your book or b ooks
w h i c h you l i ke to have me to rea d . This l ittle note may sound q u i te
busi n essl ike, but I can promise you that I can do better i n my next l etter to
you .

Yours trul y ,
Y o n e Noguchi

P . S . I a m anxious t o read n o t only your poeti cal work b u t also your crit icism.

2: E z ra Pou n d to Yon e Noguchi

TLS-2 c/o Elkin Mathews, Vigo St . , London . Pmk: 2 September 1 9 1 1

Dear Yone Noguchi :

I want to thank you very much for your lovel y books & for your kin d ness
in send i ng them to me.
I h a d , of cours e , known of you , but I am much occupied with my
medi reval stud ies & had neglected to read your books a l tho' they l i e with
my own i n Mathews shop & I am very fam i l iar with the appearance of their
covers .
I am readi n g those you sent me but I do not yet know what to say of them
except that they have d e l i ghted me. Besides it is very hard to write to you
until I know more about you ; you are older than I am-I gather fro m the
dates of the poems-you have been to New York. You are giving us the
spirit of Japan , is it not? very much as I am trying to deli ver from obscurity
certa i n forgotten odours of Provence & Tuscany (my works on Guido
Cava l cant i , & Arnaut Danie l , are , the one in p ress , the other ready to be
pri nted).
I have sent you two volumes of poems . I do not know whether to send
you The Spirit of Romance or not: It treats of med ireval poetry in southern
Europe but has many flaws of workmansh i p .
SECTION I: 1 9 1 1 -23 5

I can not help wondering how much you know of our contem porary
poets & in what thi ngs of ours you wou l d be l ikely to be intereste d .
I m e a n I do n o t want to write y o u thi ngs that you already know a s well
or better than I do.
Of your country I know a lmost nothi ng-surely if the east & the west a re
ever to understand each other that understand i ng must come slowly &
come fi rst through the arts .
You ask about my "crit i c i sm . " There is some criticism in the Spirit of
Roma n ce & there wi l l be some i n the prefaces to the "Guido " & the
" Arnau t . " B u t I might be more to the point if we who are artists sho u l d
discuss t h e matters o f techn i que & motive between ourselves. Also if you
shou l d write about these matters I woul d d i scuss your l etters with Mr.
Yeats & l i kewi s e my answers .
I have not answered before because your letter & your books have
fol l owed me through America , France, Ita ly, Germany and have reached
me but lately.
Let me thank you aga i n for sendi ng them , a n d beli eve me

Yours Very Sincerely

Ezra Poun d

3: Yone Noguchi t o Ezra Poun d

ACS-1 Kamakura, Japan . 22 October 1 9 1 1

Dear Mr. Pound :

Many thanks for your k i n d letter [together] w i t h Exultations a n d Ca n­

zoni . I was glad to be acquai nted with Exu ltations, and what a d i fference of
your work from m i n e ! I l i ke to fol l ow closely after your poetry.

Si ncerely yours,
Yone Noguchi

4: Mary Fenollosa to Ezra Pound

ALS-3 1 59 Church Street, Mobile , Alabama . 24 November [1 9 1 3]

Dear Ezra :

Your violet ray from Stone Cottage has j ust penetrated. S ince you
6 SECTION 1: 1 91 1-23

announced that you are to be there " forever, " I suppose I might as well
begin a d d ress i ng you t h ere. It cert a i n l y sounds good enough to be a
forever,-w i th the aigrette of the usual " day."
I am beginning w i t h right now, to send you material . I am goi ng to
n umber the rolls, envelopes, packets , or whatever form they go i n . So if you
merely let me know that N o . 1 has safely arrived-then No. 2-, and so on, it
w i l l be enough to bring me "an shin , " which is to say " peace of t he spiri t . " I
fear it w i l l go to you i n a pretty mixed u p con d i t i on, b ut the great fact is that
it w i l l a l l go.
I know you are pining for hierogl yphs and i deographs: but I must keep to
our plan and send the No stuff first . That is a complete book in i t self-I
almost think that you had better spell it Noh , as some French writers do. It
looks j ust a l ittle more i m pressive. Don ' t you think so? Later I w i l l have
somethi ng to say about the i l l u strations, but the time hasn ' t come, yet, for
If you ever see Saroj in i , or write to her, wont you please say to her that if
she could have sprouted a new petal every time I 've thought of her, or
wanted to write to her, she wou l d be the shape and s ize of a chrysanthe­
mum by t h i s .
I u s e d t o t h i n k I was somewhat rushed i n London, but i t was a long hour
of s i lent prayer by t h i s ! I 've a m i l l i o n relatives, more or less, and they all feel
h u rt when I shut myself up even to write l etters . By the way , don't forget to
give me your mother's addres s . After Christmas I sha l l be wandering be­
tween the cau l d ro n of P i ttsburgh and "My City, my belove d , my white ! " I
want to meet your mother.

Ma ry Fenollosa

5 : Mary Fenol losa to Ezra Po u n d

TLS-3 1 5 9 Church Street, Mobile, Alabama. 2 5 November [1 9 1 3]

Dear Ezra :

Please don't get d iscouraged at the ragged \·vay this manuscript is

coming to you . As I said yesterday, it w i l l a l l get there i n time,-wh ich is the
m ost i mportant thing.
For i nstance , chronol ogical ly, the lectures taken down by my husban d ,
from old Umewaka Mi noru are s o rough. a n d s o many abbreviations are
used , that I can 't send them until I have time to make quite copious notes to
SECTION 1: 1 9 1 1-23 7

hel p you understand . It is going to be someth ing of a puzzle, at best .

I n these notes the i n i t i a l s " U . M . " are constantly used . Sometimes they
are put " M . U . , " for to this d a y , the Japanese are a l ittle undecided whether
to place the fa mily name firs t , accord ing to their own custom, or last. In any
case, whenever you see these i n itials together they mean the old lecturer.
He was brought up in the last S hogu n's court, and comes from a long l i ne of
famous Noh players . He had all the costumes, masks , l iterature and tradi­
tions. I h a d though t , if ever I attempted e d i t i ng the book, to begin it with this
personal note of old U . M . and the Professor. (Whenever I say "Professor" I
mean E . F. F . ) . He had two beautiful young sons, sti l l l iv i ng and acting­
whether real or adopted I am not sure, but that doesn 't matter i n Ja pan. The
son who i s adopted for reaso ns of fitness , talent, and capabil ity of carry i ng
on an art i stic tradi t i on is con s i d ered more real tha n a son who is merely of
the flesh. A l l the great artists of old times adopted successors this way.
These sons, a l so very often referred to in the notes, and in the studies of the
Noh p l ays, were Manzaburo Umewaka and Takeyo U mewaka . Both were
beautifuL-the former , a tal l and rather stout you t h , d i d not look u n l i ke a
picture of a caval ier by Franz Hal s , and the younger, our teacher i n the
s i nging of Noh , was more l i ke a soulful and very h a ndsome East Ind ian poet
than a Japanese. I hope I come across a ph otograph of h i m , but I haven 't yet.
However I have an exce J l ent one of the ol d Umewaka to send.
I shaJI go over these notes of his lectures , and w herever you see new i nk
writing you w i l l know that I put it.
I must expl a i n at more l ength the recurring term "cat s . " Th is wou l d
surel y b e a puzzler. A t the back o f the stage i n many,-i n fact most , o f the
pieces, there are always two queer o l d , old musicians that come in with
fu nny little fol di n g stoo l s , s i t fac i ng each other for a moment, and then turn
themsel ves and the stools so that they face the au d ience. They have weird
l ittle drums, and at i n terva l s , duri ng the performance, they utter the most
aston i s h i ng sou n d s , suppres sed wai l s , throaty gurgles , and muted banshee
howls. These soun ds are more l ike the noises of back-yard fence cats than
anything else on earth , and the Professor and I got i nto the way of cal l i ng
them " cats . " I d id n 't rea l i ze that he had accepted the term seriously enough
to put i t a l l through the notes. In rare cases there are sometimes four ca ts, or
even more; but, as I remember i t , always there \Yere two. I don't bel ieve tlley
were ever used i n the com i c i nterl udes , or "kyogen . " You w ill see also
frequent reference to "Mr. H . " Th is always means l ittle Mr. H i rata , a pu p i l
o f m y husband ' s , w h o always went t o the Noh performances with u s , and
d i d the tra nslations. I d o n ' t th i nk much of his literary styl e. Neither wi l l
you . I sho u l d suggest that t h e examples you wish t o present i n ful l sho u l d
8 SECTION I: 1 9 1 1-23

be taken o n l y from those p ieces where the Professor has written out the
Japanese words too, and given the l iteral transl ation.
P lease remember, from the first , that whenever I say " sugges t , " I mean
j ust that thing, and nothing more stringen t . What I am hop ing is that you
w i l l become really interested in the m ateri a l , absorb it in your own way,
a n d then m ake practical ly new trans lations from the Japanese text as
rend ered into Romaj i . It seems going ahead of myself a l ittle, but I m i ght as
wel l tell you the Noh p i eces that have seemed to us most beautifu l . I think
that first I would p lace " K i n u ta . " Old U . M. considered it so, and also said
that i t took nearly a l ife-time, and much prayer and fasting, to l earn to s i ng
properl y . Another that the Professor specially l oved was "Nishi ki gi . "
" Yorobosh i " was the first I heard , real l y to understa n d , and I care a lot for i t .
" Hagoromo " is perhaps the favorite of a l l , with the average Japanese Noh
lover, and is a l egend strangely like the old Celtic one of the mermai d who
had her magic sea-garments stolen by a mortal . " S u m idagawa" is another
wonder. Most , if not a l l of these , are carefu l l y translate d .
This i s a b ig enough d ose for one d ay . When y o u get into i t , p l ease don't
hesitate to ask me questions. I o n l y wish I were there with you and Yeats ,
working on i t . I am homesick for London a l ready.

Mary Fen ollosa

6: Michio Ito to Ezra Po u n d

ACS-1 8 2 St. John's Wood Terrace, London, N.W. Pmk: 8 May 1 9 15

Dear Ezra Poun d ,

Thank you very much for your letter. I understand quite well this time. I
s h o u l d be very p leased [to] meet you on this S u nd ay n ight , but I have been
very busy now as I have an engagement at Co l iseum Theater from 1 0th of
May. Then , if I cou l d not call you at 7 o 'c lock, I sho u l d come [a] l ittle l ater.

Yours truly
Mich io Ito
SECTION 1: 1 9 1 1 - 2 3 9

7 : Mary Fen ollosa to Ezra Pound

ALS-3 Kobinata, Spring Hill, Alabama. 27 February 1 9 1 6

My dear Ezra :

I haven 't any envelopes to go with this l ovely hand laid Japanese
paper-am too poor to buy any more-but I ' m writing on it because the
address is my permanent one in A merica- From now o n , into a vague
f u tu re , I s h a l l be living here, or else my widowed m other. Letters w i l l surel y
b e f orwarded . We ' ve h a d all sorts of bereavements a n d u npleasant things in
our f a m i l y . Fi nances in the South are po ignantly rot ten . On ly the vile
munition makers of your part of America are thriving.
Your letter was one of the very few bright spots that has come my way
latel y . It certainly has cheered me u p . My getting to England is now so
indef i n i te that I am going to try and get you that ro l l of Noh i l l ustrations by
post . Heaven knows whether it ever w i l l reach you ! As I wr ite these­
Germans are battering the forts near Verd u n . One h as already fall en- What
is goi n g to happen to the world any way? I bel ieve I ' l l go back to Japan­
scoop out a rock, and be a herm itess.

Devoted l y yours
Ma ry Fen oll osa

8: Ta rn i Koume to Ezra Pound

ALS- 1 3 c Warwick Ave. W. 2 2 March 1 9 1 6

M y dear M r. Pou n d ,

I am awf u l l y sorry to h ear that you are sick in bed . I received your
telegra ph and was pa i n . How are you now? To-day I tried to go and ask af ter
your health , b u t I was temptated by Itow , and staing long t i me at Mr.
Dulac ' s , where we stu dy some play. I am so anxious how are you now. I
hope that you are well soon .

I am you r's great friend

T. M. Ko ume
10 SECTION 1: 1 9 1 1 -23

9: Mary Fenollosa to Ezra Po u n d

ALS-3 c/o Gran t-Thompson, Co. , 2 80 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. 2 4
July 1 9 1 6

You dear Ezra :

Th is certa i n l y is good news-that you have succeeded in getting

McM i l l an to publ ish E . F. F. And what splen d i d , steadfast work you have
been doing-in s p i te of my seeming half-beastness.
My own in volved d omest ic troubles stil l contin u e-there are a l l sorts
of entangl ements-s ickness, fi nances and a l l other i l ls-but I 'm not going
to fi l l space with them n ow. The one thing I want to get ''over the foot­
l ight s , " in t h i s letter, concerns those i l lustrations to Noh . The whole rol l of
them is here in the North with m e- I hope to be allowed to remain
somewhere within reasonable d istance of N .Y. for the rest of the year­
Haven 't any d efi nite a d d ress yet , as you w i l l gather from the hea d ing of
this-bu t , for the present c/o Grant-Thompson Co. w i l l get me with less
d e l ay than any other a d d ress-
If McM i l l an is to brin g out Noh in d ign ifi ed form , I shou l d think they
m ight desire i l lustrati o ns .- I have them al l-not only pictures of high
moments i n the vari ous p lays-but some good ones of the conventional
N o h setti ngs-the shape of stage-the "cloud-bridge " etc .- These pictures
m ake q u i te a bu l ky rol l-sh ort and thick-nearly as big around as 5 lb. l ard
bucket-if that conveys an idea-
S h a l l !-risking Engl i sh censors and German sub-marines-try to get
these over to you ? Or w o u l d it be a better idea for you to put me in d irect
commu n ication w i th the N . Y . McM i l lan's-and let me take the p i ctures
d o w n to their office? I t h i nk you are novv in possess ion of just about al l of
E. F. F . 's Noh materi al-but if there is hope-i n the future, of further
v o l umes-! have sti l l , stored away down at Kob inat a , a priceless treasury of
m s s .-Ch inese poetry-translations of it giving each ideograph embedded
in various nu ances of meani ng-E. F. F . ' s essays and stu dies of Ch inese
poetry-also of phi losoph y, civi l i zation , etc. etc .-1 cannot bel ieve that any
coming student of these thi ngs is to have E. F . F. 's peculiar advantages­
A n d Ch ina is the coming n a tion! This new agreement between japan and
Russia makes it the more certa i n- Let me know at once about the Noh
i l l ustrations- You are an ange l !

Mary Fcn ollosa
SECTION 1: 191 1 -23 11

1 0 : Mich io Ito to Ezra Pound

ACS-1 Pmk: Times Sq. Sta.. New York. N.Y. 18 August 1916

Safely arrived in New York on 1 3th August. New York is not so bad
what I expected , but the weather is too hot for me. I co u l d n ' t tel l you about
New York yet as I don 't know.
I w i l l try to write you so much as I can. W i l l you give me answers?
Kindest regard to your Mrs and mother-i n-law.

from Mich io

1 1 : Mary Fen ol losa to Doro thy Po u n d

ALS-6 c/o Grant-Thompson , Co . 2 80 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. 1 8

October 1 9 1 6

M y dear Dorothy Pou n d :

Th is del ightfu l letter of yours not only puts m e in possession of several

opport une facts concern i ng the work that Ezra is doing so splend i d ly ;-but
it has acco m p l i s hed-in its few pages-somethi ng even more desirabl e-it
has given m e-you ! Unt i l this letter I felt you o n l y as the shadow of a
personali ty-shal l I confes s , too, that it was an Ezra Pound shadow?!
I th i n k the core of the real you-ness comes from the fact that twice you
m isspelled the word " desperate"-writing it " d esparate"-which is, in­
dubitably a better word.
Tel l Ezra that I received the Lustra and joyed i n it- Also the two cop i es
of Certa i n Noble Play s- The excel lence of Ezra 's work on the Fenoll osa
mss. doesn 't surprise m e- The only regrets connected with it are from my
s i de o f effort- I have fai l ed in getting any more friendly contributions to
the endeavor- The n , too, the royalti es from my own books are fal l i n g off
badl y-
But all this is merely by the way. I a m i n New York sti l l . Miss B i s l a n d
arrived last week o n t h e Lafa ye tte- For a few days s h e was a physical
wreck-not only because the voyage was rough and she a bad sailor-but
a l l the night before reaching N . Y . the ship was chased by a hellish German
s ub-mari ne- The passengers went about in straight jackets of cork-and
no one s lept .
M i ss B i sland a n d I must stay u p here for a few weeks longer-but
12 SECTION 1 : 1 9 1 1 -23

already we are negotiating for quarters in Southern Flori da, where we plan
to s pend about 4 months-rushing work on a certai n l iterary venture that
p romises to bring in i m m ed iate returns- Of course no one ever knows­
but th i s , at least, is sure- In going to Florida, I shal l go by way of my own
h o u se in Southern Alabama-and this means that I can go through a l l the
Chi n ese stuff, and send Ezra any or a l l of i t-so you will see-that I can
foll ow your advice and not feel " desparate"-
I s u p pose you and Ezra never think of comi ng to America-1 w i s h you
wou l d-and j o i n us in this q u i et out-of-the-worl d nook in Florida-
For the present, the address given at the head of this letter is the only
one that had better be u sed-
Thank Ezra for the l etter from Tagore- From what I am hearing about
that exot ic near-divinity, I am not going to be able to use it. The goss i p about
him rea lly sounds too p i cturesque and absurd to be true. They say that a
b a n d of h is countrymen are hounding h i m-and purpose to remove h i m
violently from t h i s i ncarnation-that he is h i d i ng, incogn ito, somewhere i n
Southern Californi a-
! truely hope that I have m isspelled something in this letter, but I don't
dare look back for it. With bushels of love to you both .

Mary Fen o l losa

1 2 : Tam i Koume to Ezra Pound

APCS-1 Pmk: Ma ida Hill W. 8 February 1 9 1 7

M y dear Ezra

So sorry have not written long time as I a m sti l l i l l in bed it was awfu l ,
b u t getting better now. I think I can c a l l upon you soon. & I would l ike t o
have your charm i ng lunch . Kindest Regard t o M rs .

SECTION 1 : 1 9 1 1 -2 3 13

13: Yone Noguchi to Ezra Pou n d

ALS-1 Nakano, near Tokyo, Japan . 8 December 1 9 1 7

Dear Ezra Pound ,

Perhaps you can ask your publ isher to send me a review copy of your
book o n poor Gaudier B rzeska ; I like to write h i m up in the Japan Times, a
daily i n Engli sh-which I keep a regular l iterary column. Some months ago
I recommended your Noh book to our readers ; also I had written a Japanese
article on the book. Your Noh book i s now quite wel l-known in Japan.
Perhaps you had seen some specimens of my Noh translation; how did
you l i ke one I publ ished in the Egoist? The Quest and the Poetry Review
also published my Noh p lays. I l i ke to talk about this subject further with

Yours tru ly
Yon e Nogu chi

14: Tam i Kou m e to Ezra Pound

ALS-1 Royal Bath & East Cl iff Hotel, Bournemouth. Tuesday 13 [December?]
1 91 7

My dear Ezra ,

I came here yesterday . It is a l ittle warmer than London but not m u ch

d i fferent. Sorrow coming down with thin ra i n from heaven, & sparkl ing to
my ears "So l i ve bra vely . " B u t I am not strong enough to do work. Sorrow !
Agony ! I a m absolutely each by sentimenta l i s m . Send to me nice poems? I
sha l l be cheery then.

good bye
your's friend
Tam i
14 SECTION 1: 1 9 1 1 -2 3

1 5 : Tam i Kou me to Ezra Pound

A LS-4 Roya l Bath & East Cliff Hotel , B ournemouth . Fri day [ 1 6 December?
1 9 1 7]

My dear Ezra ,

Thank you very much for your l etter, poems, and ki ndness. I was so
p l eased whe n I received them . The poems are rather diffi cult to u nderstand
for me. I can see the mean ing, but my poor english vvi l l not understand the
i mp orta nt subtle part. It is great a shame. But your kindness comforts me
more than your i nterest i ng poems. I feel better day by day. So I think can see
you soon at your p l ace.
Am wri t i ng play. abo u t Fox . It m ight be waste of paper, b u t , somehow it
i s nice engl ish lesson to me. So I do.
The sun shines every day here . nice & warm , but awfu l l y vu lgar here.
Many u n i nteresting peo p l e . Skate rink cinema. Old gloomy men & women.
And especial l y th e hotel i s so expensive about £10 a week. I a m sure those
horrid thi ngs send me back to London soon.
(I cou l d n 't wri te un t i l to-day. Sunday ) .
I feel t o g o back London, beginning o f this week. To-day is Su nday.
m a n y horrid ru de officers crowded in the d i ning room. I felt s ick aga in
when I saw one of those groups.
It was such a nice day to-day. I kissed to the sun shine as much as I want.
Now I must ask you to help me abo u t my studio. a m going to leave there
end of th i s month . And Madam Karina adv i sed me to stay there . There are
two rooms third floor of her house. It is quite cheap 1 9s , a week. But I don't
l ike her h u sband . So am hes i tating about it.
Tel l me what do you think that idea .
I a m sure sha l l get back in one o r two days . & I w i l l join with your di nner
party . Send my greeting to your dearest Mrs.

good night
Ta m i

1 6 : Ta m i Kou mc to Ezra Po u n d
ALS - 2 Royal Ba th & Eas t Cl iff Hotel . Bou rn c m o u t h . Th ursday [ 1 9 1 7 [

My dear Ezra ,

l am going to h o m e this afternoo n . am wa iting the taxi now. in one hou r

SECTION 1 : 1 9 1 1-23 15

I sha l l be offended by the sea. B u t I feel cherry when I t h ink of the l i fe of

town . I shall cha n ge my l ife & start work very hard . Am just going to say
good bye to t h e sea . & I w i l l tell her your love too.
Wel l . my dear Ezra . We can see very soon , sha l l n 't we.
I will cal l u pon you to-morrow afternoon or Saturday morning. Am
getting q u i te strong, but someti mes not.
How I sha l l be p leased when shal l see you .
I hope you are q u i te w e l l & wait i ng my v i s i t . Remember me to Mrs
Pou n d .

You rs Ever
Ta m i

1 7 : Tam i Kou m e to Ezra P o u n d

ALS - 1 9 & 1 0 Marble Arch. W . Su nday [ 1 January 1 9 1 8 ?]

My dear E z ra ,

First o f a l l , w e w i l l send ou r greeting o f New Year to bot h o f you .

We were enjoied very much last night. I hope we d i d not d i sterve your
work. We are so enviou s the p i ecefu l l atmosfa ir, wh i ch you emit aroun d u s .
We hope you wou l d come & s e e us soon .
K i n d Rememberence from Toshi .

You rs
Ta m i K.

1 8 : Tam i Kou m e to Ezra Pound

A LS-3 Yoyogi mura, Toyotamagu n , Tokyo 5 J u l y 1 9 1 8

My dear Ezra ,

I have j ust got home. I fou nd myself ruther funy as many of my old
friends has passed away.
It is not p l easant at all my Ja panese l i fe.
Though I have a good b rother who ad mired your phot o , which Coburn

k i n d l y let me have.
I got home day before yesterday, and s t i l l very busy for visiting and
received many peop l e .
Please l et m e write aga i n when sha l l have more spare t i me. Please send
my l ove to Mrs . Pound . w i t h Love,
Ta rn i
16 SECTION 1 : 1 9 1 1 -2 3

1 9 : Tami Koume t o Ezra Po u n d

APCS-2 [Mt. Fuji , Lake Yamanaka?] 29 August 1 9 1 8

M y dear Ezra ,

Thi s i s where I am staying now. fresh air. beautiful s u n . b i rds si nging.

and the view is s impl y splen d i d . Hope you w i l l come next week end, won 't


2 0 : Tami Ko ume to Ezra Po u n d

A LS-5 Yoyog i , Yoyohata, Tokyo, Japan, EAST FROM YOUR SIDE. 21 December


Thank you ever so much for your wonderful letter, received j ust t h i s
I am so pleased to hear from you abo u t the London news . & very glad to
kno w that you a re working so very hard . I have painted about a dozen of the
pictures s ince I have come back, a n d some of them are most wonderfu l l . I
w i l l send few of them to I n ternational and Lond on group. If I w i l l send them
to you fi rst , w i l l you arrange for me?
I missed you and London l i fe so much. I should love to come aga i n . I
suppose London i s very glorious after this horri d war. How our London
peop l e are p leased ! I am sure !
Toshi i s not wel l ever s ince , staying at hospita l . She is so pessimistic
and broken our engagemen t . I a m so d i sapointe d . I lose my l ight , hope and
enjoymen t of the l i fe .
I c a n not help to s e n d away t h e sadness from my l ife.
I never go out to the town. al ways keep myself i n the studio.
However, the l i fe is tragedy i tself. Can 't be helped.
P leas write to me often , will you? You ca n ' t imagine how much your
letter wou l d pl ease me. I read it as if a hunger stand front of a dinner table.

B y , By,
yours ever
Rememberence to Mrs . Po un d .
SECTION 1: 1 9 1 1 -2 3 17

2 1 : Tami Koume to Ezra a n d Dorothy Po und

APCS-1 [n. p.] 1 January 1 9 1 9


2 2 : Michio Ito t o Ezra Pound
TLS-3 Michio How's School . 1 2 1 West 83rd Street, New York City. 1 9
December 1 9 20

Dear Ezra :

Forgive m e , I have been neglected for many years to write to you . I hope
you are quite wel l . I do not know, how to begi n t h i s letter, i t ' s a l ready four
years, s ince I l eft from you , there is thousand things happened to me d u ring
these years , and I sho u l d l ike to tel l you all abou t it, but , it's i m poss ible to
Si nce I came to New York, there were many peoples who asked m e to
perform " Noh drama" to the American public, but I hesitated to do th i s , on
accou nt of m y i mp erfect English, as I find the real value of "Noh Drama"
wou l d be lost to the western pub l i c , if performed i n the Japanese language ;
also, I did not fin d any actors or musicians who has su itable training to take
part i n this kind of drama; for these reasons I coul d not perform this before.
Two years ago, I started my school here in New York, with a n idea to make
dancer as a n artist. Through study with my pu p i l s , I find a strong poss i b i lity
to carry out "the Noh drama's movement , " for the Western stage , as the
U n iversa l drama .
18 SECTION 1: 1 9 1 1-2 3

S o , l ast summer I took twenty-five pup i l s , and went i n a mountain i n

East Strou dsburg, P A . a n d w e worked very hard on t h e Noh drama. O f
course , your book " NOH " I h a d always in my han d .
W e stayed two months i n the mountai n , w e were very p leased w i t h our
stu d y . Beginning of October, we came back to New York, then , I picked out
fifteen p u p i l s from my school and formed a group of p l ayers , we have no
n a m e yet, beca u se our i dea in form ing this group is not [ to] copy or i m i tate
the Japanese Noh drama or Greek dra m a , we are going to produce modern
drama , on the same fou n dation as the Greek drama and Noh drama , our
production w i l l belong to the u niverse.
Our p l ayers produ ction is not for the momentary art , we want to bu i l d
u p p l a y which w i l l last forever: s o w e w i l l work on the one drama u n t i l so
durable, that our production wou l d be beyond criticism and wou l d have to
be what they assert the Japanese Noh drama to be FOR A L L T I M E .
Our fifteen p layers are studying English d i ct ion and chanting, Dal croze
Eurhythm ics for tra i n ing of Rhythm and solfege (ear tra i n ing) and dancing
as material foundation , so we are a l l musicians, actors , chorus , we hope
that in the future we wi l l become as professional actors. First, we d i d not
wish to perform our study before public d u ri ng period of our stu dies , b u t as
we need money so bad ly for our stud ies, so we a re planning to give our first
performance about end of January 1 9 2 1 . I am going to give p rogram of three
Japanese Noh drama a n d one Kyogen .
The program w i l l be :

The above three Noh drama, I shou l d l i ke to use from your book . W i l l
you a l low u s t o u s e t h e m ? My plan is going t o perform twice in a week,
abou t four weeks. Also I am planning [to] go back to Japan with my players ,
next s u mmer, and we wi l l stay i n Japan three months. And next winter I am
hop i ng to go back [ to] England.
Fortunately I received s ixteen old Japanese Noh masks , from Noh
actors , and a l so Tam i Koume is here in New York at present helping m e
every d a y . We hope you are here. Tami w i l l tel l you a l l about my p l a n . I
wonder, where is Mr. Yeats , w i l l you please tell h i m , that very soon Itow
w i l l be ready at his service.
P lease kind regard to Mrs. Pound , Mr. & M rs . Dulac, and Mr. & Mrs .
Yeats .

Ever Yours
M ic h i o
SECTION 1 : 1 9 1 1 -2 3 19



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I N R � t,OND �tKI'� Of RE,ITftl�
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Tt CIC t.1"� M O W OM �ALE. TLLi.iNOM' �IUMG- �409

tNT&Kt K t W fKOGKRct
2 3 : Tam i Ko ume to Ezra Pou n d
ALS-2 3 3 West 6 7 , N e w York 2 1 January 1 9 2 1

M y d ear Ezra ,

I have expected your l etter everyday . What have you been d o i ng over
there? where are you n o w , please t e l l me. I am awfu l l y sorry I lost the
chance to meet you in Lond o n . B u t I shall come to Paris about March. So
p l ease let me know your ad dress . My exhibition i n New York \vi l l com­
menci ng from 1 st of February u n t i l 1 2t h . And then I want exh ibit at Paris for
annou nce to p u b l i c of my new art. And I need your help great dea l . If
possible I want you to ask arrange the best gal lery for that purpose. And
some arti cles for my art. I w i l l sen d to you some cri t i cs of New York art
world . B u t I a m afra i d they wi l l hard ly understand as my art come from
essence of B u d dism " z E [\; . " And its so far from such a materi alistic New
York peo p l e . And I wan t your h e l p to exp l a i n t h i s to Parisian. They have
more qual ity in t h at way. I t h i n k my art w i l l be tal ked about by next week's
papers. I wi l l send them to you. And I w i l l send cable, as soon as I s h a l l
settle u p when I leave here for Lo ndon . I c a n stay very short i n France s o I
want [ t o ] arrange for my exh ibition before I shal l arrive at Paris. Pl ease let
me know whether you cou l d do this or not . Itow will go to Japan for his
prod u ction by J a n . And I must go with h i m . And if you shou ld manage I
hope you w i l l come to Japan with us. For the travell i ng in peace , I think
e i ther How's Company or myself could do i t for you. Simply I want to know
if you have the i dea of going to Japan or not . P lease wri te to me soon for a l l
these questions. w i l l write aga i n soon. Love
from To m i
20 SECTION I: 1 9 1 1 -2 3

2 4 : Tam i Kou m e to Ezra Pou n d

TLS- 1 New York 1 0 March 1 92 1

M y dear Ezra ,


MAN who has no shape and

To draw water from a well
When the water has a ripple
The well which has never been
created .
WHEN I l isten to the silent
Caws of crows i n the dark nigh t ,
M u c h bel oved of my parents
B eyond my existence.
WHAT you call the sou l
Is !
Heari ng the inaud ible voice
From the pi cture of DORI AN GREY .

Ta m i Koume

25: Tam i Kou m e t o Ezra Pou n d

ALS-3 3 3 W . 67 [New York] 1 1 Apri l 1 92 1

Dearest Ezra ,

Thank you so much for your letter. ZEN means nothing! & everything.
without b o d i l y experience. ZEN is nothing. How cou ld I explain this noth­
ing by our in perfect lan guage ! ! However! I a m not ZEN monk. I do not care
what it wou ld be.
I s u p p ose it was m y fau lt that I have written the essay of my art. There is
no ratiocination nor l ogic in m y art. Ho wever, I fee l the most s p iritual art in
west is far [more ] m ateria l istic than most material art in Japan. I do not
know about Kan d i nsky . . . . News Paper in New York spent quite large
space for me. B ut I do not know how far they wou l d understand m e !
I think I w i l l sail for m y home land , a s I rea l i zed . Most spiritual work of
art is ap preciated in s p i ri t u a l c o u n t ry .
SECTION 1 : 1 9 1 1 -2 3 21

I am sorry I could not send to yo u , copy of pa per's crit ic, as I have none.
I have some Japanese papers although ! May ca l l me gen ious but they
won't interest you any b i t !
Wel l Dear Ezra.
How it would be lovely when we should meet aga i n , some where on
this eart h .
Write t o me aga i n . Best wishes t o your wife.

Ta rn i

2 6 : Tam i Kou m e to Ezra Pound

ALS-2 [n. p.] 1 January 1 92 2

Dear Ezra ,

Presence o f New Year. Towards nearer t o the n ext existence. We have to

work hard . How are you si nce? last when I saw you on the street? How is
Mrs P ou n d ? Please send my greeting of New Year to her.
How is M . Picabia at the hosp ital? I know him by his work. Promoteur of
Dad a , i s n ' t he?
We are stan d ing (M. Picabia et moi) absol u tely other side spiri tual (Th is
di stance is qu ite near) material yet . We are quite near.
Espec i a l l y aga i nst to the old past art we are the same apostle. I probably
l ike to meet him i f you will kindly introduce me. Let me come and see you
one m orn ing of this week.

Ta m i
22 SECTION 1 : 1 9 1 1 -23

2 7 : Card for exh ibition of pai n t ings by Ta m i Ko u m e

TC- 1 [1 922]




7 Q BI S .

On Tuesday July 1 1 From 3-G.



2 8 : Ta m i Ko u m e to Ezra Pou nd
ALS-1 [n. p.] [n. d.]

Dear Ezra ,

So so rry fo u n d you o u t .
1 . I a m e n gaged w i t h Ml l e . Lazarus w h o m y o u k n o w . 2 . w i l l exh i b i t
p i ct u re s soo n . Can I c o m e t o fe tch t h e p i c ture t o m o rrow morn ing?

with Love
Tam i
S ECTION 1 : 1 9 1 1 -23 23

2 9 : Ta m i Ko ume t o Ezra Pound

ALS-2 Chez M. Lazarus, La Chaumiere Landemer par Nacquevillc Ma nche.
Wed nesday [n. d.]

Ezra ,

So sorry for m y long s i l ence , hope that you are quite fi t. I a m awfu l l y
sorry that I cou l d not come the other even ing. Do forgive me. I left Paris last
Thurs day and come here . and breathing lot of sea a ir . Setting very much
better health now. Not having s i ngle faint but eat much meals. Here I
enclose the photo of the other even ing, not goo d , but still can you amuse, I
bel ieve. And I wil l enclose the photo of the picture as wel l , expecting your
"Terrible critic"?!
I will be back to Paris on Thursday week. I will come and see you as
soon as get back.

With Love
Tam i
P . S . If you t h i n k this photo w i l l be a l l righ t , I w i l l pri nt more.

3 0 : Tam i Koume to Ezra Pound

ALS-5 Saigon. 24 Mars 1 9 2 3

My d ear Ezra,

It seems ages s i n ce I saw you last, on the evening before your departure
for Ita l i e . How d i d you enjoy your voyage? As for mysel f, I left France 2 3 rd
Feb. A n d now I a m o n way back to N i p pon. After a fortn ight I shall be [ i n ]
t h e Cou ntry o f cherry b l ossom . I shal l n o t stay t here l ong. However, I w i l l
try m y best a n d w i l l manage my affairs. a t t h e same time I w i l l [talk to] some
peo p l e of Gaku s h u i n or University for to fin d you [a] situation. I hope I
cou l d do something for yo u . Anyway I wil l try my best.
Now, my dear ol d frien d ! I must tell you abou t my fiancee. Tel l you the
truth, I love h er very m u c h now. It seems very unnatura l for me not to marry
wi th her. So I decided to m a rry with her. At last, I have to marry !
Denise, she i s not very pretty . However, I a m sure she w i l l help my art .
She is an artist and she has a sentiment. She is very good hearted . I am sure
you w i l l l ike her, as you do l i ke m e , after you shal l know her a l ittle more .
I strongly hope that you w i l l b e glad for my marriage. Tos hi is i n Pari s .
24 SECTION 1 : 1 9 1 1 -2 3

Very u nfortunately we cou l d not marry each o ther. We have a reason that
we cannot go e n together.
Toshi a nd Denise know each other. They h ave u nderstanding. I have
n o t h i ng to keep secret with them.
I went very often to M iss B arney after you 've l eft Paris. She i s very good .
I l i ke her very much . I a m going t o send t hree hundreds o f l anterns from
Japa n , as we are goi ng to have Japanese party. what can I bring for you ? Just
write to m e , i n care of m y secretary c/o Kawakami , 44 Matsumoto cho,
S h iba Tokio .
Wel l , my dear o l d t h i ng I have to stop now. I w i l l let you know about
Gakush u i n as soon as I shall get some informations.
P lease send my best wishes and hearty love to madame. I m ight not
write often from Japan as I s h a l l stay t here only six weeks and shall be very
much busy.

with Love
Yours Ever
Tam i


I N THIS SECTION are coll ected fifty l etters of Ezra Pound to Katue Ki tasono, a
Japanese avant-garde poet , and thirty-four letters of Kitasono to Pou n d ,
exchanged over t h e period 1 936-66 . It a l s o conta ins one letter from Kitaso­
no's VOU Club members to Pou n d ; one letter of Pound to the Japanese
Ambassador in Italy; one l etter of Pound to Yasotaro Mori , the editor of the
Ja pan Times whom Kitasono i ntroduced to P o u n d ; one letter of Mori to
P ou n d ; one l etter of Fosco Mara i n i , an Ita l ian art h i s torian a n d an­
thropologist in Japan, to Ezra Pou n d ; one letter of Ezra Pound to Mara i n i ;
one l etter of Dorothy Pound to Ki tasono; eight letters of Kitasono to Dorothy
Poun d ; one l etter of Shotaro Osh i m a to Pou n d ; and t hree letters of Kitasono
to Maria Pound ( later M ary de Rachewi ltz).

Katue Kitasono ( 1 902-78) was one of the rnost im portant Modernist

poets i n J a pan . He was also known as a vigorous avant-garde l iterary critic,
versati le essayist, haiku poet, book designer and painter. About the time he
b egan writing poetry, he was much influenced by contemporary Western
schools of though t : Futuri s m , Cubism , Expressionism and Dadaism, and in
1 924 he started as co-ed itor, a l ittle m agazine, GE GJMGJGAM PRRR
GJMGEM, which contin ued its publication for two years. In December
1 92 7, K itasono, accord ing to John Salt, wrote a note on surrealism with two
other p oets in Japan ; published on January 1 , 1 9 2 8 , it i s considered as " the
declaration of s u rrealism in Japan" (Yasuo Fuj itomi ) . About this t i m e ,
accordi ng to K i kyo Sasak i , he began u s i n g t h e pen n a m e " Katue Kitasono , "
h i s real name being Kenki chi Hashimoto. H e p u b l i shed h i s first book of
poems , Whi t e Album, in 1 92 9 , which i ncludes " Sem iotics " :
white p l ates prism architecture evening dress
flowers white animals evening dress
s poons space evening dress
3 p . m . in spring evening dress
white b l ue flag evening dress
white apple and lady u n i nteresting
red white scene
In 1 9 3 1 he started another poetry magazine, Wh i te Pa per, but he changed
its title to Madame Blanche in 1 9 3 2 when he organ i zed the " Arcueil Club"
(after Erik Satie) and decided the Club sho u l d publish the magazine. In
1 9 3 3 he p u b l i shed two books of poetry, Ma Petite Maison and Con i cal
26 SECTION I I : 1 9 3 6-66

Poetry. He a lso publ i shed a book of criticis m , Hea ven 's Glove , and a book of
translations (of poems by Paul Eluard ) , Les Peti tes ]ustes i n the same year.
In 1 9 3 5 he began working at the Library of Japan Dental U n iversity
where he was to work u n t i l reti rement . In the same year he organ ized the
"VOU Clu b , " started the w i d ely-known avant-garde magazine VOU ( pro­
nounced " vow") , and continued to ed it it u nt i l his death . Before he began
his correspondence with P ou n d , K i tasono was a l ready an established p oet
in Japan. He had been fam i l iar with Imagist poetry and its traces can be
fou n d in such a poem as " Shower" :
A p o l l o is again running from the sea
H i s harp of rai n g l i ttering-
M y friend
Even i ng glow is pooled in a she l l
He continued t o write poetry vigorously a l l through h i s l i fe . H i s poetry i n
later years i s sometimes tenderly lyrica l , sometimes extremely abstract a n d
close to geometry, a n d sometimes humorously "concrete. "
When he first wrote to Poun d , the latter q u ickly responded : "Two
things I shoul d do before I d i e , and they are to contrive a better u nd erstand­
i ng between the U . S . A . and Japan , and between Italy and Japa n . " P o u n d
i ntroduced K i tasono and other Japanese poets to \!\'estern readers , a n d
K i t a s o n o rec ip rocated , i n trod u c i ng Pound t o Japanese readers. W h e n
Pou n d 's l iterary out let had become l i m i ted d u e t o the approaching vvar,
Kitasono arranged for him to publish articles in Ja panese newspapers . (See
Part I V . )
Through t h e Japan Times and Ma i l , t o which P o u n d subscribe d , Pound
was able to obtain i nformation about Japan and the world at large. "]. T. my
last remain ing source of i n formation re/ the U/S , " Pound wrote on October
2 9 , 1 94 0 . How this affected his though t , writ i ng and broadcasting would be
worth serious investigatio n . Further information on Kitasono is avai lable
in K i kyo Sasaki , Ka tue Kitasono and Modernist Magazines (Tokyo: P ress
B ib l io m a n , 1 98 1 ) a n d Yasuo Fujitomi , Kat u e Kitason o : A Biogra ph ical
Study (Tokyo : Yiise i d o , 1 98 3 ) ; s e e a lso Plastic Poem s : Kitasono Kat u e a n d
t h e VO U Gro u p (Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design , 1 986) .
[The publ ication of John S a l t 's study of Kitasono is eagerly awaited . ]
SECTION I I : 1 9 3 6-66 27

3 1 : Ka t u e Kitasono to Ezra Po u n d
TLS-2 No. 1 649, Nishi 1-chome, Magomemachi , Omori-ku, Tokio. japan. 2 6
April 1 936

Dear S i r ,

You w i l l p l ease excuse m e that I take t h e l iberty of wri ting yo u. F o r a

l o ng t i m e , si nce Imagism movement, we have always expected you as a
leader on new l i terature. Especially your profound appreciation in the
Chi n ese l iterature and the Japa nese l i terature has greatly pleased us.
Last year, we established "VOU Club" and have continued our l ively
stri fe for the n ewest art. Now the existence of our group has come to be
attent ively watched by the younger generati ons of this country.
We started from Dada and passed Surrea l i s m . And at present we are
connected with no "-ism " of Europe. Under the c l ose infl uence of contem­
porary archi tecture a nd technology, we are maki ng progress in our theory
o n art and are form ing a c haracteristic form of o urselves .
"VOU Club" consists of poets, art i sts, composers , archi tects and tech­
nologists. The members are now twenty one, two-third of them being poets.
I send you two copies of our review VOU under separate cover. I s h a l l
be very m u ch obl iged i f y o u w i l l k i n d l y make s o m e i deas o f o u r gro u p by
Hoping you will receive this l etter as soon as possible.

I remai n ,
Yours tru ly,
Ka tue Kitasono

3 2 : E zra Pound to Katu e Kitasono

TLS-2 On stati onery impri nted : Anno XIV 1 936, V i a Marsala 1 2 - 5 , Rapal lo,
with Gaudi er-Brzeska profi le head. 24 May 1 936

Dear M r Katue

Thank you for your friendly letter of Apri l 2 6 .

Y o u must n o t r u n away w i t h t h e idea that I really know enough t o
read Japanese , or that I c a n do more than spell o u t id eograms V E K Y slow­
ly with a d ictionary.
I had all Fenol losa's notes, and the results of what he had learned
from Um ewaka M i noru , Dr. Mori , Dr. Ariga . But since Tami Koume was
28 SECTION I I : 1 9 3 6-66

k i ll e d i n that earth quake I have had no one to exp l a i n the obscure pas­
sages or fil l up the enormous gaps of my IGNORANCE.
Had Tam i l ived I m ight have come to Tokio. It is one thing to l ive
on the sea coast and another to have travel ing expenses .
Your magazine w i l l , I s u ppose, arrive i n due time. Printed matter
takes longer than letters.
Your technologists can perhaps follow what people s uppose,
WRONGLY, to be n o fit subject for a poet (despite Dante, S hakespear, and
various other excellent writers who have u nderstood why a poet can not
neglect ethics, and why a n ethic which i s afrai d of analyzing the motives
of actions is very poor sham) .
I believe C. H . Douglas' writings are known i n Tokio. I wonder
whether Gesel l is yet known t here?
Two things I shou ld do before I d i e , and they are to contrive a better
u nderstandi ng between the U . S . A . and Japan, and between Italy a n d
And this l i n e of action I should a lways be glad to d iscuss with
a ny trave l i ng student, or any official who came through Rapal l o or
whom I cou l d meet in Rome or Venice.
S urreal ism existed in I taly (though I think the young frenchmen do
not i n the least know it) i n (a . d .) 1 29 0 , and Cavalcanti was certai n l y sur­
real i st .
And i f (some of> t h e Noh p l ays are not surrealist i n t h e best sense,
I shd. welcome a statement as to what they shd . be cal l e d .
I a m send i ng y o u my Cavalcanti. I wonder whether my ABC of
Re a d i n g has yet got to Japan.
May the club, whatever the n u mber of i ts members , stay 21 years young.

very tru ly yours

Ezra Pound

3 3 : Ka t u e Kitasono to Ezra Pound

TLS-2 (n. p . ] [ 1 7 July 1 936]

Dear Mr. E . P o u n d ,

Many thanks for your kindly l etter of May 24, and your wonderful work
Cava lca n ti . They were brought to my Mediterranean blue desk, passing
through the garde n where smel l sweet the white flowers of Gardenia.
SECTION I I : 1 9 3 &-66 29

I cannot do more than spe l l out Ita l ian very s lowly with a dictionary as
well as you cannot do more than on Japanese. But I hope you would never
give up your interest and love over Japanese as I should never be d esperate d
of Ita l i a n .
It i s a great regret t h a t I have no more knowledge o f Noh than an
ord i na ry J apanese. I think you have a better appreciation of it than I.
Though I may not be able to become a good assi stant, for you , l ike Tami
Koume of whom I don 't know at a l l , I should be h ap py to be of service to you
for your study.
I am p leased with your i dea of our technol ogists and a poet . Our
techn o logists fol low what people suppose to be no fit subject for a poet , and
our poets give u p over what people suppose, wrongly, to be a fit subject for a
I n Japan, t here are very few who know about Mr. C. H. D ouglas' writ­
ings, and Mr. Gese l l i s not known here.
I express my respect and gratitude for your great idea to establ ish a
better u n d erstanding between Japan and the U . S . A . , and between Japan a n d
Italy. P l ease l e t me know any proper method about it if y o u have.
I w i l l t e l l your kindly w i l l to any Japanese student or any official who
w i l l travel i n Italy.
Cava l canti is known very l ittle i n Japan. But through your translation
and your i n teresting essays I cou l d have some idea about this great poet.
Your Cavalca n t i w i l l lead me to u n derstand the strange and wonderfu l
Med ireval ism i n Italy.
I have already read your ABC of Read ing, and a poetess of our club is
now rea d i n g it , very interested . Surely it is the best pioneer to show young
poets their right course to fol low.
In the end of May, Mr. Jean Cocteau passed Japan. He was not as a poet,
but an ord i nary tourist.
I send you my poetical w ork Kon wh ich means an imaginary gigantic
fish . I i ntended , in each poe m , to express the classical atmosphere of Tea
Ceremony and Zen , the " L ' EsPRIT du J APON . " I made only one h u ndred
copies to give them to my most i ntimate friends.
A l l the members of our club are very happy with your friendsh i p . At
present those who l ive in Tokio signed for you to show their gratitude .

I rema i n ,
Yours very sincerely,
Kitasono Kat ue
30 SECTION I I : 1 93 6-66

3 4 : Ka t u e Kitason o to Ezra Poun d

TLS-1 [n. p . ] 1 7 July 1 93 6

Dear M r . Ezra Poun d ,

W e greet you w i th o u r deepest thanks for your send ing us your beauti­
ful book. How glad we were when we saw your splen d i d work. Mr. Katue
K i tasono has shown your frien d l y letter to a l l of us.
We, the Japan ese youn ger generati o n , heart i l y wish to success in our
work, staying a lways a t the twenty-one years o l d , as you hoped u s i n your
Thank you again for your present .

Yours trul y ,
Minoru Nakahara
Kat u e Kitasono
Shozo Iwa moto
Soko Yoshida Akiko Ema
S h u i c h i Nagayas u Haruki Sou
M. Yasoshima Takeshi Fuji
Itiro Isi da Chi o Nakam u ra

3 5 : Ezra Po u n d to Ka t u e Kitasono
ALS-3 Siena. 1 2 August 1 93 6 [Anno XIV]

Dear Mr Katue
And friends.

Thank y o u for your t w o letters . I have come here for t h e Pal i o , o n e o f the
last ceremon ies l eft in Europe-a horse race with banners & memories.
An d not having a typewriter with me, I sha l l answer as briefly as possi­
I . F o r a n u ndersta n d ing, the first moves toward communication
cou l d be to send any travel ing friends to me.
I I . Let the Japanese l egatio� in Rome have my Rapal l o ad dress or ar­
range for me to cal l there when I n ext go to Rome.
III. Print a few l ines of french or english in your magazine giving
such news as you want a few european & a merica n poets to get.
Last year Izzo & Camerino of Venice, Bu nting then in the Canary Is­
l a n d s , Laugh l i n & Zu kofsky in the U. S . , Ango l d & a welsh scholar in
SECTION II: 1 936-66 31

England thought they could communicate by circular letter about verse

techn i q u e , a l l of them knowing several languages , but alas none of them
either Japanese or C h i n ese i deogram . B u nting writes a beautiful hand in
IV. I remember that Mr. Yeats was i nvited to Tokyo university some
years ago , but I think h e declined the i n vitation.-
Since then severa l English wri ters h ave lectured there , but none of
them has been a poet of first ran k , so far as I remember.
This is the only town w here I have ever been able to l i ve in a palace
with a painted cei l ing. With a pine tree and the corn ice of a renaissance
church u n d er this window.

Cord ial ly.

Pou nd

36: Ezra Pou n d to Katue Kitasono

ALS-4 Siena. [ 1 3 August 1 936]

D ear M r Katue

Conti n u i ng yesterday's letter.

you w i l l not t h i n k me u n a ppreciative of Zen i f you see my edition of
Noh p lays & Tami Koume in 1 92 2 was already dream ing of the i n ­
ci dence o f Z e n i n abstract art.
But neither Zen nor Christian ity can serve toward i nternati onal
understan d i ng in p ractical action in the way the Ta Hio of Kung fu Tseu
can .
I mean that gives u s a basis of ethi cs & o f national acti on , (patriotic)
which does not p roduce i n ternational discord .
D o you know anyth ing of a new i nternational Confucianist associa­
tion? ( I have not the Japanese addresses with me here i n Siena.)
To save time I a m aski ng this question (in ink, without waiting to get
to a typewriter) to the eleven poets of Tokio. Also note the new phase of
Ital i a n fascism (not the externals) .
The first fascists consecrated themselves to the regeneration of Ita l y .
The latest developments are
1 . Bank reform. (money controlled by the nation not by financial
band i t s . )
32 SECTION I I : 1 936-66

2. Wheat l aw . (just price o f wheat . )

3. This week the raise i n wages for several m i l lion workers .

The reasons for Halo-Japanese understanding lie deep, (notice even the
postage stamp which commemorates the 2000th anniversary of the ro­
m a n poet Hora ce . )-(Orazio) . The span to America may be l onger. B ut
Italy can serve as m i dd l e .
T h i s I tried to i n dicate i n my Jefferson a nd/or Mussoli n i . I w i l l try to
keep from wri t i ng any m ore until I get to Venice and a means of being
m ore legibl e .

Ezra Po u n d

3 7 : Katue Kitasono to Ezra Poun d

TLS-3 1 649 Nishi 1 -chome, Magomemachi, Omori , Tokio, Japan . 7 November
1 936

Dear Mr. E . Pou n d ,

Excuse me for my long s i lence si nce I recei ved your two letters from
Siena. I have never forgotten you , but it was from two reasons, first that I
was too busy in my business at the l ibrary of the Ni ppon Dental Col l ege, and
second l y that I wanted to i ntroduce you i n the best way to the Japanese
legation in Rome.
The other d ay I cal le d Mr. Ken Yanagisawa who i s a powerful official of
the Department of Foreign Affairs , and he h i mself an i n tellectual good poet.
He w i l l i ngly prom i sed m e that he would i m me d i ately arrange to introduce
you to the Japanese legation in Rome. Therefore, the letter of introduction
w i l l reach Ital y a lmost at the same time with this letter, and I hope this w i l l
c o m e to b e a n opport u n i ty t o you a n d u s Japanese t o come nearer w ith each
Has our magazi ne VOU 1 3 arrived at you? Fol lowing your a dvice I
ad ded certain l i nes i n E ngl ish, and I want to pri nt some news i n Engl ish or
French hereafter.
It is our sorrow that , as you mentioned in your letter, we have not any
foreign poet of first ra nk in Tokio, and therefore we desire eagerly to
communicate with European and American poets , and if possible, to ex­
c hange magazines. Though our ideography a n d i d iom is a great obstruc-
SECTION II: 1 93 6-GG 33

t i o n , we wi l l try hard for their ap preciating u s . W i l l you please l e t u s know

some good magazines of poems?
Very interested , I tra nslated your " Medireva l i s m , " and p u b l i shed it in
our m agazine. We shall be very much please d , if we ca n have your latest
poetical work or some writi ngs for our magazine .
Have you retu rned from your travel already? What a charm ! a pain ted
cei l i ng , a pine tree , and the corn ice of a renaissa nce church .
Now it is fal l in Tokio. The sky is crysta l l i n e , blue. The cold w i n d
makes a mosaic o f y e l l o w l eaves a n d Ford on the pavement o f Ginza.
I am trying t o write a poem of steel-l i ke strength by combi nat i ng
bombard UNKER no. 1 7 a n d pen dant of Bopoto.

Yours si ncere l y ,
Ka t ue Kitasono

3 8 : Ezra Pou nd to Katue Kitasono

TLS-2 On stationery imprinted : Anno XV 1 93 6 , Via Marsa la 1 2- 5 . Ra pa l l o ,
with Gaudier-Brzeska profil e head. 2 4 November 1 93 6

Dear l'vlr Katu e

In haste//
I a m asking Laugh l i n to send you his anthology
New D i rections.

You m ight send h i m the VOU conta ining "Medireva l i s m "

marking the page/
also send i t to Alberto Caracci ,
La Riforma Letteraria
via XX Settembre 2 8
Firenze , Italy
mark i ng the P A G E in red/ a n d
the cover " vide Cavalcan ti "
s o that his Italian eye w i l l b e awakened t o what i t i s about.
Cou l d you send me a short article in Engl ish, giving a paragraph to each
of the poets who signed that group letter to me. Saying plainly who they
are , one by one, and whether they have common a i m , or have signed any
very brief manifesto , (a lso paragra ph or so a bou t c hief writers not in
VOU gro u p)
34 SECTION I I : 1 936-66

A n d then the i n d i v i d u al d i fferences .

I s h o u l d a l so l i ke a cou ple of poems from each WITH an engl ish transla­
t i o n , b u t send i ng also the i deograms of the original , w i th a comment on
the i mportant ones, so that I could emend or i ntensify the translation i f I
saw a way of d o i ng so.
I th ink I cou l d print s u c h a n article and that Laugh l i n cou l d probably
reprint it in h i s n ext year's col l ection.
We cou l d cal l it Tokio 1 9 3 7
b u t the Japanese date shou l d be given first.
Tokio in the . . . . year of . . . .
1 93 7 .
a s I give the Ital i a n Era Fascista XV and the o l d style 1 93 6 on my
stat ionery.
This wou l d at least help us (over here) to get better acquainted w i th
VOUtai a n d who s i ngs or paints.
I a m asking W . C. W i l l i a ms and Laugh l i n to s ign a group greeting from
A merica.
Is an u� KER a J U �KER a irplane? (o r d iffere n t kin d ?)

Ez" P o "
(debased form of Rihaku)
Con espressio n i d i alta stima

39: E z ra Po u n d t o Ja pan ese A m bassador in Rome

TLS-1 Hotel Italia, v i a Quattro Fontane, Roma. 2 6 December 1 9 3 6

H i s Excel l ency the Japanese Ambassador, Roma

Ecc e l l enza

If a l etter from Mr. Ken Yanagisawa has reached Your Ex­

cell ency, or one of yr/ staff I need only say that I am in Rome and at
Your service.
If no such letter has arrived , I sho u l d , neverth eless be very
gla d to meet any member of the Embassy who recol lects Umewaka
M inoru or Ernest Fenol l osa ( whose papers a n d stud ies of the Noh , I have
SECTION I I : 1 9 3 6 -GG JS

done m y best t o edit) or anyone who is i n terested in im proving the

un derstanding of Japanese cult ure in Europe and America and arranging
better metho ds for mutual cu ltural com prehension.

con csprcssioni di a l ta stima

Ezra Po und
I shall be in Rome at above address unti 1 Wednesday the 30th of this

40: Ezra Pound to Katue Kitasono

TLS-1 On stationery imprinted: 1 9 3 7 Anno XV, Via Marsala 1 2- 5 , Rapa llo,
with quotes: "A tax is not a share" and "A nation need not and shoul d not pay
rent for i ts own cred i t , " and griffon design. 1 January 1 9 3 7

Dear M r . K i tasono K/ Happy New Year

Thank you for yr/ Xmas greeti ng.

Please thank Mr. Yanagisawa for his letter to Ro me. I came back here
yesterday. In Rome I had a three hour talk with Mr. Haj ime Matsum iya ,
Counc i l l o r of the Embassy. He has done book i n Engl i sh on Japanese
poetry , which I sha l l try to have published in England.
I think we got as far as two strangers could get in one interview.
Naturally we had too many t h i ngs to d iscuss to do anything very thor­
oughly. I shal l send h i m my ABC and perhaps he will ap prove of it as a
text book to i ntroduce Japanese students to western l iterature.
Or perh aps we shd/ work out a b i l ingual edition? or at l east have a
Japanese introd u ct ion to emphasize certain omissions.
The ABC takes Sh akespeare for granted but anyone starting free
from p resent Western school tra i n i ng might not know that I have ne­
glected certain authors in the ABC because they are already over em pha­
sized , or obscure other elements .
W i l l you p l ease call Mr. Yanagisawa 's attention to
A New America n History
by W. E . Woodward .
p ub/ Farrar and Rinehart . New York.
This is the first general h istory (of the U.S.A.) with the new h istoric con­
sciousness. It wd. be a great joke if you started u s i ng it in your schools
and giving a better teaching of U.S. h i story than is given in American
36 SECTION I I : 1 936-66

The book is just o u t (not perfect , but contai ns a great deal of truth
not eas i l y ava i l able e lsewhere i n so short a compass) .

Cord i a l ly
Poun d

4 1 : Ezra Pou n d t o Kat u e Kitasono

TLS - 1 On stationery i mp ri nted : 1 9 3 7 Anno XV, V i a Marsala 1 2- 5 , Rapa l lo,
with quotes: " A tax i s not a share" and "A nation need not and should not pay
rent for its own credi t , " and griffon design. 29 January 1 93 7

Dear M r . Katue

Here is the description of the first televisi on transmission

of S u mo Genji, from my versi o n based o n Fenol l osa's notes and study.
You will see that the Dancer enjoyed the play, h owever
transmute d ,
a n d that at a n y rate some o f t h e B eauty has been brought
over to the occi dent.

ever yours
Ezra Po und

4 2 : Katue K i tasono to Ezra Pound

TLS-2 1 649 Nishi 1 -Chome, Magomemachi , Tokio, Japan. 30 January [ 1 93 7 ]

Dear M r . Ezra POUND,

I am very much obl i ged to you for your two letters of 24 Nov. 1 93 6 , 1
J a n . 1 9 3 7 , a n d send ing m e your bri l liant four books .
B y t h e Active Anthology I c a n know accurately about the contem porary
poets of an activity and further development. I find them also writi ng
actively in the New Direction s which Mr. James Laugh l i n tv sent me by your
The critical essays Make i t New promise to make me aware of the
essent i a l val ues of European l i terature.
It is d e l i ghtfu l to us Orientals that such s plendid books l i ke The
Ch i n ese Wri tten Character a nd To Hio were brought out to the worl d . I am
goi ng to write an i ntrodu ctory essay on these books.
SECTION I I : 1 93 6-66 37

A great excitement and encouragement to u s that the Engl ish transla­

tion of our poems may be pri n ted by your kindness. I don't know how far we
can succee d , but we do our best. They w i l l be soon sent to you .
The other day I received from Mr. D . C. Fox Das Urbild, Die Umsch a u
a n d a pamphlet on Frobe n i u s ' Pa ideuma, t h e last o f them, o n e o f the
members of our c l ub is now very interested translating to print i n VOU no.
1 6.
B opoto is the name of natives l iving i n west Africa. I wrote i t w ithout a
deep mea n i ng.
Please excuse the m isprint of Ju nker.
I am pleasant to hear of the interview of you and Mr. Haj ime Matsumi ya
i n Rome. I d o n ' t know Mr. H . Matsumiya at a l l but I wish his book w i l l be
published in England.
Mr. Yanagisawa has gone to Belgique for his new post i n the Embassy. I
hope you w i l l m eet h i m someday.
A s soon as I find a proper person, I wi l l i ntroduce him [to] A New
American History.
I think in Japan those who read the ABC of Rea ding have already got the
outline of the Western l iterature, and they cannot misunderstand the om­

issions in the ABC.
I enjoyed your beautiful letter paper. The white 8 i n the white
P l ease send my good w ishes to Mr. D. C. Fox, Mr. J. Laugh l i n IV , and Mr.
H. Matsu m i ya a t your convenience. �ft.�.�\
,., �,� �\1 Yours very sincerely,
Kat u e Kitasono

4 3 : Katue K i tasono to Ezra Pound

TLS-2 [n. p . ] 26 February 1 9 3 7

Dear M r . Ezra POUND,

Thank you for your letter and the description of S u m o Genji . B y M i ss

Margaret Lenoa's deta i l e d letter I coul d imagine, very wel l , the stage of i t . I
think the elegant and mysterious atmosphere of that play was brought
about t o tolerabl e extent, and I express m y s incere respect for your eager­
ness and effort to do such a hard task as to reproduce the beauty of the
symbolical Noh play. It i s a great regret that I cannot see the sti lls of that
fasci nating play, Europeanized and modernized.
38 SECTIOI'\ I I : 1 9 3 6-66

I am going to print Miss M . Lenoa 's i n teresting report i n VOU n o . 1 7 . I

fear that you may need her l etter, so I return it to you .
I have sent you the translation of our poems and my brief note.
We are eagerl y looki ng forward to your views about them .
I a m also send i ng you my first anthology. You will see my portra it about
ten years ago. The velvet cap is the same as the uniform cap of Meierh old
Theater at that time.

Yours s incerely,
Ka tu e Kitasono

Appendix 1

MARCH 1 3th, 1 93 6

In the n ight least expecte d , it sleets

Among pasonia-trees , and
As i f to say " You are, prepared l ike primrose in
the garden-frame ,
Year n i ng for the green fiel d?"
S u ch a gentle w i n d refresh ing is born there.
Haruki Sou

Appen dix 2

When your awakeni ng spakening spa rkles pearly

with the morn i ng dew for necklace,
When l ike a whiff of Houb igant
S m e l l s your youthful breathing,
I can bear your speckled face.
When you open the curtains green
With the ancient pride sl ightly betrayed
In your l i ps obl iquely turned, and
Look down the Century for Solomon's glory
In the shady h i ll -side from your window,
I cou l d knock off your head.
Tu neo Osada
SECTION I I : 1 9 3 6-66 39

44: Ezra Pound t o Katue Kitasono

TLS-2 On stationery imprinted : 1 9 3 7 Anno XV, Via Marsala 1 2- 5 , Rapal lo ,
with quotes: " A tax is not a share" a n d "A nation need not and should not pay
rent for its own credit," and griffon design. 2 March 1 93 7

Dear Mr. Katue

The most gal l ing part of my ignorance at the moment is

that I h aven 't the original text of the Odes .
Pauthier was a magni ficent scholar, and I have his French to guide
me i n Ku ng , Ta Hio , The Standing Fast i n the Middle and The A nalects.
I have (also) a n excellent english crib with notes for these works. But the
Engl i s h versi o n of the Odes i s intolerable and an old latin one un­
satisfactory .
Can you find me a cheap edition? I say cheap, I mean good , a n d
clear but not fancy. If it h a s a translation into s o m e European l anguage
that w d . help, and one w d . need to u se the d iction ary only for the i nter­
esti n g word s .
Tami Koume had a satisfactory e d t n . of the N o h Plays. The k a n a I can
not u se/ But I d o recogni ze more ideograms than I d i d .
Impossible to write i deogram w i t h a Waterman p e n . I a m doing a

-r Z
l ittle essay , starting my next book with a note on
_j£_ )b and _1)�

the first very c lear, the latter i n teresting i n its context.

Translations of the Odes are so bare one thinks the trans lator must have
missed somet h i ng, and very annoying n ot to be able to see WHAT.
With Sardella the fusion of word , sound , movement is so simple one
only u nderstan d s his s u periority to other troubadours after having stud­
ied Proven<;al and half forgotten i t , and come back to twenty years l ater.
When I d i d "Cathay" I had no inkling of the technique of sound which I
am now convinced MUST exist or have existed i n Chi nese poetry .
Does VOU incl u de a cri t i que of J a panese past poetry as a whole? A
position from which you look at Chinese poetry, J apanese poetry gra­
dually freeing itself from (? or continuing) Chinese, as we continual ly
s prout from or try to cut away from, or reabsorb , resynthes ize, greek,
There are here too many questions.
cordially yours
Ezra Pound
40 SECTION I I : 1 9 36-6 6

45: Ezra Pound t o Katue Kitasono

TLS-4 On stationery i mprinted: 1 9 3 7 Anno XV, Via Marsala 1 2-5, Rapallo,
with quotes: "A tax is not a share " and "A nation need not and should not pay
rent for its own credit," and griffon design. 1 1 March 1 9 3 7


A l l right! Kitasono is your family name. We

Occid ental s are very ignorant . You must TELL us , patiently, even these de­
tai ls .
The poems are s p lendid, and the first clear lighting for m e of
what is going on in Japan.
The N E W Japan. S urrealism without the half-baked ignorance of the
French young.
I sha l l try the poems o n Globe. It is not a literary magazi ne. t )
They have pri nted me o n Edward VIII's abd ication, and announce that
they will p rint my note on Roman Empire. Then they say my note on
Geneva is "too serious for their readers . " That may be because I men­
tioned George Tinkham , who kept the U.S.A. ouT of that sink of hypoc­
risy the League of Nations.
" Uncle George" is crossing the Pacific r�ext summer and I hope
you will be able to meet him. He IS the America I was born i n , and that
may have disappeared (alm ost) entirely by now.
My daughter was shocked at his lac k of sartorial elegance, (age
eleven) but she decided that "l 'uomo piu educato"
had spent too M UCH time on his face massage etc .
"l 'uomo piu educato"is a S . American more
or less m i llionaire fop .
Excuse this d i ffuseness . . .
I don 't KNOW that the Globe will print poetry as poetry.
It is made for the multitude and printed
5 5 , 000 copies.
Ronald (no relation of Isadora) Duncan is starting a literary magazine in
London. If t h e Globe won 't print poem s , he w i l l .
A N D t h e Globe m a y very well b e kept ouT o f England because I have

not put on G LOVES either of antelope skin, emerald or any other material
i n writing about the swine who are afflicting that country.
so THAT even if the Globe does print the poems , it may be possible and/
or necessary to print them in Townsman also.
SECTI ON I I : 1 9 3G-66 41

In any case the Town sman w i l l want more news of VOU.

(Which mea n s plas tic poetry singing, or what?)
You have not sent the Ideograms of the poems . A nd in any case I should
not touch the translations. Though I would l i ke to see the originals if
they are written in ideogram . Perhaps I a l ready have them i n VOU??
I sha l l correct only a few typing errors , or what seem such. IF the fol low­
ing errors have been wrongly correcte d , w i l l you please write d irect to
]. T. Dunn Esq.
Globe, 1 5 7 1fz West Fifth S t . , St. Pau l , M i n n . U . S . A .
and s a y that I have asked y o u t o do s o .
Dear o l d Satie l ived at Arceu il (not Alceu i l )
I n Sasaj ima's poem.
?vonarates . . . is this a botani cal term
or error for venerates
speady?? steady or s peedy
To save time I am send i ng the manuscript to Globe, and
correcting the words to
venerates and steady
Naka m ura/ gl isli ng?? I am correcting to glistening
this is pronounced gl isning or gl issening
it means shining a n d shimmering.
KOIKE// I wonder whether he means A i di ng or add ing or aided.
I a m putting Aiding (last line Glassy hour) .
Your own Second poem/ I ine 2 . seorn = ? scorn
Her head (the parrot 's) replaced BY a l eaden o ne??? (I don't see how
for w i l l do here. )
The sailors p u t a lead head in p lace of the
parrot's own??
or what do you mea n ?
Engl ish is very ambigu o u s , t h e typewriter c a n mean either the machine a
e c r i re o r the dactyl o; the young lady who types .
packe d , m akes one think you mean the machine, A U T
i s much n icer verb if you mean the
" female secretary and TY PIST . "
I am l eaving TYPEWRITER, but if you want the reader to understand that
you i n dicate the FEMALE , please wri te Dunn to change it to TYP I ST. Then
the she i n next l in e , makes it sure.
These are very n i ce poems. I am delighted with the lot of them. (At first
42 SECTION II: 1 936-66

reading they seem better wri tten than anyone 's except some of
Cumm ings. )
I don't know whether ( i n your own poems) your inverti ng the order, verb
before noun so ofte n , i n dicates a d i fference i n your English, or a styl istic
d i fference between you and the others in Japanese.
Tha t was why I wanted the Ideograms of the poems ( i f they are in i deo­
gram , and not in kana. Kana I can do nothing with YET.) Ideogram I can
pu zzle out IF I have a crib, as I have Morrison's dictionary.
I sym pathi ze with yr/ reticence in not sending the personal notes. I al­
ways hate 'em myself. I mean nothing is worse than having to write and
rewrite one's own biography.
B U T as your editor, etc/etc/etc/

Can 't you write brief notes about each

other . . . ?
Thi s is " in order to establish means of communication. "
Cocteau and I have both refused to write autobiographies, and as Jean
said , " Ma is , oui, those books A RE my autobiography . "
Tha t i s a l l very wel l for poets. B u t the Globe is i nterested i n humanity
at low and l arge.
There is a n atura l curiosity . . . . It i s satisfied i n some degree by the An­
a lects. S ho u l d we be m ore aloof than Kung. I admit Kung did NOT write
the Analects. We sho u l d wait for d isci ples to write our Ana lects . . . .
After 2500 years the Analects sti l l serve the Ta Hio.

ever E.

4 6 : Ezra Poun d to Katue Kitasono

ALS-1 Siena. 14 A ugust 1 9 3 7 (a ddress Rapa llo)

Dearest K . K .

Duncan d e l i ghted w ith the poems. They w i l l be i n fi rst

issue of Townsman IF i t ever gets publ ished.
I am spend ing 4 or 5 hours a day on Kung & can read a
good deal of i deogram. (say as m uch as a five year old infant in Japan or
Ch i n a . ) If you can 't find a copy of the Odes with a translation, please let
me know the price of a good (not fancy) text i n the original-& I w i l l
s e n d the money for i t . (registered post to Ra pal l o . )
SECTION II: 1 936-66 43

Sorry to bother but the labour is i n a good cause.

Cord i a l greeti ngs to VOU & 8 .

Ezra Po u n d

4 7 : Katue Kitasono t o Ezra Pound

TLS-2 Magomemachi. 6 September 1 93 7.

Dear Mr. Ezra POUND,

I w i s h you w i l l be generous t o oversee my l o n g abscondence from you

for six months.
I have been constantly thinking of you, but I cou l d n 't write.
I received your letters of March 1 1 , August 1 4 , and two p leasant books.
I compared your KUNG F U TSEU with the origi n a l , and admired you r
sensible a n d relevant translation.
I cannot find out the Odes with a translation, therefore I have sent the
origi nals i n the accompanying package. They were presented to me before
by my Chinese friend , a young poet and they are very exce l l ent books made
in China of to-day. I am making them a present to you .
If they aren't the books you need, please let me know the title of the
book you want in Chi nese i d eograms. It wi l l be more convenient to m e ,
because w e d i ffer remarkabl y from the Chinese i n pronouncing o f the very
same i deograms.
Japanese poetry to Chinese can be said j ust the same with Engl i sh
poetry to Lat i n or Greek. We are now far apart from Chinese poetry.
I express my sincere grati tude for that you are kin d l y thinking about our
They sen d me the Globe every n umber from June. I am going to send
you m y poetical works La Lettre d 'ete.
I i n tend to publish another book The Cactus Irland within this year.

Yours very sincerely

Ka tue Kitasono
44 SECTION II·. 1 9 3 6-66

� "' p , ��
. .�· ..

.., ,. .. :... -.





A. A
SECTION II: 1 93 6-66 45

4 8 : Ezra Pound to Katue K itasono

TL-2 On stationery i m printed : Via Marsala 1 2-5 , Rapa l l o , with
Gaudier-Brzeska profi le head. 21 October 1 93 7

K. Kit

Dear Friend at t o o great a distance

I have a t last got back t o Rapallo a n d find four beautiful vol u mes; which
d o n ' t seem to correspond to the latin version of the Chi King (sometimes
spelled Shi King) ..:.;- :1:; � (<1.
1� .W-
O ::j , ,, L 'r J-.-
The Shi or Chi Ki ng I (might) read w i th the cribs ( translations) I have.
The four books you have so kindly sent; I MAY be able to read i n t i m e , at
the rate of three lines a day.
they seem to be
MAO (eyebrow , or kind of bambooj
SHE Odes
CH-HfNG?? An ancient province as near as Morrison comes to it;
with top left hand corner s l i ghtly
tseen To note or write down memoranda.
[Crossou t : Whether this is a collection sometimes called bamboo grove;
the Lord alone knows. ]
Is i t a commentary o n the Odes o f CH HING which are Book V I I o f the
First part of the Chi King?
on the other hand I see someth i ng that looks l ike WIND ; foo //
At any rate it is all very good for my ignorance and w i l l keep
me occu p i e d , and I am very grateful to you for sending it.
I thought I was asking for a book that wd/ be as easy to get i n Tokio as
the bible in New York.
K u ng fu Tseu refers to i t i n the Ta Hio, and it i s continually mentioned
in the Analects and i n Mencius as THE book of poetry.
Confucius (Kung fu Tseu) anthology that he had selected.
46 SECTIO;'\r I I : 1 9 36-66

At any rate I seem to d iscern some kind of preface, then a l ine of verse
in b lack type.
Kwan passing the pass ; (or possibly a pun)
Kwa n
Tsheu etc// water bird or d iffi c u l t
KEW , congregate yel low river's course

4 9 : Ezra Pound to Katue Kitasono

TLS- (fragment; probably a continuation of previous letter)

as s uperior man (or girl) loves (or good)

"right l eft"
Well , heaven knows MAY BE that i diot Jennings and the good old latin
b loke were working o n this poem, cal l i ng it song of Chou ; the sout h/
Tcheou Nan.
I n which case their trans lati ons ! ! ! add to MY confusion.
Nothing to d o but keep at it.
I see VOU has Hemi ngway's " They a l l made peace "
printed at a n opportu ne moment.
I a m glad that my country seems at the
moment to b e having a l i tt l e more sense than i t had ten days ago. In any
case . . . u n d erstandi ng must come/ but WHEN .
I ca n ' t get to Japan u n less I get a JOB presumably as professor there
OR u n l ess I make a great deal of money soo :-J ; that is a great deal

more than I ever have made yet .

B utchart and Duncan keep say i ng they are going to print Tmvnsman and
that it is in the press, and that your poems will be in it.
said to b e an oriental virtue. I have used u p so large a %
of m y own already that I can ' t speak with authority. Thanks once more. I
wil l write aga i n as soon as my head is clearer.

yours ever Ezra Po u n d


5 0 : Ezra Pound to Katue Kitasono

TLS-1 Rapal lo. Sometime i n October [ 22?] , 1 93 7

Dear K/K

I seem to be find i ng a cl ue/ and I TH I N K the Odes you sent are

the ones I wanted.
At least they seem to be a rranged thu s??????
Introduct i o n :
Long sentence saying what t h e poem means .
ONE LINE OF POEM and then a commentary

ANOTHER LINE O F POEM then an explanation


at any rate something seems to fit Jennings ' appa l l i ng

translation. I h aven 't got m uch further than identifying a refrai n or two .
Town sman announcement very tangled. Dunca n tryi ng to condense and
mere l y atta i n i ng density.
envelope as a specimen document/ I have sent them your ad dress

ever EP

5 1 : Ezra Pound to Katue K i tasono

TLS-1 On stationery imprinted: Via Marsal a 1 2-5 . Rapal lo, with
Gaudi er-Brzeska profi le head. 2 3 October 1 93 7

Dear K/Kit

Your very beautifu l book has j ust come, and I have started
TRYING to read i t , th ough some of the type forms are not as in Morrison .

I have also subscribed to the Tokyo Ti mes. I n the hope of

getting a l i tt l e Engl ish and French news. I vvonder if it is Brin kley's o l d
paper? I a lso wonder if th ey wd. print m y news o r i nterpretations o f Eu­
rope. Might be a first step toward getti ng to Tokyo. I th ink the paper is
u n likely to be delivered " i n all parts of Ch ina" for the next few w· :- ks,
but the rest of th eir statements seem pl ausible.
48 SECTION I I : 1 9 3 6-66

The poems LOOK as if you were goi ng in for some extreme form of sim­
p lificatio n , at greatest poss i ble remove from Chi nese elaboration. NOT
that I have been able to read even a single sentence at s ight .
I take i t no one has tried to make poems contain i ng q u i te so
many s imple rad icals.
B UT m y ignorance i s appa l l i ng

and my memory beneath contempt.

ever yours
E. P.

5 2 : Ezra Pound to Katue Kitasono

TCS-1 Via Marsala 1 2-5. 2 8 October 1 93 7

2 8 Oct . getti n g o n NICELY .

nowt (old form for nothing, but scans
red better here . )
not strikes me as way
fox poetry can be very n icely written.
nowt Now that I have found out what is
black which , and how carefu l ly
not they cou nt u p a l l the l i nes i n
crow strophes/ Am going t o try
seriously to u n d erstand your book, once I have
rushed thru the Odes

ever EP

5 3 : Ezra Pound to Katue K i tasono

TLS-2 On stationery imprinted: Via Marsala 1 2-5 , Rapallo, with
Gaud ier-Brzeska profi le head . 2 November 1 93 7

Dear K/K

Here is an article or letter, e i ther <for) Tokio Times or for VOU.

Not necessary to translate more than the mea n i ng. And that only if you
t h i n k there is some usE in doing i t .
I have s a i d "an occidental language" t o avoid argument at the
start. bu t Engl ish i s i n d i cated for all translation from ideogram
SECTION II: 1 93 6-66 49

1 . because it i s richest i n monosyllables

2. because it is least c l uttered with syntax, and does not therefore
put IN s u ch a lot which i s n 't in i deogram
AND because a l i teral trans lation without i nflection shocks us less

than it wd/ french and Italians

A very s k i l l fu l translator m ight get Japanese SOUND i nto an Ita l i an
translation b u t I know of n o one capable of doing i t .
The question to J a p a n i s : i nstead of dumping cheap products which we
alread y have too much of, i n the occid ent, why not send us some cheap
books which we NEED
at least a few of us need them very badly and if they were on the market
more of us would wake u p to the fact that we need them.
the rest of the s ubject is I hope c lear in the enclosed notes.

ever EP
If you translate the article, change anyth ing you feel needs im-
(vide P.S. EP)

nowt � nowt This is my i d ea of how the

red "*' b lack page should appear.
not @_ not The i deograms in one column
fox �·'- crow the english words to the
nowt � left i n next column.
black �
... ... -

not �
crow -a,
, �:9

The explanatory notes either to one side or, I thi n k better, at the foot of
the page.
If one put them at the left they wou l d be confused with the
Ti.tles o f the Poems.
50 SECTION II: 1 93 6-66

5 4 : Katue Kitasono t o Ezra Pound

TLS-2 [n. p.] 1 5 November 1 93 7

Dear M r . Ezra POUND ,

How anxiously I was waiti!lg your letter at this too great d istance, and
your two kindly letters have just arrived at me. I ought to shorten the
distance between us which was made by my too long silence .

The _ f�ur vol u � es I s ent ( ��T ) [Mao Shih] are i dentical with
( af tL ) [Shih ch1ng] .

( :t_. ) means eyebrow or hair as you wrote and ( � .q. ) means odes,
but i n this case ( � ) was a family name of a person who l i v�d i n
province ( -"§' ) [Lu] o f China in old time. His ful l name was ( =€::.. t )
[Mao Heng] , and it was by him that the anthology selected by Confucius ,
that i s , ( i� *1 ) , was handed down to posterity. Therefore ( ir �� )
is also called ( {: � 1 ). -=-
It might be economy of time for you that I would translate ( 6-1"- f"� )
in English, but I fear if I s hould deprive of you the pleasure of exploration.
You are not an archreologist, but a great poet, and I will remain an
indifferent Japanese.
I am waiting the Townsman 's appearance with the oriental virtue. My
"patience" has not been yet worn out so badly as yours .
I don 't know Tokio Tim e s . I wonder if it may be a mistake for the
Japan Ti me s or the Ja pan Advertiser.
I always gape at my too simple letters to you . It is not because that I am
"going in for some extreme form of simpl ification, at greatest possible
remove from Chi nese elaboration , " but because of my poor broken Engl ish .
This must be improved as soon as possible.
Your very beautiful stamps entertain me exceed ingly .

Yours very sincerely,

Katue Kitasono

5 5 : Katue Kitasono to Ezra Pound

TLS-2 [n. p.] 1 1 December 1 9 3 7

Dear Mr. Ezra Pound

I have received your article for Tokio Times . I translated it at once in

SECTION II: 1 9 36-66 51

Japanese and it w i l l soon a ppear in VOU no. 2 1 . I was struck to know how
earnestly those highly educated persons as you are wishing to make a
special study of the orient. Your method of reading ideograph is very
effect ive, I think.
I can not find out Tokio T i r-- t E s even in the largest book sel ler's in Tokio.
The refore I asked of my friend Mr. Y . Onishi who is on the editorial staff
of the Japan Advertiser, one of the lead ing paper i n English , to negotiate
with the publisher to put u p your news in thei r paper.
He says that the kind of n ews is not quite clear, and so it is des i rable that
you w i l l write about that and your wish for payment (because they cannot
receive any copy without payment ) , and, if possible, some sample pages.
I t is more conven ient that you w i l l send them directly to the acting
publisher and editor, Mr. W i l frid Fleisher, The Japan Advertiser, 1 -chome,
Uch i -Yamashi ta-Cho , Kohj i machi-Ku , Tokio.
And then my fri end is going to negot iate wel l .
X-Mas i s a t clos e han d . I have sent you X-Mas Card of " Ukiyoe. " This
year's o ne is more beautiful than the last year's , I think.
I wi shed to send a card also to your da ughter in Ameri ca, but I don 't
know her a d d ress.
Will you p l ease make me a present of your photograph?

I remain
yours very si ncerely,
Katue Kitasono

5 6 : Katue Kitasono to Ezra Pound

TLS-2 [n. p.] 1 6 December 1 93 7

Dear M r . Ezra POUND,

Th is photo shows Fenol losa 's grave , which my fri end , a poet l i ving in
the neighbourhood of M i i dera. took for me.
Fe nol losa 's grave situated on the h i ll in the grounds of Hohmyo i n in
Enjohji wh ich bel ongs to the head temple Mi idera.
There densely grow many old cypresses and maple-trees in the vicin­
ity, a n d beautiful Lake B i wa can be looked down [o n ] .
Fenol losa 's gravestone i s seen enclosed b y the stone-ba lustrade.
There is see n , next to Fenollosa 's, the grave of Mr. Bigelow who was a
man of busi ness a nd an intimate friend of Feno ll osa.
52 SECTION I I : 1 9 3 6-66

It rather strikes me with sorrow to think of those honourable souls

resting on the foreign land.
Mr. an d Mrs. Fen ollosa had both become believers i n Buddhism i n
�� .J..i
Fenol losa's B u d dh ist name is 6 T � (teishin) .
Greatness of faith , sadness of faith, you will see, too , both sides in this
Fenollosa may be obliterated from the memories of those diplomats and
arti sts of flurried progress, but he still l ives loved and honoured in the
hearts of serious Japanese artists and people l i ving near by his grave.
They never forget to visit it occasional ly.
I think Japanese culture has much of silver-plated gol d .
I f i t is your desire to publish Fenollosa's notes you have, I w i l l tel l it to
the Society for International Cultural Relation s , though I am not sure that
they will consent.

very si ncerely
Kat u e Kitasono
SECTION II: 1 9 36-GG 53

5 7 : Ezra Pound t o Katue Ki tasono

TLS-1 Anno XVI, Via Marsala 1 2-5 , Ra pallo. with Gaudier-Brzeska profi le
head. 1 3 January 1 938


The you nger members of the fa m i l y are more decorative. My

daughter is not in Ameri ca . In fact I am translati ng i nto Engl i sh a l i ttle
book she has written for me i n Ita l i a n . I think Japanese chil dren m ight
l i ke it, I mean they cou l d l earn what a c h i l d of 1 2 sees in the Tyro l .
I shall send you a copy a s soon a s I get it clearly typed.
and hope to have more to report i n a day or so.

ever E. P.

58: Ezra Pound to Katu e Ki tasono

TLS-1 Anno XVI. Via Marsal a 1 2-5 , Rapallo, \vith Gaud ier-Brzeska profi le
head . 18 January 1 93 8

Dear K i tasono

I f the day had 4 8 hours I might be c i v i l

" i f n ot pol i te . " I was so happy t o find t h e foto of
Feno l l osa's tomb i n yr/ letter.
Yesterday I saw p roofs of Broletto
with "The Hand of Summer Wri tes " printed large and i n the original
four i deograms , with the Ital ian translation of
your man i festo from Townsman (also yr. sign a t u re).
I hope Townsman has reached you . I have f i n i shed typi ng
my translation of Maria's booklet, and w i l l send i t to you as soon as I
can sew u p the pages .
THEN you w i l l see that the occi dental hand is rather l i ke a

Japanese FOOT. Neatness we have NOT.

Now we w i l l have a l i ttle music (vide enclosu re)/ and then I su ppose
I wi l l have proofs of my G u ide/ and then, may be , I w i l l have time for
decent letter writi ng.
at any rate I w i l l try to write aga i n before summer autu mn
or w i n ter.

ever EP
54 SECTION II: 1 936-66

5 9 : Katue Kitasono to Ezra Pound

TLS-2 [n. p . ] 25 January 1 93 8

Dear M r . Ezra POUND ,

I have just received beautiful Town sm a n . Little did I think our patience
sho u l d be repayed so bri lliantly.
Your very sensible introductory sentences for VOU Club saved us from
our deficiency.
Words fai l to express my gratitude for your kindness .
VOU no. 2 1 just fin ished, a little delaye d , will be soon sent to you .
Tokio Poets Club which consists o f several groups of poets l iving in
Tokio is to hold the secon d recitation party on the 29 th inst.
On that day some volunteers , Engl ishman , Frenchma n , German, and
America n , are a l so to recite poems in each own's language.
Some poems composed by the members are to be sung too.
I am going to read a cheerfu l essay l i ke a m il k-Bottle.
I am trying to trans late in English a col lection of my brief poems
"Cactus Irlan d , " the Japanese one of which is to be publ ished soon .
I shall be very happy if you will rea d them.
" M . Pom-Pom,"
Very lovely, l ike a shell-hel icopter.
I am swelling l i ke a pine-a pple, dream i ng the sun and plants of Africa.

very sincerely yours ,

Ka tue Ki tasono

60: Ezra Pound to Katue Kitasono

TLS-1 Anno XVI . Via Marsal a 1 2-5 , Rapallo, with Gaudier-Brzeska profile
head. 7 February 1 93 8

Dear K/K

I hope the rest of this will reach you in time, that is a WHOLE
copy of B roletto, too busy to explain why this torn page precedes .
at least you w i l l see from this that something is at last getting
printe d .

SECTION I I : 1 936-66 55

6 1 : Katue Kitasono to Ezra Pound

TLS-2 [n. p.] 9 February 1 93 8

Dear M r . Ezra Pou n d ,

Many thanks for your letter a n d the photos for whi ch I have long been
I look at your impressive appearance , and fi n d myself in such an
atmosphere as floating about the heroes in the book of great Plutarch.
Th is fee ling seems to come of some other reason beyond th ose real istic
reasons that you l i ve in Ita ly or I respect you .
The lovely girl on the s now makes me smile again and aga i n .
I never imagi ned t h e snow i n Tyrol shou ld be s o grey coloured .
I suppose that probably you pu lled the shutter of kodak without taking
off your snow-glasses.
The l argest one is very p i cturesque. I like such an antique house and
love s uch a natura l garden.
The l iterary smile in the leaves is more charm a n te .
I am l ooking forwa rd t o you r daughter 's booklet.

Very sincerely yours ,

Katue Kitasono

6 2 : Ezra Pound to Katue Ki tasono

TLS-2 Anno XVI, Via Marsala 1 2 - 5 , Rapallo, with Gaudier-Brzeska profi le
head . 9 February 1 938

Dear K

Am sti l l too busy to be c i vi l , and politeness floats as a vision/

attainable possibly in Apri l .
Ed itors o f Broletto and Townsman both here yesterday.
I hope Broletto has reached you. Peroni wants more NEws of Japa n . Yr/
photo of Fen ollosa's grave came just in time for second issue and has
gone to pri nt sho p .
I M POSSIBLEto trans late Japanese poetry into Italian.
send something in VERY S I M PLE english prose that you , the YOU club
might l i ke Italians to know.
56 SECTION I I : 1 9 3 6-66

if you can.
Townsman wants to print ONE poem each issue (that is every three
months , the best poem of the VOU club/ in the original either reproduc­
ing the original writing, as your signature in Broletto or in the beautifu l
font o f typ e u sed i n "Su mmer's Hand Writes " ). You can send trans lation ,
but i n each case we will want EACH character explained. As in the poem
in my edition of Fenollosa's Ch inese written character. (MooN Rays etc.)
also/ what does VOU stand for? telescope word ? =1 :::1

f1 �t
UTAI ?? or what
You can choose a Japanese poem ; or have the whole club
choose the p oem of the season which they think would be most compre­
hensible in the occident.
from editorial view point, it wd/ be preferable that the poem be the sea­
son's expression of the group of Tokio poets .
That wd/ be better for the bilingual publ ication/ and if we give a B RIE F
lesson in ideogram in every number of Town sman, perhaps a few read­
ers will start learning to read .
English is middle grou nd/ impossible t o translate ideogramic
thought i nto a language infl ected as the latin languages are. I will contin­
ue this another day. Our Purcell music has had good press/ and I have
s ent back 1 8 0 sheets of galley proof to Faber/
so my brevity m ight be excused.

ever E

6 3 : Katue Kitasono to Ezra Pound

TLS-2 Toki o , Japan. 1 6 March 1 93 8

Dear Mr. Ezra Poun d ,

I have received Miss Mari a 's Book a t last.

Firstly its simple original des ign by a good papa perfectly attracted me.
No Japanese papa would make such a pleas ing booklet for his daughter,
even tho ugh he would buy for her an expens ive camera or a pretty dress etc.
which could be found easily in any department store.
SECTION I I : 1 93u-GG 57

I have had n o idea about Tyro l except forests and shepherds.

Th is very young lady writer eloquently tells me th ings in Tirol one by
one. I hear her as attentively as she wou l d have been very attentive when
she l i s tened to Peter's tales or observed the growth of hay.
She is, too , a very amus ing te ller.
Now I am trans lating it i nto Japanese that c h i l d ren of my coun try may
read it. I fear lest I shou ld fa i l to preserve the naivety of her l i terature , that
you have done very we l l .
Bro letto h a d arrived a t m e before your torn page. I t i s al most a surprise
that I can see my " Letters of Sum mer" reprod uced so gorgeously in that
beau t i fu l magazi ne.
Very gratefu l for you and Mr. Carlo Pero n i .
N o w I am writing s o m e news for B rolet to.
I enclose a poem for Townsma n . I sha ll be glad if you will correct the
translation s u i tably.
I d o n 't know at all about the sonatas of Henry Purcell but I can guess the
publication of his music w i l l be of deep significance.
Did you exp l a i n about music and microphotography at the concert?
I have read "Music and Progress " by Olga Ru dge in Town sman , and so
can get some i dea of your l ecture.
Yesterday I recei ved New Directions 3 7 .
M r . James Laugh l i n I V wrote m e that he wants to have our poems for his
rev iew of 1 93 8 .
The word VOU has n o meaning as the word DADA.
only a s ign , One day I found myself arrangi ng whimsically these three
characters on the table of a cafe.
That's a l l .
O n the 1 2th , M arch I went t o see Youngme n ' s Noh Plays performed on
the stage of Marqu is Hosokawa . It was a demonstration of young pro­
fess ional Noh players under the support of lead i ng Noh pl ayers. I enclose
the program .
Please give my good w ishes t o Miss Maria.

Ever yours ,
Ka tue
Ki tasono
58 SECTIOi\' I I : 1 9 36--- 6 6

6 4 : Katue Kitasono to Ezra Pound

TLS-6 [n. p.] 26 March 1 9 3 8

Explanatory Notes on t h e Photogra phs

TACH I (long sword)
These four swords in the photographs are ca l led Tach i , from 70cm. to
90cm. l ong, chiefly used for fighti ng.
(4) i s also called Efudach i , s pecial in shape, worn by Samurais in court.
( 1 ) , ( 2 ) , ( 3 ) are for the usual wear of the gen eral Samurais, also used for
fighting, in this case Samurais of high rank hung it level on their si des by
the fixi ngs of (4 ) .
The names o f these swordsmiths a s fo l lows :
1 Ichimonj i Yoshihira
2 Tairano Nagamori
3 Nakaj ima Rai
4 Shikibu nojyo Nobukuni

AI KUCHI (short sword)

These three short swords are called Aikuch i , Tanto , and Sasuga , used for
Samurai wore it o n his side with a long sword , and woman put i t i n a
brocade bag and hel d between her sashes .
There are many beautifu l designs of Aikuchi.
It s l e ngth is between 2 5 cm. and 3 0cm.
1 Insyu Kagenaga
2 Muramasa
3 Hojyu
These above meas urements are only of the blade part, excepting
that part i n a h i l t .They were a l l made duri ng the years 1 1 00-1 400.

Kat u e Kitasono

l l : 1 9 3 6 -6
60 SECTION I I : 1 936-66
SECTION I I : 1 936-66 61

I •, J J ). • 1 f·l lfi 1� ;,'· ·J·H I'·I

�- .
62 SECTIO� I I : 1 9 3 6-66


(Japanese Sword )
A bri l l ia nt ceremony was h e l d to make a present of Japanese armour and
sword to Premier Mussol ini , on the 2 0th Ma rch . at Hibiya-Park. Toki o .
A t thi s memorable even t , I want t o give m y views about Nipponto
(Japanese sword) .
This i s at once to tell the Japanese ideas of swords , and at the same time
to m ake clear why we Japanese h ave presented Ni pponto to Premier Musso­
l in i .
A t m i d n igh t , stil l a n d si lent, I d raw an o l d sword and fix m y eyes o n the
crysta l l ine blade in the faint ligh t of a can d l e .
T h i s is the moment I love most , and my head becomes c o o l and
stra i n e d . It i s in this moment that I feel d irectly the l i ves and mora l s of a l l
the ages our ancestors passed through .
These feeli ngs grow i nto a praise, adorati o n , and worsh i p for our
an cestors , and Japanese sword symbo l i zes a l l of them .
In o l d times our ancestors kept their faith with swords , which not only
chastised one who broke it, but chastised even its owner when he broke it
hi mself. The sword was the l ast sacred j u dge.
A Samurai used to say, I wi l l never do i t i n the presence of my sword , "

o r " I wi ll d o i t b y m y sword . " The former means that he w i l l not do such a

t h i n g because it is d isgrace to his sword (the honour of a Samurai) , and the
latter that i f he fai l , his sword w i l l settle the matter (that is, he w i l l die).
Before 1 800 the social conditi ons were sti l l unsafe owing to the in­
compl ete pol itical system. Peo p l e had to, therefore, protect themselves and
their fam i l ies with weapons among wh ich ·were swords of exce l l ent qual ity
wh ich they especi al l y longed for. This attachment was so strong that even
when to fight a d uel , every one took pride in tell ing the an tagonist the name
of the maker of h is swor d . He sai d , "I w i l l fight you with this sword ,
Sekino magoroku , " or " This swor d , Sekinomagoroku w i l l not forgive yo u . "
Thus the sword was greatly respected , and excel lent s\.vord s were
handed d own for generations as heirlooms of the family, and it was very
d isgracefu l and u n d u tifu l to one's ancestors to lose them.
Many old Japanese tales consist of various troubles connected with a
noted sword . Indeed , Japanese swords brought forth a great many legends
and trage d i es just as precious stones did in E u rope.
It is, therefore , to express one's highest respect that he should make a
present of a sword to some perso n .
At t h e Restoration of Meij i , t h e Samurai cl ass was abo l i shed a n d people
SECTION I I : 1 936-66 63

were forbidden to wear a sword , but their attach m ent for sword s has never
become weak.
Most Japanese take Kend o (Ja panese fenci ng) and Jyudo (Jyujitsu) les­
sons from primary school to un iversity.
For three weeks in winter and in summer they have especially severe
exercises early in the morn ing, which is the most valiant sight.
In E u rope Kendo has not been so \v idely known as Jyudo, I think, but it
i s Ken d o that shows the mind and the figure of Samurai rather than Jyu d o .
W h e n I h o l d o n e of t h e excell ent swords handed d o w n from m y a n ­
cestors , I fee l my eyes are not already those of moderns , b u t of ancients.
I fee l the i n d omi table spirit, fearless of death, of a Spartan fighting man
comes to myself.
In concl u sion I wish to add that Japan w i l l be prosperous forever as long
as Japanese w i l l not lose their fa ith in the s word .

March 26th , 1 9 38
Kat u e Kita s o no

6 5 : Ezra Pound to Katu e Kitasono

TLS-3 Anno XVI, Via Marsala 1 2 - 5 , Rapallo, with Gaudier-Brzeska profi le
head. 14 May 1 9 3 8

Dear K/K/

VOU 22 has come. I am very glad you h ave selected the vital
points so well i n the note on me. I l earn to read all too s lowl y: And I
forget the id eograms too fast. However I have now the Li Kil as well as
the Kung and Mang and the Odes; all with some sort of translation that
helps me to practice. Ideogramic di ctionary wastes too m uch time.
The proper way for occ i d ental to learn i deogram is with an in terpage
or i n terl inear crib.
W i l l you write to
Science Service
2 1 0 1 Constitution Ave
Washington D.C. , U . S . A .
for information re/ mi crofi l m reader
and their serv ice.
That ought to accelerate the ava i l ab i l i ty of the 1 00 best ideogramic and
japanese texts 1 0: THE ORIG I N A L.
64 SECTION II: 1 936-66

From that we cd/ get on with at l east typescript translations. Price of

projectors s h o u l d come d own . D o you know, or can you find out what
Tok i o Un ivers i ty has d one al ong these l i nes?
I am d o i ng what I can to stir up the Washington people both about mu­
sic study and oriental stud ies by means of t h i s new system .
It w i l l encourage them to hear from Japan, and of course col­
lab oration between the two governments shou l d fol low. Here i s a fie l d
where th ere can b e n o c lash of i n terests , and where better understa n d i ng
between the two peoples wd/ be automaticly promoted .
Kagekiyo and Kumasaka can NOT be boycotted l i ke s i l k stock­
i ngs . I hear t here is a p rofessor in the University of Formosa whose good
offices we might e n l i st .
When d ea l i ng w i t h government departments, i t i s a lways wel l t o get
someone whose respectability is OFFICI A L .
I believe I am now al most officially respectable because I am
p a rt of the Institute of Arts and Letters . But I a m not rea l l y respectab­
le . . . among the i diots of the more reactionary American un-
i versities . . . not yet. A l t h o ugh a very small Western col l ege has at last
i n vited me to profess in the w i l d erness.
//another point/ you better write to
Harcourt, Brace and co.
3 8 3 Madison Ave. New York
for review copy of e:e:cummings ' poems. (Collected Poem s . ) Laughl i n
wi l l have sent y o u W. C. Wil l iams' Life o n t h e Passaic River. these are
the two best American books of the season . We have a couple of good
histori a n s . W. E. Woodward , New A merican History/ and Claude Bowers '
Tragic Era . Bowers i s now ambassador to Spain.
The Univers i ty of Tokio and yr/ government departments can certainly
afford Argus microfi l m reader-projectors.
I d o n 't know what you Japs h ave done in the way of l ense gri n d i ng. The
Germans w i l l certai n l y make M UCH CHEAPER projectors soon. Poets etc/
ca n not afford Argus de l u xe microfil m readers. s impler mechanism can
be made by a l m ost any good optician, I think. At a ny rate Fox recom­
mended me to have one made l ocally.
In any case I F your lense i n dustry isn't deve l oped , you cd/ get German
l e n ses and do the rest as wel l or better than occidental s .
Delphian Quarterly, 3 0 7 North M i c higan Ave. , Chicago woul d probably
exchange with VOU , i f you send them current issue of VOU and say you
SECTION II: 1 9 36-66 65

wd/ l i ke to see Olga Rudge 's article on Viva l d i and my curse on A m er­
ican U n i vers ity torpor.
there is never t i m e enough to write
everyth i ng in one letter.

Ezra Pou nd

6 6 : Ezra Pound to Katue Kitasono

TLS-2 Anno XVI, Via Marsala 1 2-5 , Rapallo, with Gaudier-Brzeska profi le
head. 2 June 1 93 8

Dear Kitasono

I d o n ' t yet know enough to deal properly with the rest of

Fenol l osa's notes. I have a good translation of the Li Ki ( B k of Cere­
monies , w ith the origi nal text, french and latin) .
I am i n the m i d d l e of de M a i l l a 's Histoire Genera le de la Chine/ trans la­
tion of Tong Kicn Kong Mo u / but only i n french; not pri nted with the
original .
Do you know o f any (good) H istory o f Japan, translated into any eu­
ropean language FROM original sources?
I have found mention of the " Ti-san " sort of notes left by Emperor Tai­
tsong/ Tang a. d . 648 , for h is son.
I am trying to think out the " 1 00 best books" for proper
Ideogramic l ibrary/
Possibly this ought to be one of them?
If it sti l l exists.
The first government note (state ticket not bank note) that I
have yet found record of i s of Kao tsong 6 5 0/ but the form already de­
veloped , so I s uppose Tai tsong knew the system . Sane econom ics . very
i nteresting.
B UTall this is Chinese/ Whether de Mail l a gets round to notice of inter­
course with Japan later, I dont know. At least by BOO a . d . there ought to
be Japanese records// in detail/
What sort of Japanese h istory do you peo p l e get in schools?
66 SECTION I I : 1 9 36-66

A l s o Japanese poetry before the Noh? Another awful blank i n my ac­

Prof. Mori seems to have treated the l i terature (or FenmJ has left n otes
Chinese poetry/
IIIII Noh ( 2 vols of Ja panese short poem s . )
a n d a l o t of notes in which t h e chronology i s n ' t very clear.
Mr. Matsumiya hasn 't sent on his typescript! I think he i s worrying too
much about getting it entirely free from s ma l l defects of engl ish .//
Pardon brevity/

E. P.

(Ta i tsong very respectable emperor.)

6 7 : Ezra Pound to Katue Kitasono

TCS -1 Via Marsala 1 2- 5 . 1 0 July 1 9 38

Dear K

Duncan (Townsman at 6 d . )
has n ' t means to publish music.
Miss R/ has played me the separate parts of Isida 's. but we haven ' t the
three i nstruments here to d o the whole thing.
Duncan says you want it returned so am send ing it.

cordiali saluti EP

6 8 : Katue K itasono to Ezra Pound

TLS -3 Tokio, Japan. 23 July 1 9 38

Dear Mr. Ezra Pou n d ,

Thank you for your l etters of May 5 and J u l y 2 .

I n Formosa the c l i mate i s not good and I cannot enco urage you to
become a professor there .
I think Tokio Imperia l U n i vers i ty or Kyoto Imperial U n i vers ity is most
sui table to you .
SECTION II: 1 93 &-- 6 6 67

I w i l l watch t o obta in such a n opportunity, i f you wish.

Read ing your "Notes on Micro-Photography" in May's issue of G lobe, I
see how effectively this new system is acting on mus ical study.
Indeed it's a s p lend id i d ea to use it on the Oriental study, and of course
we Japanese ought to w i l l i ngly cooperate with you.
In Japan, so far as I kn ow, nobody has turned his attention to the
u t i l ization of mi cro-photography on musical and Oriental studies.
I will speak about this on every occasion.
I don't think Japan is i n financial embarrassmen t .
I a m sorry I cou l d n 't fi n d o u t a Japanese h i s tory translated from the
origin a l . I promise you to send it, as soon as I w i l l fi nd a good one.
As for the "Ti-San , " ( .RJ i,� , ) we have some records , but not so
detai l e d . I suppose it may be just i n the same degree as menti oned in

� � -*
Mai l l a 's Chinese History.
The source of Japanese poetry was ( ) Manyosyu ( 6 7 0-
790) .
1:o j-J( �JZ

A n anthol ogy of \t\laka ( ) or Uta ( ) (a form of short

poem consisting of 3 1 l etters [syllables] ) . This is i n 20 volumes. Next we
have Kokinsyu ( t;" � ·* , ) also an anthol�gy of waka ( 790-1 1 9 0).
And then we have S i n koki nsyu ( �'f � � !f ) ( 1 1 90-1 603 ) . Noh
( tfl ) p l a ys were i n fu l l flourish in this period.
Ch inese poetry was carri ed on through a l l the ages , sometimes over­
whelming \t\'aka and sometimes being subdued by \rVaka .
Of cours e , this is a terribly rough explanatio n . I w i l l write you again
about this more minutely.
Thank you very m uch for your Guide to Ku lchur, a very p l easant boo k ,
which w i l l make the world march a t double-qu ick for half a century.
Faber & Faber wrote me to send back your essay " No , Dipl omacy can
not do it" for an advance copy.
But the other day I lend it to an editor of a professional l iterary maga­
zine, because I wanted to l et many more readers besides VOU read it.
Then the editor suddenly died , and I have barely taken back your copy.
B u t the first one page has been missi ng, and they are very sorry that they can
not fi n d it out .
I have retranslated that part from t h e Japanese one in VOU. vVi l l you
pl ease improve it into your own?
Th i s is an inexcusable blu nder.
I wish you will be lenient with me.
Very glad of Miss Mary 's nice dessins, very becom ing i l l ustrations to
her narratives.
68 SECTION I I : 1 9 36-66

Under separate cover I am send i ng you A Gu i de to Japanese Studies,

and some pamphlets.
If th ere are any books you want in the catal ogue of K . B . S . publ ications ,
p lease tell me and I w i l l arrange them to be sen t you . And a)so any foreign
books relating to Japan p ubl ished even in foreign cou ntries, w i l l be sent
you , if you l ike . Any copies you and your fri ends may need .
Do you wish any Japanese-Engl ish diction ary?

Yours ever,
Katue Kitasono

Enclose d :

No , Diplomacy Ca n Not D o It
This title has been taken from th e d iscourse with a Japanese d i pl omat i st ; we
were talking abo u t th e m utual understa n d i ng between the Orient an d the
Occ i dent .
I am convinced that the p h i l osophy of Confuc ius and Menci u s is the
cogent convergence. B u d dhism came from I n d i a and in the Occide n t , they
have Christianity s i m i lar to Buddhism. The two doctrines do not lead to
clear thinki n g or at l east to such a cal m clearness as men of different races
can u nderstand in each other.
Ernest Fen o l l osa who would have been respected in h is l ifeti me in
Japan , but he and his work, so far as we Occi dentals know, was a lmost
forgotten away as soon as he was buried i n the sacred ground of M i i dera .
It was a right permi tted to me to preserve some of h i s work in the
Occ ident, exert i ng mysel f in the obscurity and the unknown. If I coul d n ' t
get Japanese cooperation from Japan, it was perhaps because I d i d n ' t know
the means to get i t .
Fen o l l osa 's note on Noh play has , a t least , sti mulated Yeats t o the
experi ment of new drama.
Still now, the impression of poetry of Noh play is often expressed i n a
small theatre of England , and one of them was annou nced by televie.
SECTION I I : 1 93 6-GG 69

6 9 : Katue Kitasono to Ezra Pound

TLS-1 Tokio, Japan. 2 3 August 1 9 3 8

Dear Ezra Pound ,

I am sorry I cannot f i n d y o u a book o n Japanese history translated from

the origina l . B u t I was told that Ja pa n : A Short C u l t u ra l History by G. B .
Sansom ( London: The Cresset Press , 1 93 1 ) is written com paratively i n
deta i l . The author had been i n Japan for some twenty years . I f you have not
read i t yet and wish to rea d , I will send you .
I wrote of your Guide to Ku lch ur in Sept. issue of Mita Bu ngaku which
is a l iterary magazi ne published monthly by those who concern Ke ioh
Gijiku U n i versity in Tokio.
Mr. T. Kinosita, one of the e d i tors, will send you a copy. He sometimes
writes a n essay for VOU , though not a member.

ever yours ,
Ka t u c Kitasono

7 0 : Ezra Pound to Katue Kitasono

TLS-1 A n n o XVII, Via Marsala 1 2- 5 , Rapallo, with Gaudier-Brzeska profile head.
1 0 December 1 9 3 8

Dear K/K

Thanks very much for Cactus II I have copied the l i nes on vVyn­
dham L/ and am sen d i ng them to Dunca n .
I d o n t y e t know enough ideogram to form a n o p i n ion of the origi nal/ a n d
o f course have n o idea of i t s sou n d .
I sup pose a world o f perspective is i nhabitable a n d o n e of approachi ng
projecti les is not.
Have just seen W/L/ in Londo n . (his) Head on du ck/
he has done new portra i t of me/
you can ju dge the two worlds when you
get a photo of it/ wh ich I wi l l send when I get one.
the Wynd ham drawing (done about 1 9 1 2 ) that I have bro ught back is bet­
ter than the Max Ernst that Laugh l in introduced here circu itous ly. The
Max that I had from him (Max) seven years ago is very fine.
In fact i t goes away and the other Max ap proaches revo l v i ng./ If
I d o n 't send this brief note now, it w i l l be lost in mountain of papers .

ever EP
70 SECTION II: 1 936-66

7 1 : Katue Kitasono to Maria Pound

ALS-1 Tokyo, Japan. 2 5 December 1 9 38

My dear Maria,

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I have translated
the charming stories abo u t Tyrol i nto J apanese and have contributed them
to the Reijo Kai for current n umber. I am send ing it to you under separate

Thi s is the most refined girl 's monthly in Japan and � y means
"girl 's circl e . "
I think Japanese girls have been attracted by your beautifu l stories and
touched by your tender heart for the p oor.
I have subscribed for the " '� 4- � " for a year as a reward to you , and
so you w i l l see it every month hereafter.
I wish you w i l l write aga i n about interesting things for Japanese girls.

ever yours
Ka t u e Ki tasono

7 2 : Ezra Pound to Katue K itasono

TLS-2 Anno XVII, Via Marsala 1 2- 5 , Rapal lo, with Gaudier-Brzeska profi le
hea d . 14 January 1 9 39

D ear K 2°

I trust my daughter will be pro perly sensible to the honour of

being tran s l ated by you AND that she wont get a swelled head.
I am tel l i ng my Ameri can bank to bother you with a draft for
ten bucks ( i. e . dol lars) for various small errands. (F o r wh ich any apolo­
gy, but I h a ve no other means to hand.)
I tried a year ago t o get t h e Tokio o r Japan Times b u t they re­
turned my personal cheque saying they cou l dn 't cash i t . I dont think
they can have tried very hard.
However when you do get the (bank) cheque w i l l you send me
8 cop i es of the G i rl 's Circle contai n ing " cAIS or the B eauties o f the
Tyro l . " (a s d iscipline for oth er mem bers of the fam ily.) and one month
of the Japan Ti mes. (an d hold the rest of the ten bucks for future trials ) .
No use in my gett ing a longer subscri ption of t h e Times (now) as I may
SECTIOl': I I : 1 936-66 71

be i n Am erica or at any rate not i n Ra pa l l o after March . I will start tak­

ing it again when I settle fo r the Autumn .
It is great fun having the child make a debut at such di stance. I
hope it w i l l have a civil izing effect (on her) . School hasn 't quite quen­
ched her intell igence. But of course i m possible to tel l whether she w i l l
ever b e able to write anything again after having been taught Grammar
Her Engl ish is now more Japanese than any japanese engl ish
from Tokio . The i dea that dont and can t contain both verb and negative,
just wont enter her head.
Her mother holds ME persona l l y responsible for effect of Amer­
ican magazine i l l u strations on Japa n , despite Feno llosa's efforts the other
Porteus has a word abou t VOU in the last Criterio n .
W i l l iams' Life on t h e Passa ic R i ver might i nterest you . I n fact some of
that ought to be of interest to Tokio ed itors .
I suppose Laugh l in sends y o u h i s pubctns/

and so forth.
Ezra Pound

7 3 : Kat u e Kitasono to Ezra Pound

1 939

My dear Pound ,

I have just received your letter dated Jan. 1 4 . It's pleasant that the young
debutante is very satisfi ed. A hundred years after, Mary's i dea about can 't
and don 't w i l l go current , I bel ieve .
I told them to send you the japan Times from Feb. 7 for a month. and I
have despatched 8 cop ies of Reijyokai to you. It pleases us that Mary 's
mother, too, has a good wi l l on my country.
Though we have a rise in p rices in some degree in Japan. our l ife is little
changed , we are very peaceful .
The general concern with cultural affairs has become more active than
72 SECTION II: 1 9 36-66

Two young poets from VOU have gone to the front. They often write me
l i vely. Even i n the battl e field , they wish to read books i n high class rather
than amusing books.
The other day received a l etter from Charles Henri Ford inviting u s to
their Chain poe m , and we decided to make 6 from us join in it.

with good wishes,

Katue Kitasono

74: Ezra Pound to Katue Kitasono

TLS-2 Anno XVII, Via Marsala 1 2- 5 , Rapallo, with Gaudier-Brzeska profile
head. 3 March 1 939

Dear K zo

Thanks for yours of 1 oth Feb. Townsman wd/ I think l i ke the

names of the two poets at the front.

I have (had strong) nostalgia for Japan, ind uced by the fragment of Noh
in Mits u c o . If you can continue such fi lms noth i ng in the West can re­
sist. We sha l l expect you AT LAST to d e l i ver us from Hollywoo d and un­
bounded cheapness.
A LLthe Noh p lays ought to be fil med/ or at any rate ALL the music shd/
be recorded on the s o u n d tra ck .
I t must b e 1 6 years since I heard a note of N o h (Kume [Tam i l and his
friends sang to me i n Pari s) but the instant the Noh (al l too l ittle of i t i n
that fi lm) sounded I knew i t .
I t is l i ke no other music.
There i s a mention of J a pan at the edge of my chinese Cantos/ now on
desk, hope t o publ i sh i n Autumn
5 2/61 Chi na/ 6 2/7 1 Joh n Adams, pater patriae U . S . A . more than \Nash­
i ngton or J efferson/ though a l l three essenti a l and (a ll) betrayed by the
first congress.
I must go o n making clean typescript of them. Now on Canto 6 7
I w a n t a "Tong Kien Kang Mou "
of Japan
and a translation of the ECONOMIC vol ume of the Chinese encyclopedia. I
SECTION II: 1 936-66 73

think it is val 3/
I have a
Nipon 0 Da i itsi ran
but it i s mere chronicle, as far as I have time to read .
(Klaproth , translation)
(here 's to meeting Sometime.)

Yo urs
Ezra Pound

7 5 : Katue Kitasono t o Ezra Pound

1 939

Dear Mr. Ezra P ou n d ,

I got, all righ t , the cheque of 1 0 dollars issued by Jenki ntown Bank, and
cashed it Y 3 6 . 60 in Japanese currency.
I paid for the Japan Times, as you wi l l see in the enclosed . On that
occasion I met Mr. Maor i , the chief editor of the Japan Times, and told h i m
o f your hope o f writing culture news for Tokio a s you told m e last year.
I ought to have met him more quickly, because he agreed to this
proposal with his all heart .
I f you hadn 't yet given u p your desire (how I hope you hadn 't) , I wou l d
pray y o u t o write a n d s e n d i t to me.
We are expect i ng to i t .
I received a very l o n e l y l etter in Engl ish from Mary.

Ever yours ,
Kot u e Kitosono

7 6 : Ezra Pound to Katue Kitasono

TLS-1 Anno XVI I , Via Marsala 1 2-5, Rapa l l o , with Gaudier-B rzeska profi le
head. 1 0 March 1 939

Dear KJ

I enclose review copy of my latest and sh ortest book. I hope the

74 SECTION I I : 1 9 3 6-66

Times Uapan Times) w i l l review it. It contains the part of American his­
tory NOT taught i n American Universities/ Rothschi l d and Sassoon wd/
spend m i l l ions to maintain their system of murder (by world wars etc . )
a n d for 1 20 years t h e u n d erstanding of this page has been obscured .
Roosevelt's gang are u n l ikely to i n troduce th i s text book i n American
The great i nfam ies/ Bank of Engl and and Banque de France dare not face
t h i s one page .
Japan Times (First lot, arrived this morning.)

Yours EP

7 7 : Katue K i tasono to Ezra Pound

TCS - 1 [Tokyo] . 20 March 1 9 39

Dear Ezra Pou n d ,

I fear I might have astonished t h e bon papa of Mary b y writing i n my

former l etter, "I rece i ved a very lonely letter from Mary . "
It was, of course, a very l ovely letter that she gave me.
P lease d isregard the m istype of my forefinger.

ever yours

7 8 : Ezra P o u n d to Katue Kitasono

TLS-2 Anno XVII , Via M arsa la 1 2-5 , Rapallo, with Gaudier-Brzeska profi le
head. 2 7 March 1 9 3 9

Dear K zo

S incere thanks for all your various disbursements of energy. I

a m send ing two brief n otes for the Ja pan Times.
Please salute Mr. Morri , A N D between you let me know more ex­
act l y what you want me to do.
I mea n : How often?
How l ong?
Whether I am to STICK to art, music and poetry or whether I am a l l owed
to consider the arts as happen ing I N an ambience . expressive of states of
SECTION I I : 1 936-66 75

mind coincident with different dispositions towa rd organized soci ety .

I have been cited in Ita l ian press as " poeta econom ista "
Will the Ja pan Times stand that?
I send t wo brief notes , rather than one long one, as the subjects do not
form a u nity.
Also short notices are more conveni ent for a newspaper.
Cul tura l NEws?
How far does Mr. Morri wan t me to " hold down" to notices of events ,
and how far am I to criticize them?
I n a l l cases w i l l he u nderstand that my writing is subject to his ed iting.
He can cut whatever he thi nks is of no interest to his readers , and I w i l l
n o t take offence.
I expect to go to America . Does he want any special reports
from there? Whether on art or the state of the general m i n d ?
I have been out of that country for 2 8 years a n d don't know what I
can effect. I should l ike my trip to result i n better tri ple u nderstan d i ng
(Japan/America/Italy) . B u t I am not on a miss ion or anything save my
own affa irs .
i n a n y case p lease answer
E. Pound (to await arrival)
c/o liB . Mapel , 3 30 1 P. S treet, Washington D .C . , U . S . A .
Ill Ill

I trust my beloved young nove l ist isn't wringing your heart with sob
stuff. The copies of her first OPUS have all arrived safely.
I shou ld think a monthly letter wd/ be the best thing for me to do for the
]/Times but do ask Mr. Morri to write me and say what he thi nks 'INd/ be
best. A lso the EDITOR alone knows what space he has free for these fea­
You spell him " Maori"/ Th e Times spel ls it "Morri" the address on yr/
printed stationery d i ffers from that I have used for severa l years and
which has worked . One of Fenol losa 's fri ends was "Mori " with one r .
And what you will make of " S h i nbu , " "M iaco" and "Undertree's inva­
sion of Corea " in my 6 2/7 1 Ca ntos , I dont know. S pel l i ng is very
mysterious. The " mandate" has sh ifted . Did you see my Mencius in the
Criterion last summer? (possibly unfashionable author? how can I tell?)

ever E. P.
76 SECT!Oi\' I I : 1 936-66

7 9 : Katue Kitasono to E zra Pound

1 93 9

M r . Ezra P o u n d ,

I recei ved your l etters March 3 , a n d March 1 0 . I tried in vain t o assign

" Tong kien k o ng m o u " t o i d eograms . You must be patient and give me a few
explanatory words about i t , or rather the ideograms themselves.
I n Tokio I cou l d n ' t find the translation of Chinese Encyclopedia. But at
any rate I am making i nquiry about it to Peking.
I wrote a short review of your introductory Text Book and sent it to the
Japan Times. I w i l l send you the paper, as soon as i t w i l l be printed.
I agree with you on the debouchement to the West of Noh p lays by films
and gra mophone records . Some of Noh plays are recorded , I ask if you have
D uncan has written to me to find for him some early Chi nese p l ays , but
at p resent there are no adequate ones.
The Chinese incident , however, has stimu l ated Japan to more profound
study of China , and so w e shall soon be able to get eas ily many Chinese
books .
I have become very i maginative about your Chinese Cantos.
I have read the echo of VOU i n the last number of Criteri on .
I only h o pe the comi n g of the day when we shall be compensated for the
sacrifice we are now making for s uperior c u l ture in the West and in the East .
We are growing international chainpoems by the proposa l of Charles
Henri Ford in America .
The scores of Igor Markewi tch have recently arrived at my frie n d .

Ever yours ,
Katue Kitasono

80 : Katue Kitasono t o E zra Pound

1 939

Dear Ezra Poun d :

Thank you for the letter March 1 7 . The articles you kindly sent for the
Jap a n Tim es are very interesting to us.
SECTION I I : 1 93 6-66 77

Immed iate ly I handed them over to Mr. Maori .

I think he w i l l soon write to you , but at any rate I tel l you. He wish you to
write o n anything concerned with culture. It i s left to your own free w i l l
how far t o hold down t o notices of events a n d how far t o criticize them.
Mr. Maori , espec ia l l y wants to have your reports from America. In short
Mr. Moori trusts me and I trust your sense , and so you can write everyth ing
m your own way.

The Japan Times would be very grateful , i f you coul d write twice a
month, within 2 ,000 words each time.
Mr. Maori is very sorry for that the payment for your manuscripts w i l l
prove very s m a l l owing t o t h e b a d condition of foreign exchange.
I ask if you wou l d permi t me to translate your man uscripts for ]IT and
print t h em in Japanes e journal . A few days ago the young writer in Firenze
p leaded me w ith a letter p romising to try to write about her col l ege l ife
d uring the vacation. Hereafter I send the magazi n e d irectly to her.
Many thanks for the send i ng of the Picture Post. Mr. Lewis has made a
great p rogress i n his painting, I think. It's very funny that Royal Academy
was so much afrai d of h i s l eonine hea d .
It seems to me, however, his dessin is too m u c h stretched o u t l i ke Greco
or M o d i gl i an i , but it gives to his portrait a sort of nob i l i ty which I l ike as
well as that of Greco or Modigliani.
Fenollosa's frien d Dr. Mori is ;t*-. , and Mr. Maori is :{: .:f'J . There
_,., ,.

had been long used the Hepburn system of Romaj i (writing of the spoken
Japanese language in an ordinary foreign alphabet) until a new one, the
Japanese Romaji was offi cial l y agreed severa l years ago .
I s p e l l by Japanese system (but not faithfu l , sometimes change as I l i ke) ,
and Mr. Moori does by the old system, not being banned i ts use.
I expect next manuscrip t from you in America.

Wishing you B O N VOYAGE .

ever yours .
Katue Kitasono
The regrettable death of Yeats had instantly been reported within Japan by
radi o , newspapers , and magazines.
It ' s a great pity that B roletto and Criterion have ceased their pub l i ca­
tion; o m various l i terary m agazi nes have written about the l atter.
78 SECTION II: 1 9 3 6-66

8 1 : Y asotaro M orri to Ezra Pound

TLS-1 The Japan Times, Hibiya Park. 1 5 May 1 939

Dear Mr. Ezra Pound-

Thank you for your a rticles. One about the tri-lingual international
means of commu n i cations i s published in paper of May 1 4 , a copy of which
I 'm m a i l ing to you u nder separate cover. The other, concerning Yeats , w e ' l l
publish in o u r B o o k Page , o n the first Sunday of J une.
We s h a l l be pleased to have you send us someth ing of l iterary nature
d ea l i n g with the general l iterary tren d , or w i th some big giants i n the
l i terary world or something of the sort. It is quite refreshing to read art i c les ,
spec i a l ly written for our paper by a person of your prominence, regard ing
the l iterary m atters , when we have enough of " dopes" dealing w ith crises .
war t h reats and general u n rest .
The l ength of that tri-l i ngua l article is j ust righ t . More later; I just d ash
these l ines to acknowledge the receipt of your articles from Mr. Kitasono
some time ago.
Trusting this w i l l find you wel l ,

Yours tru l y ,
Ya s otar o Morri
N . B .-Go ing over a copy of your letter to Mr. Kitasono, I think I sho u l d say
someth i ng more. You may give us three articles a month or four. More than ,
we m a y be i m posing too m uch on you .
A rt , poetry , mus ic-a l l right . So is cultural news . We know you a re not
on a special m ission to i ro n out the Japan-U . S . relations, if ever there are
any jagged surface, but natura l l y wou l d prefer nothing which w i l l provoke
Americans i n p o l itical i s sues. Kindly stick to l iterary subjects ; i f your
criticism of current American l iterature is found u nfavorable to Americans ,
for insta nce , i t can 't be helped. Have I said suffi ciently to indicate what we
SECTION I I : 1 9 3 6-66 79

8 2 : Ezra Pound t o Katue Kitasono and Yasotaro Morri

TLS-2 Anno XVII , Via Marsal a 1 2- 5 , Rapa l l o , with Gaudier-Brzeska profi l e
head. 2 8 October 1 939

Dear K/K/ and Dear Mr. Morri

(or Dear K . K . w i l l you p lease pass on this letter TO Mr. Morri ?)

You m ay have wo ndered where and why etc. (I have bee n . ) I reed . Mr.
Morri 's l etter while in A m erica. No copy of the Japan Times , for 1st s u n­
day i n June has reached m e . May have gone astray. Mr. M. said it w d .
conta i n my note on Yeats.
As you can imagi ne , the war i nterferes with one's income. It doesn 't
matter how much I am pai d , but I sha l l have to be paid something, as
ZERO m ul t i p l ied h owever many times equals a l ways ZERO.
I s h d . be w i l l i ng to accept a s ubscription to the Japa n Times as recom­
pense for the first couple of articles. At any rate I want to see the paper,
regularly, now that I am back at a fixed address. (& I wan t 5 copies of
iss ues containing my articles-distribution of which wd. be good pu bl ic­
i ty for J. Ti mes.)
We are hav i ng a LOAN-Capital war. Some say a jew war agai nst
the aryan p o p u lation of E urope. Me N. Wilson sees American finance as
the real enemy of E nglan d . You must know where China got her money
for war. Some call it K u h n Loeb and Co's war on Japan.
At any rate there i s no u n d erstan d i ng of the present wars wi thout u nder­
sta n d i n g of war loans/ loans by the SAME MEN to the Same men. De Wen­
del the banker, pays the (french) peopl e 's money to De Wendel the gun
maker. And SO FORTH.
and a l l this i s s ubject matter for l i terature.
My Cantos 5 2/7 1 are in the press/ Chinese dynasties and John Adams.
Creator of the United States and of somethi ng not unlike a dynasty i n
America. The fal l o f which meant the END o f decent civi li zation i n the
U . S . or at any rate a great and pestilent sickness in American govern­
A n d I wd. prefer to write about history for the moment, inclu d ­
i ng current h istory.
I w i ll , however, during the comi ng week try to send you an article o n
t h e Vivaldi week i n Siena.
I shou l d think the Japa n Times wd . do well to send a subscri ption to
BO SECTION II: 1 936-66

Odon Par, 5 b. via Ange l o Mas i n a , Roma, Italy as exchange for some Ital­
ian publ ications , say Meridiana di Roma, and the Rivista di Lavoro I F
any of you read Ita l ia n .
P a r reads engl ish.
I have also been meaning to report on meeting with oriental dept. (of
American c o n gre ss ional libra ry) and Dr. Sakanish i , i n Washington re/
proposals for b i l ingual editions of Noh plays. Will try to get roun d to
that shortly.

ever yours
Ezra Poun d

8 3 : S hota ro Oshima to E zra Pound

ALS-3 c/o Fujino, 1 05 3 , 2 chome, Ikebukuro , Toshima-ku , Tokyo , Japan. 28
October 1 939

Ezra Poun d , Esq.

Dear S i r :

I am taking the l iberty of send i ng y o u under separate cover a copy of my

Poe m s : Among Shapes a n d Shadows. I am afra i d that they are rather badly
written , as I have some d ifficulty i n expressing myself i n good Engl ish. But I
hope that you w i l l fin d something of interest i n them. And I shall be very
much obliged i f you kindly give me some remark u pon my works, beca use i t
is t h e first and laborious attempt f o r me to write verse in Engl ish, and as t o
t h e merits of my poetry I am quite d iffi dent. I am a Japanese a n d a professor
of Engl ish poetry in Waseda University in Tokyo. For ten years ago , I
devoted much of my t i m e to the study of the p oetry of the late Mr. W . B .
Yeats. And s o when I saw him i n Dublin last year, he gave me a warm
welcome and wrote a letter of i ntroduction ad dressing to you .
I wanted eagerly to see you while I was i n Europe , but owing to the
Sudeten Crisis last year, I had to cut my stay in Europe short , and to my
great regret , I l ost the o p port u nity of seeing you .
I have rea d a l most a l l your works with great admiration-your works of
immed iate intel ligib i lity and of creative vision .

Yours very tru ly

Mr. Shotaro Osh i m a
SECTION I I : 1 936-GG 81

8 4 : Katue Kitasono to Ezra Pound

TLS-2 [ n . p.] 5 December 1 9 39

My d ear POUND

" Antonio Vivald i , " Meridiana di R o m a , the note on Noh play for J.T. ,
and your l etter a l l arrived at me.
There has been such a l ong time that I don't know with what I sho u l d
begi n t o write.
A few month ago , from Mr. Maori I received Y60.00 to send to you as the
payment for y o u r former two copies for ]. T. ( overwhe l m ingly s m a l l
amou n t ! )
I d i d n ' t know where y o u were , in America or Italy, a n d s o I cou l d n ' t
s e n d i t . Now I s e n d you a money order for t h e s u m through t h e post office
a n d trust you w i l l find it correct.
It's a pity that the copies of ]. T. contain i ng your articles hadn't reached
you at last , which Mr. Maori said surely they had sent to America.
They w i l l send them to you at once .
The arti cle on Noh play for this time I have handed over to Mr. Maori ,
and your letter, too .
I asked M r. Maori to contribute ]. T. regularl y to you hereafter, and he
accepted . Of cou rse it's an e tiquette to present it to him , if any gentleman is
so kind as to read such a monotonous paper. Japan has begun to su ffe r from
paper fam i n e .
B u t VOU no. 2 8 is s o o n to be out. P l ease pay attention t o our dess ins.
O u r poems are progress ing, I th ink.
I have begun to com m u n icate with a young Chi nese writer Mr. Kuan
Chia Tu ng. When the critical condition wi l l pass , I hope you w i l l get from
h i m s u fficient knowledge abou t China which I coul d n 't give you .
I am going to make a Chinese group l i ke the VOU Club.
It's i nteresti ng to know your opinion on modern war.
I ' m sorry , but I m u st confess I think economics is, too, one of such
uncert a i n sci ences as medical science, psychology , etc. You can imagine
how firmly I stand to this belief, as I am a barbarian who studied pol it ical
economics and philosophy in u n i versity. Please excuse me, if I'm m is­
taken , but I guess yours is political eco nomics. In fact it's another fiel d to
which economics shou l d exten d , but I fear which may change econom ics
into a nasty sandwich.
For my part , I prefer to l ook at the vague cosmos of Marquis de Laplace ,
stand i ng on my poetical phi losophy of l ife , hanging down a ribbon from my
82 SECTION II: 1 9 3 0-6 6

col l ar, printed " I dont need such a hypothesi s . "

Perhaps Xmas w i l l have passed , when this letter w i l l reach you. Merry
Xmas to you and to a l l the members of your fam i l y .

ever yours
Katue Kitasono

P . S . Your n o t e on Viva l d i for J. T. h a s j ust arrived .

8 5 : Ezra Pound to Katue Kitason o

TLS-2 Anno XVIII, Via Marsala 1 2-5 , Rapallo, with Gaudier-Brzeska profile
head. 1 3 January 1940

Dear K/K

So far I have had one packet of Japl Times contain ing copies of
my note on NOH. Also (thank you) 60 yen which for some reason are
payable in french francs. Thanks for the same. A plain bank cheque i n
either yen or d o llars m i ght be s im p l er if you use banks. Otherwise I shall
(start) (in fact I have already started) move for d i rect exchange between
Japan a n d Italy. France being now the less worthy country.
I am a l l for the t riangle .
A m m e d i tating a rather m ore serious article o n elements in european
thought/ etc.
what would (to me) be u sefu l wou l d be a REGULAR JOU RNALI STS CAR D . At
present I am a poet. Poets have no civic status above other mere m e n .
B u t JOURN A LI STS c a n belong to t h e press association. Anyone can be a n
author. Nobody but a d d i cts to a DAILY PAPER can get i nto t h e Press
association and enjoy the privi leges of bei ng an h i reli ng.
The Jap Times d o n ' t a p p ear to have an Ital i a n correspondent. If they w d .
confer t h i s honour u p o n m e I w i l l fai thfu l ly promise n o t to s e n d them
any news , or will comply with whatever other measures they l ike.
I cou l d of course send news, but I shd/ have to be paid for that , as it wd .
take time.
It s h d/ be a d i stinction for the J. T. to have me as a regu lar correspondent.
SECTION II: 1 9 3 5-66 83

It wd. cost them noth ing un less they want a news service . In which case
they w d . have to cover expenses . But that is not the paint. The pa int is
the formal appo intment. G lobe sent me a card , but monthly magazi nes
are not cou nted as JOURN A LI S M .
I believe several foreign journal ists "correspond " with papers that n o
longer exist o r from which they have long ceased to depend .
Thanks far VOU with yet again my phiz. and note of my having been to
II I think after I d o the plea for analysis of European thought from (a . d .)
300 to 1 5 00 I I w i l l send you a translation of a plan for reform of teach­
ing U . S . history. I cdl stand as a review of Beard/ Woodward/ Bowers/
(Overholser?) and 25 years american h istoriography
and so forth Evviva la Poesia .
especial EPos

Ezra Pound

8 6 : Ezra Pound to Katue Kitasono

TLS-1 Anno XVIII, Via Marsala 1 2-5 , Rapallo, with Gaudier-Brzeska profil e
head. 1 4 January 1 940

Dear KIK

Tomorrow I am send i ng you an article wh ich I hope will not be tao

serious for the ]ap. T.
If it is you can transl ate it for VOU . I may have been tao careful . I d o nt
dare p u t in any MORE expl anation for fear of its being too LO:--J G .
The a d d itional points wd/ be reference to the two fold infl ux of chinese
poetry i n Japan/ ilel i m itati ons of ch inese poetry. And jap attempts to
write in chinese paral l e l to lati n i nflu ence in europe and men who wrote
I N lat i n , d own even to 1 800.

H owever that is nat the main paint. And the

quest i o n of the age at which a man begins to be interested in politico as
a development from etica w d . furnish another article. I have tried to
keep my (note on) " wo rship to a spirit which d oes not belong" inside the
]. T. l i mi t , art , thought etc.

(Besides I d o n t know wh o keeps the J.T. going.)

' yrs E. P.
84 SECTION II: 1 9 3 6-66

8 7 : Ezra Pound to Katue Kitasono

TLS-1 Anno XVIII , Via Marsala 1 2-5 , Rapallo, with Gaudier-Brzeska profile
head. 1 5 January 1 940

Dear K.K Does anyone in your group RE A D Italian?

Or wd/ i t be better for me to send you a resume i n English of what I
publ is h here?
Note that London can No l o nger serve as centre for contempora ry
thought. Censors h i p forb i d d i ng u s to send i n pri nted matter save d irect
from publishing offices.
Various theories of the war. One that i t is rea l ly American money­
l e n ders aga i nst Engla n d . Natura l ly a desire to k i l l Hitler as he is aware of
the general financial i nfamy. You can 't know why there was war be­
tween Japan and Ch i n a , w ithout goi ng i nto subject of LOANS . (from Eu­
rope to C h i n a . )
Act i on l a s t week printed a m a p showing that Russia had annexed a n
area i n C h i na LARGER THA N EUROPE. Europe being u naware o f it a n d NO

protest from England or the d i rty old League of Nations.

The British Union Quarterly has just printed the finest h i storical a rticle
that I have ever seen i n ANY country or magazine whatsoever.
The Social Creditor has been do i ng valuable h istorical work. You shd/
read Overhol ser's History of Money in the U. S .A .
D o you see any o f these papers? I f you read Italian I w i l l aga i n tel l the
editor of Meridiana di Roma to see that it is sent to you .

i n a d/n hurry EP

8 8 : Ezra Pound to Katue Kitasono

TLS-2 Anno XVII I , Via Marsala 1 2-5 , Rapallo , with Gaud ier-Brzeska profi le
hea d . 2 2 January 1 940

Dear K/K

I have you to thank for a very elegant volume. The dra·wi ngs
l ook as if an occidental i nfluence had entered your life. " Decadence of
the Empire . "
A l l I now need is a trans lati o n , as the poems are very short/ don't bother
SECTION I I : 1 9 3 6-65 85

to make it l i terary , if I had a l i tera l version I m ight possibly put it i n

shape. Can ' t tel l , only a fraction o f poetry w i l l trans late.
Did you use that bit of ]a pl Times on purpose (as wrapping), or is it
coi n c i d ence? First thing I see is " l eg conscious Japa n " which rem i n ded
m e of Ito 's first remark to me in 1 9 1 4 or 1 5 .
"Ja p ' nese DA NCE a l l time overcoat. "
Then I notice the i neffabl e Miscio i n person, but not i n voice, save i n the
remark on the fan dance and S a l l y .
I beli eve I (could) have d o n e a better article on I t o than t h e ] . T . i nter­
viewer. D i d you meet h i m ? The paper is dated October, and says he was
to ret u rn to America in J a n . so this is too l ate to serve as introduct i o n ,
b u t i f he is sti l l in Toki o , g i v e h i m m y remembrances . I l ooked for h i m
i n N . York, but he w a s t h e n i n S . Francisco.
Mr. Masaichi Tan i wri tes very good engl i s h , but h e has mi ssed a chance .
H i s girls w i l l h ave to be patri otic and " use Japan Knees " whatever for­
eign c lothes they obtai n .
if y o u do meet Miscio a s k h i m abou t " Ain ley's face behind that mask , "
or h i s borrow i ng t h e o l d lady's cat.
As to the photo in the ]. T. I can 't believe even H o l lywood and facial
massage has kept him 1 8 . Not 2 5 years later.
Do you know whether the ].T. is being sent me? It does n ' t get here.

yours E. P.

(Did you see t h e Hawk's Wel l-is it a ny use in Japanese?)

8 9 : Katue Kitasono to Ezra Pound

TLS-4 VOU CLUH 1 649 1 -TIOME-;>.:ISI MAGOME-:viATI, OMORIK U , TOKIO. 1 5 March
1 940

Dear Ezra Pound ,

Excuse me for my long si lence .

I thank you very much for your kindly letters and the copy for ]. T.
which has been j ust pri nted i n the paper.
Fi rst of a l l I wish very m u ch to have Meridiano di Hom o , because I have
86 SECTION II: 1 93 6-66

a friend who reads Ital ian and will read Me r i d i a n a di Ro m a for me.
I often passed by Mitio Ito i n the theatres or musical halls , but not talked
to h i m . His hair is turning grey already , I haven't seen his dance so long. We,
the VOU group, watch a young Miharu Tiba who is only u nique d ancer
w i th a sense in Japan except Mitio Ito. I th ink Mitio Ito has not yet gone to
A merica, and if not I w i l l write a letter to h i m .
T h e dessins i n my book of poems Violet of Fire are drawn b y Seiji Togo .
Rea l l y this painter is a decad ent , a regrettable d efect for h i m for wh ich I
must a lways blame h i m .
Recently M r . Maori resigned h i s post , a n d M r . Tamotu Iwado has
becom e the new chief ed itor. He i s , too, a good journal ist as Mr. Maori.
f. T. is w i l l ing to d es ignate you for an Italian correspondent.
If the encl osed certificate wi l l be of any use to you , then BANZA I . f. T. w i l l
not restrict you i n a ny way , b u t they w i l l b e glad to have your cultura l news
a n d sometimes political a n d economical news , i f poss ible. Of course they
w i l l pay you for them.
I send you several poems translated from Violet of Fire, ( p . 1 7-2 6)
a lmost li tera l . At any rate, I hope these short lyrics w i l l not take u p much of
your precious time.
The VOU Club pl ans to publish an Engl ish anthology. Will you please
perm it us to pri n t your i ntroductory note for VOU Club in the first nu mber
of Town s ma n . If you cou l d write a poem or something for this antho logy ,
we s h o u l d be enrapture d . Except the works of VOU, poems and essays of
Duncan , La ugh l i n , Ford a n d other poets who have appeared in VOU . w i l l
be contained . T h e book w i l l b e about 1 5 0 pages a n d t o b e o u t t i l l August.
Now and then Mary pleases me with her merry letters. She gave m e a
photo of her portrai t painted by tvlrs Frost.
I pray to Allah for your health and the meandering CA:\'Tos .

ever yours ,
A ppendix: Ka tue Ki tasono

Rise from a stone
Walk to hopelessness
A red breast sings
Offended alone
The pipe ' s clogged
Forget even the name
SECTION II: 1 9 36-66 87

Passing through a v i l lage of l i l ies
Near the down
Read a l onesome letter
Look at nothing but a she l l and button
Hate severely tears and the sea
Eat green cakes
Go i nto the ga rden to laugh
B ut the parrot has a d i rty to ngue
The cactus i s , too , fi lthy
Lea n i ng sad against an oak-tree
For a l ong time
Listen to the poor piano
I n pain day after day
The wind blows h a rd
Drink some m i l k and then seated
The watch 's stopped
Trifl ing i s the death of Pompey
With a broken beer bottle u nder my arm
O n the rock by the seaside
To hear a h orse
My hat 's a l ready broken
Pitifu l forl orn
Sextus Pompeius
Your death is foo l i s h
Said I
And yet
Your death is fool i s h aga i n
Roaming on the path of thorns
Tread on the thorns
Oh, God may cry !
Stones are now fad ed
The absolute
Or genuine eyes a re sad
Irritating is the warbling of a n ightingal e
88 SECTION II: 1 936-66

Going a l o ng a s m a l l h i l l
S l ightl y s l i p
Death i s too tardy
Wet with grief
The buttons are off
The love of Ci d is even a boredom
O h , friend !
B u t there 's n o friend
Solitude is stai n e d
Going a lone to a v i l l age where n ightingales warble
Look at the growing potatoes
Tears tri ckl i ng d own
Fee l ing sick at the vu lgar growth of fig trees
O n the bank studded w i th marigo l d s
A flock of ducks i s dazzli ng
O n the d ay of fat e
Lyi ng i n despair
Without glancing at the l u mbers
Cries of wagtai l s are so noisy
With a b l ack cap on
Buy the l i l i es
A n d pass through the wood
The way of summer noon is end less
The despair is so l asting
Lying in the v i ll age where tomatoes are bright
Gnawing a green cucumber
Shed tears at a peasant's love.
-Ka tue Ki tasono
SECTION II: 1 93 6-66 89

9 0 : Ezra Pound to Katue Kitasono

TLS-1 Anno XVIII. Via M a r sala 1 2 -5 . Rapallo, w i th Gaudier-Brzcska profi l e
head. 2 2 Apri l 1 94 0

Dear K i t Kat

Thank you (very m u ch) for the trans lations of the poems.
Have you sent them to Dunca n , or wd/ you l ike me to do so?
Thanks for the l etter from the ja pan Tim es. However, no copies of the
paper have come s i nce the Dec. 1 Oth l ot.
I am not sure whether they want me to send only the long articles , o r
occasional briefer notes. Of course no use sending news that wd . b e tele­
gra p h e d , a n d that they obviously get from a news agency.
I hope you fi n d M iscio Ito .
Cantos 5 2/7 1 should have reached you . Of course if Mr. Iwado sends on
the pa per regularly I can probab l y fit my articles to it. I mean I can get
much better Idea of whom I am wri ting for, a n d what has already been
sai d .
I hope to see the edi tor o f the Meridiana this week, and w i l l aga i n ask
him to send it to you .

ever yours
E. Pou n d

9 1 : E zra P o u n d to Katue Kitasono

TLS-2 Anno XVIII, V i a Marsala 1 2-5 , Rapallo, with Gaudier-Brzeska profile
head and quotation "Liberty i s not a right but a duty . " m . 1 0 July 1 940

Dear Kit Kat

Enclosed (copy of letter to Mr. Iwa do) exp lains itself. Thanks
for the connection. I suggest that you reproduce (in VOU) the frontis page
of my TEXT BOOK and tra n s late its contents. It is the start of the economic
history of the U.S. The pamphlet I am send i ng Mr. Iwado is the next
dose/ and Por has explai ned the matter more fu l l y . It is probably not
your " pigeon" but sti l l .
Has Meridiana begun t o reach you? The / . T. is a l l the printed matter in
Engl ish that now arri ves here. Thanks for VOU. Last Meridiana con-
90 SECTION I I : 1 9 3 6-66

tained some quotations from (Cantos) 5 2/7 1 . Another point : Masoli ver
has been doing some b i l ingual publishing i n Spain. "Poesia en la
Mon o . " I d ont know whether the series is going on, but you might send
him a copy of VOU.
Juan Ramon Masol i ver, Hotel Bosto n , via Lombard ia
Rom a , Italy.
He h as started the series with a fine translation of Dante (sel ect pages) . I
s u ppose french wd/ be best med ium of communication (with him). He is
a cous i n of Dal i 's.
I had about 44 other topics to write you .
I forget whether you are i n touch with e . e. cummi ngs .
4 Patchin P lace. New York.
He is a better bet than C. H. Ford , though not a vol u m i nous correspon­
dent. In fact he i s the best poet in America ( long and a ncient as is my
friendship with old B i l l B u l l Wi l l iams . . . can't grade poems i n accord­
a n ce with personal relations with authors . BUT (on the other hand ,) my
rel ations suffer l i ke hel l when a man 's work decl ines . )
Looki ng over t h e bound vols. of Little Review; the amount of work done
s ince 1 924 seems to boil d own chiefly to what cummings has done, p l u s
what Eliot h as gone on d o i ng. ("Agon " is l ater.)
I wonder i f a fi l e of The Little Review exists in Japan? Costs l ike the de­
vil now. 1 9 1 7/ to 1 9 and then quarterly issues at odd seasons t i l l 1 9 2 4 .
Joyce, Lewis , E l i ot a n d the und ersign e d . Last i ssue Max Ernst and I think
all the known surrealists. Creve} etc.
Have you had Creve I 's "Pieds dans le Pla t "? You probably have re­
viewed it i n VOU , but my ideogramic knowledge moves VERY slowly and
I can 't read the m agazine yet. I occasionally make out what some article
is talking about . Am convinced VOU is l ivelier than anything here ex­
cept Duncan's quarterly.

ever yours
E. Pou n d
SECTION II: 1 9 3 0-66 91

9 2 : E zra Pound to Katue K itasono

TLS-2 Anno XVIII, Via Marsala 1 2- 5 , Rapallo, with Gaudier-Brzeska profile
head. 1 7 July 1 940

Dear Kit Kat

The rad i o this a . m . announced " fusion of eastern and west­

ern c ultures " as part of yr/ new govt. progra m . I dare say I have given
this as much thought as anyone. You already have a few notes of m i n e :
T h e i mportant t h i n g is to keep t h e BEST of both cultures and NOT CLUTIER.
There i s a whole series of my books , starting with Sp irit of Ro­
mance (my first attempt in 1 9 1 0) down to KULCH, a i m i ng at tel l i ng the
true story of occ idental writing. Plus a few fumbles toward yours . Fenol­
l osa's p apers etc/
I d o n ' t know whether you can persuade your colleagues to save their
own time by starting from where I have got to.
The moment i s i mportant, for i f you start right it will save a lot of
bother. I assure you that there IS a connection between the state of m i n d
t h a t m akes good art (whet her classic o r romantic) and t h e state of m in d
that m akes clea n economics.
I d are say BOTH start with the Ta Hio (or however you spell it)
and the defi ni t i o n of words (or forms). _lE_ �
� -!-
(how does one get tha t Ming ideogram properly drawn?) J- ./"-.....
Not only for Kul tu rmorph ologie , but for history , do get yr/ Koku sai
B unko Shinkokai to start w ith Brooks Adams' synthesis. Law of Civil iza­
tion and Decay, The New Empire , and include the econom ists whom I
have l isted i n m y Text Book, also get (them to get a) copy of B utchart 's
Money (col lection of opin ions of last t hree centuries) mostly in English.
And for relations whether cultural or WHATEVER , commercia l , economic
try t o get the essential facts of U.S. history, not the pack of evasions
taught in American U niversities.
I will probably try to l ist the ESSENTIAL facts of U . S . h istory for the ]ap .
Times ; may send i t t o you t o read first .
If Japan i s going " fascist, " m ight save time to start where fascism �ow is ,
no need to go though experimental phases. Danger i n U . S . is a sham
fascism with NONE of the basic merits/ German Bauernfdhig concept; very
valuable. (ancient) Roman empire flopped from fai l u re to defend the
purchasi ng power of agricultu ra l labour.
If these subjects b ore YOU , put me i n touch with your grand-
92 SECTION II: 1 9 3 6-66

father, and stick to plastic values and verbal n uances . The nuance AS
definition. Nothing to despise in n uance.
Have already said in J. T. that the J6 j-
intensifies racial characteristics the more he knows of these of other

The more }
the merrier the contacts between antipodally d i fferent i n d iv i duals.
I f my god damned compatriots cant or WONT print decent American his­
tory, that i s no reason why Tokio shou l d n't.

yours ever E . Pound

Notes/ Is the term JAP d i s l i ked? I mean do Japs prefer to be called
Japanese? I personally prefer the monosyllable and consider i t honorific.
re/ clu tter. Young Laugh l i n thought I exaggerated when I talked of the
ROT i ncluded in l iterary curricula, then he had to prepare for his Harvard

exams in Italian l i terature , and was utterly amazed (having read Fla u bert
and a few good modern a uthors) that such twaddle as the course con­
tain ed couLD be offered to A N Y student.

9 3 : Katue Kitasono to Ezra Pound

1 94 0

My d ear Ezra Poun d ,

I am very much pleased to get your letters of July 1 0 and July 1 7 .

I am glad to print the translation of your Text Book i n the next issue of
VOU which is going to be out in September. I don't get any copy of
Meri diana.
I am sen d i ng a copy o f VOU each to M r . Juan Ramon Masoliver a n d to
Mr. E . E . C u mm i ngs . I have often tried to translate Cummings ' poems , but
never s ucceed ed .
We Japanese d o n ' t l ike to be cal led Jap, because Jap has been used more
often with contempt than w i th frien d l iness. There are so many examples
l ike this in the worl d , I t h ink.
O n the 7th, August I sent you the sum of Y97 .80 by Lira in the payment
for your three letters for ] . T. I hope you w i l l fin d the enclosed recei pts.
Cantos 5 2/7 1 has surely reached me. I wish I could translate them in
SECTION I I : 1 9 3 &--6 6 93

Japanese. It is a very d i fficult task a n d y e t I do never give up the hope. How

is Miss Mary? I haven't written her so long. I will soon send her beautiful
Japanese picture books . Hoping you are doing very we ll over the turquoise

ever yours ,
Katue Kitasono

94 : Ezra Pound to Katue Kitasono

TLS-3 Anno XVIII, Via Marsala 1 2- 5 , Rapallo, with Gaudier-Brzeska profi le
head. 25 August 1 940

Dear Kit Kat

Thanks VERY m uch for copy fop Times 2 1 July/ wish I had
had i t in Rome last week. I visited yr/ cu ltural relations bureau , but
fou n d i t h ard to convince 'ern I wrote for a real d a i l y paper. (The weekly
s upplement l ooks artistic not journal i stic . )
Anyhow they s a i d ALL you young poets were incomprehensible. I told
'em VOU was the l ivel iest m agazine i n existence . They final l y thought
that m aybe they had heard of you . (Bu t "co u l dn 't understand one single
word . ") After half an hour one of 'em vaguely thought I must be some­
one he had heard of; Fenol losa meant noth ing to 'em. (They) thought I
o ught to get w ise to MODERN Japan and not bother w ith (or stick to) Noh.
Wel l , they gave me a d a m n good cup of COFFEE. So I kidded 'em
about d i s appearance of tea ceremony .
A n d they hoped to see m e agai n
B UT Americans are suspect. Natural ly. I do not wonder.

I enclose a bit of German publ ication/ m ight i nterest Mr. Iwad o , i f he

does not already receive Hoffm an n 's b u l letin??
If you can get Chang Kai Chek to read my Cantos 5 2-6 1 may be he wd/
make a sane peace. I see that his side kick kung/ has got h i s fi ngers
burned/ and I shd/ TH I N K it was rightly, as he has NOT fol lowed his great
ancestor's teachi ngs .
Mencius contin ues to be the most MODERN oriental author i n spite i m­
ported sur-real ism. I As far as I can make out a l l Chinese philosophy
(apart fro m Kung and Menci us) is bunk plus opi u m/ but my means of
knowl edge are l i m ited. Wish someone w d . get on with b i l i ngual edition
94 SECTION II: 1 930-66

of the INTERESTING books of the ori e n t/ meaning Japan and China. The
bloomink h in doos and mohammeds don't ring my bloomink bel l .
O h wel l ; THAT i s a b i t exaggerated/ there once was a bloke called
Sor,ry Faber d i d n 't print the MAP w ith my Cantos 5 2/6 1
it m ight have helped people to understand WHY Japan is i n Chi na/
a n d the altar of heaven etc/
Every time I meet an oriental I am t o l d to
pronounce everything d i fferently. God knows what the censorship here
makes of i deogra m . A n y how, last week I was told to pronounce i t "Taa
Sheu " (which is written Ta Hio??) How do You say it in Giappone? Taku

As to Mr. whatsh isname at yr/ Kultur buro/ I shd/ have thought that the
J. Times with especially its advertising matter/ "GRRRReatest electri c etc/"
in the WORLD/ etc. was a d equate to tel l the occi d ent about how mo dern
(an d/or A m erican) Japan is.
Matsumiya has left Rome, so I cou l d n ' t get round to poesy/ I mean i f etc/
Noh is ouT/ and the living writers incomprehensible . Anyhow they were
n ice blokes. A n d so forth.
The article you sent i s the FOURTH of mi ne that I have seen in print i n
t h e ]IT/
I don 't know how many they have received?
If t here i s anything YOU , persona l l y , want me to write about do say so.
Is there any way for me to get a copy of K. Takas h i (Itoh 's) British
Em pire and People/ one YEN. 80 (Seinen shobo, Ka nda. P u bl i shers .) I \\'d/
glad l y review it here if the e d i tors will send i t/ oR I w i l l buy it if you can
extract one yen. 80 from Mr. Iwado to be deducted from my next cheque.
plus postage. And as soon as we have a sane peace with FUNK's eu­
ropean plan i n action and proper monetary system , I will stop boring
you to d eath w ith econ/politico/geo/etc. and behave like a n resthete/
occ u pying myself w i th d ramady/ poesy/ music etc . as a true i nhabitant of
Miaco (or however you now spell it, after the interva l ) .
Maybe if M r . Takashi (Itoh) cd/ see my stuff in the ]IT. h e wd. think m e
com petent to review h i s volume/ Te ll h i m t o vary his read i ng o f Mencius
with rea d i ng of the London Wh o 's \!Vh o of company di rectors/ (or vice
versa) (may be he has, I can 't tell from the brief notice of his book . j.T.
s u p p lement 1 8th J u l y . )
SECTION I I : 1 936-66 95

Laugh l i n is supposed to bri ng out Ca n tos in Sept. American ma il comes

here via Japan or by air/ when the damn bri t/yitts dont swipe it in Ber­
I F you know of any LESS glorious period of U . S . d i pl omacy than

the present , tell papa.

And i f \Vi l l kie so kindly del ivers us . I sha l l have to go home and TELL

HIM that European hi story d i d n 't STOP in 1 9 1 9 .

Heil ! Banza i ! Ala LA ! !

From the pi nnacle o f your youth look down with a t least kind l i ness on
my e l d erly exu berance.

ever yours
E. Pou n d

9 5 : Ezra Pound to Katue Ki tasono

TLS-1 Anno XVIII, V i a Marsala 1 2-5 , Rapa llo, with Gaudier-Brzeska profile
hea d . 5 September 1 940

Dear Kit Kat

The poetic l i fe i s fu l l of pitfa l l s . Thanks very much for

botheri ng about the money orders . AUT 97 yen make something l ike 4 5 0
l ire ITA LIA l'.' I t h e 4 5 or 46 l i re marked on t h e red s l i p probably meant
G O L D l i re.

The post office here i s l ooking into the matter. May be they w i l l
be a b l e to pay something l ike the value o f the 9 7 yen.
This note is a howl of caution. If there ever are any more yen,
watch the postal cl erk and see that the l i re are either clearly marked
GOLD (oro) or that the nu mber of Italian l i re (should be) roughly 4 and

half t i mes the ( n u mber) of the yen/

Such are the horrors of war/ v dth no engl ish money, and considerable
delay about American money.
One of the jokers i n the back page of the Ti m es weekly/ made
some remarks about mo ney and humour a few months ago/ meaning it
arrived here a month ago.
In the mean time l et us erect shrines and/or temp les to A phrod ite and
A p o l l o . That is to say let E u rope do so.
and d o n ' t import sheep-c u l t- i tes into Tokio .
Sorry to bother you w ith deta i l in fi rst part o f this note. E. Po u n d
96 SECTION I I : 1 9 3 6-66

9 6 : Katue Kitasono to Ezra Pou n d

September 1 940

D e ar Ezra,

I received your bright letter of August 2 5 , which made me l augh a

pel ican ' s laugh.
It was a good comic s cene that they (K.B . S . ) could do nothing but gave a
damn good cup of coffee to such a great poet a n d said "see you agai n . " They
are nothing more than s parrow eggs.
Chinese pronunciation is very subtle . In Japan we pronounce Ta Hio,
"Dai Gaku . " The pronounciation dictionary for middle school published in
Shanghai teaches u s to p ronounce -k �'; "Ta Hsio . " Another Chinese text
shows to pronounce it " Ta Hsu . "/ '-. if'
I think the J. T. and their readers wou l d b e very glad to know your
opinion l ike what is to b e the c ul tural pol icy i n such a cou ntry like Japan.
On the 20th of August I sent you a m oney order for the sum of Y 3 4 . 2 0 , as you
will find the account of f. T.
I s h a l l be able to find the best way to get a copy of Takasi Itoh 's book,
British Emp ire and People, and I will send i t to you as soon as possibl e .
B efore posting this l etter, I inquired of t h e p u blisher.

ever yours ,
Kat u e Kitasono

9 7 : Ezra Pound to Katue Kitasono

TLS-2 Anno XVIII, Via Marsala 1 2-5 , Rapallo, with Gaudier-Brzeska profile
head. 2 October 1 940

Dear Kit Kat

Sorry to b e a damn nuisance. The post office H E RE apparent­

l y cant rectify the money order. 9 7 yen is over 20 dollars and 46 lire
ITA LIANE m akes about TWO d o l l ars .

M i ght be a way of pejorating nippo-merican relations but won't convince

e u rope that Japan is on the way to greater asia. Also attacking America
in her most exposed part (i.e. old EZ) won ' t a ffect the wicked plots/
usurers etc.
SECTION I I : 1 936-66 97

4 5 l i re oRo/ gol d l ire, wou l d come nearer t o the worth o f 9 7 yen/

Anyhow , I a m chancing the 2 bucks on the possibi lity you can rectify/
absorption of 90% of val u e i n transit won't do. Wont serve the Japanese
Incidenta l l y I have never used (or heard used) the term Jap as derogative .
Nihon J i n i s O . K .
T h e -anese m akes very b a d sound , and movement o f word very d i fficult
to get into elegant sentence. However let manners be manners .
How d o you say Li Ki i n Jap anese?
Also I have n 't had copy o f Ponder's Modern Poetry/ which supposedl y
/Jt �G
appeared i n April . A comfort to see oneself i n print. If you c a n get me a
copy without wasting a weeks work, I shd/ be grateful .
Sea i s l o oking O . K. with n o brit. cruisers visible.
A m j ust back from S iena and trying to catch up with work. Mary af­
ter two months i n Tyrol "gone native" to her mother's d istres s , so t here
is tremendous effort to m ake her Salonfahig before she goes back to La
Qui ete/
a l l after my i nstructions that she shd/ become B a uernfahig to keep u p
w i t h the t i m e s . At a n y rate h e r tennis is i mproving. I sha l l try that p i c­
ture (on h e r) of Japanese girls en masse with swords , to see i f it w i l l
s t i m ul ate " un i on of c u l tu res . "
I d o n 't know whether Tim es wants me to i nsist that " Four Scarlatti wont
m ake a Vival d i . " (Sienese m usic week.)
They seem to be sta n d i ng my economic frightful ness pretty
wel l .
O n t h e other hand WILL they beli eve me an economist i f they can make
m e b e l ieve i n the post office idea of relation of yen to ITALIAN l i re?
That seems a s ubject for Cub Reporter (with m y c o mp l iments) . You can
give h i m these notes i f he is a fri e n d .
My venerab l e father d e lighted w ith t h e Servant of t h e People article. M y
New York agent beseechi ng m e t o write l i terary Reminiscence (he wd/
probabl y faint if he saw a copy of f. T. for Aug. 2 2 ) . Of course I dont
know that Y O U (K. K . ) a pprove of my crawl i ng DOWN the s l opes of Parnas­
sus. You have maintained tactful s i lence.
And confound i t WHY d oes paper ruck o n this machine. (I will
again exhort M er i d i ana office to send you the paper.) Yours
Ezra Pou n d
(P. S . p o s t office i s sending back the Vaglia money order t o your p . o .)
98 SECTION II: 1 936-66

98 : Fosco Mara i n i to Ezra Pound

ALS-1 Kita 1 1 , Nishi 3 , Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. 1 4 October 1 940

Dear Sir,

I 've been reading your articles in the Meri diana, not constantly as mails
are rare u p h ere, but with great intellectual pleasure. I must now write these
two words to tell you how I agree with you about the Chinese classics. It is
s i m p l y m onstrous how stuffy our western outlook is still in this very year
1 94 0 , a l o ng t i me after Matteo Ricci 's words ough t to have had some effect.
.J- L � -:
We must soon soar to the level of the WORLD : Then Kungu fu Tsu
Men-tsu etc , w i l l have their p l aces next to the usual heroes of our school
It i s good that someb o d y l i ke you shou l d say such things . Some one
from beyond the sea has always a wonderfu l effect: such is the nature of
man . Than k you !

Yours s incerely
Fosco Mara i n i

9 9 : Ezra Pound to Katue K itasono

TLS-3 A n n o XIX, V i a Marsala 1 2- 5 , Rapallo, with Gaudier-Brzeska profile
hea d . 29 October 1 940

Dea r Kit Kat

Happy New Year, and for Kristzache GET an idea of the rela­
tive value of YEN and LIRE.
I have cashed yr/ last postal order for 1 5 6 l ire/ DAMN.

That is about six dollars . The regular exchange of the d o ll ar being at 1 9

l ire t o the d o l lar. B UT a s resident foreigner I can get a 20% bonus/ bring­
ing it to nearly 2 4 .
U n l ess t h e YEN has b u s t , it was worth abou t 40 cents/ so that 34 w d / hav1
been worth 1 3 dollars p l u s .
I dont m i n d p u tt i ng u p s ix o r seven b ucks t o get t h e Sassoons out of
Shanghai , or damaging the o p i u m revenue in S ingapore (48% due to
hop), but I shd/ hate to have it used to scrag me rough-necked brothers
from Iowa .
SECTIOJ\: II: 1 936-66 99

As I cant cash american cheques, save a t risk to the Bri ts stealing 'em off
the c l i p p er i n the Bahamas/ a n d as noth ing (n ow) comes from Engl ish
publications, this thin l ine of s u p p l ies from the ]IT is, or wo u LD be, use­
ful if a l lowed to flow in with proper, i .e. as at the source , d imensions.
If you can 't get sense out of the postal system , for gord 'z sake try a B A :-.: Ki
must be some Ita l i a n bank w i th an office i n Tokio??? Or the American
express co/ must exist, and continue bizniz at least u n t i l or u n less hosti­
l it i es bust out , which I hope they won't.
Cultu ral notes; possibly for VOU . Ap pearance of P . Tyler in / . T. rem i nds
me that:
N O e d i tor in America , save Margaret Anderson , EVER felt the need of, or
responsibil ity for, getti ng the BEST writers concentrated i . e. brought
together in an American period ical . She started in Chicago , went to S .
Francisco, then N . York a n d ended by p ub/ing The Little Review i n
Paris . Evidently the aim w a s ALlEr--: t o American sensibili ties.
The Dial m ight fool the casual observer; but its policy was to get the

best work or best writers. It got some. But Thayer aimed at names ,
wanted european CELEB RITIES , and spent vast sums getting their left overs .
You wd/ see the same thi ng in American picture gal l eries. A FTER a pain­
ter is celebrated (and the Europeans have his best stuff) deal ers can sell
it to American " conno isseurs . "
European proportions , a . d . 1 940. Germans rise a t 6 a . m . t o GOOD m usic
on th e radio/ french rad i o music soppy, Engl ish m u s i c and jokes putr i d .
I ncredible vulgarity, a n d jazz woRSE than the h u m a n m i n d had hitherto
conceived possible.
There still remains a tiny m i nority of careful players of o l d m u ­
sic i n England/ b u t even i n that f i e l d much is weakly and sloppily
p l aye d .
As to the j.T. s o p about E d d i e and Wal l ie/: y o u m ight in JAPA NESE context
quote the strictly ANONYMOUS
Engl and 's EmBoozador
Gett i ng back to Baltimore.
I don't want it in an E ngli s h context as I dont want to hurt anyone's feel­
i ngs. E d d i e sure is for the o l d Baltimore boardi ng house.
You know (?) Max Beerbohm did a caricature ages ago when Ed. was
young: It showed Ed at 40 marry i ng his landlady's daughter.
1 00 SECTION II: 1 936-66

When I say GOOD music, in Germany, you m ight note that it is played i n
TIM E ; french , eng/ a n d Ital music most usual l y is NOT .

I d o n 't say it NEVER is played in time, but the good old land of Durer and
Bach j ust dont LIKE slop in musical measure. In fact there I S a Germanic
com ponent of c i v i l izat i o n , though you will fi n d it hard to mention the
subject in amer ican jewish p apers .
If you manage to read my ]. T. articles at a l l , I wish you wd/ comment
FREE L Y . I want guidance. I wish you folks cd/ make a peace i n China.

Best possible kick in the jaw for the nastiest k ikes and pseu do-kikes i n
America . If you c a n manage it w e m ight get on a n d have a l ittle civil iza­
tion once aga i n .
Oh, well , Ita l y has j u s t h a d a philosophic congress/ i . e. pow wow of
blokes who write about philosophy/
Meant to write about the Scarlatti week! but too much else need i ng
d ivulgation/ "Four Scarlats don't make a Vivald i , " not by no means but
Guarnieri had got the opera i nto shape/ orches tra etc/ playing properly,
wh ich it was n 't last year.
].T. m y l ast remai n i ng s ource of i nformation re/ the U/S . I don't even
know whether Jas/ has got out the Am/ edtn/ 5 2/71 Cantos.
Itoh 's book (B r it . Em p . & Peop.) OUGHT to be p ubd/ a t once in some eu­
ropean l anguage. Possibly serialized i n ]. T. or at least summarized. After
all in the Ban Gum i the pacification of the country precedes the lofty
refl ect i o n , or p lays of p ussy-cology.
Great excitements last month/ thought of going to U . S . to annoy 'em but
C l i p per won't take a nyth ing except mails until Dec 1 5 , so am back here
at the o l d stand/ Tha nk god I d i d n 't get as far as Portugal and get STUCK
Pious reflections on my having spent 1 2 years in London/ 4 in Paris and
now 1 6 or 1 7 in Italy/ Which you can take as estimate etc/etc/ (of nation­
al val ues.) I d unno what my 2 3 (infa n tile yea rs) i n America signify/ I left
as soon as motion was autarchic; I mean M Y motion. Curious letch of
Americans to TRY to start a civili zation there/ or rather to REstart it: be­
ca use there seems to have been some u p till 1 8 63/. (I s h d sti l l like to.)
Have you ever had the gargantuan ap petite necessary for comparing the
j . T. with AMERICAN daily or Su nday wypers??? Or to cons ider what Japan
does NOT import i n the way of news print?? Oh we l l ; ooN ' T. Let it a l one,
and get out another issue of VOU .
S ECTION I I : 1 93 6-GG 101

Any news of l i vi ng a uthors vvd/ be welcome. Gornoze whats become of

Possu m and Duncan and Ango l d , or the pac i fic B u nting.
Cu ltu ra l Pol icy of Japan?? Vide Ez' G u i de to Kulch u r, fac i l i tated by E z
system of Economics, n o w t h e program of M i n i sters F u n k a n d Riccard i ,
tho I dont s pose they know i t was m i n e .

yours E. P.
(re The U . S . vide my Mak e it New, Remy de Gourmont's l etter: "Con­
q u erir / 'Ameriq u e n 'cst pas so ns d o u te votrc seul b u t . ") Funny trick of
memory, I thought he had written "civilize r / ' A me r i q u e That must
. "

have been in my n ote to h i m .

1 00 : E zra Poun d t o Fosco Mara i n i

TL-2 [ n . p.] 1 1 November 1 94 0

Dear S ig. Mara i n i

. . . D o y o u a l s o see my notes i n the Japan Times March 3 , J u n e 1 3 , J u l y

2 1 , Aug. 2 2 , Sept. 1 2 ?
You could assist the (inb oost i n g ) Confucian revival i f you wd/
write b oth to the ed itors of the ]ap Tim es AND to Di Marzio backing u p
what I s a y . T h e Meridiana needs MORE news of oriental books .
Do meet K i tasono Katue, VOU club ( u n l ess it is through h i m that you
know of me) . N i s i 1 tiome 1 64 9 , Magome Mat i , O m ori , Tokyo. He runs
the l ivel iest magazine in the worl d .
A m trying t o jazz u p the Meridiana t o the l evel of VOU . BUT it is heavy
going and damn 'd hard to get c o l l aborati o n . Ita lians do NOT spontaneous­
ly cooperate u n t i l they have a Duce to jam 'em together. A damn furri ner
can 't d o it. Then as soon as a man i s any good he gets a JOB i n an office
and has no time save for his job.
Do for god 's sake take u p some point in my articl es and write on THAT,
with reference TO i t . If three or four of us start NOTICING each other's writ­
ings, we can get someth ing done.
At present all Italian (writers) either IG0lORE each other or spend their
time i n irrelevant chatter. EXCEPT re/ economics. Current issue of Gera r­
chio has THREE arti cles worth noticing. Meridiana never has more than
two in one issue. And no two contributors ever hit the same b u l lseye, or
rather Di Marzio and I D I D cohere 00lCE but quite by acc ident; or rather
1 02 SECTION II: 1 936-66

without collusion. Not by acci dent but accid entally as to t i m i ng.

Would be most useful if you cd/ do article saying DAMN Lao-Tsze . Attack
idea of stu dying "chi nese phi losophy" as if ALL Chinese philosophy had
merit/ whereas some is no better than the shi tten old testament/ which is
cra p , i mmoral , barbarou s/ poison injected i nto Europe. Xti an ity, the sane
part of it is a european construction/ stoic morals and cosmogony. Deus
est Amor. That is O . K . B e lieve Ovid knew that, or at least Amor Deus
est . Mencius vol u me is the most MODERN book in the worl d . Take that as
FROM ME, and do an art i c l e on it for Di Marz i o .
Also ( m y eco n . book) gives a fairly fu l l l ist of a l l the possible varieties o f
h u m a n imbecil ity. Have you , by t h e way, any i d e a what h a s become o f a
group of neo-Confucians gathered round a chink named Tuan Szetsun
who used to print pamp h l ets i n Shangha i back i n 1 934? 862 Boone Rd.
Shangha i . Worl d prayer, etc.
cordially yours
I th i n k Kitasono has a n u mber of my books , which you may not know.
Give you better i dea of what I have done re/ [ i l l egible ] . Cant get any real
news from America.
(Wh a t about translati ng Itoh?)
(vide enclos u re)

1 0 1 : Ezra Pound to Katue Kitasono

TLS-2 Anno XIX, Via Marsala 1 2-5 , Rapallo, with Gaudier-Brzeska profile
head. 1 5 November 1 94 0


Dear KIK0

Two articles, one by Mr. Setsuo Uenoda , and one by Dr. Tatsuo
Tsukui in the ]. T. Weekly for Oct. 1 7th ought to start d i scussion in the
VOU club, if you are sti l l lucky enough to corral e leven poets in one
pl ace .
The Kana syllabic writing is clumsy and cumbersome ; I mean that the
latin alphabet with 26 or even 24 signs w i l l do all the WORK of the syll­
abl e s igns and is i mmeasu rably easier to remember.
I suggest that in each issue of VOU you print at least one poem , prefer-
SECTION II: 1 93 6-66 1 03

ably the best poem WITH a trans literation into roman al phabet. Stick to
the Ita l ian sign ificance of the vowels. Japanese sounds very much l i ke
ital ian . Engl ish and french spell ing does not represent the sound of the
words as logically as Italian spelling, and is not constant in indicating
what sound it impl ies.
IDEOGRAM is essential to (the exposition of> certain kinds of

thought. Greek philosophy was mostly a mere s p l i tting, an impoverish­

ment o f understanding , though i t ult imately led to development of par­
ticular sciences. Socrates a d i stinguished gas-bag in comparison with
Confucius and Menciu s .
At a n y rate I NEED ideogram. I mean I need i t in a n d for m y own
job, B UT I also need sound and phonetics. Several half-wits in a state of
half education have sniffed at my going on with Fenollosa's use of the
Japanese sounds for reading ideogram. I propose to continue. As sheer
sound " Dai Gaku " is better than "Ta Tsii . " When it comes to the ques­
tion of transmitting from the East to the West, a great part of the chinese
sound is no use at a l l . We don't hear parts of it, (m uch of> the rest is a
hiss, or a mumble . Fen o l l osa wrote, I think j ustl y , that Japan had kept
the o l d sounds for the Odes long after the vari ous i nvasions from the
north had ru ined them in China. Tones can not be learnt at three
thousand miles distance any how, or at any rate, never have been .
The national defence of Basho and Chi kamatsu can be maintained by use
of the latin al phabet. If any young Tanakas want to set out for world
conquest, on the lines Ubicurnque l i n gu a Roman o i bi R o m a (wherever
the latin tongue , there Rome) you will i nvade much better by giving us
the sound of yr/ verse in these latin signs that are understood from the
Volga to the West coast of Canada, i n Australia, and from Fi nland to the
Capes of Good Hope and Horn .
Engl ish h a d conquered vast territories by absorb i ng other tongues,
that i s to say it has pouched most latin roots and has variants on them
handy for use where french and even Italian have shown less flexib i l i ty;
i t has taken in lash i n ' s of greek, swal lowed medi ceval french , while
kee p i ng its solid anglo-saxon basis. It then petrified in the tight little is­
lan d , but American seems t o be getting into Tokyo. Question of whether
want to " preserve" japanese in test tubes or swal low the American
vocabu lary is for you to decide.
I stil l think, as I wrote last year, that with Italian, Ideogram and
Engl i s h (American brand ) you can have a tri-l i ngual system for world
use. But spurred on by T. T. and S. U. I wd/ amend my suggestion of us­
i ng the kana writing with the ideograms and say use the latin l etters .
1 04 SECTION II: 1 936-66

One wd/ learn Japanese more qu i ckly if with each chunk of con­
versation d i cti onary offered by the ]. T. we could have somethi ng worth
rea d i ng printed b i li ngu a lly.
Throughout a l l h istory and despite all academies , living l anguage
has been i nclusive and n ot exclusive.
(JAPERJCAN) Japerican may wel l replace p i dgin even in our time but
Japan ese w i l l never become lingua franca until its sound is printed i n
the s i m p lest possible manner.

yours E. Pou n d

1 02 : Ezra Pound t o Katue Kitasono

TCS-1 Via Marsala 1 2-5. 22 November Anno XIX [ 1 940]

Dea r Kit Kat

Next time I have a bit of money from ]. T. please take out for
me a six months subscri p t i o n to the DAILY edition . I don't get e nough
news from the Weekly. H owever d u l l you may think the paper, i t is a
dn/ sight m ore l ively than the usual dai l ies. Have you had any news of
Duncan, or E l i ot or anyone? B l o ke named Maraini seems to see Meri­
diana now and the n . I wonder if your cop ies have come? They pro mised
to send them.

Ezra Pou n d
( I h a ve told h i m t o see you , b u t forget wha t town h e i s i n ; may b e half
way u p Fuji .)

1 0 3 : Ezra Pound to Katue Kitasono

TLS-1 Anno XIX, Via Marsala 1 2-5, Rapallo, with Gaudier-Brzeska profile
head . 5 December 1 940 (Giovedi)

Dear KitKat

You w i l l be p leased/ reli eved/ honour'd/ bored OR whatever

to hear that the money order al legedly 4 5 1 / rearrove today with a s u p ple­
mentary order for 4 05/ also Pol ite letter in e nglish to local postmaster
SECTION l l : 1 936-66 1 05

from idem in Tokyo/ saying the clerk had err'd. (The one from lost A u ­
gust o r September)
You w i l l observe from the enc losed that it needed a " magica l
aspect" of two major orbs/ etc.

L'OROSCOPO DEL 5.-Questo g ioved i pri­

vo di configurazioni lunari, pass era sotto i l
dominic di u n magico aspetto tra il Sole e
G iove che faci l it e ra I a con c l u s i o n s d i
buoni affari rn a per contro dovremo fre­
nare le s pese, particolarmente se causate
dal bel sesso.


Do the Jap papers include horror/scopes? Two Ita l i a n journals print ' em/
and in London several m i l l i o n ephemerid es of the stars (Zadkiel and Old
Moore) u s ed to be s o l d . Yeats potty on the s ubject .
Not eas i ly perceiving that men (differ one fro m an other)/ he needed
some explanation or sti m u lu s to note that some LIKE boiled ham for d in­
ner, whereas others (genteel irish) think it vulgar. Have known him in­
s u lted by its ap pearance (a t even t i de) . Ace/ h i m and h is Li Ki/ it shd/ be
eaten c o l d for breakfast ONLY , and so forth.
How l ong it takes for men of d ifferent even if contiguous nations etc//
Chines e d i plomat said to m e lately/ two peoples ought to be brothers/
they read the same books/ bel ieve he was a Chiang K/Cheker at that.
sal ve/ banzai/ wan souil a l o l o ;

und so weiter.
Ezra Pound

1 04 : Ezra Pound to Katue Kitasono

TLS-2 Anno XIX, Via Marsala 1 2-5 , Rapallo, with Gaudier-B rzeska profi le
head. 30 December 1 940

Dear Kit Kat

And thanks for Lahiri's book. How much
does h e KNow? How seriously a m I to take the book? Severa l dozen ques-
1 06 SECTIO� II: 1 9 3 6--66

tions. re/ Roppei ta Kita. Th is (school) opposed to Umewaka Minoru's? Or

not, as I note the son i s called Minoru .
What i s the point of the curls? Or are they only used for the red
l ion ' s mane?
I note that Ito is back/ pp/ i n fop Times a bit queer. May be O.K. Miscio's
strong point was never m oral fervour , and he may have a sane des i re to
popu larize. (or not?) HOWEVER Tam i Kume who H1\D studied Noh , though
he hadn 't i n 1 9 1 5 Ito 's i n ventiveness etc/ had by tra in ing something that
M iscio hadn 't (qu ite nat u ra lly had NOT at age of 2 3 ) got by i m provisation .
Do you see these old buzzards who are " i n s p ite of the weight of 5 5 w i n ­
ters " e t c . sti l l amazing yr/ h i ndoo by being a l i ve? I mean does Mushakoji
or K ita etc/ know what you are up to? Or are the ages kept in separate
Antidote for Xtian ity? I mean take i t early before it poisons Japan with
its semitic el ements.
Any usefu l action to be take n , or does yr/ generation merely
ignore it? Obviously a lm ost A N Y rel igion can be taken up by an artist
who w i l l select o n l y its better part and ignore its evil s .
Subject n o t s i m p l e . Am wondering whether a n y good ca n b e done by
starting an article in Ita l i an : "Christianity w i l l come out of this war l ike
a p l ucked chicken . . . . " fol lowing or preced ing the remark with a l l usions
to collaboration of anglican bishops and the papal gang with usury and
I suppose Y. Yashiro is b l oke whose book on Bottice l l i I saw at Yeats '
ten years or more ago?
What I dont make out is whether one cd/ ta lk with Mushakoj i/ whether
he is SET on Beethove n , or whether that list of three names is due to his
u n fa m i l i arity with what I th ink is better. I mean does he l i ke 'em for
th eir real merits/ or becau se they are d i fferent from Jap work/ or what?
Am all for boom in Confu cius/ but hear there is some very poor neo­
Confucianism on the Chinese market. Weak general ities/
Menc ius is the most modern author. I mean STI L L , today, the most
modern/ 1 94 0 whereas Arago n is 1 9 20. Or was.
Put it: do japs of my age l ive where my elders \Vere when they (jap con­
tem poraries) were in Europe?
Neu e Sach l ichkc i t sou n d s O . K . ; naturally Ita l y has n ' t yet heard of it.
SECTION II: 1 9 36-66 1 07

Froben i u s was contem porary. Dare say I have touched on these poi nts
before . Shd/ l i ke pointers re/ fap Times/ whether I am being too UNchris­
tian for 'em/ or whether they are gett ing bored ( nowt printed for some
t i me) o r whether my econ o mics are too orthodox. Col l iers wouldn't l i ke
'em. But Senator Frazier has caught the boat/ which Volp i has NOT.
Another l ine of enquiry: do vou , I to , Mushakoj i and Kita agree on A N Y­

THING? And if so what?

Or do you set round and NEVER meet (as in England d i fferent sects)
Someti mes damn foreigner can i ntroduce proper people across clique
frontiers. As activist, shd/ l i ke to know if useful collaboration possible
between me and any of 'em/ e ither to get F U L L sou nd film of Noh/ or
more l i vely Confucian comprehension.
Anyhow, Happy New Year/ damn Churchi l l and lets hop e
that Frankie Roosevel t w i l l l i e down n o w he has a third term t o play

Ezra Po u n d
(Why a m I n ot transla ted? A ny o n e ou tside VOU cl u b ever read a book
by E. P.?)
(Don 't send compliments-I o m interested in knowing why.)

1 0 5 : E zra Pound to Katue K itasono

TLS-3 Anno XIX, Via Marsala 1 2-5 , Rapallo, with Gaudier-Brzeska profile
head. 3 1 December 1 940

Dear K i t Kat

Lah iri 's book gives the i mpression, possibly a wrong one, that Y.
Nogu c h i & Mushakoj i may be living in what was in England and Amer­
i ca the era of 1 890 or even of 1 88 8 .
I w i s h I c o u l d convi nce V O U club that economics , a n d in particu l ar the
preoccu pation w ith the nature of money and the effects of usury are not
a bee in my sole and personal bonnet.
The surreal ists , Max Ernst and the lot of 'em (Creve} being their
best writer, and not q u i te of them) were all represented in Th e Li ttle Re­
view in 1 9 2 3 .
1 08 SECTIO:--! I I : 1 9 3 6-66

A surreal ist treatment of money wou ld be contemporary, today ,

1 94 0 or still better ANNO XIX del Era fascista .
Thi s awareness i s not a mere i d i osyncrasy of mine. The most
vital poets in the West , B unting, cummings , Angold are all awake to it.
So i s W. C. W i l l iams , so i s Ron Duncan, ed itor of Townsm a n , who pre­
ceded Laugh l i n in printing VOU p oems, so is and has been T. S. Eliot
from the day he wrote B l eiste i n : "The jew is u nderneath the lot. "
It is proper that u p to the age of crucifixion ( 3 2 ) the poet be lyric. After
that he withers , I think, i f he does not feel some curiosity as to the Locus
of h i s own p erceptions and passions. By Locus I mean their movement in
rel ation to the humanity about h i m .

E. P.

Dear Kl

The preced ing page is to pri nt i f VOU has space. This page is
private, repeat i ng possibly points from yesterday's l etter.
You would h e l p me considerably if you can find time to say
why my books are NOT translated i nto Japanese. VOU has done all it can,
and is d o i ng all it can, as a magazine. But cou l d n 't Japan print a series of
books in Engl ish and/or other languages at a reasonable price? A Jap
publ isher cou ld even sell copies i n EUROPE (Con tinent where Eng. & Am .
p u blic h a ven 't contracted by rights.) i f he w d . go to it and print the cooo
books that that bloody swine Tauchnitz and Albatross (united) (a j ew
named Reese, amusing card but evil . ) does NOT and never will print.
Nat u ra l l y I wd/ be only too glad to tell the publ isher what is, and has for
the past 50 years been worth reading.
Half d ozen of d ozen H . James/ W. H . Hudson , a l ittle of F. M . Ford . My
anthology Profi l e , my Kul c h . More Thos. Hardy. Possibly some
Froben i us/ Creve] 's Pieds dans l e Pla t .
I s there in Japan an available edtn/ o f Ma d a m e Bovaryl Educ Sen­
timentale, or of Corbiere , Lafargue , Rimbaud? Or of Gautier's Emaux et
Or my Jefferson a n d/or Mussol i n i (as simple chronicle)?
All could be done for two yen a vall with percentage of 1 0% to au thors . I
mean pri nt 'em in original language. ]. T. read ers numerous enough to
cover the cost of printing. You might indeed be a pubr/ instead of a
bibl iotecari ol No, probably too risky. A fixed job is the basis of sanity.
SECTION I I : 1 9 3G-GG 1 09

But you must know a printer. I wd . cheerfu lly take a few shares i n any
company you told me was p roperly orga n i zed. Not as cap ita l i s t , but just
to show by a few bucks , that I thought the thing good bus iness.
Hel l ! Tauchnitz has made money enough .
E l i o t ' s poems/ etc. It wd . be useful t o y o u and VOU t o have a l l the best
foreign books ava i lable in Tokyo at a low price. Paper covers for prefer­
I by the way/ did Bern i e Pshaw ever see a Noh play and why d i d

he think he knew what i t was driving at?

Wonder if Kita/ no he cant h ave/ if that was first photo/ anyhow , wonder
who d i d the damn good performance that I saw from film in Washi ng­
Kita OUGHT to b e smoked up to get ALL his performances
o nto a permanent record of that sort. BOTH the movements and the
What the hell he i s d o i ng i n a L o u i s X I V w i g beats me, u nless i t is the
b l i n ki n o l d l i on , K i l i n or watt t' h e l l ?
Henya hair i s r e d and s traight/ I dare s a y t h e " coil s " i z the flossie dawg.

ever yrs
E. Pou n d

1 06 : Ezra Pound to Katue Kitasono

TLS-1 Anno X I X , Via Marsala 1 2- 5 , Rapallo, with Gaudier-Brzeska profi le
head. 2 February 1 94 1

Dear Kit Kat

The metamorphosis of the ]ap Times is from this d istance an

i nteres t i ng stu dy and very sad .
I take it the departure of Mr. Iwado coincides. I note that
the v i l l age i di ot has a column on Lah iri 's book etc.
I shou l d very much l ike to hear the whole story if you have patience
to tell it. I had alread y i n d u lged in conjectures d u ri ng the month pre­
vious t o d isappearance of Mr. Iwado and the Cub Reporter. I spose boys
w i l l be boys and youth youth. Anyhow I wd/ l ike it if not as h i story at
l east as romance and the d evelopment of the short story i n the far east.
Maupassa nt, to Cal dwell or As you l i ke i t .
110 SECTION II: 1 9 3 6-66

In fact I wondered whether my Confucianism, or my economics, or my

nationality /etc/etc/

bened i ctions.
Ezra Pound

1 0 7 : Ezra Pound to Katu e Kitasono

TL-1 [n. p.] . 1 6 February 1 94 1


I l ived tod ay a h okku , or at least it seems m ore suited to a Jap anese

context than to my heavier hand , so I offer i t to the VOU club.
With the war there are this year no concerts by the Amici del Tigu l l io ,
t h e foreign s ubscribers are gon e , but that w d / n o t prevent u s , there is no
Gerhart Munch, no p i a n i st/ no public or perh aps there m ight be a public,
but at any rate, I a m the public.
S tage, a roo m on the h i l l among the o l i ve trees
the v i o l i n ist p laying the a i r of Moza rt 's 1 6th v i o l i n sonata/
then a finch or some bird that escapes my ornithology tried to
cou nterpo int. (all thro ugh in key)
I s u p pose the subject i s : War time.
(Storm . h igh seas.)
I think you have post cards of the cliffs here, and this is the season
when the o lives fall , partly with wind or rain/ hai l for a few minutes
The i mpatient peasant rattles a bamboo i n the o l i ve twigs to get the
o l i ves down , but this is now aga i nst the regulations as they, the ol ives ,
are s u pposed to give more o i l if they fal l by themselves .
S ECTION I I : 1 93 6-66 1 1 1

1 08 : Ezra Pound to Katue K i tasono

TLS-2 Anno XIX, Via Marsala 1 2- 5 , Rapa l l o , with Gaudier-Brzeska profi le
head. 1 2 March 1 94 1

Dear K i t Kat

Have I asked , and have you answered: whether you have

o l i ve trees i n Japan? and whether the peasants shake off the olives w i th
bamboo poles?
The Janequ i n "Canzone degli Uccel l i , " Munch 's version for v i o l i n ,
was printed i n Townsman . I think I mention it a l s o i n ABC of Read ing.
}. born end of Quattrocent ol about 1 4 7 5 , if I remember rightly. Otherwise
these l i nes fro m a new Canto/ or rather for a new Canto, can go to the
VOU club without explanat i o n .

//!Lines t o go i n t o Canto 7 2 or somewhere///

Now s u n rises i n Ram s ign.

With c lack of bamboos against o l ive stock
We have heard the birds p ra i s i ng Janequ in
And the b lack eat 's ta i l i s exalted.
The sexton of San Pantaleo p lays " e mobile" on h i s cari llon
" u n ' e d u o . . . che la donna e mobile"
I n the hill tower (videt et urbes)
And a black head u nder w h i te cherry boughs
Precedes us down the s a l i t a .
(Italian for s t o n e path in hil l s )

The water-bug's m i ttens show on the bright rock below him.

(If I were 3 0 yea rs younger I wdl call 'em his boxing gloves .)

I wonder if it is clear that I mean the shadow of the " m i ttens" and can
you i d eograph it . . . very l ike petal s of blossom .
A l l of w h i c h shows that I am n o t wholly absorbed i n saving Europe b y
Though i f yr/ m i n i ster is coming to Berl i n/ Rome , the ]ap Times OUGHT to
go on w i th my articles, u n l ess the seced i ng editor has taken 'em with
h i m to enlive n some other p ublicatio n .
1 12 SECTION I I : 1 93 6-66

I get more and more orthodox every day by not moving from pos i tions
taken ten or 20 years ago .
Have j ust fini shed clean copy of my translation of Par's Politico
Econom ico-Sociale i n Ital i a ./ magn i fi cently constructed as a book! but
HELL as sentence construction/ or rather hell if you don 't knock E VERY

sentence to bits and remake it in Engl ish. My TEMPER for p ast 3 weeks
u nfit for a self-respecting leopard cage in ANY zoo.
Do try to get some n ews from cummi ngs/ etc.

benedictions/ Ezra Pou n d

O h yes , I have s poke n (to U. S.A. & England) on t h e rad i o several ti mes
from Rome. B u t I s u ppose the transm issions short wave for Tokio are
o n l y i n Japanese??

1 09 : Ezra Pound to Katu e Kitasono

TLS-2 Anno XIX, Via Marsala 1 2- 5 , Rapal l o , with Gaudier-Brzeska profi le
head. 2 5 March 1 94 1

Dear K i t Kat

Had no sooner writ you (my last) than came "Diogenes "
w i t h yr/ mention of "ol ive tree "/ but no proof it was Jap o l i ve .

I am s t i l l i nterested i n Jap Times/ as last artcl/ of mine to appear was my

whoop of joy for Matsuoka's taking on his present job . I shd/ have
th ought paper cd/ stand that//
Note for you and VOU club/ that I sent yesterday to Un ited Press a state­
ment of plan for Pacific Peace//
We shd/ give you Guam but INSIST on getting Kumasaka and Ka gek i yo i n
i . e. I N S I S T on having 300 Noh plays done properly AND recorded on
sound fi l m so as to be available to EDUCATE such amerikn stewdents as
are capable of be ing cultur'd.
(parenthesis Henry Adams to Ceo Santayana 4 5 years ago : "Ahhh, so you
w i s h to teach at Harvard . Ah , it can not be done ! ")
Of c ourse I dont know that the U . P. wi l l print the proposa l . If they don 't
and if I am asked to broadcast aga i n , I sha l l p robably put i t on the air.
SECTION I I : 1 9 3 6-66 1 1 3

Last J. T. Weekly mentioned Hoshu Saito and Gada Ono. I don't know
whether there is record in Fenollosa 's notes of name of "master of ideo­
graph" who did the ideograms that I now have. I think I merely heard
the name from Mrs. Fen o l l osa . After 25 years one is a bit vague . I th ink
it was Saito. I wonder if there is any way of d iscovering whether Saito
knew Fenol losa , or of identifying the " rays " ideogram (by its style)
which I have reproduced at start of my "Cantos 5 2/7 1 . "
I have merely given i t as " from the Fenollosa collection"
I don't know whether you have the Nott edtn/ of the Wri tten Chara cter.
All the ideograms there are , I bel ieve, by the same hand/ at any rate a l l
in s a m e i nk o n same s i ze sheets of rice paper; very black as t o ink, very
s uave as to paper surface, a lmost a glaze.

II Mediterranean March
B l ack cat on the qu ince branch
m o usmg blossoms

Message to the ex-governor who writes hokku/

For bigger and better glari ng (in the Tokyo zoo)
Let o u t the tiger
And put in the sassoon .

Ezra Po u n d

1 1 0 : E zra Pound to Katue Kitasono

TLS-1 Anno XIX, V i a Marsala 1 2- 5 , Rapallo, with Gaudier-Brzeska profi le
head. 1 2 Apri l 1 94 1

Dear Kit Kat

"Buono Pasq u a , " Thanks for " H IG H B ROW , " I can make out
what the s ubject matter i s , I don't suppose I shall ever be able to read it
without a crib.
Wou l d n ' t Laugh l i n publish a translation e ither of the book as it
stan d s , or of a selection of yr/ essays?
I have asked so many questions in my last six or ten letters that I don't
114 SECTION I I : 1 9 3 6-66

know what more to ask. F i ne season for airmen and suspended one for
the arts i n Europe. Mea n i ng, no news save what you get from the n ews

cord ially yours Ez. Pound

I n fact the only " l iterary goss i p " i s from a n old copy of Time I think it
was , Mr. E l iot convert i ng the Archbish. of York to a mixture of christian­
ity, commun ism and economics. In about that order.

1 1 1 : Katue K itasono to Ezra Pound


Dear Mr. Ezra Pound ,

Thank you for your letter o f April 1 2 . I a m very sorry I haven 't written
a nswers for your l etters so long that your questions have run out.
A s you know VOU is changed its name to SINGIJYUTU.
My latest book of poems, Hard Egg, has reached you by now, hasn 't it? I
translated your H okku " Mediterranean March " and wrote it i n m y poor
han d . You w i l l know what a great master Gado Ono i s , as compared with
A s well as you we get very l ittle n ews i n Tokio.
Charles Ford has published his book of poems , Overtu rned Lake, is the
only latest news?
How is Dunca n ?
Townsman reaches me no longer.
Your original p lan for Pacific peace was quickly printed in f. T. May i t
b e rea l i zed l i ke a m iracle of 2 0 t h century !
Do you receive f . T . regularly?
I t 's a matter of great regret that your works have not been translated in
Japanese , and sti l l it w i l l need some more years for your being translated .
You are d i fficu lt to most of the Japanese rea ders , and most of l iterary men i n
Japan are rather sentimental as they may be t h e same i n Europe.
But you m ust be known in Japan more widely.
I 'll d o m y best for it as I have been doing.
I am not sure whether there are olive trees in Japa n , or not.

Yours ever,
Ka tue Kitasono
SECTI O N I I : 1 9 3 6-66 1 15

1 1 2 : Katue Ki tasono to Ezra Pound

TPC-1 1 649 1 -t i ome nisi , Magomc, O t a , Tokio. 22 [A pril 1 94 7?]

Dear Ezra ,

I have been very anxious about your i l l ness which I learned i n News­
week and Tim e . I 've been u nable, however, to know your address . u n t i l I
received a letter from James Laugh l i n .
How are your fam i ly? Where are they? I hope you will rega in your
heal th very soon .
I revived my magazine VOU last December. Japan is i n severe inflation.

Ever Yours,
Ka t u e Ki tasono

1 1 3 : Dorothy Pou n d to Katue Kitasono

TL-1 3 2 1 1 1 0th P lace , S.E . Washington , D .C. 4 May 1 94 7

Dear Mr. K i tason o :

Ezra 's w i fe writi ng. I have j ust been with E . P. H e asks me to write you
the fol l ow i ng notes , a n d send on the Confucius, Studio In tegrale.
H e wants an estimate of what it wou l d cost to print t h e Confucian
Anthology ( " as you sent m e-TEXT , not Mao 's comment " ) .
Characters about a s l arge as enclosed. NOT M ORE tha n 6 columns of 8
[characters] per page. Or 7 i f needed to complete a strophe , with 7th col u m n
for title. Each poem of the 305 to start on NEW page , no strophe t o be
broken-i f 2 strophes (say 34 characters) won 't go entirely on page, then
start new page. Verse form to be i n dicated clearl y , by disposition of char­
Cost for 2000 copies, leaving bottom lfz page blank for translation &
notes . Characters of same verse a l i ttle cl oser. Then break between verses as
here between the characters . 8 chs. to fill height here taken by seven.
Sorry this isn 't a copy of S . In t . on the better paper. He wants sample of
font of type & of paper .
. . . so the shape of the strophe can be seen by american eye .
. . . i f verse is 6 characters , the next verse starts on new column .
. . . n o verse to be broken at column end , cf. my Cavalca n t i .
. . . page s ize a s In tegrale, or a little larger. Pages to run occ idental fas h i o n .
116 SECTION II: 1 9 3 6-66

Our family news-Mary is in Tyrol , marri e d , has just had a son.

I have been over here nearly a year. Answer to me perhaps easier.
Though his i n-going mail is not censored, al l out-going mail goes through
hands of psychiatrists .
S o glad t o hear VOU has begun again.
Please write to E . P . again. A few words from outside world gives him so
much p leasure, even if only a postcard .

Greetings ,
bel ieve me
yours most sincerely
Dorothy Po u nd

1 14 : Katue Kitasono to Ezra Pound

TPC- 1 [ 1649 1 -CHOME .NISHI , MAGOMEMACHI, 0TAKu] , ToKYO. 1 5 May 1947

My dear Ezra ,

Very much p leased with your l etter of March 1 5th , and glad to know
you have recovered so much.
Fronti ers of poetry d o not l ose their hope as long as you are wel l .
The serious inflation i n this country makes i t more and more d ifficult to
bring out books .
I earnestly d es ire such a del ightful condition will come back here as
soon as p ossible that the very interesting p lan of you about k. .-=t::, [Lao ,
Mao] can be carried out as you wish.

Ever yours ,
Katue Kitasono
]e mange, done je s u i s .

1 1 5 : Katue Kitasono t o Dorothy Pound

TLS-2 vou CLUB 1 6 4 9 1 -tiome-ni s i , Magome-mati, Ota , Tokio. 24 September
194 7

Dear Mrs . Pound ,

Very sorry I have delayed so long to send you a n answer for your l etter.
SECTION I I : 1 93 6-66 1 1 7

In Japan , price of paper is very high and pri nting i nk is not good . So I
wrote to a Chinese friend of mine inquiring i f Mr. E . P. 's Confucian A n thol­
ogy could be printed i n Shangha i . I have not yet got his answer, and so any
way I tell you what i t will cost to print it in Tokio.
S u pposing 302 pages a copy, 2000 copies to be pri nted, it will cost
Y2,000 ,000 for paper, and Y640 ,000 for printi ng. (Rate of co nversion: Y200
for a d o l l ar) . Th is is an estimate on Sept. 20 at the present. The price will go
u p much more after two weeks or so i n this i nflation speed. Moreover i t is
d i fficult or al most impossible to send you sample of type and paper becau se
of restrictions of comm u n i cation by G . H .Q. I was not allowed to receive the
copy of Studio In t eg ra le that you wrote enclosed .
There i s n o means t o receive the manuscri pts , t o send you back the
copi es , and to get money even if you send .
I think we must wait at least until peace treaty i s concluded .
Congratulate Mary's marriage and the new birth of her son.
The other day Mr. D. D. Paige of Wellesley College wrote to me of
publ ishing E. P . letters . I coul d meet his desire m i racu lou sly. A miracle
wou l d take p lace for the Confu cian Anthology! Please tel l Mr. E. P. not to be
disappo inted.
V O U i s going to change i ts title for Cen dre . You think i t i s just becoming
to a p oetry magazine i n the d efeated country, don 't you ?

Ever yours,
Ka tue Kitasono

1 1 6 : Katu e Kitasono t o Ezra Pound

TLS-2 v o u CLUB 1 649 1 -tiome-ni si , Magome-mati , Omori k u , Toki o. 1 8

December 1 94 7

Dear Ezra ,

Christmas is close by, a n d I hope you are very much i m proved i n

health .
The magazin e VOU i s to be put out i n January , 1 948 un der the new
name Cendre .
T h e V O U Club members have changed from 1 940, a n d almost all the
most excel lent poets in Japan have joi ned the VOU.
The young VOU poets in the twenties mostly read T. S . Eliot, T. E .
Hul m e , F. Kafka and P. Valery. By touching such authors , they seem t o try
1 18 SECTION I I : 1 9 3 6-66

to reform themselves d istorted i n the m i l i tary l ife.

About three weeks ago Ronal d Dunca n sent me his poems and h i s new
boo k , Th e Rape of L u c re t ia He wrote he was translating in English Coc­

teau 's La Belle e t le Bet e. This p icture w i l l be released in Tokio, next

January, a n d I am goi ng to make a beautifu l pamph let about 8 pages for this
fi l m .
T h e tra n s l a t i o n of Cocteau 's poem "Cruci fi x i o n " about 3 7 5 l i nes
appeared in l iterary magazine Europe and I was l ittle impressed w i th i t .
Recently I read P a u l Putnam's Pa r is Was O u r Mistress. I t h i n k the faul t
of t h i s book is that Putnam bel ieves he knows art ist's temperament.
A new experiment now I am trying is to bring a forceful and i ntellectual
thri l l i nto poetry. Such a poem l i ke "The Rave n " smel l i ng of death and
g u n powder.
D . D . Paige i n Wel lesley College asked me to send him E. P. letters
which he is going to publish next year, and I sent them to h i m .
He said i n h i s letter t h a t the P i s a n Cantos a re among your finest work.
Much to my regret I can 't get and read them .

Ever Yours ,
Kat u e Kita sono

1 1 7 : Katue Kitasono t o E zra Pound

TPC-1 [n. p . ] [January , 1 94 8?)


I send you a copy of the Cendre which i s the rebirth of the VOU.
I hope a charm i ng d u ck w i l l be born out of these ashes.
I shall be so much please d , if you will write me your impression about
the Gendre .

Ever yours ,
Kit Ka t
SECfl ON I I : 1 9 36-66 119

1 1 8 : Katue Kitasono to Dorothy Pound

TLS- 1 vou CLUB 1 649 1 -tiome-nisi Magome-mati , Ota , Tokio. 1 2 August 1 94 8

Mrs . Dorothy POUND.

I thank you very much for your letter of June 3 0th and the extract from
Times-Hera l d .
I 'm s o glad you read m y poem i n the Fo ur Pages.
The other day I received " Pisan Cantos , " which maybe Mr. D. D. Pa ige
arranged for send i ng to me. I am goi ng to i ntro d u ce Pisan Cantos i n the
Gendre no. 5 .
Sokolsky's opinion was very meani ngful for me.
The Japan ese is a great nation , or an u ncanny robot. She is not great,
even when consi dered i n the most favourable l i ght, then . . . .
The only way to save the Japanese i n the present is anger. A man who
has nothi ng to be angry about is n o better than a Jelly-fish. PISA :-..! CA:-..!TOS
moves me with its great anger. Anger i s j ust live God , l ive love. Yesterday , a
smal l l ovely book of poems arrived at me from Marcos Fingerit i n Ia Plata.
Please give my best regards to E . P .

Ever yours ,
Ka tue Kitasono

1 1 9 : Katu e Kitasono t o Ezra Pound

TLS-1 v o u CLU B , 1 649 1 -Tiome-nisi, Magome-mat i , Omorik u , Tokio. 28
September 1 948

Dear Ezra Pou n d ,

Much pleased t o get your a i r m a i l of Sept. 1 9 . I bought and read

Kumasaka (recently published ) , which I send you under separate co\'er.
Did Gendre no. 4 reach you? Kenneth Rexroth , the Cal i forn ian poet,
sent me his translations in E ngl ish of a hundred Manyo and Kokin \\Takas .
They are done pretty w el l . I thi nk.
Tokio is now i n the depth of Autumn and crickets are s i nging away.

Ever yours ,
Ki tasono Ka t u e
SECTION II: 1 9 3 6-66
1 20

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SECI'ION I I : 1 9 3 6-66 121

1 20 : Katue Kitasono to Dorothy Pound

TLS-1 vou CLUB 1 649 1 -nisi, Magome. O ta , Tokio. 1 5 December 1 948

Mme. Pou n d ,

I am so sorry I have delayed s o long in answering t o y o u about Mao

I fou nd out a n ice ed ition of M a o which I send y o u under separate
cover. I fear this is not the exact one E. P. wants . As I don 't know \vhat is
sealed character, I sent a letter to the l ibrarian of Chung Shan Univers i t y ,
a s k i n g if there is s u c h an ed it ion in C h i n a . I haven 't got an answer yet from
h i m . P lease write me again and send the sample of the letters E. P. likes.
I w i l l do my best in fin d i ng it.

Kit. Ka t .

1 2 1 : Katue Kitasono t o Ezra Pound

TLS-1 vou CLUB. 1 649 1 -nisi, Magome, Ota , Tokyo. 14 May 1 949

Dear Ezra Pound ,

I congratulate you on your winning the B o l l i ngen Prize of 1 948 for the
Pisan Can tos. The news appeared in many newspapers and magazines in
Japan . Ca n you i magine the deepest i m pression of those who love and
respect you i n this country?
I w i sh you to be in good health.

Ever yours ,
Ka t u e Kitasono

1 2 2 : Katue K itasono to Dorothy Pound

TLS-1 [Tokyo] . 2 0 September 1 949

Dear Mrs. Dorothy Poun d :

How i s Mr. Pound?

As you may know, Mr. Thomas Cole accepted to write for the VOU the
i nterv i e w w ith Mr. Pou n d .
As I w ish t o publish it with M r . Pou n d ' s photograph, if you have a ny,
1 22 SECTION II: 1 9 3 6-66

p lease be so kin d as to send me one. I w i l l return i t back to you as soon as it is

Gen dre c hanges its title for VOU again .

Ever yours ,
Kitasono Kat ue

1 2 3 : Katue K itasono to Dorothy Pound

TLS-1 1 -nish i , Magome, Ota, Tokyo. 7 December 1 949

Dear Mrs . Dorothy Pound :

I have j u s t sent out to you a photo of Fenol losa and sti ll s of Umewaka
M in oru u n der the separate cover. Most of these material s were burnt down
or went astray d u ri n g the war, but m y stamina for searching them out at last
caught a chance to have some of them . A few days ago I got the most
splendid photo of Fenoll osa from a Prof. H isatomi Mitsugi , a student of
Fen o llosa. It was photoed at Yokohama in May 1 93 9 . As Prof. Hisatomi
wanted to write a letter to Ez about Fenollosa, I told him your ad dress.
Please do h i m a favour.
One of the Umewaka M inoru sti l l s is of Kayoikomach i , and the other, of
Kocho , which were acted by Umewaka M i noru Junior. The tragical s p irit of
the Noh i s perfectly presented i n the m , I think. I am sure Ez wil l be satisfied
with them.
They will reach you about X ' mas.
Mr. Thomas Col e 's "Conversation with Poun d " is going to appear in the
VOU n o . 3 5 issue.

Please remember me to Ez.

With best wishes ,
Kitasono Katue

1 24 : Katue Kitasono to Mary de Rachewi ltz

TLS-2 Vou Club, 1 649 1 -nisi , Magome, Ota, Tokio . 8 May 1 950

Dear Mary,

The air letter A pril 22 from yo u reached me i n the morni ng on May 7 .

SECTION II: 1 9 3 6-66 1 23

How glad I was to hear from you again after so many years of pains of War!
During the war it was a consolation for me to remember the frien dshi p of
you and your father to me. I sti l l keep safely all your letters , photos and
manuscript about Tirol that you wrote to me 10 years ago .
I knew, a few years ago , that you had married and been blessed with a
baby. I shou l d wish you joy at once, but i n Japan at that time it was almost
impossible to write to foreign friends.
Now I congratulate on your marriage and the births of Mr. Siegfried and
Miss Patrizia. How splendid names they are !
Your father often sends m e a telegram-like letter from Washington , and
I , too, write him a telegram-like answer. B u t that 's O.K. enough .
I earnestly wish the day may come swiftly when your father comes back
to your Tyrolese ca s t l e with a Roman tower. You wait, I wait, and all the
poets in the world over wait .
Please give my best regards t o your family.

Ever Yours ,
Katue Kitasono

1 2 5 : Katue Kitasono to Dorothy Pound

TLS-2 v o u CLUB 1 649 1 -nisi. Magome, Ota. Tokio. 1 2 May 1 950

Dear Mrs . Pound ,

Excuse me for my long s i l ence. Last Sunday I got the first l etter of Mrs .
Mary d e Rachewil tz since the War. It was my greatest Joy to know that she
was very happy i n Italy.
I am remi nded that I haven't yet written an a nswer to Mr. Ezra's letter
asking how I d o think about the article by Mr. Yasutaka Fumoto , " Influence
of Confucius sti l l vastly felt today, " which had been published i n the
Nippon Times. Yasutaka is a moderate S i no logist, and this essay is not
u n i qu e opinion of his own, b u t only a skillful arrangement of the issues by
many S i n ologists in Japan. Prof. Goto Sueo is said to be the best scholar in
S i no l ogy. He is the author of " 'f--� Z. t_ � � J.fitJ Cl " [ Cu l t u ra l

Currents Between East a n d West] In China i n 1 93 4 "t. �l.. Z.. [Chu Ch'ien­
chih ] wrot e a book , " tf® �tt t ·fi @._ 7i1 13}-fJ Jjb:
. " [Infl uence
of Chinese Ideas on Europe]
Please tell this answer t o Mr. Ezra . With best wishes ,
Kitasono Katue
1 24 SECTI00J ll: 1 9 36-66

1 26 : Katue Kitasono to D orothy Pound

TLS- 1 [ 1 649 1 -n i shi , Magome, Ota, Tokyo] . 24 May 1 9 5 1

Dear M rs . Pou nd ,

I am very sorry that I have kept such a long s i l en ce , and hope you are a l l
very wel l .
I have been wai t i ng every moment for the news o f Mr. Ezra's return.
What a patience we must have !
Now after a year's reticence , the magazine VOU is ready to start again ,
expected to a ppear i n the end of June, and I a m anxious to translate and
publ ish in it those exq u i s itely charm i ng poems of Mr. E. P. as following:
"The Garret"
"Alba "
" I n a Station of the Metro "
"The Encounter"
" IMEIRf1 "
From the Selected Poems (N. D . )
C o u l d I b e all owed? I f I cou l d , woul d y o u b e s o k i n d a s to send m e a
perm ission for my translation and publ ication of them?
I am eagerly looking forward to your kindest arrangem e nt and answer.
Please give my best wishes to Mr. Ez. when you meet him.

Very s incerely yours ,

Kitasono Katue

1 2 7 : Katue Kitasono to Ezra Pound

TLS- 1 1 649 1 -nisi , Magome, Ota, Tokio. 4 November 1 95 2

Dear Ezra Pound ,

M y friend Ueda Tamotsu who is a poet, surrealist, and now a professor

of English l iteratu re in Keio Un iversity in Tokio wishes to translate and
publ ish your How to Rea d . He has asked me to request you for him that you
would ki ndly give h i m permission .
I bel ieve that he w i l l make the most excel lent translation of it, and this
will become a start for your many other important books to appear in
Japanese hereafter.
SECTION I I : 1 9 3 6-66 1 25

I a m sorry I must tell you that they cannot pay you for it, because the
book w i l l be of l i m ited edition i n a very small n u mber.
I shoul d be very much grateful , if you woul d be good enough to agree to

Very s incerely yours ,

Kitasono Katue

1 28 : Katue K i tasono to Ezra Pound & Dorothy Pound

Printed PC-1 1 649 1 -chome-nishi, Magomemachi, Otaku, Tokyo. 1 January
1 9 5 3 . (Two cards postmarked : 21 December 1 95 2 and 1 January 1 95 3 , to Ezra

�!. -y( {-fj J}

Pound and Dorothy Pound]

[ A Happy New Year]

Katue Kitasono

1 29 : K atue Kitasono to Ezra Pou n d

TLS-1 Tokio. 1 7 November 1 95 3

Dear Ezra POUND ,

I am very sorry that I haven't written to you such a long time.

The other day M ichael Reck visited me (I hadn't seen h i m s ince Febru­
ary, and I was surprised to see h i m speak Japanese so fluently) and I showed
him the typescript of the TRAXINIAI. He consented to take it to Mr. Ito
Michio. H e w i l l soon come and tell m e abou t it.
I t was m y greatest i mpression that I coul d catch the aspect of Noh in so
vivid words and l i vely expression of you in The Translation s of E. P.
N o w I am reading Lew i s ' Rotting Hil l .

Ever yours,
Kitasono Katue
1 26 SECTION II: 1 936-66

1 3 0 : Ezra Pound to Katu e Kitasono

TLS-1 ln. p.] 30 January 1 9 5 9

Dear and respected Kit-Kat , after m a n y ages , and perfid ies etc.

There seems at last a chance of getting DECENT edition of the Odes, with
both seal character A N D the reproduction of the magnificent text you sent
me years ago. Have you any i dea WHAT edition it is? I can send photo to
refresh your memory. B eautiful characters , a n d the Odes without the
notes, as they are in Mao etc.
I dare say Vanni sends you h is printed matter?
Both the german and i t a l i an vers ions of TRAXINIAI are in process of
pro d uction (stage) as we l l as print. s u T· it w i l l need the M inoru or
japanese tech n ique to get any res u l t near to what I or Sophokles could
get much pleasure from.
I reca l l , as ever Lady Gregory, when a north e ngl ish company had mur­
dered The King's Threshol d : "An o i tel l h i m whoi doesn't he wro i te
comedies, a n den he would have a few pleasant moments whoile he's i n
d e h teeYayter ! "
I tell h i m why doesn 't he write comed i es and then he woul d have
a few p l easant moments while he is in the theatre.
Projected edition of the Odes w i l l have two texts in chinese , my
ameri ca n and Scarfogli o ' s i ta l ia n , and the i n dication of the sou nd (which
of course wont i n d i cate M UCH , but at least the n umber of syllables i n the
origina l , and the tone variatio n ) .

Ever yours
Ezra Pou n d

1 3 1 : Ezra Pound to Katu e Kitasono

TLS-1 Hotel Itali a , Rapallo, Italy. 1 2 June 1 959

Dear Kit Kat

I a m , a s you can see from post mark , back i n Rapallo where

I rec ' d your first letter, and where there is sti l l a file of Broletto.
TRAXINIAI is b e i ng done i n Berl i n , heaven knows how, but some­
one has said it w i l l take them 50 years to see what has been done. I s t i l l
believe that o n l y a Noh company c a n do it properly.
S ECTI ON II: 1 93 6-66 127

I haven 't learned kana YET. Pages of the magn ificent text of the
Odes that you sent have been photogra phed in the not extingu ished
hope of a decent edition, sea l , that square character, my engl ish and
Scarfogl io's italian. n uT . . . .
It m ight help if some critic not i n terror of the american " c u l tura l "
(bless your heart) "foundations , " shou l d animadvert o n the delays in
trans m ission and the sp irit of Harvard and other u niversities. Beauson
Tseng has ap proved the trans lation, if you know who he is, or if there is
any survival of Tcheu 's l ament : they ought to be l ike brothers , they read
the same books .
Kri pa l a n i has just sent me his tra nslation of Tagore 's nove l s ,
and s o m e Gandh i .
B ooks are kept i n the Warsaw cellarage. More editors m ight fol low
your method of pri nting a few words in the language of the books they
ment ion , which wou ld at least tel l the ignorant a l ien what they cons ider
worth notice.
I have enough superfluous bone (calcination) in my neck to sup­
ply a giraffe , and it has been s l owing me down.
I don't imagine the Japan Times has been returned to the peo­
ple who had it before my u n t imely note on Matsuoka? Or that other than
cestheti c i d eas have much more outlet in Tokyo than anywhere else? I
suspect you have forgotten your english during the past 20 years. At the
same t i m e one m ight manage more l ively exchan ge of correspon dence .
You ng Reck must know enough japanese to hel p at it.
I d o n ' t think you have ever mentioned J u n zaburo , or Iwasaki. Af­
ter success of TRAXINIAI i n the german translation (Eva Hesse) there are
requests for Noh , for performance in Germany.
The charm ing member of your other profession, who had 200 vari­
eties of roses in his Rapa l l o (quite sma l l ) garden has passed i nto whatev­
er non-B h u d ist rea l m of non- or not-non existence. There is a spate of
b u i l d ing, in I suspect , very unstable material , and less beach open to the
u norganized public. The gulf sti l l contains water and the mountains not
greatly a ltered by bombing raids d 'anta n .
Very i nterest ing fotos in o n e VOU that I have passed o n t o the
Obert i , who w i l l , I think, send you Ana etc. , they and their friend Carre­
ga w i l l take note of anything your friends send them. Does anyone want
a copy of Boris' b i lingual B o o k of the Dead ? No use my sending
Schei w i l ler n otices if he has already done so. Mary's Kagekiyo has gone
into another large edition. What does Ja pan do with TV?
1 28 SECTION II: 1 9 3 6-66

Italian p hrase heard recently: memories are the white h a irs of

the heart. From wife of o l d tennis pal of mine n ow i nvali d .

Ez. P.

1 3 2 : Katue K i tasono to Mary de Rach ew i l tz

TLS-1 1-26, 5 chome, Akasaka, Minatoku, Tokyo, Japan. 28 November 1 966

Dear M ary de Rachewi l t z ,

You r b o o k o f poems , D i Riflesso, reached m e safely passing thro ugh

many hands from my former address. I cannot read your poems, because I
d o n ' t know Italian l anguage, b u t visually I can see t hat these poems are very
n i c e and beautifu l . Many thanks.
I lost many of my books I loved d uring the war, among which the text of
your story is included. Very, very sorry !

w i th best wishes,
Kitasono Katue
P.S. I also thank you for the copy of your fine work of translation, Il Teatro
Giapponese No.
1 29


J APAN : 19 5 6-6 8

I N THIS S ECTION are col lected five l etters of Ryozo I wasaki to Ezra Poun d ,
seven l e tters of Pound t o Iwasaki , one J etter o f Shiro Tsu noda to Pou n d , a
fragment of Pound's l etter to Tsunoda, one letter of Pound to Tomoj i Okad a ,
a n d o n e l e tter o f Pound to t h e Librarian , U n i versity of Virgi n i a.
The f i r s t b o o k - l e n gt h c o l l ec t i o n of Pou n d ' s poems i n J a p a n e s e
appeared in 1 9 5 6 , t h e c u l m i nation of years o f ded i cated effort o f Ryozo
I wasaki ( 1 908-76 ) , then Professor of Engl ish Literature at Keio University.
A sch o l ar working i n c l assical Greek and Latin l iterature, Iwasaki provided
an amply a n notated transl at i on which immedi ately won very favorabl e

I n h is l etter to Pound , Iwasaki enclosed a poem by h i s colleagu e ,
Junzaburo Nishiwaki , w h o h a d written t h e "Preface " t o Iwasaki's transla­
tion. On read ing the poem , Pound suggested to I wasaki that Nishiwaki be
recommen d ed to the Swed ish Academy as a Nobel Pri ze candi date. This
note fro m Pou n d , though brief, created a tremendous i mpact on the
Japanese l iterary wor l d .
Si nce h i s u n d ergrad u ate d ays , Iwasaki h a d been associ ated w i t h var­
i o us l i terary c i rc l es , and had wri tten a number of critical essays. In 1 92 7, a
year after he entered Kei o U n iversity, he j o i ned four other young people to
start the m agazi ne, Butai S h i n se i (New Vo ic es o n Th e a t r e ) . And i n 1 93 1 ,
with other members of the U n i versity, he l aunched another magazine, Shin
Mita-ha (New Mita Group) .
H i s interest i n Pound goes back to his early years. I n 1 934 he wrote
"Poetics of Mr. Pound " for the Shih6 (Poetics) edited by Shiro Murano and
Azuma Kondo. He also contributed essays on modern poets i nc l u d i ng
Pound t o the poetry journal , Shinry6do (New Territory) , around 1 93 7 .
During World War I I h i s main concern was d i rected toward cl assica l
Roman l iterature. He publ ished A History of Roman Litera t u re i n 1 940 and
Selected Works of Cicero in 1 94 3 . But after the war , his interest in American
l i terature was revived. He wrote " Ezra Loomis Pound" for Seminars on
Contempora ry Poetry (Sogensha) i n 1 95 0 . He then publ ished the transla­
tion, Ezra Pou n d : Selected Poems (Arechi Shuppan , 1 95 6 ) . In Octobe r,
1 96 5 , Iwasaki spoke over the rad i o (NHK) on Ezra Pound in cel ebration of
his 80th birthday, broadcasting also selected recordings of Pound 's own
readings. For the poetry magazine, Mugen ( Infin ity) . he wrote three articles :
1 30 SECTIO:-\ III: 1 95 6-68

"The Structu re of the Cantos" (August, 1 96 0 ) , " Cock and Snai l : Pou n d and
El i ot " (October , 1 9 6 5 ) , a n d "Ezra Pound and Cummings " (November,
1 96 7 ) . [As for his other works on Poun d , see Donald Gall u p , A Bibliography
of Ezra Poun d . ] When I wasaki traveled through Italy on his way to England
i n 1 96 1 , Pound 's i l l ness regrettably made it i mpossible for him to meet the
aged poet.
Wh i le sti l l in Was h i ngt o n , D.C. , Pound received a letter from another
Japanese scholar, Shiro Tsu n oda ( 1 9 2 2- ), now professor at Obirin Uni­
versity. Though Pound was busy at that time, with various people o utside
the hospital trying to have the court dismiss the i n d i ctment aga i nst him, he
repl i ed p ro v i d ing several answers to Tsunoda's questions o n his poetry. It
is a p i ty that, except for one fragment which is printed i n the fol l owing
sectio n , the rem a i nder of the letter was lost.
Tomoji Okad a , a ret i re d busi nessma n , wrote Pound offering a correc­
t i o n of a misleading p assage in Pou n d 's Intro d u ction to h is No translation.
P o u n d h a d written that, after Feno l losa's s u d den death in Lon d on , the
J a p anese government had " sent a wars h i p for his body. " B ut Okada c la imed
t o know that Fenol losa ' s ashes had been brought to Japan via the S iberian
Rai lroa d . I n fact , Okada had asked his fri en d Yasotaro Kato , who was
retu rni ng to Japan via S i beria , to carry Fenol losa 's ashes to Japan w i th h i m .
Poun d 's l etter to Okada m ay reflect his attitude toward history: " I certai n l y
d i d n o t i nvent i t . " O n e may wonder if i ndeed the ashes were brought back
to Japan on a Japanese wars h i p over the Japan Sea. B u t Tokutaro Sh igeh isa,
who later i nvestigated the matter, suggests that the ashes probably arrived
at Tsuruga from Vlad ivostok on September 1 9 , 1 909 on the Hozanmaru of
t h e Osaka S h i p ping Co. (Tokutaro Sh igeh isa, " Fenol l osa's Ashes and
Japan , " Com pa ra t ive Litera t u re , va l . 2, 1 95 9 , p p . 83-4 . )
I n 1 96 8 when the present e d i tor vis ited wi th Pound i n Paris, the poet
wrote a note to the l i brari an at the University of Virgi nia grant i ng permis­
s i o n for access to a mi crofi lm copy of the Fenoll osa notebooks. All the
notebooks of Fe nol losa sent to Pound by Mary Fenol losa \Vere at that time
u nder lock and key , and it wou ld have been i m possible otherwise for me to
ha ve read them . At the time, Hugh Kenner's m icrofi l m of part of the
notebooks had been stored at the library of the University of Virg i n i a .
SECTION III: 1 9 5G-G8 131

1 3 3 : Ryozo Iwasaki to Ezra Pound

TLS-4 1 -3 4 , M i t a , Mi na toku , Tokyo, Japan. 30 November 195 6

Dear Mr. Poun d ,

I am sen d i ng you the Japanese translation o f your poems to-day. I t has

meant a great deal to me. I have no words to apologi ze to you for publ ish i ng
your poems without permission. The Waste Land has been translated by
severa l hands in our cou ntry, but " Hugh Selwyn Mauberley" has never
been put into Japanese, and some favourable comments to my translation
have appeared in Japanese n ewspapers . B u t I must confess it was a very
d i ffic u l t task. I wonder what it w i l l seem to you . I want you to tell me what
effect it has on you .
I had a very pleasant j o u rney to Kobe the other day, and found that
Ernest Fenol losa 's lock of hai r had been b u ri ed at Homyo i n , Enjoj i Temple
in Ots u , near Kyoto. I enclose photographs of the grave, which was bu i l t by
Mr. Laurence B inyon and other foreigners. The weather was most over­
whe l m i ngl y l ovely. He s l eeps among the cedar grove and beautiful ferns by
the Lake B i wa ( i . e. l ute) . Val e ! Val e !

Yours very sincerely,

Ryozo Iwasaki
1 32 SECTION I l l : 1 95 5-58

Appen d i x 1
Contents of Selected Poems of Ezra Pound (Japanese Translation)
Preface by J u n zaburo Nish iwaki
" Sestina: A l ta forte"
" Rome "
"The Garden"
"The S pring"
"Dance Figu re "
"To Kalon"
" Ladies"
"After Ch'u Y u a n "
" Fan-Piece , for her Imperial Lord "
" In a Station of the Metro"
"Alba "
"Papyrus "
"To Form i a n u s ' Young Lady Friend "
"The Lake Isle"
"Homage to Qui ntus S. F. Christianus"
" Moeurs contem pora ines ( Stele) "
"Canto I "
"Canto IV" (abridged)
" Hugh Selwyn Mauberley"

A pp e n d i x 2 By Ju nzaburo Nishiwaki
January i n Kyoto
Janus, old man,
Your n a m e is d a m p and grey a n d too pro longed
A ring to rattle in my verse;
You double-faced , d i l u ted churl of churls,
You corn-du l l , poppy-wi lted , beaver-brown ,
SECTION Ill: 1 9 5 6-68 "1 3 3

You snow-eater. a parasite on roots and berries ,

Iconoclast of gins and perries,
You 're rea l ly one of the pariah dogs
Yel p i ng, th ras h-worth , at the belated gods.
I know the deities would rather inflate
And flow i n pipes than in metric odes. but now
You suddenly brought us shy myth.
When we, d isgu ised as Zeu s and Hermes , we nt
Looki ng for orchi d s that w i l l hang oblong and d i m
A t cuckoo-crow a t the h e l l lady's door,
I n the Hiei foot-hi l l s by pebbly-purring streams.
We went into a peasant's cottage to see
How one cleans and a dorns one's range
With a s prig of rue and a tangle of hips
To h onour the bluff god of the kitchen fire.
The o l d baucis-and-philemon tree rustled its top:
" Revere n d sirs, you are early. Wel l now . "
My fri e n d , a B e n Jonson scholar at the un ivers ity,
And a compl ete parr angler, could speak
The Yase doric : " Look what we 've got ,
S u ch l ovely slender buds; may we leave
These things with you by this mercury bush,
As we 're going to see Emau Convent u p there?"
Aga i n we wen t out into l oam l and , d reaming
Of Angels and pottery crystal-beaming:
Thi s t i m e as tinkers we wandered . . .
Post-orchi d j o u rney it w i l l be name d .
A red olent trek , there w a s a smell
Of yellow plum blossom i n the turn i p fi elds.
"Who i s it wa lking with you , stra ngers? "
" It is a woman . "
She i s i n holy visibi lity:
That was an o l d woman w ith the help of a stick
On her way from Shu-gaku-in to Iwakura
To d raw out money, the account book on her hea d ,
Nicely done u p in a peony-patterned c loth
Probably to ransom her helen out of peonage.
She had a leer l i ke a boar
And had a stutter l i ke Darley :
1 34 SECTION III: 1 95 6-68

B u t i t might be thunder i f she chose to parley.

Excited by our ind ignati on o n the boar ravages ,
With fury and froth i ng she made a Del phic utterance :
" It only took them a n ight to devour
A m idd l esex acre (as Macaulay says) of your yams;
Last year they shot a huge one, but nobody
Cou l d bear him away, so there you are . . . "
So saying she glowered at us and passed by.
Now I come to the second nonnes tale:
We greeted the ancress in a most el egant way;
Unrobe d , aproned , head tonsured as azure as
The kingfi sher's wings , sweep ing up fal l e n leaves
Among the l andscape stones green with moss ,
Herself i n d i s tinguishable from the blue.
"Good morning, Madame Egl antine, may I
See your garden? Wonderfu l !
And d o you happen t o know my relation
Who is a pri oress l iv i ng near Kitano-Tenj in?"
" I wou l d n 't know, s ir. But how odd, when I 've been
Of the same tri be nearly a l l my l i fe .
B o tree, that . Very , very rare . "
" Perhaps y o u could l e t m e h ave a twig i n the spring;
I ' d l ike to graft it on a stock . . . mul berry it i s . "
Enl ightenment . . . an entwini ng o f rose and bay.
" By a l l means. S ecretum secretorum ! "
When we ret urned full c i rcle to the roots
Of our orc h i d s , we m a u ndered to sanctify
Fert i l ity . . . magic jabber . . . over cups of tea.
The wife decanted gol d e n mead to i m morta l i ze
Our chats and our pseud o-god l i ness . but we tried
Hard to h ide our mortal i ty . . .

B i ogra ph i cal Note: J . Nishiwaki was born in 1 89 6 . He graduated at Keio

U ni vers ity but later stud i ed English l iterature at Oxford Univers ity. He is
the author of a number of books on Engl ish and European languages and
l iterature and has translated El iot's Th e \Va ste La n d into Japanese. He has
publ ished several books of poems and although his output has been sma l l ,
h e i s one of the most i nfluential o f modern poets i n Japan to-day. H e is a t
present Professor o f Engl i s h l i terature a t Kei o Uni versity.
SECTION' I l l : 1 9 5 6-68 1 35

1 34 : Ezra Pound to Ryozo Iwasaki

TLS-2 [Pmk: WASHINGTON D.C.] 28 December 1 956

Dear Ryozo Iwasaki

It has been a most del ightfu l Xmas , and I have you to

thank for two of the p l easant surpri ses . Your elegantly pri nted " Ma uber­
ley" (& other poems), and J . N . 's Janus Poem, the latter MOST opportune,
as Stock has started a magazine which bad ly needs it. Edge, edited by
Noel Stock
4 3 6 Nepean Rd . , East B righton S. 6, Melbourne, Austra l i a
Started with t h e highest a i m s o f a n y review s i nce Ford 's English Review
in 1 90 8 . To whom I trust you and Junzaburo w i l l contribute at once. He
has printed a few translations of mine and the l ong-needed Z i e l i nski
S i byll el but there was the LACK of vortex ; of concentratiop of creative tal ­
ents s uch as m a d e The Li ttle Review \vith Lewi s , J oyce , and Eliot.
Don 't cre d i t me with a knowledge of Japanese, let alone the abi l ity
to j udge the style of your translation or i ts nearness to the origina l . I am
del ighted with the look of the edition, happy to see the W . L. portra i t on
the j acket ( portrait now on show in N. York) , a n d having only partia l l y
unwrapped the volu m e , had t h e second a n d delayed p l easure and sur­
prise of fin d i ng D . P . 's cover design for Ripostes on the reverse. Looking
much better enlarged to that s i ze and with the n ippon script cohering
m uch better with the design than the heavy engl ish l ettering of the origi­
n a l . I n short a p l easant yesterday. And the 40 year after surge of coinci­
dence. W . L. 's preface for H I S show at the Tate a n d my note on La Mar­
t i ne l l i havi ng been done without collusion . . . i n a way that woul d h ave
p l eased Yeats ' astrol ogical yearn i ngs.
Junzaburo has a more vital engli s h than a ny I have seen for some time.
AND i f you choose such good company I can well bel i eve you have made

a good job of the "Mauberley," and trust if you also write i n engl ish or
transl ate your own poems you wi l l send copies both to Stock and my­
I have enjoyed that J a n us poem more than anythi ng I have come on for
some time.
I recal l Ford on one occasion re/ l ack of l i terary comprehens ion i n
Lon d o n : "That i s why one feels s o DAM;\/ lone ly. " And a t the opposite
extreme, it is heartening to find that another good poet exists .
One or two questions, as yr/ oxford ian friend has a vocabulary which in­
c l u des " ancress "/ m ay be he has a d ictionary which includes " perries . "
1 36 SECTION Ill: 1 956-68

I have no engl i sh d ictionary here/ only greek and

chinese, so I can 't h unt for i t , and I F it is a typing s l i p , he might correct
it before sen d i ng the ms/ to Stock (which, as above, I hope he w i l l do). I
shall tell Stock I h ave asked h i m to.
It cant be m isprint for berries, which occurs as rhyme in l i ne prece d i ng.
Probably IS oxonian, and not yankee.
Thrash-worth , or thrash-worthy
I If he wants thrash-wort h , let it stan d .
I t i s stronger/ but o n e wants to b e o n guard when wri ting a for­
eign l a nguage. You i mprove i t , and it is set down to ignorance. Stock
m u s t know i t is i ntentiona l .
(These are very fussy comments o n matters of small importance , but I
d o n 't want to lose time with Stock.) Aga i n parr, or par.?
Don 't i m agine that I ever knew how to spell in A i': Y language , and have
certai nly forgotten a good deal that I knew temporarily. I hear an Athen­
i an taxi driver was l amenting that he cou l d n ' t help me to correct the
greek i n Can tos/ which I S , at least part l y , d ue to a merican pri nter O M IT­
TING corrections A FTER they had been properly set u p . Besides whatever

state the typescri pt is i n , Melbourne w i l l probably A D D a few errors . Does

the h e l en want a capital (Helen ) ? peri , for periwinkle? in I . 7?? A joke
that I shd/ be asking for footnotes . Darley?
At the boar's ( i s not necessary) ravages.
so there you are
("Stetson " is used with e m phasis, no i m plication that reader a lrea dy
kn ows of h i m . )
(These t w o m ight be typ i ng s l i ps?)
Other X mas items at this end . Amara l 's Cantares Pisanos A T last issued
by U n i v . of Mexico. Eva 's Pisa ner Gesonge a n d popular edt n . pocket
book Dicht u n g u n d Proso . No. 2. Edge with the Zieli nski . And A T l ast the
TRAXINIAI in London with some addenda. I w i l l send Academia B u l le­
tins s l ow post. Thanks for the Fenol l osa fotos. And give my regards to
the M in oru . It was h i s grandfather's foto on my mantel p i ece that l owered
the bamboo curt a i n with Ito a n d Kume in London , 40 years ago. And the
present M i noru i n Kagekiyo mask is on cover of my daughter's Ita l ian
tra n slation of the Fen o l l osa-E. P . i mpression o f that play. (They met a t
Ven ice festiva l . ) The T�AXINIAI translation was due t o reread i ng the
Noh translations for c o l lected translations, and to make Verkehr with
Lorenzatos gree k edition of Ca t ha y . . . a current toward inter­
co m m u n ications.
SECTION I I I : 1 9 56-68 137

I w i l l ask Vanni Scheiwiller to send you some of his editions , or, as he

runs on enthusiasm, perhaps the Keio Univ. w i l l want some for their l i ­
brary. The stone tab let text o f Pivot is neater in the Ital ian b i l ingual than
in the larger New Directions edtn/ and the outrage of delays and sabotage
in connection with Harvard press , which sho u l d have done the Odes
with sea l character and sou nd-graph, one more infamy on the neck of
this u nfortunate continent.
At any rate , do send me more news as the incarcerated 1 ive on
their post-bag.

cordiali s a l u ti t o both of you .

Ezra P o u n d

1 3 5 : Ryozo Iwasaki to Ezra Pound

TLS-1 [n. p.] 8 Apri l 1 95 7

Dear Mr. Pou n d :

I have accused myself for not writi ng to you . Many thanks for your
cordial letter and Aca demia B u lletins . I felt as i f I actua l ly met you and
l i st e n e d t o y o u r w i tty ca u se ri e . I h ave j u s t read through Mr. Denis
Goacher's "Pictures of E. P." in the Nim b u s , and I have been keenly feel i ng
that the worl d i s incompat ible with the wisdom of a gen uine poet. Yet I
beli eve an art i st sho u l d be a l l owed his own vision.
My heart was fi l led with i ntense sorrow when I heard the news of
Wyndham Lewis's death. I can well understand your fee l i ngs . though
omnes eadem c og i m ur .
Ju n zaburo Nishiwaki won the Yomi u ri prize for poetry the other day for
h i s The Th ird Myth , which contains Janus poem in Japanese version. He
expresses h i s gratitude and d el ight for your hel pfu l and inspiring criticism.
I hear George Darley ( 1 795-1 846 ) , an Irish poet, was a stutterer. He says he
wi l l send you some o ther poems before long.
The London edition of Traxiniai came to my hand this morn i ng. I read
your vers i o n in the H u d so n Review a few years ago . I will press Kitasono to
translate it i nto Japa nese as soon as possible. (I hear he has been depressed
by a love affa i r . ) In recent years No plays written by the modern au thors are
on at the various theatres in Tokyo, and some of them are successfu l .
I think Italy must be a very pleasant country t o l ive in. My brother-in­
l aw i s the Japanese Ambassador at Rome. I hope I shall be able to travel in
1 38 SECTION Ill: 1 95 6--68

Italy-where every footstep is fraught with memories-during h i s tenure of

There i s a story that when , after the last war , Norman Douglas appl ied
to the I talian Government for perm ission to retu rn to Capri , he was told that
no foreigner was a l l owed to settl e in Italy. "I do not wish to live in Ital y , " he
rep l ie d , "I wish to d i e there . " H i s request was granted.
May I ask you some questions?
1 . Or t h rough dawn - m i s t
Th e grey a n d rose
Of the j uridical
Fla m i ngoes : "Mauberley" IV
What is the mea n i ng of the j urid ical i n th is context?
2 . Who i s Headlam? ("Mauberley")
John Espey says that Head lam is th e Rev. Stewart Headlam, though
Friar and B r i n n i n say that he is the R. Rev. Arthur C. Hea d l a m , the
B ishop of Gloucester.
P l ease forgive me for the trouble I am causing you.
I n exchange for your kindness, I am sendi ng you Japanese No Plays ,
Confucian A nalects by Dr. Legge , and T'ao Yuan-ming i n Chi n ese char­
acters , which I am sure you w i l l l ike.

Sincerely Yours ,
Ryozo Iwasaki

1 3 6 : Ezra Pound to Ryozo Iwasaki

TLS-1 St. Elizabeths. 1 1 April 1 9 57

Dear Ryozo Iwasaki

I wonder if what Ito woul d have cal l ed your "brother

in row" is the Ambassador my da ughter met when the Minoru took the
Noh to Ven i ce?
I hope J u nzaburo w i l l continue to " deroch er, " but vvish you would both
get in touch with Noel Stock, i\:0\V . (Occidental vulgarity, we l ive i n
etern ity , but magazines d o n o t , and the better a period ical the more pre­
carious its existence, and the greater the need to get the best available
matter printed before the ed itor goes bus t . )
I d o n t t h i n k Kit K a t knows enough engl ish t o translate TRAX­
S ECTI00.' I l l : 1 95 6-68 1 39

a m convi nced the Noh techn ique is only way of doing i t


properly, i n whatever la nguage.

No poet shd/ be de pressed by a love affa ir/ if accepted he can enjoy i t/ if
given the " heave-ho " it s hd/ improve his prosody and versificat i o n . A n d
K i t Kat m u s t b e several years you nger than I a m .
When y o u get to Italy y o u m ust spend a few days w i t h m y descend ents
at Schl oss B ru n n enburg-T i ro l o , Merano.
"j urid ica l "/ grav ity of the bird . the genera l legal att itude/ etc.
I shd/ say the l i zard is professorial! at l east one memorable
occasion of main body of said animal . utterly i mpassive , ret urn ing to i n­
s pect the excited movements of its own ta i l knocked off by a cat . Of
cou rs e s i tuation much more serious for ta i l ( i rrevocable) . whereas l i zard
cd/ repl ace same with pat ience.
Headl a m , S t uart (or Stewart ) , member of rhymers club, I dont think he
atta i ned prebebde.
Do you kno\v Dr. Koj i ro Yosh ikawa? He has sent his East-flow West-flow
t o Sheri , my copy has n 't come.
If you can persuade yr/ publ isher to extend his operation by sen d i ng re­
v i ew copies of your " Mauberley " to h. de cam pos, r. dr. fra nco da rocha
2 3 2 , s . pau l o , B rasi l
AND t o Stock, and to Eva Hesse O'Donne l l . Franzjosef str/ 7 . v i , Milnchen

1 3 , Germany
I t h i n k they wd/ spread the glad t i d i ngs .
Also to Garcia Tern�s . Un iversidad de Mexico, Mexico Ci ty. Mexico. The
Min istry of Education in B razi l . and M ex. Uni vers ity are publ ishing the
Spanish Pisans , and port uguese 1 7 Cantos .
The venerabl e Chiang encourages me with the j a i l sentence of King \t\'en
and Confucio and other res pectable chinamen.
In just what sense do you use word "stutterer" re/ Darley? I take it [ i t ] is
] . N . who i s sen d i ng poems . Qu icker to send 'em to Stock, and he w i l l
print 'em a n d send on more copi es.
]o B a rd lecturi ng in the Canary Is les . rh ymes with yr/ use of the very
Possu m i n the preterite.
And I shal l be gratefu l for the To Emmei .

cord i a l i sa l u t i
Ez P
140 SECTION Ill: 1 95 6-68

1 3 7 : Ryozo Iwasaki to Ezra Pound

TLS-2 Keio University, M i ta , Minatoku , Tokyo, Japan. 24 June 1 9 5 7

Dear M r . Ezra P o u n d :

I've received a parcel contai n i ng Italian Kagekiyo , Confu cio, Cantos ,

Iconografia and Lavoro ed Us ura , etc. the other day. Many many thanks for
your kindness and a l l those wonderful books Mrs. Mary de Rachewi l tz sent
me. In particular Iconografia and Confucio are so beautiful that they fairly
take my breath away. In exchange for her kindness I sent her my "Mauber­
ley" and Ja panese Masks, which I ' m sure she w i l l l i ke. And also I sent you
Japanese Masks and Taiga . Ikeno Taiga ( 1 7 2 3-76) i s one of the Southern
School Artists. He had a true enthusiasm for Chinese culture , and was
earnest in Chinalizi ng the Japanese landscape, as the Augustan poets i n
Engl a n d u s e d to Latin i zi ng t h e E nglish worl d .
] . N . 's J a n u s poem wi l l b e published i n Edge no. 5 . H e ' s deeply gratefu l
to you. I sent my "Mauberley" to Mr. Stock, h. de campos , Eva Hesse
O 'Donnel l , and Garcia Tern�s last month.
Commemorati ng the fiftieth anniversary of Fenollosa's death , a biog­
rap h y was publ ished i n Tokyo. I ' m writ i ng now an essay on Mr. Pound and
Fen o l l osa. Donald Davie, a young critic and Fel l ow of Tri nity College , paid
a great h omage to The Chi nese Written Character i n his Articulate Energy.
How and when d i d you happen to be acting as li terary executor of Fenol lo­
sa? ( Fenol losa's name first appeared in your letter, To William C. W i l l iams ,
1 9 Dec. , 1 9 1 3 . ) Please tell me t he circumstances .
O ne of m y students is writing a doctor thesis on Yeats 's plays . She had
been i n England for three years , and brought back some photographs of
Yeats's Mss. May I ask you some quest i o ns?
1 . Do you know the date when Yeats started A t the Hmvk's \r\!el l ?
2 . D i d Yeats actual l y write the fi rst draft at Coole Park, being q u i te
i nd ependent from your assistance?
3 . To what extent d i d you help Yeats in the progress of writing At the
Ha wk's Wel l , or other plays , if any?
4. Can you give us a s tatement i n which you testify Yeats 's zeal for the
Far Eastern art , etc? (includ i ng the Noh , of course . )
May I publish your letters i n the Japanese magazine, omitt i ng too
personal passages (e.g. Kit Kat 's knowledge i n English) and adding some
Etiam atq ue-e tiam va le,
P.S. M i noru started for Paris several days ago . Ryozo Iwasaki
SECTION III: 1 95 6-68 141

1 3 8 : Ezra Pound to Ryozo Iwasaki

TLS-1 St. Elizabeths, D.C. 21 August 1 95 7

Dear Ryozo Iwasaki

No l i terary prize or j ury award can alter the weight of

a consonant or change the l e ngth of a vowe l , but on the practi cal s i d e , i f
you have some sort of Japanese Academy o r authoritative body, it could
d o n o harm to bring J u n zaburo Nishiwaki 's work to the attention of the
Swed ish Academy; I do not recal l their havi ng yet honoured N i ppon.

ever yours
E Pound

1 39 : Ryozo Iwasaki to Ezra Pound

TLS-1 [n. p . ] 3 September 1 9 5 7

Dear M r . Ezra Pound :

Tha n k you for your ni ce l etter of the 2 1 st; I enjoyed every word . We can
consc i entiously recommend Mr. J. N. most heart ily. We are now looking
into the proper procedure, a n d I believe we must get a l etter of recom­
men dation from you . H e ' l l write you a l etter asking a favour. I ' l l send you
some materials one of these d ays .
The open i ng ceremon ies of the XXIX I nternational PEN Congress was
hel d in Tokyo yesterday. The congress w i l l spend four days in Tokyo before
moving to Kyoto for the final two days a n d the clos ing session. Its high l i ght
w i l l be a sym pos i u m on the theme of the current meeting: "The Reciprocal
Influence of Eastern and Western L i terature on Writers of the Present Day
and of the Future , both in Relation to msthetic Values and to Ways of Life . "
W e can find the fol l owing names in the l ist o f Congress members : Mr.
Karl Shap iro, Mrs. John G. Fletcher, John Dos Passos, John Steinbeck, E lmer
Rice, Alberto Moravi a , Stephen Spender etc.
We sha l l enjoy viewing of Noh play tomorrow afternoon.

Sincere ly yours ,
Ryozo Iwasaki
1 42 SECTION III: 1 956-68

1 4 0 : Ezra Pound to Ryozo Iwasaki

TLS-1 [n. p.] 6 September 1 9 5 7

Dear Ryozo

It wou l d be most improper for me as a pri vate citizen to

recommend J . N. formal l y.
I can express an opinion to you as a frien d , but b e l ieve nominations can
come only from orga n i zed offic i a l bod ies belonging to the writer's own
cou ntry or from authors who have a l ready received the Nobel Award .
A l s o , not being able to read Japanese, I h ave only a hunch and one of h is
poems i n English to go o n .
I shou l d be delighted if I am right in my guess , and i f he gets t h e Award.
AS to the p o l l ution of the orient by introd uction of tai nted minds from
the occident and Mesopotamia
God help you . There is a popular engl i sh d itty "Heaven wi l l pRotecT the
working girl . "
Let u s p ray that some o f the real criteri a/ wasn't i t Mat Arnol d : "The best
that has been known a n d though t . "
For gods sake get h o l d o f the real occi dental c l assics and consu lt people
who are faithfu l to the m .
AND make a start by attacki ng t h e great lie that t h e jews gave t h e world
rel i gion.
The whole of India and China and Greece O UG HT to oppose this. The his­
tory of medireval europe is that of a confl ict between man iacs and sav­
age s , with a d ash of mal evolence, greed of conquest, pollution.
There may be no righteous wars i n the " Spring and Autumn " but I have
never heard of either Bh u d i sts or Taoists using religion as a pretext for
s l a u ghter. Nor is it Confu c i a n .
I won der if Elmer Rice i s an i nnocuous centenarian o r a t least a contem­
porary whom I had thought exti nct ( t h a t m u s t h a ve been Cole Rice).
I hope N O i nfluence brought by that set of Pens will get into Tokyo. B u t
give m y cord i a l greetings t o Rice, if i t is the o l d relique, and t o Fletch­
er's widow , neither of whom wi ll be carrying " i n fluence . "
I d a re say this w i l l arrive after the conflict, but you can store it for next
SECTION I l l : 1 95 6-68 1 43

Hagoromo is a sacrament. A n d a glory. Ta mi Kumc danced the ten n i n

part before t h e Em peror a t the age of six. And remembered it i n Lond o n ,
where h e showed u s t h e movements in 1 9 1 7 o r about then. Later a Toku­
gawa and some dai myo gave bits of Noh and Kiogcn privately in his stu­
dio in Paris . These are t h i n gs to rem ember.

ever yours
Ezra Pound

1 4 1 : Ryozo Iwasaki to Ezra Pound

TLS-1 Keio Uni versity, Mita, Minatoku, Tokyo , Japan. 9 September 1 9 5 7

Dear Mr. Pou n d :

A t your kind suggestion w e have offici a lly m a d e an a p p l ication to the

Swed ish Academy for Dr. J u n zaburo Nish iwaki as a Nobel pri ze cand idate,
and w e sho u l d be gratefu l if you could send us a word of recommendation
for his work, which we might use as an im portant reference to be fi led in
among the necessary docum en ts .

Yours si ncerely
Ryozo Iwasaki

1 4 2 : Ezra Pound to Ryozo Iwasaki

TLS-1 St. El izabeths, D.C. , 1 1 October 1 95 7

Dear Ryozo Iwasaki

I am very glad to hear of you r comm ittee's decis i o n .

I t wou l d b e pres u m ptuous o f m e to express a n opi nion o n the
qualiti es of a man 's writing in a language which I a m , unfortu nately, un­
able to read , or to have views as to his status a mong other writers whose
work i s wholly unknown to me.
From what I have seen [of] Dr. Junzaburo Nish iwaki 's work in
Engl ish there is no possible doubt of his sensibi l ity and the range and
q u a l i ty of his cu lture.
I shou ld be d e l i ghted to have my guess confirmed by those
competent , as seems to be ind icated by your letter. And I shou ld part ici­
pate in the pleasure of any honour that may be done h i m .
cord ia l ly yours
Ezra Po u n d
1 44 SECTION I I I : 1 956-68

1 4 3 : Shiro Tsunoda to Ezra Pound

TLS- 1 1 1 5 6 Karasu yama-cho, Setagaya-ku , Tokyo. 1 3 January 1 9 58

Dear Mr. Pound :

Excuse m e for m y rudeness i n writ i ng you a letter without anyone who

i ntro d u ces me to you . W h i l e I was stu dying modern poetry in the U n iver­
s ity of M i am i , Florid a , as a Fulbright Exchange teacher under the sponsor­
s h i p of U . S . Office of E d u cation , I was much i n terested i n and d eeply
a ppreciated your poetry and study of Noh. Now teaching Engl ish and
American l iterature in a seni or high school , I am going to publish my thesi s
on "The Influ ence o f Chinese Poetry a n d Japanese Tanka a n d Noh o n Mr.
Pound 's Poetry . " But I have come to several points on which I woul d l ike to
ask you questions. You went to London in 1 909 but did you study Noh from
Mr. Fen o llosa's manuscripts before t hat? You p u t the title Personae to the
col l ection of your poems published in London in 1 909. How did you think
of the titl e Personae (etymological l y Per = thro ugh , Sana = sou nd) mean­
i ng the mask or the rol e as was shown in Greek p lay. Did you not think of
highly art istic mask of Noh p lays, though you perhaps got a hint from
Browning's Drama tis Personae? Whi l e you were absorbed by paint i ng and
scu l pture , were you interested in any of Japanese or Chinese paintings?
As for your poem, "The Tree , " whose first five l i nes run as fol lows:
I stood still and was a tree amid the wood,
Knowing the truth of things unseen before ;
Of Daphne a n d the laurel bow
And t h a t god-feasting co uple old
Tha t grew el m-oak a m i d the wo l d .
D i d not you t h i n k o f an o l d man a n d woman symbol ized b y p ine-trees i n
Takosago , o n e o f the best a n d most i l l u m i na t i ng Noh plays, when you
wrote " that god-feasting cou ple o l d "?
And a s for "The Encounter , " what i s meant by the l ast two l ines which
run :
Her fingers were like the tissue
Of a Ja panese paper napki n .
I f you k i n d l y answer these q uestions , it w i l l b e a great help t o a study of
the East and West flow o f l i terature and I am much obl iged to you .
If you are sti l l interested i n Noh plays , I w i l l gladly send you the photos
of the performances of Nohs recently presented by such schools as Umewa­
ka, Kanze, Hohsho, Kongo , etc . Some of the Americans in Tokyo such as Dr.
U lm ann , Fu lbright professor , are very eager to study Noh .
SECTION I l l : 1 95 6-68 1 45

I w i l l translate into Eng l ish any of the plays which you want and send it
to you .
Hoping that I receive your answer, I remai n ,

S incerely yours ,
Shiro Ts unoda

1 4 4 : Ezra Pound t o S hiro Tsunoda

TLS-1 (fragment) St. El izabeths Hospital. 18 january 1 958

. . . I can't switch back to work on Noh this moment, but am having d i f­

ficulty i n making some people understand that only the Minoru or some
other Noh company with which I am u nacquainted, but not Broadway,
wou l d be able to do Traxin i a i as I want i t done . . . .

Ezra P oun d

1 4 5 : Ezra Pound to Ryozo Iwasaki

TLS-1 [Schloss Brunnenburg] 1 8 November 1 958

Dear Ryozo Iwasaki

I have at last got back to (my) arch ives

and yesterday opened Fenol losa 's notes on Prof. Mori 's lectures on the
History of Ch inese Poetry.
The damned sinologues who are trying to suppress a l l classical
i nte l l igence will be out with the trench tools to sabotage any revival of
i nterest.
Thi s is the first time I have been abl e to look at the Feno llosa
heritage s ince learning a bit about the i deograms.
I am sti l l fa irly d efenceless re/ equivalence of Jap and Chinese
The work seems to be very l ively. Woul d it i ncommode you to go thru
my text a few pages at a time, as I d ig i t out from the pencil scribble ,
a n d try t o get it i nto clear sentences?
Best wishes to J u n zaburo yours cordial l y
Ezra Po und
1 46 SECTION III: 1 95 6-68

1 4 6 : Ezra Pound to Ryozo Iwasaki

TLS-1 [Schloss B runnenburg] 6 December 1 958

Dear Ryozo Iwasaki

The grandson of Leo Frobeni u s , whom I consi der was

the best m i n d in Europe for about 40 years, wants to get to Japa n ,
a i m to contin u e Fenol losa's work.
It woul d give chance for correlation of the better thought of Europe with
the j apanese heritage.
I don 't know what chance of exchange cou l d be develo ped
with the Forschu ngs Institut founded by his grandfather in Frankfurt ,
but i n any case I hope he w i l l call on you when (and/or if) he
gets to Japan .
My daughter works on J u n zaburo 's poems , but with me on the premises
and i ncreased fami l y , need to attend to house and farm , she cannot give
all her time to l iterary stu d ies. I hope our d i st ingu ished confrere w i l l
have patience, a n d a lso u n d erstand t h e harassments of publishers
(Scheiw i l l er in particular) at the present time.
She has been so intent on m y work that she has, for a decade, neglected
to mention the i mportance of that of her husba n d . If there are any egyp­
tologists in Japan , they m ight be i nterested in h is latest publication.
I have only with i n the past weeks rea l i zed the amount of work
he has done, and the i mportance of what is sti l l unpubl ished , part icu lar­
ly in regard to agriculture and the work of Del Pelo Pard i (re/ p lowing
etc. )

cord i a l ly yrs .
Ezra Pound
SECTION I l l : 1 95 6-68 147

1 4 7 : Ezra Pound to Tomoj i Okada

TCS-1 Brunnenburg, Tirolo di Mcrano. 22 !January or Augustj 1 9 5 9

Dear Mr. Okada

To best of my memory , M rs . Feno l losa was under im pression that the

Government wished to honour E. F. in manner stated. I shall of course
insert your i nformation i f book is ever repri nted , though it rather de­
tracts from government prestige. Thanking you for your letter. I wonder
if the erroneous statement also occurs in the Heineman val/ on Art?
Battl i n g against the cumul ative fa lsification of h istory ancient and con­
temp orary , I cannot keep up with a l l deta i l s . After nearly half a cent ury I
can 't be sure Mary Feno l l osa made the statement , but I certa inly d i d not
invent it.
(Is it possible that the Governmen t OFFERED to p r o v i d e t r a ns po r t ? )

Cord i a l l y yours ,
Ezra Pou n d

1 4 8 : Ezra Pound to Sanehi de Kodama

ALS-1 1 rue Grande Cha u m iere , Paris. 9 September 1 968

Librarian , University of Virgin i a

Please permit Pro fessor Kodama t o consult microfilms o f Fenol l osa man­
uscri pts from my collecti on .

Ezra Pou n d
1 48


PERIODICALS : 1 93 9-4 0

D uRING THE YEARS 1 93 9 and 1 94 0 , Pound enthusiastica l l y wrote articles

from Ita ly to Japanese newsp apers on the European cu l tu ra l , political , and
econom i c events of the time. In 1 94 0 , he had become the Ital i an Correspon­
dent of the Ja pan Times.
The Japan Ti mes was fou n ded in 1 89 7 as the first and ol dest English
newspaper edited by Japanese i n Japan . It wished , as the first e d i tor,
Motosada Zumoto, put it, to "en deavor to exp l a i n thi ngs and smooth the
way between foreigners and Japanese. " Its "slogan " has been " A l l the News
Without Fear or Favor. " In 1 9 1 8 it merged with the Japan Mai l and Times
(origi nally started as the Japan Ma i l in 1 8 70 but changed its name at the
merger w i t h the short-l i ved Japan Tim es which had been established in
1 8 7 8 ) . [For fu rther reference see The Japan Ti mes : A History from 1 8 6 1 to
the Present , e d . S h i n ichi Hasegawa (Tokyo, 1 966) . ]
A t the time Pound was contributing his articles t o the newspaper , i ts
offici a l name w as Th e Jap a n Tim es a n d Mai l . Its chief editor, Yasotaro
Mori , was a friend of Katue Kitasono.
Poun d 's artic les, however, are his observations and his analyses of
Europe in the pre-war and early war years . Some parts are somewhat
biase d , but scattered through out are some qu ite il l u m i nating passages.
Coll ected here ( u nder somewhat regularized rev ised headi ngs) are :
1 Tri -li ngu al System P roposed for Worl d Communications ( 1 5 May
1 93 9 )
2 Death o f Yeats : End o f Irish Literary Revival ( 5 J u ne 1 9 39)
3 Stu dy of Noh Continues i n West (10 December 1 9 39)
4 A n Ezra Pound Letter from Rapa l l o ( 8 January 1 940)
5 From Rapal l o : An Ezra Pound Letter ( 4 March 1 940)
6 From Rap a l l o : An Ezra Pound Letter ( 1 8 Apri l 1 940)
7 From Rapa l l o : A n Ezra Pound Letter ( 1 3 J u ne 1 940)
8 Letter from Rapal l o : In War Appear Responsibi li ties (22 July 1 940)
9 From Rapa l l o : An Ezra Pound Letter ( 1 2 August 1 940)
1 0 From Rapal l o : An Ezra Pound Letter (26 August 1 940)
1 1 From Rap a l l o : An Ezra Pound Letter (2 September 1 940)
1 2 From Rapa l l o : An Ezra Pound Letter (29 September 1 940)
The original title for article 1 was in Poun d ' s typescri pt "Comm u nica-

tions, or Cultural Fron t , " and for article 2 , "Cultural News : State of the
Occ i d ent in Apri l , an no xv1 1 Era Fascisti ( a . d . 1 9 39) . " Article 4 bore the
sub-hea d i ng "Annual M u s i c Week, " and article 5 , " Ezra Pound Asks Scho l­
ars Here to Solve Issues . " Arti cles 6 and 7 appeared i n the Ja pan Ti m es
Weekly ( published also by the Japan Times a n d Ma i l ) , and articles 9 , 1 0, 1 1
and 1 2 were reprinted i n i t , respect ive l y , o n 2 2 August, 5 September, 1 2
September, and 1 0 October ( 1 94 0 ) .
I am indebted t o t h e work done b y Shiro Tsu noda o n art icles 1 , 2 , and 3
wh ich a ppeared in "A Stu dy of Some Articles Contributed by Ezra Pound to
Th e Japan Tim e s a n d Mail , " Obirin Un i versity Stu dies of Engl ish a n d
Ameri ca n Litera tu re, nos. 2 3 , 2 4 , 2 5 ( 1 98 3 , 1 984 , 1 98 5 ) .

1 Tri-Lingual System Proposed for World

Noted Sch o l ar of Noh Suggests B il ingua l or Tril i ngual
E d ition of Hundred B est Books on Japanese Literature

Note: Th e wri t er of t h e fol l mving article, Ezra Loomis Po u n d , a l t h ough not well­
kn o wn i n Japan , is one of t h e few foreigners who made enth u siastic in trod ucti on
a broad of Jap a n ese "Noh " p l ays a n d stands s h o u l der to sh o u lder with Ern est
Fen ol losa as a sch o l a r devoted to the s t u dy of Ja panese c u l t ure. Mr. Po u n d has a
bri l l i a n t li terary record a n d is at presen t visi t i ng the United States.-Edi tor, The
Japan Ti mes

I AM REA D I NG The Japan Times with p l easure in the hope of getting some
European or American n ews that hasn 't been doctored to suit one i n terest
or another. The d i fficulty in writing to a new public is to know what they
have a l ready h eard . One d oesn 't want to bore the rea der by tel l i ng h i m what
h i s a u n t Jemima has told him or what he has read i n the week before l ast 's
p i cture s u p p lement.
Perhaps I had better begin with what has not yet happened . The Ital ian
papers are ful l of news of the cultural pact with Japan . I have three pro­
posa l s for the Kokusai B u n ka S h i n koka i . First: I respectful l y ask consi dera­
tion for a bil ingual or tril ingual edition of the hun dred best books of
Japanese an d id eogrami c l iterature.
The Leica gra i n l ess fi l m and m i crophotographic processes now make
such an edition commerc i a l . It can be produced at the same price as the
Loeb l ibrary of Greek and Lat i n texts (which has an Engl ish translation on
the opposite page ) . With m icrophotogra phy there is no reason for not using
id eogra m i c pages taken d irect from works of master call igraphers . We in
the West n ow have only a few such pages, notably a few from ideograms
wri tten for Ernest Feno l l osa by one of the Court masters .

Wan ted: Noh Film

Second l y : The whole of the Noh cou l d be fi lmed, or at any rate the best Noh
music cou l d be registered on sound-track. Your fi lm Mitsuko fil led me \Vith
nostalgia. It is 1 5 years s i nce Tam i Koume 's fri ends sang me fragme nts of
Noh i n Paris but the i nstant I heard that a l l-too-brief reprod uct ion here i n
Rap a l l o ( i n a s i m p le v i l l age cinema) I knew \vhence i t came . You h a v e there
a treasure l i ke noth ing we have in the Occ ident. We have our masterwork :
Mozart , Purcel l , Janeq u i n , Do\vland , but it is a d ifferent masterwork and
o ne is not a substitute for the other.

Third l y : I propose a tri- l i ngual system for world comm un icati ons .
None of the schemes for es peranto or other u n i versal languages is at all
satisfa ctory. Ogden's proposals for basic English could be develo ped . He
has not the necessary tact or humanity to apply them. The greatest practi­
cal, that i s possi b l e , s i m p l i fication would be a tri p l e system : Ideogra m , with
the Japanese sound (syl labic) comment, Ital ian and English.
Cul ture in retrospect n eeds more languages, and no one wants to
constrict it. Greek, Latin and as much else as you l i ke : a l l very enjoyable.
Current culture co u l d conceivably rece ive great a i d from this tri ple
bas i s . I am not proposing this with any i nte ntion of sl ight ing French and
Germ a n . The present pol itical a l l i ance would suggest German, Italian and
Japanese. I sacrifice one party on either side of the i m mediate d ivision of
forces. I d o this on strictly practical and l i nguistic grounds.
French contains a great treasure but, as language, it is tricky. The
foreigner cannot learn it. Its sounds are d i ffic u l t and i ts letters are not
u n i form i n connotation. You say: neither are the Engl ish . True ! but Engl ish
has attained a syntactica l p l a i n ness that is nowhere exceeded save m
i deogram .
There is also the q u estion of actual present d i ffus ion .
A great many Germans speak Engl ish. Engl i s h is common to the U . S . A .
and the British Emp i re . It is a l ready a common tongue for dozens of Indians
who speak d ifferent l anguages i n Ind i a . Ideogram as a written com m u n i ca­
tion to uches a l l Japan and Chi n a . Ita l ian is the s i m p l est of the Lat i n tongues.
Its spel l i ng is the cl earest. ( B oth Spanish and French are ful l of tricks of
speech that are not clearly printed on the page. )

Language Simple
None of the proposed art ificial languages can be more qu ickly learned by
other Latin groups. A S pania rd understands Italian a lmost at once. Any one
who has stud ied Latin can l earn Italian in a few weeks . And whatever may
be sa i d of the fancy Ita l i an styles that have p u l l u l ated since the sixteenth
centu ry, Duce Musso l i n i s ign ified among other things a great drive for
d i rect u tterance, for clear and s i mp l e speaking.
I can a rgue my reasons for p icking these three media . I cou l d fi l l most of
today's paper doing i t , but I think the reader w i l l save his own time by
thinking about them , and weighing up the ga ins against the sacrifices. The
quanti ty of cu ltural heritage sho u l d be set aga i nst the sacri fices . Lat i n
contains the matter of a great dea l o f Greek. I mean it h a s been translated
into Latin. There are great claims for German . I don't think Russian has
much claim. The Lati n treas ure is fa irly accessible to anyone who knows

Ita l ia n . Italy is a rising nation. South Americans speak a good deal of Ital ian
as w e l l as Span i s h .
I w i l l a nswer serious obj ections i f anyone has t h e same s e t after a week's
reflection that they have on first rea d i ng this note.

2 Death of Yeats: End of Irish Literary Revival

T HE DEATH OF Leo Froben i us l ast S ummer is the severest shock to European

cu l t ura l studies that we have had i n a decade. Returni ng members of the
Forschungs i nstitut Austra li a n expedition passed through Rap a l l o a few
weeks ago w i t h news of their d iscoveries. Mr. Fox had even fou n d a
draw ing rather l ike the magnificent "Ru nner. "
The death of W i l l ia m B utler Yeats closes the great era of the Irish
l iterary reviva l . That death w i l l d oubtless have been duly recorded i n
Japan. Someone i n Tokyo may a lso know of Yeats ' Japanese i nterlu de or
fl irtation. He, at one t i m e , thought he would be called to a Japanese pro­
fessors h i p and d i d , I think, receive some sort of i nv i tation. You have a
" l i nk" w i t h Dubl i n i n those p lays of Yeats wh i ch were d i rectly stimul ated
by Fenol l osa's reports and tra nslations of Noh . Havi ng worked with Yeats
d uring the three or four years of his i ntensest i nterest in the Noh, I know
how much i t meant to h i m .

Form Searched
"The form I have been searching for a l l my l ife " was one of his comments.
(That would have been about 1 9 1 7 . )
A determi nation for a new poetic dra ma in Europe, not merely a Celtic
twi l ight or a side show, but a poetic drama that w i l l enter the main stream of
our l i fe is manifested both by Jean Cocteau (recent p lay Parents Terribles)
and by T. S. El iot (Fa m ily Reu n io n ) .
The present chronicler is Confucian a n d total itarian. To h i m both these
plays seem to be ends of a movement. So far as I am concerned they belong
to the age of Ibse n where i n people's in ner wobbl ings and fusses were very
i m portant. I bel ieve i n , and I bel ieve that there exists, a growing conscious­
ness of the ind ividual in the state . "The divine sci ence of politics" (thought
as to how people can l ive together in an organized or orga nic social system) ,
i nterests m e more than a l l the Freud s that ever existed . I consider this both a
catho l i c ( i n the non-sectarian sense) and a classic Ansch a u ung.
At any rate I th i nk the great novel ists and dramatists must henceforth

sort o u t the problems depen dent on economic pressure from those which
rem a i n after this pressure is removed .
A few years ago P . Bottome wrote a novel abo u t an insane asyl um. On
analysis one fou n d a common denom inator, nowhere stated by the au­
thoress and not I think present in her consciousness. All the patients were
there because of economic pressure. All the doctors and nurses were moved
by monetary pressures .
Of the poets incl u ded in my Active Anthology, the best are a l l aware of
monetary pressure , as something more clear and incisive than the vague
" socia l " u rges to be found in l ast century 's l i terature. This is not to say that
Tro l l o p e a n d , in his last years , Henry James had n 't come to such percep­
tion. They were above and beyond their time. The keenest minds today can
be gro u p e d . They can be grouped a long this axis. The best writers are aware
of problems that have l a i n u nobserved i n Dante a n d Shakespeare , problems
of usury, of the just price , of the nature of money and its mode of issue.
It may i n terest you to know that the clarity of some paragraphs in The
Japan Times on these subjects i s , outs ide Italy, rather restricted to weekly
p apers and papers of specia l movements in Engla n d and America and in
the rest of the occident.
Lucid and i ncisive remarks of Hitler, Schacht and Funk d o not get the
wide and i mmed iate publicity they d eserve. They are however u n d erstood
by writers of such d i v ergent temperament as Wynd ham Lewis and General
J. F. C. Ful l er.

Picture Post
As j ob lot items and notes on books worth rea ding: A current Pic t u re Post
acknowled ges Wyndham Lewis to be the greatest portraitist of our time
(even q u otes S ickert as saying, "and of any time"-which is the generous
exaggeration of an ol d er p a i nter for a younger one who has been too long
d e n i e d his just place in contemporary art).
The best news from America is the edition of E. E . Cumm i ngs ' coll ected
p oems , p l u s the p u b l i cation of W. C. Wil l i a m s ' Pa ssaic River ( prose
sketches) .
Both the Cri terion and Broletto have ceased publ ication , leaving my
personal interest in current perio d i cals narrowed to The British Un ion
Quarterly, for d iscussions of state organization, a n d to Townsman for very
brief notices of books and the arts. Th e Exam iner, published in Bethlehem,
Connecticu t , U . S . A . , conta i n s some very wel l written and carefu l l y thought
There are valuable notes i n several dozens of sectarian or group week-

l ies and q u arterl ies in which publications, however, the dross and o ne­
sidedness often o ut-weighs the sound matter, at l east to such a degree that
one cannot recommend them to Orienta l s wanting a clear v i ew of the west.

3 Study of Noh Continues in West

Pound Outlines New Approach to Drama
Us ing New Media

THE WORK I NITIATED by Ernest Fenol losa for better comprehension of East
and West i s by no means ended. Whatever Fenollosa may have done in the
way of awakening his Jap anese friends to the need of more active preserva­
t i on of Japanese values m u s t be set against the s park l i t here by his u nedited
m a nuscripts.
W . B . Yeats w as at once enkindled by the imperfect versions of Noh
w h i ch I was able to make from Feno l losa 's notes. He started writing p lays i n
N o h form for h i s Irish theatre a n d for performances where n o western stage
was available.
We i n the West want an adequate edition of all the Noh i n two or more
langu ages . A few of us have the sense to want an e d ition with the i d eogram­
ic text on o n e page large enough to convey the call igraphic beauty and the
essentially u ntranslatable values of i deograms themselves.
I don't mean to say that you can't in time translate an ideogra m , even
the m ost beautiful , but you w i l l never get into any one phoneticall y spelled
word all the associative forces of the more i nterest i ng p i cture-words.
tl- � i s contained or s ummed up i n � �'
The whole of a p h i l osophy is almost contained i n the three characters : the
c lear defi nition of terms as n ecessary to all real thought, and to s incerity,
and the kno w i ng of o n e ' s own m i n d and one's own meaning.

Two Media Available

It m ay be argued that the actual seeing of the ideograms is more necessary i n
the study of p h i l osophy a n d the classics than i n rea d i ng the romantic Noh,
but one can not d o without it i n the l atter. Two media are at our d is posal
which were not at Fenol losa 's d isposa l , namely the sound fil m and m icro­
p h otography.
Feno l l osa could not, as I did by the kind ness of Dr. Shio Saka n ishi ,
head of the Jap anese Department of the Congressional Library i n Washing­
ton , see and hear Awoi no Uye on the screen with the sound of the singing

and the crescendo of excitement as the hero rubs h i s rosary with e ver faster
rattl ing of beads agai nst bead s .
Every western un ivers i ty should have the c o M P LETE SET o f Noh plays on
sound-fi lm for study in i ts d ramatic and l iterary courses.
That w i l l come and w i l l have to come fo r a d ozen reasons as the o l d
half-witted system of Western teaching wakes u p (30 or 40 years after
modern sci ence has made photographic conven iences a d a i l y accessory to
our i n dustries and to o u r commercial fi ling systems) .
M i c rophotographic methods are s t i l l very l i ttle understood in Europe.
The p lace to study them is in the Washi ngton Congressional Library. Any­
th ing in that library can be reprod uced and carried away on a reel of fi l m in
one's p ocket a couple of days after one has requested i t and paid the modest
charge of 2 cents per page for whatever hitherto priceless and , in many
cases , u n d u p l icated and u n d u pl icable matter one wanted .
With p roper apparatus we or you could photograph a l l the most beauti­
fu l cal li graphic editions a n d reprod uce them as cheaply as we print o u r
worst books .
In the case of most of the Noh plays even th is is not necessary as you
have a very excel lent call igraphic edition wh ich cou l d be s u pplied for a few
cents per play to an American firm and i nterleaved with the American text.
These edi tions woul d a ll ow our students to study the text before and after
seeing the c i nema-representation of your plays.
And th is, I need not say, would get over a good deal of the difficul ty that
now exists for the simple-mi nded student. For 1 2 00 years Japan has meant
more than commerce and b u s i ness wrangles. In fact irritations over tra de
concessions between o ur countries are only a man 's l i fe old and need not
and (permit me the strong phrase) damn wel l sho u l d not and shall not be
regarded as a permanent a n d everlasting barrier between the best m inds of
your country and my country and between your country and the best minds
in a dozen European nations.
I d o n ' t i n the least wish to detract from the merit of the F una - B en kei
edition sent me by Katue Kitasono but i t does not satisfy the requ i rements :
the ideogramic type is too smal l . The ideograms ought to be big enough to
convey their in trinsic beau ty whether in grass writing or block type, and
they o ught to be big enough to perm i t , say 7 point, gloze and explanations
on the English page fac i ng them , page per page.
When we come to the matter of W H A T Engl ish or European texts should
be u sed , we are up aga i nst a much thornier proposition. There must of
course be a p l a i n l i teral version somewhere ava i l able, with explanations
and notes , however tiresome and unpoetic. There s h o u l d also be the best

available translation of the poetic values, in whatever European langu age

this may have been atta ined . There are now A merica n , Engl ish, French ,
Germ a n and Ita l i a n vers ions of Noh . And there is at least one S panish text
that is q u i te charm i ng in the less vital parts of the play I read but fal ls down
when it comes to the more i ntense passages.
Dr. Sakanishi caused me a good deal of anguish by i nsisting that
somethi ng I had found i n Fen o l l osa d id not exist in the origi na l . I am
pu zzled as to how i t got i n to my text . Did it spring from Umewaka Minoru ,
or from Professors Mori a n d Ariga or d i d Fen o l losa or I catch it out of thin
Fen o l l osa wrote that the Noh was i n secret l anguage; i t was, for centur­
ies, reserved for the Samura i and Nobles . You can not translate poetry
merely by translating word s . Some freedom (but not too much) must be l eft
the poet who finds a new verbal manifestation for the original thought. He
or she must i n some way convey the fee l and the aroma of the origi na l p l ay
a n d of the i nter-relation of characters .
Tam i Koume ha d danced the Hagoromo before the Emperor, taking the
tenn i n part when he was, as I remember, six years o l d . At twenty he sti l l
remembered the part a n d m ovements o f the tennin's wings , which a s she
returns to the u pper heaven, are the most beautiful movements I have seen
on or off any stage. Tami knew something of Noh that no mere p h i l ol ogist
can find out from a text book.
B UT when it came to the metaphysics he could not a nswer questions

which seemed to me essential to the mean i ng . Very probably the original

author had l eft those meani ngs in the vague. There may not have been ten
m en i n Europe who wou l d have asked those particu lar questions, but i t so
happened that Yeats , i n my company, had spent severa l winters trying to
correlate Lady Gregory's Irish fol k-lore with the known traditions of var­
i o u s myths, psychologies and rel igions.
Two or three centuries ago Catholic m issionaries bothered the Chinese
court with analogous questions , such as " D i d the spirit of Confucius enter
h is cartouche , " etc.
My own ignorance is very dense, but I have no wish to maintain it. I
m erely want to .put other students on their guard against the needless
sacrifice of poetic values .
By a l l m eans let u s have a prose translation, but where Umewaka
M inoru or h i s friends have left a haze over the a lmond blossoms or the
reflection of the moon i n two buckets , let us be very much on our guard
aga i nst any rumor that such and such a meaning is not i n , or associated
with, or associable with the Noh text.

Background Necessary
When I quote IEschy l u s , even if only to say "Thus was it" or "These are the
facts , " I do someth ing more than state that certa i n thi ngs had occu rre d . It is
that continual assert ion of one set of acts in re l a t i on to a whole other set of
acts , a whole series of backgrounds and memories, that enriches the Noh.
The poetic translator must break his back to atta i n an Engl ish version that
w i l l keep at least part of this air and color. He must be al lowed adequate , but
not boundless , freedom toward this end, and only the finest critics and
ju dges w i l l be able to say when he reached it or how nearly he atta i n s , or
when he has sinned against the spirit of his origi n a l .
At any rate the news value of t h i s article may l ie in m y stating that Dr.
Arthur Hummel , head of the Oriental Department ; Dr. Sakanish i , head of
the Ja panese d i v ision of the Congressional Library (Washi ngto n ) ; the head
of Arrow Ed itions, New York; R. Duncan, e d i tor of Townsma n ; Margaret
Leona who has tried Noh effects, on a Noh basis for the London televi s i o n ;
E d m o n d Dulac, w h o made masks for Yeats ' Irish Noh experi m ents; and a
few d ozen or hundred more of us are interested i n any and every attempt
toward further d i ffusion of the plays, and that I personally w i l l do all that I
can to correlate the fi ne work done by the Kokusai B u nka S h i nkokai with
whatever Western nuclei that exist or can be brought into being. The start
had a l ready been made in their (K. B . S . ) Funa-Ben kei program and ed ition
for Sh igefusa Hosho 's performance of August 6 , 1 9 3 7 .
I am merely asking that more p lays b e printed i n two o r more languages ,
and hoping that so able a translator as Michitar6 Shi dehara w i l l insist on
the use of l arger i d eograms above or facing his Engl ish version. The i nter­
l i n ear pri nting, first the J a panese spel led out phonetica l ly in the Lat in
a l phabet, then the i d eogram and then the Engl i s h , is preferable to the
i nterleaving when the publ isher has the means at his d isposa l , for by it the
m us i ca l value of Japanese text is a lso conveyed to the stumbling fore ign
student. Nevertheless both transl iteration of sound and the European ver­
s i on c o u l d be printed on a page facing a call igraphic text .

4 An E z ra Pound Letter from Rapallo

Annual Music Week Proposed to Introduce Each Year
Insuffic iently Known Composer

AT THE BEGINNir-.:c of the war in Eth i o p i a , as we cou l d not expect a concert

au dience , the Rapal lo grou p resolved itself into a study circle with the
immed iate intention of hearing as many of the 3 1 0 concerti of Viva l d i as
were avai lable i n printed ed itions and executable by one or two viol i nists
and a piano . Having done tha t , two America n s , Olga Rudge and David
Nixon, gave a concert in Venice, made u p entirely from Vival d i 's Estro
Arrn o n ico ( O p . 3) and an abortive Vival di society was started in his own
city. Miss Ru dge then made the first thematic catalog of the unpubli shed
Viva l d i l ying in the Turi n Library (309 concerti ) and other works-which
catal og has now been printed by Count Chigi of Siena i n the Note e
Documenti for the ful l -dress Viva l d i vVeek given there .
That festi val marks a defi n i te advance in t h e Ital i an official method in
treating their m u s i c . We have for some time been insisting that the whole of
an evening's program should have a form in itself, which need not be
i nferior in structure to that of. say, a fugue or any other art form. A n d we
have insisted that the auditor can not get a clear or adequ ate conception of a
great composer's meaning un less he hear a lot of that composer's work a l l at

Methods Suggested
We a l s o , as Katue Kitasono noted some time ago in VOU, suggested various
methods of contrast between musical compos itions, intended to test their
real value and to demonstrate what modern compositions cou ld stand
comparison w i th past master-work.
Yeats long ago poi nted out that minor poets often show up very wel l i n
anthologies , but that the d i fference between them and the greater poets i s
quickly apparent if y o u contrast whole books of their work.
The S ienese Week was admirable in various ways. Their first program
was a model of construction (due I thi nk to Alfredo Case l l a ) . And as Mr.
Kitasono has cited some Rapa l l o examples, I s h a l l perhaps be perm itted to
cite the Siena even ing i n detai l , though the reader w i l l have to veri fy what I
say of it by future experiment on his own part. The program contained six
i tems, five by Viva l d i and one transcribed from Vivald i by his better known
contemporary , J. S. Bach . Given in this order:
1 . S i nfon ia i n Do. magg.
2. Con certo in Sol. m in .

3 . C o nc e r t o in S i m i n .
4 . Aria , from La Fida Ni nfa
5 . Bach 's transcription from the Concerto in S i . m i n . reworked ,
that is , by Bach for four harpsichord s , and in the key of La m i n .
6 . Co nc e rto Alla Rustica .
The Week's music was ably varied : there were instrumental works , a
revival of the opera OJimpi ode (probably the first performance since Vival­
d i 's death i n 1 74 1 ) , and chora l works given in the Church of S . Fra ncesco
with ful l orchestra .
The Week amply testified t o Viva l d i 's being a major composer, not
s i m p l y "another" Ita l i a n com poser of his period to be remembered by the
often reprinted " Cucco" movement from one of h i s viol i n concerti , or by the
s i ngle ari a , " Un Certo non so che , " which had been the only bit of his vocal
music ava ilable in a modern edition.
All this being in accord with the beli efs printed by the v i o l i nist Ru dge
a n d by Cobbett , who had said a few years ago that Vival d i \Nas a composer
with a future. Of course this doesn't mean that one has " d iscovered "
V i va l d i . H i s name has long been i n every encycl opedia or dictionary of
m usic , but it does mean that musical history i s un dergoi ng a revision i n its
esti mate of h i m . A n umbe r of general questions rise and or have been
raise d .

Timeliness Pointed Out

There is a timel i ness in a l l resurrections in art; whether it be in painting.
l iterature or i n music. In M i ss Rudge 's own rendering of the concerto I have
found a close kinship with the l i ne of the surrea l i st Dal i . I don't knovv
wheth er this comes from the manuscri pt or from the executant. I have long
blamed or at least teased th e surreal ists for their nai've belief that they had
i nvented something which had already been present i n Guido Cava lcanti 's
poetry when Dante was 1 6 years old. There is pl enty of su rrea l i s m in
medireval p oetry. The h uman spirit has recurring needs of expressi o n .
Even before o n e knew t h e detail o f Viva l d i 's l i fe , one coul d hear certa in
qual ities i n his m u s i c , and possibly one exaggerates one's own perceptivity
when one l earns the personal and human background from which the
Venet ian master p ro duced his music. He was priest , professor of music to a
girl 's convent schoo l , and then in later l i fe ran an opera company, present­
i ng h i s own operas a n d travel ing from Mantua to Vi enna in company w i th a
barber's d aughter, whom he had taught to sing \V ith great success, and with
assistant nymphs or whatever. Goldoni describes visiting the old man who
was scribbl ing musical phrases on his desk and d i pping into his breviary.

A l l of which is compl ementary to the qualities of his musica l phrasing.

As comp oser his mi n d was furnished with the thoughts of Dante's
Parad ise and with the gai ety of his home city. At any rate the qua l ities
registered i n his music extend from one of these fronti ers to the other. And
the greatest of European composers , J. S . Bach, was sufficiently interested
in six of his (Viva l d i 's) concerti to transpose them for his own use, wi thout
perhaps having improved them. The work of fitting this music to modern
orchestra for the S iena Festival was admirably performed by Casel l a , Fraz­
zi , a n d Virg i l i o Mortari u nder the general direction of Case l l a . Count Chigi
and the Italian au thori ties propose to proceed to an annual music week
devoted each year to the work of one insufficiently known Ital i an creator or
to a gro u p of related composers . Possibly i n 1 940 we shall hear the two
Scarlatti , and in 1 94 1 possibly, on the bicenten n i a l of Viva l d i 's death, a
second week of Viva ld i , amply j ustified by the res ults of this year's per­
It all means a m u ch m ore serious presentati o n of o l d Ita l i an music than
we have yet had. It means a much more inte l l i gent stud y of the enormous
treasu re of Ita l i a n musical composition.
Both the em inent m u s icologue S . A. LucianP and the violinist Ru dge2
have raised another basi c issue, namely the d i stin ction and proper criteri a
for " m u sica voca le and m usica verbale."
W h i c h merel y mea n s : c a n one u n d erstand t h e words when they are
sung? And this question can be d ivided into two cesthetic questions, name­
ly: Has the m usician preserved or has he ru ined the rhythm and phonetic
q u a l i ties of the poetry?
Or, on the other han d , d i d the poet know h i s job well enough to write
with such qualities of sound and movement that his words are \vorth
preserv i ng or i l lustrating and emphasizing? In the twelfth century the
troubadours tried to fit words and music to each other. Dante animadverted
on this subject.
When it came to a question of theater and s u ng dra m a , along about the
year 1 600 a . d . V i ncenzo Gal i lei , G i u l i o Cacci n i and a l iterary circle in
Firenze tri e d to make opera that wou l d keep the verbal values as such. Then
came stage music which used the voice mostly as an " i nstrument to rival
the flute , " etc. The word s , then usual ly of no great interest in themselves,
gave way to vocal i zation and the intellectual qual it ies of opera , or at any
rate the l i terary values of l ibretti are often dubious. Rossini attained a very

1 M i l l e A n n i d i M u s i co .
vol u m e I, publ ished by Hoe p l i of M i lan.
2 Article i n Meridia n a d i R a m o . 3 Sept. 1 93 9 .

h igh d egree of mastery ; i n fact I know of no opera where the words and
orchestra are so wel l combi ned as they are in the Barbicrc d i Scvigl i a .
O n t h e other hand the French cafe-concert songs usually emphas ize
their words a n d the sharp mean ing of the phrases.
The ideal or an idea, or cal l i t merely my desire, i f you l i ke, is an opera
where the si nger s ings great poetry to a fine music which emphas izes and
i l l u m i nates the s ignificance of the word s , and , to do this, makes them
clearly audible and comprehens ible to the l istener.
I have made a few attem pts in this d i rection. No one is compel led to l ike
my m u s i c , but I have at any rate set some of the greatest European poetry ,
namely that o f V i l l o n , a n d of Guido Cava lcanti with a few bits o f Sardel l a .
When the V i l l on was transmitted b y the London rad i o , I sat i n the electri­
c i a n ' s kitchen in Rapallo and cou l d u nderstand every one of the words.
Anth e i l and Tibor Serly both wanted to work on these l i nes: but i t is
very d i fficult to fi nd poetry suffic iently well written to stan d such musica l
treatment. Espec i a l l y i n Engl i s h , t h e amount o f poetry that can b e sung
without ei ther d istorting the words or d amagi ng the musician's invention
i s l i m i te d . Shakespeare wrote for declamatio n . He wrote a few lyrics to be
sung i n his p l ays. He solved the problem of using the voice merely as
i nstru ment by writing in such meani ngless syl lab les as "Hey, nanny nan­
ny" on which the singer cou l d turn loose, without damaging the sense of
the res t of the poem. The syl l ables have no mean ing in themselves but have
good sounds for the s i nger, and gu ide the mus i c i a n in rhythm . In I ta l i a n
there i s a vast amount of l ibretto writ i n g that i s probably si ngable. B u t
l iterary snobbi s m may or m ay not have obscured it.
H owever a l l this battle fiel d i s now aga i n l a i d open.
I f the Ital i ans start aga i n l i stening to two kinds of singing it can hardly
fai l to s t i m u l ate discri m i nation , a n d with the proper exposition of seven­
teenth century a n d , let us hope, a lso of sixteenth and fifteenth century
m u s i c , we should have a musical reform i n Italy or a new and v a l i d
movement i n which f i n e m u s i c a l l i ne and strongly active invention w i l l
replace the slopp i ness of the XIXth century compos ition.
At any rate , thanks to Count Guido Chigi Sarac i n i and his associates,
the Sienese annual week of music has started something and opened up
poss i b i l ities. It is to be fol lowed with i ncreasing attention by critics of
music in genera l , from all countries.

5 From Rapallo: An Ezra Pound Letter

THERE IS ONE FIELD of discussion in which the Japanese intellectuals can be of

great use to us. I repeat "of great use" because you are outside the immediate
effects of the prob lem and can d iscuss i t with greater calm , as, indeed, a
pure ly i ntellectual and cesthetic problem without coming down to political
an d economic implications. It is a question of the kind Fenollosa o pened
for us when he began about 50 years ago telling the Occi dent that Japan is
not merely an i nferior form of China. And he continued repeati ng that
Firstly: Japan i s different from China.
Secon dly: As regards the Chinese elements in Japanese art and cu lture,
Japan continued to preserve some of the best Chinese skills and customs
when China had fallen into her decadence.
From the fragmentary n otes he has left us we can at any rate see that
Kumasaka i s basically Japanese. The ghost in that p lay carries admiration
to every western romantic . The gist of what three or more races have meant
by ch ivalry, Ritterschaft and bushido finds concentrated expression in that
Noh drama.

Homeric Passage
Ka ge k iyo contains the one Homeric passage i n such part of the Noh as
remains in the Fenollosa manuscript. This is akin to our classic epos,
whether of Greece or the Nordics. lt binds in with the episode of Confucius'
father holding the portcullis on his shoulder whi le the men under him
escape. These things are the universals of heroism. If I am to be of any use to
you in establ i shing a better communications service between the Orient
and the Occident you must let me speak very plainly.
I believe that the fl., }- of one nation fi nds it quite easy to converse with
the � .} of another. And the form of those characters suggests to me that
the � } i s the ancestral voice s peaking through the mask of the chi ld of the
present. Though I do not find this explanation in available dictionaries .
The better the child of the present's quality and the more u p to date he i s ,
the more does h e seem t o m e to b e the edge of a very old sword.
He converses with the )!, + of another nation not by effacing his racial
characteristics but by intensification of them.
I ask you not to mistake the amiabi lity of my tone of voice. I find with
many of my young compatriots that when I try to speak clearJy and with
proper preci sion, they think I am scold ing them . Nothing of the sort. There

are p l enty of occasions for being correctly i n dignant w i thout being s u p­

posed to be i n di gnant on o ther occasions.

Not Detracting
If I t e l l you t h a t you can use Confu c i us a n d Mencius in talking to
Occidentals to better advantage than by talking B u d dh ism I am not detract­
ing from the virtues of Zen concerning which I know very l it t l e , save from
the great charm of some of the Noh into which I bel i eve Zen is infused .
To c u t the cackle, Tam i Kume had very great personal charm; he
wanted to save u s by Zen a n d p last i c abstractions. B u t on the o ther hand
Occid en ta l Bu d d h ists are nearly a l ways a bore, a t any rate they have been
i nvariably so in my personal experience of them .
The e t h i c of Confucius and Mencius not only i nspires respect b u t i t
serves a s a road map through t he forests of Chri s t i a n theology. I d o n ' t know
t h a t the sage Jesu i t tran slators i n tended i t for that use, but that use can be
made of i t . At no point can t h e Christian find in i t anyth ing opposed to the
best of h i s own doctri ne. The Chinese i mperi a l counc i l ors on the o ther
hand and I believe your own d igni taries, fou n d Chri st ianity helplessly
immora l , anti-statal and a n ti-fam il i a l . And they have thereby given con­
s i d erabl e s a tisfaction to t h e few Occidentals who know of the said d is­
a pprova l . Voltaire , you may remember, sai d : "I a d m i re Confu c i u s . He was
the first man who d i d not recei ve a divine inspira t i on . "
Men w i t h l ess gift for verba l incision but w i t h m y k i n d o f m i n d are a p t
t o t h i n k t h a t b o t h B u d d hi s t s and Christians make positive s tatements about
t h ings of which very few men can have any certa i n t y . A t any rat e t hey offer
two d i fferen t sets of pos i t i ve teachi ngs about heaven , abou t soul s , survival
after d eath , etc., which are in quite apparent contradiction .
A s t o t h a t very c lever a n d somewhat westerni zed author Lin Yutang I
do n o t t h i n k he knows his Confucius. He has qui t e obviou s l y been annoyed
by s i l l y and s t i lt e d Confucians, who are , I doubt n o t , as much a nu isance in
the East as are stale Chri s t ians with us. B u t I canno t blame St. Ambrose for
today's archbishop of Canterbury .
I t i s q u i t e possible that I over-s i m p l i fy, but i t is also poss ible that fro m
the greater d i s tance I get a gl i mpse of some main proportions.

Greek Philosophy
I t is w i t h regard to s i m il a r main proport ions t h a t I now ap peal to the
Japanese h i st orian a n d p h i l osopher. If you take Francisco Fioren t i n o ' s
Storia d e l l a Fil o sofia ( b y w h i c h h e meant Occ idental phi losophy) or a n y
o t h e r g o o d Western summary , y o u w i l l f i n d "Greek philosophy" fairly c l ear

in its guesses and then q uite e laborate in its deta i l s . You wil l find "mediffiv­
al p h i losophy and/or theology " somewhat more puzzli ng. Usually consid­
ered rather i nferior to the Greek, now rather out of favor. I can 't think it
deserves total neglect. There was a lot of hard mental work done i n the
m i l l e n i u m between St. A mbrogio and St. Antonino but I don't think our
h istoriograp hers have yet given u s a competent analysis of the period. I
d o n 't know how far the subject enters your system of study. But as a
Japanese lexicographer, Dr. Motoichiro Ogu i m i , had started making a
Greek-Japanese d ictionary at the age of 79 and completed it at the age of 94
( i n c idental ly a form of courage which we can admire) , I don 't see why I
s ho u l d despair of effective col l aboration.
I n rep l y to T. S. E liot's speculation as to what I (persona l ly) bel ieve and
i n o p position or at least deprecation of Mr. E l iot's Id e a of a Christian
Society ( publ i s hed by Faber, London) , I have taken l eave to doubt w hether
we Europeans and descendants of E u ropeans in America rea l l y believe
anyt h i ng that i s not at root European. We kid o urselves into "accepting" or
saying that we believe certain formulae, or we refrai n from attacking t hem ,
because, l ike George Washington we believe that they are useful for keeping
the lower classes in order. "The benign influence" and that sort of thing. It
i s t herefore m y wish t hat i f the Japanese student starts browsing among rare
Lat i n theo logians, he woul d try to sort out which parts of their writing are
d u e to Greek thought, which parts to Roman , and which parts to the Jewish
scriptures. He will also fin d , a l ittle l ater, a n umber of fine m in d s from the
north of E urop e , as John Scotus of Ireland, Grosseteste , bishop of L i ncol n ,
or Albertus of greater Germany. At t h e present moment I have a defi n i te
bias. I find the Platonics enthusiasti c , the Latins orderly and I enjoy the
contact w ith such minds as the three Europeans j ust mentioned as with
Ambrogio or Antonino (Ita l i an) . But I also find an element of d isorder and
These q uite good m i n ds i n d ulge i n a l l sorts of contortions to get sense
out of nonsense, they (as the men of Athens most emphatica l l y d i d not)
spent a great deal of time i nventing a l l egorical meanings , often very in­
gen i o u s , for statements about w inged-bu l l s and strange animals never
encountered in ord i nary farm ing or hunting. There is also a tendency to
shift and to avoid civic respons ibil i ty.
There is the " p ie i n the sky " offer, sometimes in our time derided. I
quite s i ncerely wish some d ispassionate Oriental wou l d look into this
matter and try to sort out these four elements and put fair values upon them .
D i d the total European mind l ose 1 200 or 1 500 years i n these exercises,

say from the fal l of Rome down to the day S ignor Gal ileo invented his
And if so, why did the E uropeans do it? And who and for what cause
planted this seed of Confusion, and why for that matter d id the races of
Europe after Luther and Calvin take to giving Near Eastern names to their
chi ldren?

With Calm
You , far from our immediate struggles, can treat this matter with calm and
d istinction; if I start going into it I might fal l into the snares of power
psychology or even of mon etary psychology, and t h i s , your admirable poet
Kitasono Katu e would fin d , I fear, u npoetic on my part.
Two other points occur to me that are not exactly part of this article and
are, yet, kindred to i t . Firstl y : Very few young men get roun d to thinking
that the i dea of good government is perha ps the h ighest idea that we can
ever translate into action . At the age of 23 no one was l ess given to thinking
of such s ubjects than was the present author.
Secondly: If your students take to Kul t u rmorph ologie in the wake of
Leo Frobenius or of your present corres pondent they might find signifi­
cance in the fact that Aristotle began his l ist of i ntellectual faculties w ith
TEXN E , that is the ski l l that enables a man to paint a good picture or make a

good pair of shoes. Poor " Arry" was scarcely cold in his grave before the
professors had removed that faculty from their edition of his works .
Note the text of the Nicomachean Ethics, a n d then that of the Magna
Moralia wherefrom I observed the d iscrepancy. Thence, as I see it, dates the
decli n e of Western thought and the inferiority of our writings on ethics
when compared to those of Confucius and Men c i u s . A paragraph to this
effect d isap peared from my Kulch in the printing house. My publis hers
thought it wou l d do me no good at Oxford.

6 From Rapallo : An Ezra Pound Letter

I FEEL a l ittle l ost writing for an u nknown public which must, in some sense,
be a " n ewspaper p ublic . " Most of my criticism has been written for a
nucleus of writers and I have to consi d erabl e extent known their bel iefs or
known when I was i nfuriating them by attacking particular l i terary i m­
bec i lities. I know the J ap anese reader must be friendl y or he woul dn't be
find i ng me in print at a l l , but I haven't the least i dea when I may tread on h i s
toes or w h e n I a m l ikely to bore him to death b y repeating what he has
already read six times.
Back i n 1 9 1 7 or thereabouts I received and repl ied to a Dadaist greeting
fro m Switzerland. Then P icabia printed magazi nes in New York. Then in
Par i s , about 1 9 2 2 , he printed a unique issue of Pilhaou-Thi baou , saying
good-bye to Dada. By 1 9 2 3 a l l the Surreal i sts were l i ned u p i n The Little
Review, so that neither these m ovements nor their particular termin o l ogies
can now have for me any great news val u e .
From 1 9 1 2 for a decade I d i d m y best to t e l l t h e ignorant B ritons and
Yankees that there had been some very good French poetry, and that
Engl ish poetry, so far as the technique went, had mostly stopped a long
about the state of Gautier ' s Albertus, and never caught up with his Em a u x et
I doubt if anybody gave the frogs more conscientious free advertising
than your present correspondent. And , with that past, I c l aimed , and stil l
c l a i m , a right t o be j udged i m partial i n saying that at a given d ate poetry i n
Engli sh ( large l y b y American writers) began to be " more interesting" or to
have, at a ny rate, an i nterest which contemporary French poetry had not.
This is not to say that E l iot is a better writer than Coctea u .
I m ight, however, get round t o claiming that Cocteau i s an exception
and a surviva l . And on the other han d , to be j ust, I shall a l so c l a i m , or admit,
that Cocteau shows awareness to certai n contemporary pressures , extend­
ing in his mental range from moods contemp orary with Barbey d 'Aurevilly
to moods contemporary with Mr. Cummings . In his Antigone he is quite
aware of economics, though he doesn't use u p many words on the topic.
You are a l l , doubtless, tired to death of " red" poetry, and Marxi st
d ogm a l a i d out i n bad verse . We have had socially conscious poetry or
near-beer o r crass p ro p agand a , etc . , etc . , a n d no one has better dis­
tingu ished between it a n d the real thing than has Kitasono Katue. Neverthe­
less i n 1 9 3 3 I manage d , despite the hosti l ity of the British foo l and the
d iffidence of my publishers, to get the Active Anthology printed . Opening

it now, after seven years , I can sti l l take satisfaction in having got 49 pages of
Basi l B un t i ng printed where only the book-worm can efface h i m .
Mr. Cummings h a s sai d , " You can 't sel l t h e m o o n to the moon. " I
bel ieve the above mentioned anthology conta ins more poets who are aware
of money, as a problem , than any other anthology ever has, though the
better the poet ( i n Europe) the more certain you can be to surprise the o l d
fogies and Aunt S a l lies of my generation by dragging up passages defi nitely
concerned with the ethics and tragedy of money.
O v i d , Propert i u s , Dante, Lope de Vega , and S hakespeare , and notably
Byro n , are all perfectly good browsing ground for the econom ist, for the
student of money as d i st i nct from the bloke who has got a floating kid ney
from psychology or sociology .
Dante swats Phil i ppe l e B e l for debasing t h e currency , Shakes peare
turns h i s phrase onto usury not i n the Merchant of Ven ice a lone. Catu l l us
a l l u des to h i s p urse a n d p u ns on a mortgage. Hood cursed gol d and Lanier,
trade. Nothi ng of this k i n d , so far as I have [seen] . occurs i n Fenol losa's
notes on Japanese poetry .
N evertheless , for what i t is wort h , since 1 9 2 8 i n Engl i s h , the better the
poet, the more certai n you a re to find h i m considering the age-old i nfamy of
the money monopoly, of monopoly, of attempts to starve mankind in
genera l , by the trick of tra p p i n g and w ithho l d i ng the power to buy.
In B u n t i ng's case this sort of sensibil ity has broken i nto some of the
strongest verse of our t ime. Perhaps the poems are too l ong for quotation i n
ful l , so I give a few strophes o f the " Morpethsh i re Farmer. " B unting sees
him on the rai lway platform , drive n from h i s l and and compe l l e d to
emigrate i nto Canada .
M u s t ye b i d e , my good stone house
To keep a townsman dry?
To hear the flurry of the grouse
But not the lowing of the kye *

Where are ye, my seven score sheep

Feed ing on other braes !
My brand has faded from your fleece
Another has its p lace.
Canada ' s a bare l a n d
F o r t h e North w i n d and t h e snow,
Northumberland 's a bare land
For men have made i t so.
Sheep and cattle are poor men 's food ,

Grouse is sport for the ric h ,

Heather grows where the sweet grass m ight grow
For the cost of c learing the d itch.
A l i ner l y i ng i n the Clyde
W i l l take me to Quebec.
My sons ' l l see the land I a m leaving
As barren as her d eck.
NOTE : * Dialect for cattle.
No one s i nce B u rns has used the old simple meters w i th such force.
B un t i ng i s aware not only of the tragedy and the i n famy back of the tragedy
but of the mode i n which i t works.
H i s range is not l i m ited to the "old styl e , " as can be seen from the u l tra
mod ern "They say Etna" end ing i n the i d iom of newspaper hea d l i nes :


B u nt i ng has l earn e d to write a most elegant hand i n Persian i n process

of translating Fird u s i , and a mong his longer p oems is a condensation of
"Chomei at Toya ma . " A m a n 's adventures are not necessarily part of h is
wri t i ng, though the figu re o f the poet may gai n popularity from them. I n this
respect B un t i ng is all that the romantic can d esire. He has been jailed i n
three countries for never having d o n e any harm. Once i n Paris , because two
corners back of M t . Parnasse cemetery that confused h i m at two o 'clock i n
t h e m orn ing are so exactl y a l i ke , complete w i t h cafe a n d awning, t h a t I
m istook the one for the other i n broad dayl ight when trying t o gather
evidence of his character. And as the concierge of the wrong one sai d : "It is
very l ucky that his key d i d not fit the door on the second floor, because the
gentleman in that room is very nervous and alwa ys has a revolver u nder h is
p i l lo w . "
B un t i ng i s , so far as I know , the o n l y pacifist who d i d six months after
the l ast war was over. As a Qua ker he woul d not even say that he wou ld
fight if there was a war for him to fight i n . H e has a n u n fa i ling flair for
excited areas. Years ago he left Italy i n search of peace and arrived i n the
Canary Islands where a special l ittle revolution broke out even before S pa i n
at l a rge was enki n d l e d . L a s t M a y he had , I heard , l eft America for his native
Engl a n d . Some peo p l e 's l uck is l i ke that.
I sus pect him of being the best Engl ish-born poet of our time, though
J. P. Ango l d is run n i ng a c l ose secon d . From which you will find my elderly
taste d iffering from the London tea party fashions.

When I want the gist of what is bei ng done i n England in the mind and
the arts, I wait for the next copy of Ron Dunca n 's Townsman .
I take it that reformers ' papers , such as Action , the Social Creditor, and
the B ritish Un ion Quarterly are outside the scope of this correspondence,
but I bel ieve that the more active young writers in England are read ing
the m . A l l this is a long way, or a long time, from the day a Russian
p h i losophical student with u n digested Germany in his insides, said to me
(abou t a . d . 1 9 1 0) " B o u nd t , haff you gno sol iDigal sasshuntz?" (Angl ice:
Have you n o poli t ical pass ions?) I hadn 't.
And now my o l d friend Doc W i l l iams (Wm. Carlos) can hardly tolerate
my existence because I am not a bolshevi k, a n d I find it hard to excuse
Wynd ha m Lewis ' last v o l u m e from sheer d i fference with the opinions
expresse d . And Mr. Joyce is no l o nger with us, i n the sense those words
wou l d have conveyed in 1 9 1 7 , and Johnnie Hargrave cal l s Mr. E l i ot 's
Christianity, " A lot of dead cod about a dead god . " A l l of which goes to
show that the Tower of Ivory " has gone West. " At any rate temporari ly, both
for u s old d u ffers of the 1 9 1 0 ' s and for the youngsters .

7 From Rapallo : An Ezra Pound Letter

Why There Is a War in Europe

K uMASAKA ' s G HOST ret urns from a fine sense of honor. When the men who
made wars led them in pers o n , risking their own person in battle, the point
of honor remaine d , but after two centuries or m ore of mercant i lism , we
m u st seek other motives. To this end I woul d p l acard every school room
with three l i nes from the Hazard circular of 1 86 2 .


The present war in Europe has, i n one sense, been going on for a
hundre d a n d n in ety years . In another sense it was who l l y unnecessary. It
may date from the day when Paterson held out the bait for shareholders of
the p roposed bank "of England " i n the words: "The bank hath profit of the
i nterest on a l l the moneys that it creates out of nothing." The war d ates
cert a i n l y from Englan d 's i nterference with American colon ial paper money
in 1 75 1 .
I n 1 72 3 , the Pennsylva n i a Assembly had authorized the issue of 1 5 ,000

pounds in p a;:>er b i l l s , to be loaned on security of l and or sil ver. As the

Pennsylvania system developed , such issues were redeemabl e in a given
time at so much p er year. A farmer coul d get money up to half the value of
his l an d , but had to pay i t back i n 10 years or i n 1 6 , after which he c o u l d
h a v e a n e w l oan.
David Hume errs in say i ng " the land itself i s coine d . " What was
"coined" was not the l a n d but the triple components-land , farmer's capac­
i ty to work and his likelihood of doing so, and a ready market. That i s , the
colonists needed the product of the soi l . The paper money was a u seful
ticket or handy means of recko n i ng and recording how much work had
been done or how much grai n (or whatever) grown and delivered to market,
hence of recording how produce ought ethi cally to be handed over to
whomever held the t i cket.
Thi s d i d not suit the game of the London monopolists. But, u n t i l W . A .
Overholser issued h i s 6 1 p age brochure, the h istories neglected this item.
London's attempt to reassert m oney monopoly led to the first American
revo l u ti o n ( 1 7 76 ) .
American h istory for the fol lowing 90 years shoul d be considered as a
series of revolutions and s et-backs. John Adams conceived a sane rep u b l i ­
can ( o r stat a l ) system. America freed herself from t h e British Crown ; t h e
loose confederation o f colonies w a s (a second revol u tion) cemented u nder
a sane constitution. The revolution was betrayed by the financial corrup ­
tion o f members of Congress i n Washington's time. These swin e bought u p
dep reciated certificates of p a y due to t h e soldiers of t h e revol u ti o n , a n d
t h e n passed national l aws forc i ng t h e Government t o pay them t h e ful l face
value of this paper (out of the pockets of the people).
B anking and fund i ng systems were set up, whereon John A d ams wrote
in h i s o l d age :
" Every bank of discount i s downright corruption taxing the p ublic
for pri vate i n d i v i d u a l s ' gai n .
A n d i f I say this i n m y w i l l the American people woul d pronounce I
d i ed crazy. " (Citation from my Canto 7 1 ) .
J efferson warned u s that " If the American people ever a l l ow private
banks to control the issue of currency, first by i nflation and then by d efla­
t i o n , the banks and corporations that w i l l grow u p aroun d them w i l l
d eprive t h e people of a l l property u nti l their ch i ldren w i l l wake u p home­
less on the continent that their fathers conquered. "
Jackson and Van Buren led the peo p l e aga i nst the monopol ists. Jackson
d e l ivered the nation from debt. That i s , the peopl e beat the banks between

1 8 30 and 1 840. Record of this decade has , or had , a lmost entirely d is­
appeared from American text books .
D u ring the Civil War of the 1 860s , the nation was betrayed by a ganglia
of Sherman , Ikleheimer, e tc . , working with foreign (mainly Engl ish and
Jewis h ) fi nanciers.
The so-cal led democratic (or statal system) intended by the fou nders of
the republic was k i l l e d . Very few people n oticed i ts death. Jeffers o n ' s
prophecy was largely b u t i mperceptibly fulfi l l e d . The American people are
o n l y now l ifting one torpi d eye l i d . Schemes for the nomad ic l i fe had
a l read y gone i nto effect, people wandering about landl ess sleeping in
motor-tra il ers .
This was brought about by a system i n which the Government bor­
rowed the nat i o n ' s credit a n d paid interest on it to private concerns.
Ikleheimer's circular cal cu lated there would be from 28 to 33 per cent
profit. The usury i n some banking systems amounts to 60% and so fecun d
was the n e w continent that t h e traffic stood it; w i th cycles of crash a n d
cri s i s , which were, nevertheless, fol lowed by recoveries and partial re­
We hear l it tl e , and you at a d istance certainly hear less of these i n terna l
rumbl i ngs . When the swi n d l e becomes i nternationa l , Rota's condemnation
of half a century ago covers the s i tuation ; he sai d :
"The mercantilist system placed the happ iness of nations i n the quan­
t ity of m oney they possess . And it consisted i n a clever strategy for steal ing
the greatest possible amount of money from other nations . "
Ital y, having benefitted b y Rota's S t o ri a delle banche may have pre­
ceded other nations in real izing the force of this sentence. At any rate she
was , in our t i m e , the first Occidental nation to believe that among the first
rights of a m a n , or a country, is the right to keep out of debt.
This point of view both pained and shocked the i nternational usurers .
The tension became u nbearable i n 1 93 8 when Dr. Schacht openly
stated (during Hitler's visit to Rome) that "money which is not issued
against exchangeable goods is mere printed paper . "
The German word is " Verbra uchsgi Her. " Gold i s exchangeable when
people suffer from superstition. It is not edible. You cannot wear it save as
ornament. Very few treatises on econom ics begin with a definition of
money. Curious, but you may verify it by long sojourn in any national
l ibrary.
Now, on whatever substance money is pri nte d , i t gives or is assumed to
give its possessor the right to take ( i n exchange for it) a determined quantity

and qual ity of a ny sort of goods offered for sale in market.

A t a certain p o i nt the money swindle and the gol d habit merge . And a
natio n that gives too much of its gra i n or s i l k or wool to people who d i g u p
gol d , or who manage a m oney issue, i s l i kely t o fi nd itself in want. Some
l a n d s are fountains of metal (if aided by engineers) , other nations are mere
tanks. France was a ful l tank.
Last spring in Washi ngton I said and pri nted the statement: "War
aga inst Germany in our t i m e , would be war against an hon est concept of
money . "
One of the elder members o f Congress rep l ied : "We ll , most o f the gol d
i n t h e world i s i n the United States , i n the British Empire and i n Russia , and
I reckon that any attempt to d i m inish the power of them that have i t , w i l l
meet w i t h fairly serious resistance . "
I might put this i n another form: Any nation which surrenders the
control of i ts p urchas ing p ower to any o ther nati on or any grou p or agency
outside its own contro l , w i l l fal l into slavery.
Decent A m ericans protest aga inst our sel l i ng you munitions A N D at the
same time lending money to Chi n a so as to make sure you w i l l have a u se for
those munitions. The men whom I most respect in Europe see beh i n d the
present European s laughter an attempt to break down both Germany and
the A l l ies and reduce the whole people of Europe to a servitude under a
money control . The more extended the confl i ct, the l onger i t lasts, the
greater the debt that w i l l be created and the greater the burden of i nterest
that woul d be due to the lenders of money, the " creators of credit . "

8 Letter from Rapallo : In War Appear Responsibilities

WITH THE H IT LER INTERVIEW of June 1 4 , the continental war aims are once
more made clea r i n their essential fa irness a n d , for a victorious army , their
m i l d ness. Had our un ivers ities not betrayed us over an 80 year peri o d , the
phrase " freedom of the seas" might sti l l arouse an intell igent glow in the
American thorax. There o nce was a man named John A d ams. There once
was an American system whereof at l east a m inority of Americans had an
i nkling. We were betraye d , sold up the river , hog-swoggled i n 1 863 by J .
Sherman , Ikleheimer a n d Iklehe imer's London correspondents, b u t the
publ ic has not yet found it out. The bonds were issued as banking basis.
Someday we (in the plural ) w i l l wake u p , but whether our guts have stil l the
tensi le strength to take action remains to be shown.

I n the meantime there i s a question of responsibi l i ty both for wars at

large and for this war. Herr H i tler has been exceed ingly m i l d in his remarks
on B r itish pol iticians. When I was in America in June 1 93 9 , it was known
that Churc h i l l and his gigolos meant to "get i n to the government" (of
Englan d ) and start a w ar. Technically they d i d n 't "get in" until the war had
been started , but the i ntent ion was there and indelible. They have a l ready
had part of their war. Count Potocki can bear witness to what I told him at
lunch in May, 1 93 9 . I am glad to have a few statements i n print and dated.
France and England were rotten . Not being a m i l i tary expert I forebore to
make prophecies. All I cou l d say was that I cou l d see nothing to prevent
another S u d a n .
M o s t of Europe h a s spoken. A number of Engl ish patriots have been
jail ed for believing that their country shou l d not go to war until prepared .
Several Englishmen had demurred at the embezzlemen t of mandated ter­
ritories, which embezzlement was part of the Lazard-Churchi l l (and should
we say Kuhn-Loeb?) program.
At any rate a Monroe Doctri ne can and should be bi latera l . When
Monroe fol l owed Adams and Jefferson i n the belief that we shou l d keep ouT
of Europe, he emphasized what was then the less obvious side of the
problem. Fatty degeneration of American politics and of American politi­
cal exposition has been unchecked for too long. It is time we dug up the
creed of the American foun ders . It is time we kn ocked the dust off a few
perfectly valid i deas (ca l l 'em i deals if Wilson hasn 't permanently de­
classed that term).
Roosevelt has done nothing to maintain the freedom of the seas . With
140 m i l l ion Americans behi nd him, he cou l dn 't defend the American
post-bag. He h as s pent ten b i l l ions on need less gol d , at the cost of the
American people. Four bill ions out of that ten has gone in what appear to
me to be excess profits to the sel lers of gol d , all of which is added onto our
American taxes or written up as mortgage of America to an anonymo u s set
of unc l ea n l iness . A l i tt l e of the once-vaunted American acumen would
suffice to start asking: who got it?
I advocate at l east that much acumen.
Vanity and provincial ism ! M i l lionaire p l a y-boys i n key embassies !
When it comes to being ridiculous, can you beat busy B u l l itt tel l i ng Mandel
(alias Rothsch i l d ) . Reynau d , a bunch of Jews , Annamites, Senegalese and
freemasons that they are of the blood of Jeanne d 'Arc? ( Vi d e his harangue
del i vered a few days before Paris fel l . )
Newspapers ru n o n borrowed money have contributed t o this state of
vagueness. Take it that Church i l l is senile and that his col leagues are . as

Reynaud and Mande l , shop-fronts for Lazard , Neufli ze , Honneger, Roth­

schi l d , Sieff, B e i t , Goldsmi d , Mocatta etc. , you h ave not yet the ful l l ist of
persons responsible. Meaning responsible for the m i l l io n dead in Poland ,
Flanders , Norway, etc. A l l of which slaughter i s due to provincial is m , to
hoggishness, greed and to a l ove of monopo ly which was not exclusively
Euro pean .
Nothing effective was d o ne o r tried i n America to stave off t h i s conflict.
All the official pressu re was used in the wrong direction. Whether Amer­
icans have yet exa m i ned the Polish dossier, I cannot from this d is tance
make out, but the facts are written and implied on thousands of pages of
news-print. " Forces" in A merica p u ffed u p or h e l p ed to p u ff up the Poles.
The y backed the gold-swine and the bank-swine. There were surprises and
they fai led t o conceal their astonishment. When a l i ttle American horse­
sense fina l l y a p peare d , the "forces " were peeve d . We are not yet out of the
woods. There are stil l Anglomaniacs and usura-maniacs in A merica who
like u s to stick our hands into the fire . For England?
No! most certai n l y not for England. England has been worm-eaten s ince
1 700. Her vitals were being gnawed over a century ago when Cobbett
wanted to cure her. There is a whole l iterature of velleities, of attempts at
Engl ish reform . E ight months ago I was thought l oony for saying that France
probably suffered l ess from the invasion of 1 8 70 than had the Engli sh
during the p ast 2 0 years from perfectly stinking misgovernment.
What have we i n our recent American record that m ight serve to
enlighten them? During the last year a marginal reform has been put into
operation. Wallac e , the goat of Roosevelt ' s a d m in istration, has got in the
point of a gimlet . A trifli ng amount of money, c a l l ed "stamp s " and l im ited
in its a p p l icatio n , has been issued against eas i l y avai l able goods. B u t , in the
wake of L l oyd George , t h i s concess ion has been used as an i m p lement of
degradation. The people have been given back a l ittl e of their own p urchas­
ing power on cond ition t h ey consent to be paupers and ask the bureaucracy
for it.
You have to go back to the m ost rancid m e lodrama for a para l l e l . The
wicked guardian, having robbed the orphan of her fortune, tel ls her it is her
d u ty to be thankfu l for stale bread and a cot in the attic.
L o st i n the Congressional Record for January 2 3 , 1 940 are these pas­
sages :
" Whereas there has deve l oped in the method of conducting the fi­
nances of the U . S . the custom . . . of borrowing financ ial credit . . . thus
i ncreasi ng public indebtedness . "

" Whereas the credit thus lent to the government is in rea lity based on
the real credit of the peop l e , which belongs to them . . . . "

B u t until the reader has patience to read at least the few phrases of J .
Adams that I have been ab le to quote in m y Ca n tos, I know of n o brief way o f
showing h i m how long sanity has. existed in America (among a few people)
and how thorough l y it has failed to percolate into the general conscious­
ness. The people have final l y fumbled at a general muzzy notion that at
l east some wars are economic. In the spring of 1 939 one American ed itor
had the nerve to print my s tatement that:
" War against Germany in our time wou ld be war against an honest
concept of money . "
Shortly before h i s death Robert Mond (brother o f the late A l fred , Lord
Melchett) sat on a sofa in Rome, which sofa is known to me, and said with
hith w e l l known l ithf: " Napoleon wath a good man. It took uth 20 years to
cwuth him. It w i l l not take uth 20 years to cwuth Muthol i n i . (Took us 20
years to crush Napoleon, w i l l not take us 20 to crush Mussol ini . ) And the
economic war hath commenthed . " Thi s is a fact. Statement of i t does not
involve antisemi tism. I t in no way i m p l icates the 300 just Jews known to
me, or three m i l lion unknown. But it does p rove a state of consci ousness i n
one m ember o f known set o f English financiers .
There are known dynasties i n Bank of England d i rectorshi p s : Gosch en,
Kleinwort, B randt, etc. The A nglo-French combination is sometimes for
brevity's sake written " Lazard . " After this war had started the Bank of
England d irectors met and d o ubled their salaries, as proof of purity, patriot­
ism etc. ? One o l d lady sharehol der proteste d , but her protest in no way
moved Montagu Norman. The American reader on his part m ight however
start l ooking for the American representatives of these "forces. " The rela­
tion of home office to branch office seems to m e of m inor importance. In
1 863 the m a i n offices were in London. I t i s there in the record . John
Sherman wrote to Ikleheimer , Morton, and Ikleheimer wrote on to Roth­
sch i l d in London. The " ca p ital ists ," as they are called in the Hazard report,
d i d i ndeed see to it that a great debt was made by our civil war, and used to
control the volu me of our A merican currency.
Over 20 years ago C. H. Douglas asserted potential plenty. The Loeb
report , one of the best achievements of the New Dea l , proved it. Whereon
the rage of international u sury knew no bounds . They argued : " If plenty
exists , we cannot control i t . Therefore i t must not ex ist. Curtail cro p s !
Maintain monopoly! War i s t h e greatest sabotage o f a l l possible. "
B u t the Germans woul d n 't p l ay bal l . Even now, instead o f smashing a l l

the Fren ch factories , they have to a great extent merely captured them. I beg
you observe the record of loans for August 1 93 9 from London to Poland,
Greece, Turkey , Ruman i a . I ask you who has tried to extend the confl i ct .
I assert that from the start England was mucking rou nd i n B u l gari a , a n d
o n l y t h e genius of Mussol i n i a n d the good sense of K i n g Boris prevented
hell breaking l oose in the B al kans.
Financiers make wars for the sake of creating great debts and for the
sake of monopoly. They a n d the ir henchmen are advocates of destructio n .
They h ave manifestly a d vocated t h e destruction of Pari s . If Paris were
destroyed , suckers woul d borrow money and ask "cred its" to reb u i l d it.
Even "La Voix de la Paix , " a Fre nch free anti-government radio voice was
on June 1 5 display i ng his ignorance of the nature of debt, money a n d cre d it.

9 From Rapallo: An Ezra Pound Letter

I HAVE NEVER FATHOMED what a level-headed Japanese reader feel s when h e

finds a n Occidenta l slamming the said Occi denta l 's government, o r h i s
president a n d the heads o f d epartments.
It shoul d be said by way of preface that a president i s , i n theory , a
servant of the peo p le , a n d that as long as he accepts office on that theory, h i s
emp loyers are l icensed t o grumble when h e makes a n a s s of h imself or talks
nonsense. This may exp l a i n why " Wood ie" Wi lson so hated the American
system and tried so hard to wreck it. It may exp l a i n why many of us
consider Fra n k l i n Roosevelt a presi dent and proved servant of Jewry rather
than a respecter of American l aw and tra d itions.
What his pretended (and i n fairness one must add his very probabl y
intended) reforms have, i n the mai n , amounted t o is the spending o f ten
b i l l ion d o l l ars of America 's money for gold , pay i ng 35 d o l l ars an ou nce for
it i n stead of 20 d o l lars a n d 67 cents , thus putting four b i l l ion dollars of extra
or u nearned or u njust profits i nto the pockets of an a nonymous lot of
vendors of an a l most useless and certai n l y u nneeded meta l . Hence , quite
probab l y , the m isery of the American farm popu l at i o n , and the mortgages
on American farms .

* * *

Natura l l y the bleeders who sel l gol d are del ighted with the administration.
The Americ a n , who is American by race, birth , and long tradition, grits his
teeth , turns tomato-red , curses , exhausts his vocabulary of vitu peration and

ends u p (or at least my New England host last year ended up) by saying: " He
is . . . is . . . etc . . . . a l i tt l e Lord Fauntleroy. "
One of my adolescent m emories is that of an ex-senator i n Wa l l Street
abus i ng Theodore Roosevel t , but never have I known American hate of
anyone equal to that I fou n d in America last year d i rected aga inst the
executive. B u t I had no m eans of gauging how widely this hatred was
d i ffused . The Democrats whom I met seemed to d i s l ike Mr. Roosevelt's
poli t i cs , and espec i a l l y h i s econom i c s , even more than d i d the Republi­
can s , but o n the other hand he had friends.

* * *

W i th the American mai l now cut down to air service I am not go i ng to

pretend a knowledge of American fee l i ng in J u l y , 1 940. In May, 1 93 9 , I had
the p leasure of sayi ng to the Pol ish Ambassador in vVas h i ngton : "God help
you if you trust Englan d . " Several other remarks that I managed to ge t i nto
print at that t i m e , though they were not welcome , wou l d now find a greater
accepta nce than they then d i d .
T h e German publi cati o n o f documents has reinforced some of them.
However, it may sti l l be news in the Orient that a l ready i n June, 1 93 9 it was
known in Connecticut that Church i l l , Eden and Co. meant to get i nto the
government and start war.

I take i t The Japan Times expects news from me , and not prophecy, even if
the n ews takes several weeks to reach Tokyo, a n d if I d i fferentiate myself
from certain types of journ al ist, let u s say the Knickerbockers , D. Thomp­
sons , Lippmanns, and Gunthers , by occasiona l l y setti ng a contemporary
act or fact i n perspective with h istory. For exa m p l e , the Berl in papers
a lmost err when they describe the British firing on the French fleet as
" without precedent . " In some senses the p recedent is i nexact . In 1 8 1 2 the
U . S . A . was not a recent a l l y of England . They were mere l y at peace w ith
Engl a n d . A B ri t i sh frigate got with i n c l ose range (I think it was 50 yards) of
a n American frigate and opened fire .
"Democracy" is now currently defined i n E urope as " a country gov-
erned by Jews . " However, the British navy has never been J ewish . And
indeed the Anglo-Saxon vocabulary translates the word sae-mann (which
is now spelled seaman) s i m ply as p irate.

No one w i l l m ake head or tail of the " apparent contradi ctions" of democrat­
ic governments until there i s a handy manua l of the press of Engl and ,
France and the U . S . A . No profession i s less written about than the profes­
sion of journal i s m . When the Russi an revo l u t io naries got into the Czarist
archi ves, they publi shed a lot of papers (The Raffalovitch Papers) with the
title "L'abominable venalite de la presse. " Raffalovitch fina l ly decided that
the French press wasn't worth buying, as no one bel i eved it. The l u m i nous
l i ne in the 500 pages of his corres pondence is: " I recommend we give h i m
ten thousand roubles, as is p a i d t o the Times and the Telegraph " (of
Lon d o n ) . Th e Morning Post before its l amented demise printed a set of my
communications , but demurred at quoting this suggesti o n of Monsieur
The Regime Fascista recently told us that i n 1 930 a certain Meyer
advised Jews not to bother w ith newspapers. He sai d , "get i nto the news
agencies , " that is where p apers get news . America was fed by these agen­
cies , and has therefore been a l ong t i me in d iscovering Europe. I mean
Europe since 1 92 0 . I doubt if Mr. Rip van VVendell VVi l l kie has yet heard of
the Europe now here . At any rate he hadn ' t heard about our Europe a year
ago , when writing for that l ast and lowest of a l l period icals, The Atlantic
Mon th ly .

And of course Mr. W i l l ki e won't hear of Europe i n A merican papers , for

the v ery good reason that a year ago only five of them were running at a
prof i t . That means that the rest were on borrowed money.
Hence one smiles when Mr. Roosevelt talks about a free press. A
newspaper i n the U . S . A . i s free to print what its cre d itors and advertisers
want pri nted . I doubt if any American daily paper w i l l go deeply i nto the
merits of, let us say, canned food in A merica.
A j o urnali st whom I respect very considerably once described to me an
i n terview with his owner; the l atter saying: "What do you think you are , a
sort of a mbassador? Do you know what runs this paper? Do you know what
pays for your keep? Women 's underwear! " When I was i n Lond on i n
November, 1 9 3 8 , a fri end saw about 20 people arrested for demonstrating
against the reception of Carol of Rumani a , who was, however, given the ful l
front page o f a p ictorial d ai l y with the head i ng "A Regular Fell o w , " com­
plete in opera c l oak and boi led shirt.
A n explanation of British and American d a i l i es will convince you of
the i mportance of certain advertisements .
The l ast poster that caught my eye on the way to Victoria station was: I F
CHRIST C A M E T O LON DON . He hasn't.
* * *

I keep on saying that it is very hard for one peopl e to understand any other.
Peo p l e do not defi ne their terms. The inju nction is fairly old . . . but even if
peopl e attem pt to do so, they do not rea l i ze how l i ttle certa in words mean to
men who are not accustomed to usi ng them or who have not got used to
their meani ngs.
The conti nent of Europe is ful l of talk about " a u tarchia " translated as
"auta rchy. " It would save a lot of American and English time if they would
translate th is word as " the right to keep out of debt . "
Scoundrels are often men who d o not WANT the public t o have its time
save d . If they are working a swi n d l e , they do not want the public to find it
out UNTIL they have got away with the swag. Hence the very great non­
receptivity i n the news " service" or system run by usuriocracy and mOflO­

Henry Adams warned his brother Brooks Adams that he might be martyre d .
B rooks d i d n 't m u c h care , a n d h e died at a r i p e o l d age , b u t t h e public is sti l l
nearly u n aware o f h i s books , i n especial of The Law of Civiliza tion a n d
Decay a n d The New Empire .
I k n o w of no American a u thor from whom t h e Tokyo reader c a n l earn s o
much Occi dental h istory from s o s m a l l a number of pages. Go to it. P i rate
h i m . Read h i m . Perhaps m en who read h i m in 1 89 7 and 1 903 found h i m
less l i ve l y than you w i l l , reading h i m now. H e was not a fanatical monetary
reformer or insister on monetary pact and the known history of money , as is
your present correspondent, but he had covered most of the rest of the
gro u n d . He knew and said very plainly that the o l d Roman empire flopped
because it fai led to protect the purchasing power of agricultural l abor.
I ta l i a n agriculture was ruined by the dumping of cheap grai n from Egypt.
I d oubt if any author has form u l ated so many of the bases of empire. The
root of sane government is Confucius a n d Menc i u s ; but the formulae are not
ful l y exposed .
I n the stress of the p resent Anglo-Jewish war on Europe the term
"va lu ta-lavoro " has emerged in Italy. That is one sign of Italian strength
and sanity. So far as I know , Brooks Adams was un known in Ital y , and
General J . F. C. Fu ller is among h i s very rare Engl ish readers . Certa in facts
re-emerge , cert a i n laws conti nue to be i n dependently red iscovered by
people who have never come i nto contact with records of them.
You fin d H i tl er al most quoting Confucius; you fi nd Musso l i n i a l m ost
citing Jefferson. The answers to the statal problem are known . Every time a
dynasty has endured for three centuries we find certain laws at its base. You

m ust defend the purchas i ng power of l abor, in especial , of agric u ltural

B . Adams starts sanely with the antithesi s : m on ey-lender and peasant.
Whether the Orient has learned anything from the effects of Indian usury, I
do not know. Every now and aga i n we get a glea m , that i s , three or four l ines
of print, showing a very acute sense of money , both in Japan and in China.
Perhaps your records have not been so often and so s uccessfu l l y destroyed
as have those of the Occident.

* * *

I t may even be that my original i ntention i n this article is unnecessary . I

started to warn you aga i ns t accepting "shop-fronts . " The European press is
ful l of talk abo u t Reynaud s , B l um s , Pierlots, Churchi l l s , a l l of whom are
labe l s pasted over the very s o l i d facts of the firms running the gol d ex­
change i n Londo n , the B a n k of England , the B anque de France. I sup pose
the name Sassoon has a meaning in Tokyo , or at l east across the water, i n
Shanghai . Y o u may have a more i mmed iate contact w ith the real ity than
have the London and Paris neighbors of S ieff (Moses Israel) , Melchett,
Lazard , etc.
As no American seems to know whom Mr. Morgenthau bought the ten
b i l l i o n of gold fro m , perhaps some Oriental w i l l have the i ngenu ity and
patience to start find i ng out. No o ne wou ld be m ore del ighted by fu l l and
deta i l ed i nformation o n this point than woul d your present correspondent.
I have been through e ight v o lumes of U.S. Treasury reports but they merel y
s a y h o w m u c h , never FROM WHOM .

10 From Rapallo: A n Ezra Pound Letter

T H E R A D IO t h i s m orn i ng (Ju l y 1 7) a n n o u n c e d fus ion of Oriental and

Occi d ental cultures as part of the new Japan ese program . Hardshel l con­
servatives w i l l fear a genera l d i scoloration of culture, the sudden accept­
ance of the fau lts of both cultures , such, i n deed , as Fenoll osa fou n d i m­
m i nent years ago and withstood . A serious fus i o n means r igorous selection
of the best works of both hemispheres and an historiography that shal l give
the most pregnant facts w ith greatest clarity of defi nition.
I can , I bel i eve, clai m someth ing l ike seniority, or at any rate a l ong
d i l igence in the search for the former. At fifteen I started an exa m i nation of
i nternational l i terature for my own needs . And from 1 9 1 0 onward there is

printed record of my res u l ts , however im perfect. I have had a l ittle col­

laboration. E liot however gave up h i s Sanskrit. B u nting learned to write a
beau t i fu l Pers ian h a n d . A l d i ngton rema ined inside the l anguage groups I
had examined . Prof. Breasted thought my i dea of a quarterly publ ication of
such resu l ts of America n research as attained va lue as l iterature , that is
such as had more than specia l ist's p h i lological interest , was "a dream
floating above the heads of the people . " By which he meant the American
Univers i ty system where i n he held very h igh status as Assyriologist. I see
no reason for Japan's taking over the stupid ities and flat fai l u res of Amer­
ican scholarshi p . Tokyo has the l i vel iest magazine of young letters i n the
world (VOU ) . New York once had it, that was twenty years ago . Paris often
had it before then. E d i tori a l Yu nque of Barcel ona has j ust started a very
good b i li ngual series of poets ( P oe s io en la Mo no) beginning with J . R.
Masol iver's exce l l ent tra ns l at ions from Dante, Spanish text fac i ng the origi­
If I recommend eight volumes o f my o w n essays a n d ant hologies to the
Kokusai B unka S h i nkoka i as a starti ng point, i t is not, as m ight be sup­
posed , from i mmodesty, but s i m p l y because I do not know of any other 30
years or 4 0 years persistent effort to sort out the Occidental books most
worth attention. There are encycloped ias, com p i l ations giving names of
A L L t h e known writings , etc . , but not attempts to show the best books i n

relation t o each other.

The very great l abors of the Leo Frobenius I n st i tute cover a d i fferent
fiel d . Your u n i versities wil l of course take note of them .
The hang-together of art and the economic system i s not yet very
genera l l y understood . I keep i nsisting that a n " e p i c is a poem conta i n i ng
h istory . " That may exp l a i n why epic poets need t o know economics. It does
not touch the l yric writers so closely. However, a " fusion or union of
cultures" implies a mutual regard for two h istoriographies. Here your
u n i versities can save their stu dents a great dea l of t i m e by importing Brooks
Adams ' The La w of Civilization a n d Decay and The New Empire.
I t h i nk, in fact, that you m ight start your study of our new h istori ogra­
phy from those bo o ks, though to u nderstand American cycles they must be
ampl i fied by brief compen d i a of the writing of the American fou nders , John
Adams , Jefferson, Van B uren , and by a narrat i ve contain ing facts which I ,
personally, h a v e found i n Overh olser, Woodward , Beard , Bowers , a n d not
(oh very emph atical l y not) i n the text books used in American beaneries .
I cannot condense four of the essential factors further than I have
alread y done in my " Introductory Text-book" offered herewith.

Introductory Text-book [In Four Chapters ]

Chap. 1 . " A l l the perplexi ties, confusion and distress in America arise, not
from defects in their constitution or confederati o n , not from want of honor
and virt u e , so much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin ,
credit, and circu lat i o n . "-John Adams.
Cha p . 2. " . . . and if the national b i l l s issued, be bottomed (as is indispens­
able) on p l edges of specific taxes for their redemption within certain and
moderate epochs, and be of proper denominations for circu l ation, no i nter­
est on them would be necessary or just, because they wou l d answer to
everyone of the p urposes of the met a l l i c money withdrawn and replaced by
them . " -Thomas Jefferson ( 1 8 1 6 , l etter to Crawford) .
Chap . 3 . " . . . and gave t o t h e people o f this Republic THE GREATEST B LES SING

Cha p . 4. "The Congress s ha l l have power: To coin money , regu late the
value t hereof and of foreign co i n , and to fix the standards of weights and
measu res . " Constitution of the United States, Article I Legislative Depart­
ment, Section 8, p. 5 . Done in the convention by the u nanimous consent of
the S tates , 7th September, 1 7 8 7 , and of the Independence of the U n ited
States the twelfth. In witness whereof we have hereu nto subscribed our
names. -George Wash ington , President and Deputy from Virgin i a .
This "text" was fol lowed b y a h a l f page of notes a n d bibliography. Thus:
The abrogati o n of this last mentioned power derives from the ignor­
ance mentioned in my fi rst quotation. Of the three preced ing cita­
tions , Lincol n ' s has become the text of W i l l is Overh o lser's recent
His tory of Money in the U. S . ; the first citation was taken as opening
text by Jerry Voorhis in his speech i n the House of Representatives
June 6, 1 93 8 ; and the passage from Jefferson is the nucleus of my
Jefferson and/or Mussoli n i .
Douglas ' proposals are a subhead under the m a i n idea i n Lin­
coln 's sentence; Gesel l 's " i nvention" is a special case under Jeffer­
son's genera l law. I have done my best to make simple summaries and
clear definitions i n various books and pamph l ets and recommend as
i ntroductory stud y , a part from C. H. Dougl as ' Econ omic Democracy
and Gesel l ' s Nat u ra l Econ omic Order, Chri s . H o l l i s ' Two Nations,
McNair Wilson's Promise to Pay, Larraflaga 's Gold, Glut a n d Govern­
m e n t and M . B utchart 's compendium of three centuries' though t , that
is an anthology of what has been sai d , in Money. (Origi nally pub­
l ished by Nott . )

There aga i n I have nothing to retract. I left co pies of the above work with
a n u mber of senators and congress men last year i n Washingto n , also with a
few historians. The more they knew a lready, the more nearly saw the
bearing of my four chapters . I doubt if anyone can further, or to advan tage
condense, the thought of John Adams than I have i n Cantos 6 2/7 1 , a n d I
have made a start on Jefferson in my jefferson a nd/or Mussoli n i . Both of
which volumes can be exp l a i ned . There is no reason for someone in Tokyo
refra i n i n g from issuing a commentary , but I doub t if an adequate h istory of
the U . S . can be written wi thout I NCLUDING the essential ideas which I have
there set together. The compendia of histoi re morale contemporaine made
by Remy de Gourmont and Henry James, I have at l east indicated in my
Make it New.
At this point I would offer a word of warn i ng to Japanese a l u m n i of
A m e r i c a n , or o t h er O c c i d e n t a l u n i vers i t i e s . W i th the except i o n of
Froben i u s ' Fors ch u ngsi n stit u t i n Frankfurt, our u n i vers i ties are NOT , they
most emphatica l l y are not, in the foreguard of Western thought. There is a
time l a g of 20, 40 or 60 years i n what they teach i n economics, h istory a n d
l i terature. They m a y be more l i vely i n departments of material science. At
any rate most of thei r Japanese alumni were taught i deas b,elonging to
Western decadence. And that decadence was nowhere more notabl e than
in Western tendency to erect m useums rather than temples.
Now the museum i s a l l very well i n i ts way. The j uven i l e student can
see bits and p ieces of what has been achieved i n the past, which may keep
him from narrow provinci a l ism both of p l ace a n d of time.
I n the stu d y of comparative l i terature, T. S . El iot has acu tely observed
that, " existing masterworks constitute a plenum, whereof the d i vers parts
have i nter-rel ated proportions and values. The relations of extant works are
modified by new work that is rea l l y new . "
I t i s a l so true that t h e rea l wri ters o f a n y epoch coll aborate, sometimes
consci ously and volu ntari l y , sometimes unconsciously and even aga i nst
their own wi l l .
Yeats and I collaborated voluntari ly. Yeats a n d F . M . (Hueffer) Ford
involuntari l y . Cummi ngs is possibly u nconscious of col laborati o n , etc.
However, a mu seum i s made up of fragments . An attempt to present the
l i terature of a country or continent is bound to appear fragmentary or at
l east m ad e up of heterocl i te matter of d i fferent degrees of importance . Even
more so when we come to translated l iterature . There is no u n i form merit i n
translations, any more than i n works. One nation may have a n epic. An­
other a set of p lays. But o ne dimension i s common to all masterworks ,

namely, they contain the q u intessence of racial qua l i ty. I have seen V i l l on
in P aris 500 years a fter his l ines were written.
I have seen B occaccio and Goldoni in Italy, and i t i s commonplace that
" London i s fu l l of Dickens . " By wh ich l aconic phrases o ne means that the
"news" printed by these authors i s sti l l the event of the day in their
Whatever I have compiled either i n essays or i n anthologies has been i n
a n attempt to set together maxima o f achievement, that i s , work i n which at
least some of the qual i ties of writ i ng and concept have attained the highest
known degree. And my res u l ts are I think l argel y confirmed by the findings
of England 's most d istinguished resident critic, T. S. Eliot (born American ) .
And to a certain extent I t h i n k Yeats a n d F. M . Ford wou l d have agreed with
us, h owever l ong i t may take the l iterary burea ucracies and the book trade
to a d m i t it. In several cases even the book-trade has had to give way 20 or 2 5
years after the fact.
I a m t herefore recommen d i ng m y own fin d i ng re comparative l i tera­
ture. I am recommendi ng B rooks Adams and subsequent " new" econo mists
in the fie l d of h istory. I have elsewhere cited various other compe n d i a .
Germa ny i s talking of Karl v o n S t e i n and of Ruhlan d i nstead of Marx . The
thought of an epoch does not present itself in a l l departments. La Tour du
P i n , Fabre , Frazer, B urbank, may seem names p icked up at hazard . Strictly
sci e ntific names are world -known-it is only when you get to the border­
l i ne between material (practica l ) science and culture that the vital writers
may l i e h i dden for half a century before comi ng i nto their own. In the fields
of history or econ o mics the vital writers may be half absorbed and s uper­
seded before being known to more than three hu ndred readers . After which
they crop u p aga i n l ater as "sources , " the "source" for practical purposes
having very l ittle importa nce save for retrospective scholars , very l ittle,
that i s , i n proporti o n to the i mmense importance of getting the right solu­
tion , whether for a n a nti-t ubercular seru m , or for an economic (monetary)
process .
John Adams remarked that " very few people have the chance to choose
their system of government. " It i s extremely d i fficu l t to make a thorough
reform of stud ies that have become fixed or waterlogged through a century
or more of u nivers ity habit. There i s , on the other han d , a gra nd chance of
effecting an up-to-date system, if you deliberately set out to pres ent a
relatively u nexplored foreign culture , and can d o so without superstitions ,
at a ny rate l ooking clearly at defi nite facts either established or provabl e ,
a nd n o t caring a hang w hether these facts have been acceptable to the
contro l lers of the educational (videl icet mis-educational or obfuscatory)

system in the cou ntries which you elect to i nvest igate.

If Japan can produce a better, that is clearer a n d more incisive, set of
broch ures showing the rea l thought of the founders of America 's soc ial
form , than now exists i n America , so much the greater your glory. The best
and m ost revolutionary book on Bottice l l i was brought out by one of your
citizens. It was, or at l east appeared to me to be, extremely original i n its
treatment of Bottice l l i 's details as comparabl e with Oriental treatments.
The i mpartial and a l ien eye real l y saw what the fam i l iar native eye had
taken for granted . So much for suggested i mports to Japan . When it comes to
export s , we in the Occident wonder whether a Japanese history exists ; or a t
a ny rate w e fear that n o translation o f your history exists that w i l l tell us as
m u ch of Japan as the TONG - K I EN-KANG-Mou i n De Moyriac de Mail l a 's version
tell s u s of China. You can ' t order such works over n ight . De M a i l l a 's French
makes l iterature of even rather dull passages. Klaproth 's Nippon o Dai Itsi
Ran d oes not. It is m erely well prin te d . We want to know m ore about you .
There i s a gap between Kagekiyo and the new dredger-plus plywood
veneers .
What I rea l l y know of Japan I have got from Fenollosa's notes o n the
Noh and from a handful of " very much over-ci v i l i zed " young men to whom
the Noh was fam i l iar. I can no t s uppose this to be a " working knowledge "
but I bel ieve it to be a much m ore " rea l " knowledge than I should have got
by starting at the " practical e n d " and o mitting the fragm ents vouch-safed to
In struggling against enormous odds (meaning financial odds) for a
mutual understanding between Japan and the Occident , there is sti l l the
danger that a Japanese educated in the U . S . A . m i ght occasiona l l y bel ieve a
statement printed i n Engl ish or American newspapers without first l ooking
carefu l l y at the date l ine, and name of the agency supplying said news. It
cannot be too firm ly understood that "some" agencies and newspapers
exist m a i n l y , or even who l l y , for the purpose of causing the stock markets to
wobb l e , their " politica l " purposes being a m ere cover for this means to
putrid profi t . I persona l l y feel that some of you m ight get your European
news v ia the U . S . A . even i f as many of your stu dents have gone to Germany
(have they?) as to the U . S . A . Re which possibi l ity I register the s i m ple
statement made to me two years ago by an American publ isher. (Parenth­
es i s : my friends often u rge me to be "reasonabl e . ") The publisher said :
" Facts u nfavorable to Germany and Italy are news; facts favorable to Italy
and Germany are propaganda . "
Against which I set a revea ling statement made b y Otto Dietrich (Ter­
ramare pamph lets no. 1 3 ) : "The Fuhrer w i l l never create an office unless

thoroughly convinced of the su itab i l ity of the person selected for it . "
Perhaps the spiritual descendents a n d unconscious fol lowers o f Con­
fuc i u s do him m ore honor than physical descendents who spend their t i me
borrow i ng money .

11 From Rapallo: A n Ezra Pound Letter

IT IS I M POSSI B LE to exp l a i n contemporary Europe to Japan without a long

econo m i c preface, possibly a longer preface than the average reader has
patience for. One can roughly i n dicate the cyc l e of Occidental infamies
since the foun d ing of the Bank of England about 1 696 A .D . , via the s up p res­
sion of paper money in E ngland 's American colonies, Cobbett's struggles
aga in st the ruin of agriculture in Engl a n d , industriali zatio n , the ruin of land
owners by financial chicane, etc. Suffice it to say that by 1 93 5 we were all
fed up with the fal l of empires , kingdoms, etc. It was a l l " o l d stuff. "
Governments had flo p p e d , Austria was, l ater, a m i nor collapse, but for over
a century and a q uarter no man had l a i d hands on a Rothsch i l d . That item
was NEWS with a big " N , " but not one European journalist i n a hundred had
sense to know it, and not one in a thousand coul d print his perception i f he
had one. Three hu ndred m i l l ion or whatever gol den schil l i ngs or whatever
had gone into Skoda gun works, to make trouble, via Vienna. The rep l y was
the Anschluss, the incorporation of Austria in the Germ a n Reich.
In one sense h istory, not merely i d eological history, is b u i l t out of
phrases. It is b u i l t out of crysta l l i zations of words i nto very brief gro u p s , say
five, six, or a d ozen word s . These words become fact. And it i s impossible to
exaggerate their force , because they cannot come i nto existence save as
proof of a state of u ndersta n d i ng. I mean clear u nderstanding, not mere
confused apprehensi o n o r suspicion.
H j a l m a r S c h a c h t m a d e h i s tory in 1 9 3 8 : " G e l d , dem ke i n e Ver­
b ra u c h sg ii t er gege n ii bersteh e n , i s t ja n i c h t s a l s bedrii cktes Papier. "
Money that i s n ' t issued against commerciable goods is mere printed paper.
O f course you h ave to know quite a bit of economics to u nderstan d why
this sentence is history. A ri stotle left certai n terms u n defi ned , or at any rate
fai l ed to "educate" the Occident and give it a c l ear (when I say clear, I mean
clear) understand ing of certa i n properties of money. Some people contin­
ued to think of money as "a u n i versally accepted commo d i ty delivered i n
measured amounts . " By 640 A . D . the Tang dynasty had got round t o using
paper money, that is, "an admonition or memorandum of how m u ch the

holder of a certai n kind of piece of paper ought to receive in the common

m arket. " The inscri ption of the Tang notes is essentially the same as that on
the ten l i re notes i n Italy today.
Then came the word " credit. " By 1 62 3 the Sienese Bank, the Monte dei
Pasc h i , had discovered the basis of sound cred it, namely the abundance of
nature and the responsib i l ity of the who l e peopl e . Jefferson knew that it
was unnecessary for the U . S . Government to pay two dollars (out of the
peop l e 's p ocket) for every d o l lar's worth of goods or services delivered to
the government. In other words he knew that the s tate need not rent its own
credit from a c l ique of individuals either American or foreign. Nevertheless
even today men go on confu s i ng mandates or orders to deliver what exists
and promises to hand over something which may exist next year or the year
after. I hope the Japanese student w i l l fin d two word s , one for each of these
paper i m plements, and then refrai n from using the two words indifferently
and c onfusedly. If you do this, the Occident will come to sit at your feet.
In the meantime, very i nformative work i s being printed in Italy. I need
hardl y say that the Axis Powers are the most interesting phenomena in the
Occident at this moment, A . D . 1 940, year of the Fascist Era xvm. Gerarchia,
a monthly m agazi ne fou nd e d by Musso l i n i , contains on p. 34 5 , the month
curren t , the words "probl e m i economici, cioe soci a l i " ("Economic prob­
lems, that is to say soci a l " ) .
This a l s o is history . It shows the final penetration o f a whole rea l m of
i deas that s cattered economists and reformers have been hammering at, and
trying to hammer into the public mind for the past 20 years.
There i s , i ndeed , need for a drastic and burning rev i s ion of the rubbish
taugh t in ALL Western universities in the departments of history and eco­
nomics. B eginn i ng w i th Brooks Adams the l ive thought of half a century
runs through authors who are practicall y exclu ded-! mean 1 00% (one
hundred per cent) excluded-from the frou sty beaneries of the U . S . A . ,
Engl and , etc. C. H. Dougl a s , Gese l l , Chris . Hol l i s , McNair Wilson, Over­
holser, Larrailaga, B utchart 's compen d i u m , do not figure among the au­
t h o r s r e v e a l ed to o u r s t u d e n t s . An Ita l i an m i n o r i t y , ch i e f l y n on ­
universitaire , I should say, i s served b y a flock of period icals which do treat
these subj ects , often in an " u nreadabl e " manner. However, as you are
enjoy i ng a new Halo-Japanese amity society, you m ight do worse than to fi l l
its read ing roo m with copies o f Gerarchia, Rivista del Lavoro a n d publica­
tions o f this sort. C. Pel l i zzi i s now editing Civil tO. Fascista , but for brevity's
sake it i s now possible to m ake a short cut via Odon Par's Finanza Nuova ,
an 80-page summary of NEW financial i d eas (publ ished by Le Monn ier,
Firenze, 1 0 l ire) . A part from brief restatement of ideas and experi ments

elsewhere , the opening pages of this book give the clearest , and for the first
t i m e so far as I know, an adequate statement of the basic differences of
theory , a n d , be it sai d , the superiorities of Corporate State finance over
other p roposa ls a nd experiments. You cannot u n d erstand the new Europe
without knowledge of the Ita l i a n Fasci st revo lution and you cannot under­
stand that revolution without dist i ngu ishing two components in it: the men
who , led by Musso l i ni , regenerated Italy, and the men who, seeing that they
cou l d not prevent the regenerati o n , went along with it for what they could
make out of it. Par i s distin ctly in the first gro u p .
"There h a d been retouches , b u t n o t root changes , because t h e state
i ntervention did not get d own to bed rock , but left the hegemony to p reda­
tory gro u ps . "
"Autarchy set goi ng a s constructive reply t o the d isintegrating power of
m oney-ocracy, was quickly seen by the latter to be a deadly attack, to be
resisted by a l l means whatsoever, i nc l u d ing war. . . . "
" . . . . i t i s at any rate c l ear that it i s not the national aggregates that are
figh t i ng . . . but financial cliques prodd i ng the peoples to figh t . "
" W h y d o e s Plutocracy fight autarchy?" asks Por.
"In the first p lace autarchy aims at producing enough goods for national
needs. Money n o l o nger d i ctates produ cti on , but an autarchic-cooperati ve
order does the d i ctating and money depends o n this order for its volume
and val u e . "
I wonder i f I can tra ns late that sentence a n y m ore clearly? Por goes o n :
" I n s hort , t h e cooperative autarchy abol ishes money as merchandise a s
it has abol ished l abor as merchandise. "
The Ita l ian word i s merce. We might say: Under autarchia neither
m oney nor labor [ i s ] something a clique can sweat profi ts out of.
"The state having established i ts rule over the economic system ex­
tends this ru l e over the fi nancia l . "
" If you consider that the B ank o f England i s owned b y i nternational
financiers who are very hard to i d entify, and that the British Government
has not the power to d i rect the bank's actions a lways and everywhere; and
that the B a nque de France is owned by private capita l i sts and that many
seats on its board of directors are , as it were, hereditary i n the p lutocratic
fam il i e s : Rothsch i l d , Neufl ize, Hottinguer, Wendel , Duchemin , etc. who
control the key industries , inclu d i ng the arms business , you can measure
the meaning of the reorgan i zation of the Banca d ' Ita l i a . "
" It has become really national because no i nternational interest c a n get
to work inside it. . . . "

"The credit of a corporatively organ ized country is l i mited to i ts real

riches . "
"These consist i n its p hysical resources i n the ir natural state bettered
by modern processes of labor, plus the vital activities of the population a n d
t h e state o f t h e sciences; of the culture and the i ntel l ectual and moral
education of the people and the efficient orderi ng of its institutions. The
true wea l th i s not money. Money is the means accepted to actuate produc­
tion a n d stimulate the exchange of riches . . . "

"No sector of the economy can get stranded ; a l l the necessary monetary
means to develop the nation's wealth w i l l be provided without havi ng
resource to foreign financ i ngs . "
A l l this may seem t o b e nothing but very p l a i n common sense. Ja pan
may have arrived at this state of sanity and progressed beyond it, for aJl I
know. B u t you may take i t from me that Europe, i n general , had not done so
by September last year. Even among the bright reformers i n various " pro­
gressive sectors " such as the U . S . A . (New Dea l ) ; A lberta (Social Credi t ,
sabotaged b y Monty Norman and t h e London b leeders ) ; New Zeal a n d
(amply reviewed by P a r i n a l ater chapter o f his Finanza Nuova ) , s o m e of
the essential parts of the mechan ism had been omitted.
I t is for the above very s i m p le i d eas that the Axis Powers are fighting
agai n s t m ou l dy superst i t i o n . That much you can take as news item ,
whether you agree w i th me or not, as to the value of the i deas in thems elves.

12 From Rapallo: A n Ezra Pound Letter

jAPAN is to be congratu l ated on bri nging Mr. Matsuoka to her Foreign Offi ce.
Having sat at Geneva he knows just how rotten the League was. He knows to
an atom the kind of swindler who made it. He knows the menta l i ty that was
i n it, and is in the Carnegie peace swindle. He knows to what degree the
l atter s n iveling gang of pacifists has refra ined from using its endowments
honestly and how well it has b locked any research into the real causes of
war. And this knowl edge of his might be of world use.

* * *

Funk's plan is a complete answer to the infamies proposed by Streit and Co.
But that doesn 't mean that Funk's plan will get any adequate publicity in
America. You might think it would . . . you might think my compatriots
wou l d be abl e to see the sense of collaborating in a new world order instead

of keeping their col lective heads i n a bag, but i f so, you have neglected to
note the thoroughness of the obfuscati o n , various strata of wh i ch date from
1 86 3 , or 1 8 7 3 , or 1 920.

* * *

The work of the Vanguard Press i n floodi ng America with cheap editions of
Marx , Len i n , Trotsky and Stali n m ight have been harm less , m ight even
have been usefu l , had the Americans known their own h istory. B u t they
have not known their own h i story; do not know i t , and are not in the process
of learni ng i t .
As to their learning anythi n g from their papers . . . they have been and
are being served by m en who sell news that i s wanted. Unwanted news just
doesn't " se ll . "
R i p van Wendell W i l lkie read s , and has read, the same news sheet as
Rooseve l t and Morgenthau . . . that is to say, he is pre-condi ti oned by
news-baths carefu l l y prepared by Reuters , Havas, etc . . . . namely, by the
p ropaganda of Rothsch i l d , Lazard and the rest of the most poi sonous dregs
of humanity. Th is has been go ing on for some time.
If Japan gets a "bu m " deal , it will be due qu ite as m uch to the American
peopl e ' s real i gnorance as to any i l l-wi l l or even to the bl ind greed of a
m i nority.
Boak Carter has tried to tel l 'em (the Americans) some of the story. The
m ore cats he l ets out , the more d ifficulty he has of getting any time on the
air, or of even h o l d i ng a column.
A q uite dear o l d friend writes me that she is not exactly praying, but
concentrati n g her w i l l every evening to stop Hit ler (about whom she knows
nothing) . She is not a venomous woman and she l ikes German opera.
A q uite bright New York journalist thinks I am in danger of being
i mprisoned here i n Italy for the senti ments expressed i n a quotation w h ich I
have had stamped on m y writ ing paper. He does not recognize the q u ota­
t i o n as being a motto of Mussol i n i , despite the fact that it is foll owed by the
" m " now used a l l over t h i s country to i nd icate citations from the writings or
s peeches of Il Ouce. The q uotation is: " LI BERTY IS NOT t\ RIG HT B U T t\ DUTY . "

* * *

You Japanese are said to be very i ngenious. Go o n . Invent someth ing. Find
me a mental gimlet that w i l l let a squ irt of l ight into the i ndubitably active
" m i nd s " of America. " Listen-in to Tokyo ! '' Yes, brother. And the sooner
Tokyo starts T E L L I N G the American people i ts own history, i . e. the history of

the U . S . A . , the sooner the American people will find out. For , of their own
motion and in itiative, they are NOT find ing it out .
God alone knows what we Americans know of Japa n . None of us reads
Japanese. Some tens of and hundreds of thousands of us can read German,
French and Ita l ian.

* * *

Note to your own honor that Italy b i l l ed their tak ing of Somali land as the
FIRST time the British Em p i re had lost a colony. Spain sa i d , " the first time in

300 years . " A day later came Japanese o pinion to the effect that it was the
first time SINCE the American Revolution , when we Yanks took out 1 3
colon i es a l l at once ! (Nevertheless, it took us five years , not two months . )



I .

Tami Koum e , Th e A rt of 1lt Eth erism , or S p i ri t i c o-Eth eri c A rt

I AM AN A RTIST; I must l ive in my art; my life is in my art. This being the case , I
can i l l throw my penc il for a pen. in order to set forth in so many words the
princ i ples as well as the i n n er mean ings of my l i fe-problem , the S p i riti co­
etheric Art.
H owever, for the enlightened public, who are not yet well acqua inted
with my art. but kind enough to be curious to know what that is in real ity, I
wou l d fai n forgo the ad vantages, and try to describe the nature and content
of the art in wh ich I have been spiritually awakened , through truthfu l
speculation, and by means of entire devotion to the cause of the al l-great
and mystical Un iverse.
We are now stand i ng at the critical moment of h u man ity. We must be
saved by somethi ng. Hence who wou l d venture to say that the Universe
should d [eny?] the cries vehemently uttere d by the chosen few , who par­
t i c ipate i n the saving counci l s of Nature? There are [ a ] few born now, whose
s p iritual and i ntel l ectual capacities represent the ages of [ a ] thousand years
hence; for nature does not bring forth chil dren u seful only for the present
In l ast May, 1 9 20, I have exhibited m y artistic creat ions on my own
accou nt, to show the content of my art-l ife ; i n other words , I have attem pted
to reveal the processes that have l ed my art from artificial creations " to
s uper-artificial-growi ng-creations . "
N o w these " S uper-arti f i c i a l -growi n g-creat i on s " stand a s a sort of
med i u m between self and the u n iverse, wh i l e self is a kind of med i um in
l ike manner between the u n iverse and the growi ng creations; and so I have
provi s i on a l l y styled th is a rt then a mediumistic school . B u t this term ,
convenient as it i s , [ is] apt to be misunderstood as to the essential signifi­
cance thereof, o n account of its already enjoyi ng a peculiar technical u sage
of its own ; besides, it is rather too s uperficial to be applied to my sp irit­
savi ng art.
U pon this I was forced temporarily to coin a new term , wh ich is but a
symbol of m y art , by which symbol , :: � (which I make bold to pronou nce
Reitherism or S Etheris m ) the essential features of my art-l ife, it is to be
hoped , m i gh t be made somewhat plai ner. Let me here remark par ex­
cell en ce that this sign bei ng the symbol of my art, has no conventional
pronuciation, but only serves to signify the i nner meaning of my art , and
may thus be pronounced as above i ndicate d , because it is an artistic repre­
sentation of my art-l i fe .

H istorical ly speaking, the art that a p p l i es col ouring matters on the

surface, has been called pai nti ng, whose developmen t , it is q u i te needless
to repeat here.
The more advanced p a i n ti ng of the present age has so far progressed as
to be able to d e l i n eate mental phenomena . But those schools of pai n t i ng are
unable to exh i b i t anyt h i ng decisively and analyticall y as to the origi n of a l l
things , and t h e substance of t h e m i n d .
They o n l y deceive themselves a n d others through u nsati sfactory self­
affi rmations. I , who fou n d it i m possible to conform to this state of u nrea­
s o n , have at last arri ved at this my art , Reitherism, or S p iritico-etheric Art,
through purest and truest i n t u i t i o n , and by means of si ncerest spec u lation
and pious devoti o n , even w i l l i ngly risking physical safety. I was thus
sav e d .
Reitherism is an art i ficat i o n of h u m a n l ife .
Reitherism is a beau tification of a l l things material and i mmaterial .
It i s aga i n a beautiful manifestation of Spirit.
T h o s e who a r e p o s s e s s e d o f a b e a u t y - c o n s c i o u s n es s , w i l l a l l
acknowledge that, i n general , A rt means a n a l l -round consciousness­
operation that goes for creati ng beauty artificially. I t is a ph i l osophical
representati o n of this truth .
The b i rt h of art is either an A nscha u u n g or an i nt u i t i ve operatio n . A rt i s
or s h o u l d b e an Artifi c i a l creation , that represents i t s objects through its
own cel l s . Hence Art is aga i n purest philosophy that deals with the Uni­
verse or human l ife , by i mpart i ng its own l i fe to the objects or subjects it has
to d o with.
The concl u s ion of art is beauty itself. Beauty consciousness , cesthetic
consciousness , is a bod i ly experience of the l i fe-forms of the good .
Good is the primary i ntu ition or d i rect-perception that is to be harmo­
n ized and incorporated with the truth .
In the sense of trut h , A rt is the menta l form of hu manity. It is u n iversal­
ly a self-contemp lation and sel f-reflection.
In fi n e , the tru e , the goo d , and the beautifu l , or truth , goodness and
bea uty, must form a tri n ity i n u n ity.
The essence or essential qual ity of beauty is inexpressible.
True A rt i s a rad iation of high toned or high flooded sense of beauty,
that is i m pressed on practical l i fe of human i ty. The ecstasy of faith seems to
be the same with an eternal purification of the ra pture fe lt in the moment of
The essence of beau ty is not to be touched outside the region of self-

knowledge. If i t is so, o l d msthetics is but a puppet logic , for i t cannot go

beyon d shadowing forth s u perficial d i fferences of nature.
In the pu ppet logi c , art is defined to be an enjoyment of life . Such views
are boastfu l ly enterta ined by the ignorant, who cons i d er themselves ( i . e .
men) most h igh-sta tioned i n t h e universe, as lords of creation, thus deceiv­
ing themsel ves and others , under the shadow of old antiq uated mst het ics,
or so-cal led science of beauty. In fine, man has no right to define art an
enjoyment of human l ife.
If there are any enjoyabl e elements i n art , they are , must be, the es­
senti a l nature of art herself, not her definable mean ing, much l i ke the
<:esthetic i mpressions accompanying the ecstasy or rapture of faith.
* * *

The l ittleness of self or ego , cannot but be fel t by those who have become
conscious of the i r own i ntrinsic nature .
M any and various problems that men cannot solve by means of the
progress of science and devel o pment of reason, must not be struck away or
b l otted out as merely u n t h inkable or incom prehen sible.
At least, 1 myself cannot blun der away the essential power, great a n d
myst i c , of t h e Universe , w h i c h w e bod i l y experience irres istibly-an d t h i s
b y l ukewarm reasons of sci ence or psycho logy. No ; G o d forbid !
I n such moo d , we cannot but exclaim admiringly, when we gaze upon
the m i l l i ons of brigh t , s h i n i ng heavenly bodies, " 0 God , how s p l endi d ! "
W e thus cry to that i rresistible might of Nature, and this superartificial
power, " 0 God ! " However we have become conscious of these grand
phenomena , so as to extort from us such ra pturous exclamations, we cannot
deny the Abs o l u te Power cal led God , pervad i n g the whole Universe.
H o wever, t h e " G o d " I a d m i re is n o t t h e God of monot h e i s m or
polytheism; neither i s he the i mpersonal God of pantheism, though in h is
essent i a l nature he somewhat a p proaches the l atter. Positively it is not the
God o f Atheism , sa i d to be one with the Universe.
I deem God to be one with the Un iverse, but that is so in theistic point of
view. Yes ; I i n tu i t the existence of God , great and mystical . To recogni ze the
U n i versal Consciousness or Cosm ic sou l , i s t o acknowledge God. The
narrow and poor intellect of man can o n l y touch some portion of Universal
Consciousness, great and mysti c , merely by negating himself.
Men are not aware of the prec iousness of negating themse lves. B u t yet
those who are awaking to the salvation of their own sou l s , are approach i ng
the precious state of self-nega tion d a i l y more and more . nearer and nearer,
by s e l f-discipl ine and deep s i ncerity-this is not den ied by God hi mself.

Now s imple or pure ego I call the state in which h uman personality,
with its minimum conscious condition, is harmonized and interfused with
the consciou sness of the Universe. B u t , what is the state of simple ego , or
pure ego , here introduced rather mystical ly? That is the state of rea l i zation
or bod i ly experience of spiritual en l i ghtenmen t , rati onal and exalted,
attained by i n s piratory j u dgement and reasonabl e specu lation-a state , free
from a l l doubt s , and impure i deas , transcend ing l ittle human personal ities,
where i n rei gns naivety and s i m p l i c ity.
In this state , m i n i m u m human consciousness being presen t , consc i ous­
ness manifestations i n the cerebral cel ls subs i d ing, superh uman powers of
extra ord inary spirituality are dominant.
Such art ists who are conscientious enough to l ive in truth and purity,
sh o u l d bravely renounce all those petty i ngenu ities, learned from conven­
t i o n s , and l isten to the voice of conscience , for these petty ingenu it ies only
tend to deceive others as wel l as the artists themselves.
A l though we are determ i ned to part with the sha llow self-affirmatory
modes of representation taught to us from h istorical education, so pertina­
cious are we men , that we fee l much grudge to do away with those skills
which have been our com panions years long. B ut those earnest artists who
have once l istened to the precious voice of conscience, cannot but re­
nou nce a l l grud ge to l ive the pure and true l ife of en lightened artists .
If not so, chefs d 'oeu v re themselves are not much better, nay far worse ,
than those rough l i nes d rawn by chil dren expressive of their love toward
nature. They are s i mply productions of time devoted to ingen u i ty.
Tru e Art must be l ove towards humanity, born necessar i l y for saving
the disquietude men entertain in respect to the present existence.
For us who endeavor to live i n the sou l-sav ing art, there is no need of a
temp l e o r church occu pying a n d enclosing a portion of space. A l l phe­
nomena pervading the i nfin ite universe; nay, one single constel lation
gl ittering in the firmamen t , one s i ngle flower emitting S\,veet fragra nce in
the field-these are a thousand ti mes better than myriad volu mes of pri nted
books , bei ng a d i rect teaching of God bestowed on us mortals.
The works of Ceza n n e a n d van Gogh are m a n i festati ons o f l ove
apprehen ded necessarily from Nature . The s t i l l l i fes of Cezanne are s m i l i ng
l ives , wh i le van Gogh 's plants are portions of breathing Nature . They
cannot but fee l , as though inan i mate nature were his or her brothers and
sisters .
Yes ! a l l t h ings are our brothers and sisters . 1\ l l th i ngs , m e n , an ima l s ,
plants , n a y mounta i n s , rivers , desks . papers, a l l are so. At l east I perceive

them to be so. One 's own work-what does it consist of'? It is a synthesis of
hi mself. the canvas , and colouring matters . In other word s , the work here
produce d , is an ani mated object, as it were , wh ich has absorbed my s p i ri t ,
a n d got combined with paints o n the canvas t o be manifested thus.
I n one's own productions one's l i fe dwe l l s , and animate some of the
elements (spiritual elements) that go to constitute one's self. One 's own
works produced on such fa i th are one's brothers , kith and kin, to be s ure !
O ne ' s work of art is , so to speak, a fragment or detachment of one 's own
l ife. Therefore works of art that are not in earnest. and fa lsely represented ,
are so many useless cutti ngs-away of the artist's l i fe ! An artist , if he fears
death , cannot execute (growing) works . B u t , to think of death without any
(grow i ng) work , this is far more u nbearable ind eed !
Such artists who fear death, and at the same time fear the appearance of
their grow i ng works-these have no right t o exist i n the noble world of art. I
have said , a l l t h i ngs in Nat ure are our brothers.
Yes ! so they trul y are . All things in Nature are the workings and
man ifestations of Eth er. Men too, in the begi nn ing of their existence, are but
s i mp l e ce l ls. The germi nal cells have, each of them , specifi c cell-m i n d ,
wh i ch I christen provisionally Spiri t u a l eleme n t .
T h e spiritual element , which pervades the u niverse, accord ing to its
d i fferent operations, somet imes makes orga nic manifestat ions, and some­
t i mes i norganic manifestations. Strict ly speak ing , the d istinction between
orga nic and inorga n i c , i s , s i m p l y , based on the point of view from human
standard . They are s i m p l y the two faces of that i nfi nite, abso lute thing
cal l ed the Universe .
I sha l l now speak of my rea l i zation of the trut h . I repeat , the so-cal l e d
S p i r i t u a l element is t h e cell-mind of Ether, which not only pervades a l l
space s , but even fi lls up t h e spaces between atoms. All objects emit subtle
emanation cal led a u ra or au ric a tm o sph e r e wh ich is noth i ng but the

p roceed i ng of this sp iritu a l e l ement.

Just as in our visual nerves, vibrating etheric rays strike the ret inas to
produce colour-im pressions; so this spiritual element. by act ing upon the
cerebra l convolutions, can make the nerve centre in the bra i n produce the
auric atmosphere , as above referred to.
The m inutest elements in the sensory organ or sensorium are the
sensit ive cel l s . Aga i n the m inutest elements in the inner sensory centre of
the cerebra l convol ut ions are a mass of nerve-c e l l s . In a high ly sens itive
condition of these nerve-c e l l s , the sensory centre is enabled to have com­
munion with the external (so-ca lled) spi ritual-elemen t s .
1 98 APPE;-.JDIX

So even the colour-forms , that are not reflected on the retina of the eyes ,
can be seized at the Fornix of the bra i n . Some persons , i n whom th eir
s p i ritual sensation is h igh ly developed , can i nsensibly represent or per­
ceive them ; j ust as forms that are not made visible by means of prismatic
spectru m , can be seized by u l tra-violet rays of the spectrum. Our =: F
school artists are too h igh l y u l t ra-sensi tive to be merely ingenious to draw
visible t h i ngs.
The recent tendency to give theoret ical explanations to the movements
of colours or l i nes, is a d readfu l one, a pt to specimenize (specify) art , or
restrict the s ignificance of i t .
�Esthet i c symbol isation, or art istic representation, is n o t mnemon ic ( o f
t h e memory) symbol i zati o n constituted b y means o f speculation or medita­
tio n , nor is it a conventional specimen either. Th is is a symb o l i zation
reached by the i n bri ngi ng of fee l i ng, "Einfii h lung , " through which the
artist's sp iritual character as wel l as his or her p h i losophy is manifeste d , or
cesthetica l l y sym bo li zed.
* * *

The l ife of art is eternal and everlasting. As long as the Un iverse stands, as
far as a l l th i ngs exist, art is a changefu l representation of Nature , running
along the orb i t of the whole Universe.
Art, though deemed by Moderns to have been brought to a stand-st i l l , or
dead l ock, has in truth, o n l y finished her first stage , now just on the point of
entering on th e second stage , which would only commence her true career.
We who have not yet been saved by conventional art based on sense
perceptions, must henceforward be saved by the images reflected on the
Fornix of the bra i n .
1 99

•fft .
. .
., f ,
f .

. ... \. . #
' , '
•• •

l r •

... .
. .. .

.. ,

- ..

.-1 .
. ..

. �·

. .



IN HIS ESSAY " VOU Club , " Ezra Pound introduced to Western readers some
contemporary Japanese poets . In h i s generous opinion, their poems were
"better work than any save those of E. E. Cummi ngs , " admiring i n them the
Japanese eye which was " li ke those new camera shutters that catch the
bullet leaving the gun. " In his estimation thei r thought went from one peak
to a nother " faster than our slow w i ts permit u s to fol low. "
Pound's essay appeared i n the Townsman, v a l . I , n o . 1 (January , 1 9 3 8 ) ,
a s a n intro d uction, w i th the " Notes" by Katue Kitasono , to thirteen poems
by e i ght of the VOU C l ub m embers : " Upon the Tragedy of a Flower o n the
Calm-latitudes or of a Passenger Aeroplane" and "Secrecy of a Duet" by
Takeshi Fuj i ; "The End o f Evil Fortune" by Chio Nakamura; "The Road of
Flowers" and "Glassy Hour" by Takeshi Koike; " Young Swan" and " Love's
Magnet i s m " by Toshio S asaj ima; " F i nger Top of Waltz" and "Outflow of
Waltz" by Koichi K ihara ; "A B attle of Roses " by M inoru Yasoshima; and
"Poems " by Katue K itasono. Reprinted here are Pound's "VOU Club " and
Kitason o ' s "Notes" from the Townsma n , in a d d ition to six poems by VOU
poets , as well as James Laugh l in ' s "Modern Poets of Japan " from New
Directions 1 93 8 .
As Pound had suspected , there certainly were other c l ubs o f poets i n
Japan a t that t i m e . Among the "active" poets i n the Tokyo area were
J u n zaburo Nishiwak i , S h i ro Murano, Ichiro A n d o , Ikuo Haruyama, and
Fuyu h i ko K itagawa, to name a few . B ut also as Pound had guesse d , the
VOU Club was a center of i ntellectu a l attenti o n at that t i m e , rap i d l y i n­
creasi n g its m embershi p d ur i ng the years 1 93 5- 3 7 .
A lmost twenty years l ater, K itasono recollected the old days and wrote
an essay, "The VOU Clu b , " upon the request of Michael Reck , who visited
him in Tokyo. Reck later inc l uded this essay in his book, Ezra Pou n d : A
Close- Up (New York: McGraw-Hi l l , 1 9 6 7 ) .

Ezra Pou n d , VOU Cl u b

IT IsNOT A CASE o f asking what would any set o f eight Euro pean an d/or
American poets look l i ke if asked to transl ate their poems into Japanese. It
is a case of saying that for half a century after Papa Flaubert started wri t i ng,
any man who wanted to wri te English prose had to start by read ing French
prose. And it may be that from now on any man who wants to write English
poetry will have to start reading Japanese . I mean modern Japanese , not
merely studying Chinese ideogra m , as I have been advocating for the past
twenty years .
Not as translations but as actual writing, these poems are better work
than any save those of E . E . C u m m i ngs at his happiest. They may even serve
to introduce Cu mmi ngs and Peret to readers who have thought my more
obscu re younger contemp oraries merely eccentric. Yes . You w i l l have to
read Mr. Ki tasono's i n troduction twice, and the poems three or four t i m e s .
The Japanese eye is l i ke those n e w camera shutters that catch t h e bu l let
leavi ng the gun . You w i l l n o t understand some sentences as you read them ,
but o n l y after having got to their ends , see that they reach rou nd and tuck in
their beginni ngs , so that sense is there n i cely boxed . I mysel f feel rather l ike
a gri zzly bear faced by a bunch of weasels. It is the Mongoose spring, the
chameleon 's tongue qu ickness. A l l the moss and fu zz that for twenty years
we have been trying to scrape off our language-the � e young men start
without i t . They see the crystal set, the chemical laboratory and the pine
tree w ith u ntrammelled clearness. As to their being a or the most active new
club of poets in Toki o , I doubt if any one city contains two such cl ubs. I
know that nowhere in Europe is there any such vortex of poetic alertness.
Tokio takes over, where Paris stopped.
Make no mistake, the thought is not absen t from these poems. The
Japanese poet has gone from one peak of it to another faster than our s low
wits p erm i t us to fol l ow before we have got used to h i s pace.
Ezra Po u n d

Katue Kitasono, Notes

T HESE POEMS col l ected here were a l l written by the members of the VOU
Club. This club was plan ned in a stro l l of fifteen min utes or so u n d er the
platan-trees at G i n za Street , August 1 93 5 . After a week the VOU Club
cons isting of fifteen members was born as a most acti ve, new club of poets
in Japa n . Al most the half of these p oets belonged before to the "Club
d 'A rcuei l , " wh ich was made in the spring of 1 9 3 1 by four young poets and
two poetesses . The magazine Ma dame Blanche was published under my
editors h i p .
At that t i me we were profoun d ly infl uenced b y t h e personal ity and the
att i t u d e for art of Erik Sati e . In the memory of this harm l ess great artist we
used the name of the place where he had l i ved for our Club. The movement
of t h i s club rap i d l y exerted an influence over young poets, and the mem­
bers increased next year to more than forty, making an epoch in the poetical
worl d .
I t was b y a n inevitable result o f the tendency o f the age that the "Club
d 'Arcuei l " s h o u l d d issolve at last without a serious reason and the Madame
B l a n che ceased to be p u b l ished at No. 1 9 .
Now the most i n teresting subject to us is about the relation between
imagery an d i deop lasty. Contemporary young poets are all vaguely con­
scious of, and worry about this part . Some of them went over aga i n to its
extremity and ret urned. Others gave up ex ploration and found out a queer
new country , rema i n i ng o n ly as amateur thi nkers . But anyone whose stand­
ing ground is in l i terature can do nothing for it, if he ignores the system of
l i terature.
The forma t i o n of poetry takes such a course l i ke below:
(a) Language (b) Imagery (c) Ideop lasty
That which we vague l y c a l l poetica l effect means, genera l l y , ideopl asty
which grows out of the res u l t of imagery. Man has thought out to make a
heart-shaped s pace with two right angles . This great d iscovery on pl astic,
and a l s o that of the con ics i n mathematics , are two mysteries brought by
man 's intel lect.
The rel ation between imagery and ideo p l a sty makes us suppose the
heart-s haped s pace which is born by the connection of the same mysterious
two c urves . We sta n d a rd i zed these two curves and got a necessity.
What we must d o first for imagery are col l ec t i o n . arra ngement , and
comb ination . Thus we get the fi rst l i ne . " a sh e l l . a typewriter, and gra pes , "
in which w e have a n msthetic feeli ng. l3 ut there i s n ot any further develop-

ment. We add the next l i n e and then ano ther LBsthetic fee l i ng is born . Thus
all the li nes are combi ned and a stanza is fi n ished . This means the comple­
tion of imagery of that sta n za and then ideoplasly begi ns.
This pri n c i p l e can be a pp l ied to poems consi sting of severa l stanzas. In
that case ideoplasty is formed when the last sta nza is fi ni shed .
Though it cannot be a l l owed as orthodox of poetry that imagery is
performed by id eop lasty. this v i o lence is dared often by rel igion ists, p o l i t i ­
cians . and satirists. Mora l i ty poems, po litical poems and satirical poems
are written , a l m ost ·w ithout excepti o n . with such an i l l ogical pri n c i p l e .
T h e phenomena i n our l i fe proceed . through o u r senses to o u r experi ­
ence s , perce ption s . and i ntu i t i ons. It is intuition rationa l l y that prov i d es
the essenti a l s for i magery, and it is the method of poetry that material izes
i ntu i ti ons perce pti vely and combines. Conseq u en t l y , exact imagery and
ideo p l asty are due to an exact method . Pure and orthodox poetry cannot
exist without this theory.
I fear that the contemporary Japanese l i terature has not been a ppreci­
ated rightly in the western worl d , becau se of the books written not w i th
abi l ity but with amateur energies. The true understanding is not to be l ed by
th<lse to wear gloves and take the pen. It must be carried out by those vvh o ,
stand i ng o n t h e l i terary fact of Japan , bravel y suffer for laying t h e eterna l
l itera ry foundati o n on the new l an d .
For a long t i me \Ve have des ired o u r poems t o b e read b y su perior poets
of Europe and America. To our gratitude an opportun ity has been given by
Mr. E zra Poun d whom we respect heart i l y .
I s e e those poems have been deprived o f t h e m o s t part o f t h e nuances of
Japanese by the im perfect translati on . B u t each of us d i d h i s best to trans l ate
his own poems. Though this first attempt may not succeed , we cannot
negl ect its l i terary and c u l t u ral mean i ng.
Ka tue Ki tasono


Under the the umbre l l a of concrete , yesterday, we l aughed at tomato for its
care l essness.
Their thoughts h ave gone rotten by a bucket , and they tal k of rope-necktie.
A s h ot is cabbage in the sky over the offi ce.
Dear fri end , now is all right the hee l .
To-day a duck they dug out in a brush of phil osoph ismus
My l augh i s nearer to th e condition of Dachsh unde-like cyli nder than the
cucu mber-shaped ideas of Aquinas.
I put on gloves emera l d green and start with a book Mem bra n ologie under
m y arm .
Is t here a shop to s e l l clear bags?
To-morrow besid e a bu cket a necktie I shal l wear for the sake of Ge neral
c l othed in vegetable costume.
A weary c i ty i s l ikened to a brush.
Be-gone ! a wandering hea d .
Be-gone ! i n a fl i ng l i ke a n expl osive, over the rock through a Geissler's brass
p i pe .

In leaden s l i p pers I l augh at the fou ntai n of nigh t , and scorn a sol itary swa n .
A parasol of glass s h e s prea d s , a n d wanders a l ong the l a n e t h e cosmos
fl owering.
Over the cypress tree I image , to myself, a hotel marked with two golf-clubs
crossed ;
And move my camera on the sand of night.
I n t h e s t re e t , t he re s h i n i n g the s p i n d l e-sh a p e d ama lga m stairs . the
t e l e phone-be l l is ring i ng on the desk.
In Congo by a barber a parrot is tra ined and sol d at Kabi nda.
Then by cheerfu l young s a i l ors her head is replaced by n leaden one:
Just a gl i mpse of it a watchmaker catches under cocoa nut-trees, where is
seen a dome tightly c lose d .
O n t h e tabl e I t o s s the gloves of antelope , and t h e gl oomy fe l lows I ignore .
A typewriter packed i n a ra incoat of oi l-skin is dead and go ne on the Le
Tem p s .
She, s pread ing the parasol of glass, pursues a nightinga l e . in the space

between the Le Tem p s and the cosmos flowers .

Or t h e new age is born .
Under the hyd roplane. " H a mburger Fl ugzeugba u Ha 1 3 9 , " a duck th rows
i nto confusion the battle l i ne.
Among the cosmos flowers vi brate machi neguns.
By the d ra i n a young washerma n blows up.
0 the clearer , the better is the sky over the street.
Flash on the concrete a bright wire and shovel .

-Katue Kitasono


S l i d i ng down the stair-cases of plants,
Tearing off the soft stri pes of calm-latitudes ,
A rou n d -bo d i e d mannequ i n 's yel lowish bare foot
S u ddenly crushes a chalky structure with a bang of a gun .
Then , the fountain of soda-water is opene d ,
A n d t h e i nn er-si d e of t h e zoo comes slowly to b e see n .

-Takeshi Fuji


I switch on a gilded t u rb i n e of glass ,
G i ve an anticorrosive of asphalt upon the a i r c urrent ascend i ng,
Pave the street with wh i te-gold lines, and bal lasts toss.
The m i n d of sky brigh tens canvas shoes ,
Since then a system of n ecktie became m i l kwh ite colour.
A single sou n d of cloud h a s d issolved ,
When came out a sound of lens.
Finger tops of a boy who pra ises verdure, stepping emergency sta irs of

-Koich i Kihara

One stamp is go ing down on the whi te cana l A l ong i ts
s i d e the red culture tosses chairs and its a pageant
In t h is time the dah l ia venerates my m i n d But h igh
steady forest Enjoy t h is tablet Many w i n dows are more
bea uti fu l than the goods Take care I ' m noth i ng B ut at
last I 'm a blue manifesto for her.

-Toshio Sasajima


Summer falls crushing
My d ear jar of champagne
Your l ove affa ir is d ispersed over the sky, and i n vai n ,
S o the empty conception
Which has now burn ings the perfume, colour,
And there grows the white empty grass
And it is a d rea m of one c igarette only
0 obl ivion, all must he reject on the ground
Now gl isten i ng the va l ley , so bitter the sl i p s of glasses
Nor s habby the s h i n i ng sun
Death is ugly
Tomato is crash i ng too
Tom orrow is not so good as aujourd ' h u i
In broad day camouflages t h e clothings
I a m sorry to fee l the Zephyr
Cucumber drifts
S i l houette of p resent state
0 I h onour your fortune l i gh t .

-Tio Naka m u ra

Comi ng back from the sea, the morning after a l ong absence.
Tra i n i ng the gymnastics, a sun-dial and a priest.
In front of the theater, a c l i p pi ng-man is sta n d i ng.
A i d i n g by a swa l l ow, an envelope, from a hos p i ta l . is gna w i ng the
a pp l e s , and runs after the s i d e of Obel isk.

-Takesh i Koike

J a mes Laugh l i n , 1\!Iodern Poe t s of /n p n n

THE r o E :-. I s that fol low arc the work o f a gro up o f young ja panese poets .
members of the Vou C l u b , trans lated in to Engl ish by themselves. I am
particu larly glad to be able to publish them because o f two d i ssoc i a t i ons
which they can effect. They w i l l show first of all that m i l i taristic imperial­
ism has not w i ped out artistic acti vity and seco ndly that there is l i ve poetry
in J a pan. 'vVe might not have known i t . as l i t t l e . apart from the class ics ,
fi l ters through to the Occid ent except the very bad modern i m i tations of t h e
class ics-such a s t h e poems written b y the emperor's th ird cous i n ' s grand­
mother for h i s birthday.
The first thing to t h i n k abou t in stating these poems is the fact of the
i d eogram. The Japanese l anguage. derived from the Chinese . is sti l l very
much a p i cture language . I n spite of the i ntrus ion of the phonetic characters
the Japanese can s t i l l see i n many of the words wh ich he writes the p icture
of the th i ng itself. vV hat is the res ult i n terms of poetry? Natura l l y there is
more verbal rea l i ty, a cl oser relationship between the th ing and its name.
some of the essence of the thing i n the name.
But of course that qual ity is not carried over i n to a transl ation. So we
can only surm i se that the oriental poet and poetry reader are , i n this
respect, "better off" than we are , and let it go at that.
What we can , to some extent , judge is the greater tensi o n . If I under­
stand Japanese syntax aright it has , to an even greater degree than an
inflected la nguage l i ke Lati n , a m i n i mu m of dead words-that is, words
which have no charge of mea ning apart from their purely grammati cal
fu nction-articles, prepos iti ons , etc.-all the u sel ess l i ttle words which
clutter u p a posi ti onal l anguage l i ke Engl ish and thin out the vigour of the
poet i c l i ne.
I think anyone must concede that one of the most important factors in
poetry is verbal i nter-act i v ity-vvord worki ng upon word , the sense-au ra of
one word fusing and contrasting with those of the words near it. The dead
l i ttle words of Engl ish lessen th i s activ ity by separating the meani ng­
bearing words. Thus in Engl ish we only get in sma l l segments of the
l i n e-in adject i val and adverbial phrases for the most part-the kind of
tensi on that we often get in a whole l i ne of Lat i n , where there w i l l be
perhaps only one word out of seven that does not carry a meaning. The
same sort of t h i ng, I think, is possi ble i n Japanese; certa i n l y these poems
confi rm that thesis.
And the poets of the Vou Club are very wel l aware of the rich poss i b i l i -

ties of their medium . They wou l d not perhaps use the word "tension " but
they have coi ned the word "i deop l asty " to express the esthetic effects
which the cl ose juxtapositi on of verbal images makes possible. Here is what
the l eader of the grou p , Katue Kitasono, has to say abo ut i d eoplasty and
about the gro u p 's general concepti on of poetry. Occi dental poets will not
waste any time they may spend studying Kitasono's statement , so I print i t
i n fu l l .
[selection fro m Kitasono 's previ ous "Notes "]
There i s one other fact that the American reader sho u l d know before he
a p p l i es hi mself to these poems-that there is a very strong French in­
fl uence i n Japan . Tokyo knows a great deal more about what is going o n i n
Pari s than New York does. All of the im portant books o f E l u ard have been
translated into Japanese i deogra m . None have been publ ished in New York.
And so the thoughtfu l reader w i l l think about the re lation of ideogram
to Surrea l i s m . He wi l l also wa nt to think about the fol lowing statement,
which I quote from Kitasono 's last letter: "The experi ment we are now
mak i ng on poetry is to express our polygonal i deas vivid ly as by painti ng.
The poetical movement of the Vou Club might be defi ned as d irected to
natural-sc i entific rea l i s m . "
The name "Vo u , ' ' by the way. means noth i n g specia l . Ki tasono writes
that it is "not even so s i g n i ficant as a s i ngle grape-leaf. The word Vou sha l l
be bestowed i t s qual ity and its va lue by the club's strong w i l l and its so l i d
acti on. "
"Stro ng w i 1 1 and s o l i d actio n " sou nds rather bad , sounds l i ke Fascism
and poets in u n i form. But t h i s is not the case. The rea l outlook of the poets
can be a ppraised from a few of the biogra phi cal notes which accompan ied
the manuscr i p t : " Haruki S ohu . . . walks with a stick as slender as a fee l er.
Tio Naka m ura . . . she ra ised the most charm i n g vo ice when she was n ear
be i ng d rowned in the sea last su m mer. Eiko S i rota . . . so poor at sums that
she cannot add up the mo n ey she must pay for the cakes she h a d . but very
proud of that. Syu iti Nagayasu . . . when tired of work he goes to the street
and enters a lonely coffee-house, a n d someti mes goes home from there. "
[ Th e above i n t rod uction , accom pan ied by a s e l e c t i o n of poems by VOU
poets . a pp e a red in New D i rect ions ·1 9 3 8 . In New D i rections 1 9 4 0 , poe m s by
Ki tosono a n d Ueda Tosh i o fu rther a ppea red . !

Katue K itasono , Th e VOU Cl u b

THE VOU CLUB was born i n 1 9 3 5 . The members a t the start were Ki tasono
Katue , Iwamoto S huzo. Miki Tei . and eleven other poets . The initial n u m ­
ber of the magazine VOU was issued o n the 5 th of J u l y in t h e same year.
conta i n i ng fo ur essays on poetry , fifteen poems and the translation of a
l etter of Jack Vasse .
I can remember the moment in which the strange name VOU \.vas
a d opted by us. It was on the table of a sma l l coffeehouse on the Ginza street.
We h a d been sati sfied with none of the names i ntroduced there , each of
them having its own meani n g restr ictive to our activities, when we h i t u pon
the m ean ingless spe l l [ i ng] which Iwamoto was scribbl ing automatica l ly on
a scrap of paper, and thus we became VOUists .
T h e VOU poets wanted t o create a new trend of art in Tokio enti rely
d i fferent from those which were a l ready born after the First VVorld War. To
begi n w ith , we needed to break up every traditional and conven t i onal art i n
Japan . W e deci ded that w e shou ld b e a s ironical i n o u r artistical att itude as
Eri k Satie who fought for modern music.
In VOU 's third i ssue we printed Abstracti on-Creation Art Non Figura­
tive, and B oethy's essay i n the fou rth issue. I spec i a l ly mention t h i s ,
because I wish t o suggest t h e d i rection o f art o f t h e VOU grou p at t h i s t i m e .
In the begi n n i ng of 1 9 3 6 t h e members o f our group counted 2 1 . severa l
composers , painters , and technologists having joi ned us. In May of the year
we h e l d the VOU Club d em onstration at the h a l l of the Denki Club, in
wh ich we read eight manifestos and reci ted poems of our own. This atte m pt
was rather a fa i l ure as there came u p o n l y a few opponents.
I had sent copies of VOU to Ezra Poun d , who soon sent to me from
Rapa l l o a copy of G u i do Ca valcanti and a letter w i th h i s affectionate ha i l
that t h e VOU gro u p would rema in forever in the youth o f twenty-one. H e
gave u s a s many opport u n i ti es o f touch ing the avant-garde o f England and
America as h e coul d . If VOU sti l l keeps the youth of twenty-one (as I am
sure of it) , i t 's much indebted to h i s sensible suggestions .
In 1 9 3 7 thro ugh Ezra Pound I knew D . C. Fox . member of Forschungsin­
stitut fur Kulturmorphologie su pervised by Leo Frobenius . and I publi shed
the very interesting essay " Pai deuma" in VOU 's s ixteenth issue. It was in
t h i s same issue that the VOU poet Fuji Takes h i treated of T. E. H u l m e 's
Spec u la tions in h i s article " The D irection of Poetry as a View of the \Vorl d . "
I n February 1 93 7 I sent to Pound si xteen VOU poems with my notes ,
which were printed the next year in the first number of Townsman started

by Ronald Dunca n , with Pound 's i ntroductory notes for them. Th is was the
first a ppearance of VOU poems in Europe, and the next year James Laugh l i n
i n America pri nted fourteen V O U poems with h i s notes i n New Direct i ons.
The war between China a n d Japan a l ready began i n July 1 9 3 7 . We hoped it
wou l d soon be fin ished , but on the contrary it was march ing to the d eath
fight of the Pacifi c War. The government began to stiffen even on art. Some
of the surrea l i sts were i m prisoned . In 1 940 we were forced at last to
aband o n p ub l i cation of the magazine. I succeeded somehow or other in
keepi ng VOU poets from a rrest.
On December 8th 1 94 1 , I heard , i n the l i brary of the N ip pon Dental
Coll ege (the l ibrarian of w h i ch I have been from then t i l l now) , the rad io
news of the attack on Pearl H arbor. Fortu nately there came an i nterval in
whi ch the pressure on c u l t u re was a li ttle slacke d , and I could rei ssue the
magazine under the title New Techn ics , with the contents just the same as
before. It l asted four numbers and then ceased as the army persecuted aga i n
every m ovement of internat ional tendencies. W e d iverted ourselves in
c u l t i vating the classical field of Japanese l iterature. I began printing the
l iterary pam p h l et Mugi (Whea t ) , which was continued unti l the beg i n n i ng
of 1 94 5 when Tokio was exhausti vely bombed out.
In August Japan surrendere d . I ca ught on the rad io the Emperor's voice
in the Ic.h i j o i n Tem p l e in Sanj o , a sma l l town three hundred kilometers
from Tokio. VOU poets came back from the war by twos and threes, a n d in
1 94 7 we revi ved the magazine VOU . After nu mbers 3 1 and 3 2 , the inflation
i n th i s cou ntry forced us to give up the next issue.
It was by the backing of [the] Asagi Press that we cou l d begi n publ ica­
tion of the newly titled Cen dre , wh ich was put out six t imes until 1 949
when Asagi got into depression. In jan uary of this year [ 1 9 5 0 ) we aga i n put
the t i t l e back to VOU and publ ished the thirty-th i rd and thi rty-fourth issues
a i d e d by the S hoshinsha Press .
VOU ' s orientat i o n : everyth i ng humanistic is a boredom. Tears , cryi ngs ,
l oves , cri m es , ironies and humors , all attract us i n no ways. We only find a
l i ttle of cesthetic exc itement in erasi ng every human istic vestige from art.
" E verything tends to be angular"-T. E. Hu lme.

Michael Rec k , 1\1em o i rs of a Parod_v Perry

NEA R LY ,\ H U N D RE n YEARS a fter A d m i ra l Perry h ove i n to Tokyo harbor .

mysel f landed in Japan-w i t h no let ter from the U . S . Pres ident, l i ke Perry .
but at least some notes of in trod uction fro m the A m erican " m i ni ster o f t h e
arts w i thout portfo l i o , " as Horace Gregory h a d so a p t l y described Ezra
Pound . I s l i p ped in unnotice d , one among thousands of hapless draftees
bunked s i x-deep on a troop s h i p . Exce pt for my prec ious notes of i n t roduc­
t i o n , I was merely a paro d y Perry-a Ti l l Eu l e n s p i egel . no bemedal led
For several years before . I had been v i s i t ing the most d i s t i ngu ished
American poet , ap propriately enough (for h i m? for the country?) confi ned
in a "bug house "-Saint E l i zabeths Asylum for the Cri mi n a l l y Insane in
Was h i ngton, D . C . The Master could be seen from 2 to 4 p . m. only and he
a l l otted each regu lar visitor his or her " day. " Mine was , I bel ieve, Tuesday.
As Dr. Thomas S zasz has convincingly shown , Pound was often far more
l u c i d than h i s incarcerators. If he was crazy, then every person vd th a
one-t rack m ind and a M is s i on i s crazy.
Pound m i gh t have been cal l ed . varying Hokusai , "the old man mad
about culture . " He fel t that his Mission was, q u i te s i m p l y , to keep c i v i l i za­
tion from s i nking. If the aim seems q u ixotic, we m ight remember what he
had d one for English-language literature in the ni neteen-tens and -twen­
ties. Making connections, bringing people together, so that "coNversation I
should not utterly wi ther" (Canto 8 2 ) was p art of his Missi on , and each of
u s who had been taken into the "tribe of Ez" was expected to carry out his
little mi ssion . When I left for Japan, the very decidedly portfo l i o-l ess
m i n ister of arts supplied a ddresses.
F i rst was 1 64 9 N ishi-Ich i , Magome, Ota, Tokyo. home of the leader and
doyen of the VOU movem ent , Kitasono Kat u e . poet and col lagist de­
nom i nated " Kit Kat" by Pound , who could never res ist a pun . Ki tasono had
fou n d ed the VOU group of poets back in the t h i rties. Now he wou ld meet
regu l arly w i th his coterie a t home , beneath towering stacks of \�V estern
avant-garde magazines . Seated round him on the straw-mat floor. they read
their poems and the Master provided acerbic commen t . " No sm oke rises
from that ch imney , " he wou l d say if a poem d i d not please h i m .
Hyperbol e , u nbou nded fantasy , words used a s ges ture ra ther than
l i tera l l y , mocking at senti ment a l i ty-these surreal is t i c props were VO U 's
stock i n tra d e . Kitasono regarded both his art and h i s surrou n d i ngs as i f
from a vast d istance; t h e t h i c k spectac les seemed to stand for a n a t t i t u d e . He

spoke l ittle Engl i s h , but surely read a great dea l . Kitasono's wife was the
Engl i sh speaker tor the household-as when I commented that Japan was
nigh to becom ing a Little America a n d , after struggl ing to find word s , she
said most d emurely: " mod-ern won-d er-lan d ! " EP bombarded " Ki t Kat "
with l etters in a Poun dese so terse and a l l u sive it was often d i fficuJt even for
a P o u n d ian-and , not surpri si ngly, Ki tasono told me that he cou l d not
u n derstand much of them .
Pound had pra i sed Heinrich Hei ne's ' ' clear palette ' '-by which he
m e a n t that H e i n e could treat emotional m atters with no smu dges of
sent i menta l i ty-and I sup pose that he saw in ' ' K i t Kat " the same clarity of
visi o n . His p u n n i ng epithet did define a certain fel i nity in Kitasono . who
approached both his verse and his plastic art w i th suave i n d i rect i o n , as
though on pad ded feet.
2 - 1 1 -1 5 Mid origaoka , Meguro-ku , Tokyo. Fujitomi Yasuo , then and
now profes s i o n a l l y a poet a n d voca t i o n a l l y a m i d d le-school English
teacher, was publish ing a poetry magazine called Sette. in Engl ish and
Ita l ia n-using his own typewriter as a printer! A copy went to Pound and
he sent m e Fujitomi 's ad dress. We met regularly and i t was on my i nstiga­
t i o n that Fuj i t o m i began translating Cum m i ngs. He subsequently pro d u ced
many volumes and fou n d ed a magazi ne called i devoted excl usively to
Cum m i n gs . Th is was what Pou n d 's m i ssion of bringing people together
mea nt in pract i ce .
Fuj i t o m i a n d I labored together making a rough translation o f Pou n d ' s
Sophoclean adapta t i o n , \t\lomen of Trach is, s ince Pound had wanted it
even t u a l l y done as a Noh p lay. Our trans l a t i ng sessions were often a
st ruggle-! h o l d ing out for brevity and Fujitomi for gram mar. The project
unfortunately came to noth i ng, as my time in Japan ended before we had
fin i shed .
I n June 1 95 4 , Fuj itomi and I visi ted Ernest Fenol losa's grave a t _the
M i i dera, a tem p l e overlooki ng Lake B i wa near Kyoto . \t\'e wand ered u p and
up through a great cryptomeria forest of the tem p l e preserve to fi nd Fenol­
losa's rest ing place , Lake B i wa stretch ing immensely be low. All the Orient
seemed before me, as it had been for Fenol losa. I wrote Pound of my visit
and he record ed it in the last l i ne of his Ca n to 89-I su ppose i m p l i citly
comparing the exploration o f the American 'Nest ( Fremont's exped itions
into the Rocki es) with my exp lorat i o n of the East. the cultura l frontier of
Pou nd 's own t i m e :
I wan t Fremont looki ng at mou n ta i n s
or, if you l i ke , Reck, a t Lake B i wa . . .
The n there was 1 0 Ka k i n o kizaka . Meguro-ku . Tokyo. Duri n g the

1 9 1 0 ' s , a young Japanese d a ncer named Mi chio Ito had ap peared i n London
salons . asking everywhere the same questi on-so he told me forty years
later: " vVhat is art?" Did he ever find out? A las. I forgot to ask h i m . I n all
events . he had danced the Guard ia n of the vVe l l in the first performance of
Yeats ' At t h e Hawk's \Ve i l . Ito told me that he had learned to dance l i ke a
bird by watch ing the hawks i n the London Zoo . Pound had known h i m in
London and . l ooki ng back. recorded a snatch of h is conversation in Ca n t o
"Jap ' nese dance a l l time overcoat" he remarked
w ith perfect precision . . .
I h a d been seven months i n Japan before a fai r wind fina l l y blew me to
M ichio Ito 's dance s t u d i o-my Japanese fina l l y seem ing sufficient to sup­
plement the el l i ptic English I expected of him. I found h i m no longer
spea k i ng epigrammatic p i d gin Engl ish but a nearly perfect American . Be­
tween the two world wars . he had lived in New York and Hol l ywood. He
d iscoursed on balance. H e told about seei ng an ol d man amid the dust and
noise of the street in Cairo , su rrou nded by a group of in tent chi l dren and
drawing with a stick on the ground . After see ing him do this every day . lto
approached h i m-he was teaching them astronomy. The old man had told
him that 6 ,000 years ago in Egypt there had been a civ i l i zation with perfect
balance. Ito said , "I h ave spent my l ife studying why it was lost and how to
find it agai n . "
T h e pudgy wh ite-haired gentleman stared into the air. remembering h is
friend of forty years before, and intoned : "if I saw Ezra today I would g i ve
h im a massage and say: . . . · rela x . " ' And he recounted how h e had gone
backstage to converse with Spanish dancers who had just given a spectacu­
lar performance. "And you know , " he told me, '' they had absolutely n oth­
ing to say . " The moral of the tale being, I suppose. that art is doing, not
tal king about it. Perha p s , i ndeed , he had fou nd out.
" B l iss it was in that dawn to be a l i ve "-! suppose . \'\'e l l . paradise
comes , as Pound observed in the Can tos , " spezza to"-i n bits and pieces.
My memory is of an Ezraic generosity wide as the ocea ns-at l east spanni ng
ocean s-an d a keen curiosity that swept Japan into its vast net. Light would
come from the East , Pound bel ieved : the particu larity of its percept io ns
reflecting the physical im med iacy of the id eogrammatic characters . He
abhorred abstract thought and-l ike Bertolt Brecht-bel ieved "the tru t h is
concrete" (the phrase is B rech t's). The concreteness of truth-this is what
Pound found in the Far East. He never traveled to the Orient but for a wh i le
it so h a p p ened that I saw Japan as his surrogate . Being " Reck at Lake B i w a · ·
h a s l eft a l o t t o l i ve up to.

POSTSCRIPT: In Place of a Note to Letter 7 1

USEF U L BOOKS need n o explanation; they speak for themselves as this one
does. But there m ay be some justification i n u n d erl i n i ng a new facet of
Pound i n his role of Fa ther and Tea cher and to add a touch of humor to an
otherwise very serious text.
Pound must have been p l eased when Katue K itason o , al ias " Kit Kat , "
assured h i m that young readers i n Tokyo l i ked the descri ption of l i fe and
customs i n the Tyro l . The fact that nei ther Pou nd nor I cou ld read Japanese
made my rud i mentary drawings of haystacks and rakes a l l the more valu­
able as pictographs.
To Mary Moore of Trento n , on January 1 7 . 1 9 3 8 , Pound wrote: "My own
daughter has j ust made her l i terary debut in Japa n . " Such expl icit state­
ments are rare in his correspondence. A day ear l i er he had fired off a
typically cagey l ong letter " to the Rt/ Rev the Po s s u M and Omnibosphorous
W H A L E the one to hand to tother in ConSybbletashu n . "
Everyone knows that t h e Possum is T . S . E l i ot a n d that after h i s conver­
sion to the Ang l i can Ch u rc h , Pound playfu l l y addressed him as the Right
Reverend. The " Whale" was Frank Morley , a fel l ow editor at Faber & Faber
who worked in close consu l tation with E l iot. He was sail i ng for New York,
hence the " Omn ibosphoro u s " ; i n a subsequent letter, "a wal l owink on the
Adlandik. " M orley, someti mes honored with the title of " Son of Narwa h l , "
v i e d with his two friends i n inventing a language for their pri vate zoo filled
with panthers, elephants , rabbi ts and cats , bats and lesser animals. Their
l etters can not be paraphrased , though more often than not, they n eed
exp l a in i ng. We can only h o p e to read them soon in their entirety.
Pound 's promoting of unknown young authors is legendary. Modesty
ought to forb id my transcri bing parts of the letters con cern i ng me. but i t is to
h i s cre d i t :
. . . in teresting t o tra n s late. Ch i l d o f twel ve/ styl istic infl uence i f a n y .
Miss Martinea u ' s Nor\\'ay (Ital ian translation o f that t o e x p l a i n wh ere a
Norwegian chi l d came fro m ) . And with a l l the F1\ KE naive stuff. a l ittle
real is a comfort/ to say nought of the perfect ly good bits that Frazer
h asn 't got i n to the Golden Boug h . If a chi ld wrote it it must be com pre­
hensible to other i nfan ts? I d o n ' t think there can be anv more cause the
chi ld has bee n u prooted and sent to a place to get ku lchur. . . .
I have s i m p l i fi ed the spe l l i ng . The " Norwegian ch i l d " is Henny B u i J

Si monsen, and the e ffect of Miss Marti neil u 's book was such that o u r
friendship endures to t h i s d a y .
While I was getting kulchur in Florence . P o u n d was suggesting poss i b l e
i l l ustrators for Th e Bea u t ies of t h e Tyro l . E d m u nd D u l a c was o n e of the m .
H e made i t qu ite clear I was not a young prod igy: Mozart and Shirley
Tem p l e notwithstand i ng, he had a rea l horror of young prod igies. He asked
the gentlemen at Fabers that the con tract be made with the ' ' a u thoress to
whom I cheerfu l l y deed over t ranslat ion fees as encouragement. . . . " There
seemed to have been no d oubt in his mind that the booklet wou l d m ake
Fabers ' fortune ! B u t Mr. E l i o t , after due consi deration , answered , yes , i t
was a nice l ittle book , wel l written a n d l i fe wel l portrayed , b u t there was
just one objection : " i t cou l d n ' t SELL. "
" I takes my possum as he cooks i t " (EP to TSE , 2 5 Nov. 1 93 7 ) was not
a l ways the case . Not when the Possum was not possu m enough to hide his
tracks and betrayed careless rea d i ng of his friend 's letters. He had some­
what ironica l l y wondered i f Pound had become proficient in Swed ish , or
whether he had translated from an Ital ian translation from the Swed i sh .
W . C . Wi l l iams' story that m y m other was a Swede curiously ra nkled
and P o u n d m ay have detected a l i ngering echo. So the final com m ent was :
"Waaal naow Protopheri ous . . . the error was I d i d n 't send i t to Larry
[ P o l l i nger, the l i t erary agent ] who wou ld have saved you the error of
thi nking it wou l d n 't S E L L . " And he bets that wheq it does get printe d , it w i l l
sel l TWO copies for every copy Faber has sol d of h i s ( E . P . 's) own work, w i th
the exception perhaps of Selected Poem s to wh ich El iot had wri tten the
preface. In closing, the seem i ngly nonchalant riposte: " Oh yes . en p a ssa n tl
the Tyrol has never been Swed ish/ perhaps you m i x Gustil v u s A dol phus
with the l ate Franc;ois whiskers Gi useppe. " That ended the m at ter, and
Pound has taught us not to overes t i m ate j u veni l i a , be i t his own or anyone
else ' s .
What w e get i n t h i s col l ection o f l etters to Japan is t h e pers istent effort
of an a d u l t and responsible artist to create a better un derstand ing between
d istant nations and the establ ishment of cu l ture as a concrete va l u e , a
measure of exchange. If the possess ion of a sma l l island threatens blood­
shed , let the contendants trade off land for such a com mod ity as a tra d i t ion­
al and h igh l y refi ned form of art. An island l i ke G u a m in exchange for one
hundred fi l ms of No plays, for instance. Men pa i d to ta lk peace m ight
exam i ne such s i m p le sol u t ions?

- Ma ry de R a c h e w i l t z


Yone Noguchi: Yoneji r6 Noguchi ( 0 'J * �6� ) [ 1 8 7 5 - 1 947] . In an undated
letter of 1 9 14 to his mother, Pound wrote: "Yone Noguchi dined with me on
Tuesday; interesting littera teur of the second order. Dont like him so well as
Sung, or Coomaraswam i . Sti l l you neednt repeat this, as the acquaintance may
grow and there 's no telling when one will want to go to Japan. "
The Pilgrimage: a book o f verse b y Yonejir6 Noguchi , i llustrated with wood-block
pri nts by Utamaro, published by Elkin Mathews in 1 909.

Mathews : Elkin Mathews had publ ished Pound's A Quinzaine for This Yule ( 1 908)
[ A 2 ] , Personae ( 1 909) [A 3 ] Exultations ( 1 909) [A 4 ] , and Canzoni ( 1 9 1 1 ) [ A 7 ] .

The Spiri t of Romance: was publ ished b y J. M . Dent & Sons ( 1 9 1 0) [A5 ] .
Yeats: W . B . Yeats

Mary Fenollosa : wife of Ernest Francis Fenollosa ( 1 8 53 - 1 908), American scholar
and Orientalist who taught phi losophy and economics at Tokyo Imperial Uni­
versity ( 1 8 7 8-86) and other universities in Japan, while he studied Japanese and
Chinese art, religion and l i terature.
Along with fellow Ameri cans in Japan-Edward Morse, Percival Lowell, Wil­
liam Sturgis B igelow, Lafcadio Hearn and John La Farge--Fenollosa and his
circle greatly contributed to the rediscovery of the value of Japan's classical
art istic heritage at a time when i t was being neglectfully cast aside i n favor of
Western i zation and modernization . See Van Wyck Brooks, Fenollosa and His
Circle (N. Y . : E. P . Dutton, 1 9 62).
Sarojini : Sarojini Naidu ( 1 8 7 9-1 949), a Bengal i poet. Educated i n Englan d , she is
the author of The Golden Threshold ( 1 90 5 ) and other poems written i n Engl ish .
Mary Fenollosa had met Pound at Naidu's home in London on September 2 9 ,
1 9 1 3 . See Omar Pound and A . Walton Litz. eds. , Ezra Pound and Dorothy
Shokespear: Their Letters 1 909-1 9 1 4 , pp. 264-70; and D. G. Bridson, "An Inter­
view with Ezra Poun d , " New Directions 1 7 , ed. James Laugh l i n , p. 1 7 7 .
"My City, My beloved . . . ": i.e. New York City. Quoted from the first l i ne of Pound 's
poem, "N. Y . , " included in Ripostes ( 1 91 2 ) .

Franz Ho ls: Frans Hals ( 1 5 8 1 ?-1 66 6 ) , Dutch portrait painter.
banshee: a supernatural being in Irish and Scottish folklore, supposed to give
warnings by its wails of an approach ing death i n the family.
Mr. Hirata: Kiichiro Hirata ( 1 8 73-1 94 3 ) . translator, essayist, and scholar of English
l iterature. After studying a t Oxford Un iversity, he taught at Tokyo K6t6 Shihan
NOTES 21 7

Gakko and other un ivers ities. Author of S t u d i e s of Rece n t Engl ish L i t e ra t u re ,

a n d Essays of Tokuboku ("Tokuboku" is h i s pen name).
Romaji : Roman letters.
"Kinuta": a No play included in Fenol losa and Pound , tr. , The Classical Noh
Theatre of Japan ; so are "Nishikigi" and " Hagoromo."
"Y6r6bosh i " : "Yorobosh i , " a No play. A blind child beggar at Tennoji in Naniwa
turns out to be the son of the man i n the seventeen-day B uddhist practice at the
same temple. The son, having been enl ightened , is led by his father's prayers to
describe the beautiful scenes of Naniwa as he envisions them in his mind, and
dances. The two return home.
"Sumidagawa ": In search of her son, the mother comes from Kyoto to the bank of the
Sumida River, only to fi nd his tomb; there at night she tries to embrace his ghost
in vain.

Verd u n : a city on the Meuse River, in the north-eastern part of France; site of
signifi cant battle of World War I.

Itow: Michio Ito (ff f,� ..@_&�l [ 1 893- 1 96 1 ] , a Japanese dancer; played the part
of the Hawk at the performance of Yeats' At the Hawk's Well in Lady Cunard's
drawing room on A pril 2 , 1 9 1 6 , for which Edmund Dulac designed and made the
costumes and masks. In wri ting this play, Yeats had been inspired by the
Japanese No p lays in Engl i s h translation in Ernest Fenol losa's notebooks.

the "cloud-bridge": Hashigakari , the bridge between the stage and the retiring room
in the No theatre.

Lustra : was publ ished by Elkin Mathews ( 1 9 1 6) [Al l ] .
Certain Noble Plays of Japa n : with an introduction by W. B . Yeats , was published
by The Cuala Press ( 1 9 1 6) [ A 1 2 ] .
Miss B island: Elizabeth B island ( 1 8 6 1 - 1 9 2 9 ) , later Mrs . Elizabeth B . Wetmore, who
ed ited the l etters of Lafcad io Hearn; a friend of Mary Fenollosa's.
Tagore: Rabindranath Tagore ( 1 861 - 1 94 1 ) , Bengali poet , dramatist and mystic;
acquaintance of Pound and Yeats. His "hidi ng, incognito, somewhere i n South­
ern California" is spurious. Awarded Nobel Prize for Literatu re in 1 9 1 3 .

book on poor Gaudier Brzeska : Gaudier Brzeska, published by John Lane ( 1 9 1 6)
[Al O).
Egoist: edited by Harriet Weaver and Dora Marsden.

Ques t : edited by G. R . S . Mead .

Poetry Review: edited by Harol d Monro.

play . . . about Fox: Michio Ito had performed "Fox Dance" i n 1 9 1 5 .

Cobu rn : Alvin Langdon Coburn ( 1 882-1 966), American photographer who resided
at the time i n London; see his A utobiogra p hy, ed. Helmut and Alison Gern­
sheim. A photograph of Pound by Coburn was reproduced as frontisp iece for
L u st r a ( 1 9 1 6) . Pound had l isted him as a faculty member in the "Preliminary
Annou ncement of the College of Arts " (1 9 1 4 ) .

East Stroudsburg : a town on the upper Delaware River which Pound had been
acquainted with i n h i s youth.
Da lcroze: Emile Jaques-Dalcroze ( 1 865-1 950) , Swiss composer and music teacher;
inventor of eurhythmics , a system whereby music is coordinated with body
movements. He founded the various Instituts Jaques-Dalcroze throughout Eu­
Kyogen : Japanese traditional comedy which developed with the No, and is often
performed with No plays on the No stage.
"Shojo , " "Kagekiyo , " Ha g o r o m o : No plays, included i n Fenollosa-Pound transla­
" "

tions, Certa i n Noble Plays of la pan [ A 1 2 ] . "Your book" refers to 'Noh ' or Accom­
p l i s h m e n t [A 1 3 ] .
"B u s u ": a piece of Kyogen. D uring the master's absence, his two servants find out
that the "busu," which they have been told to be poison , is actually black sugar.
They eat it up, and break their master's favorite hanging scroll and a bowl as wel l .

Kan d i nsky: Wassily Kand insky ( 1 866-1 944 ) , Russian abstract painter and mystic;
see his Con cern ing the Spiri t u a l i n Art [ O be r das Geist ige i n d er Kunst] (pub­
l ished in 1 9 1 4 in Engl ish translation as Th e Art of Spiri t u a l Harmony).

Pica bia : Francis Picabia ( 1 8 79-1 9 5 3 ) , French Dadaist and "sur-irrealist" painter;
acqua intance of Pound's in Paris.

Ca p t . ] . Brinkley: John Brinkley ( 1 887-1 964 ) , son of Francis Brinkley and uncle of
Aya, wife of Gonkuro Koume (you nger brother of Tami); worked for the League of
Nations in Paris.

Gakushu i n : ( 1,. "1i Pt ) educational institution established in 1 8 7 7 in Tokyo

mai n l y for the children of Japanese nobil ity. It is now open to the public, and
i ncludes a co-ed university, h igh school and other levels.
Barney : Natalie Clifford Barney, who held the "Friday salon , " was " I 'Arnazon e" of
Remy de Gourmont's Letters to an Amazon. See Charles Norman, Ezra Pound
(New York: MacMillan, 1 960) . p. 269.

Fenollosa: see note to l etter 4.
Umewaka Minoru : M inoru Umewaka ( {:lr.k, "' ) [ 1 827-1 909 ] , a Japanese No
p layer; gave l essons to FenoHosa. See letter 5 ; see also FenoHosa and Pound ,
'Noh ' or Accomplishment.
Dr. Mori : Kainan Mori ( 4,tE {fJ ) [ 1 863-1 9 1 1 ] , a Japanese scholar of Chinese
language and l iterature; gave l essons to FenoHosa.
Dr. Ariga : Nagao Ariga ( Jf.i 'l -& -t.ft ) [ 1 860--1 92 1 ) graduated from Tokyo Im­
perial University in 1 8 8 2 , where he was a student of FenoHosa. Doctor of
jurisprudence in i nternational law; taught at Tokyo Imperial University and
Waseda University. Author of a number of books on literature, sociology, and
pedagogy as well as international law; later became a member of the Privy
Council. He was an assistant-interpreter for Fenoll osa while the latter was i n
Japan, and the translator of FenoHosa's Epochs of Chinese and Japanese A rt after
it was posthumously publ ished in 1 9 1 2 .
that earth quake: "The Great Earthquake of Kanto" which struck Tokyo and Yoko­
hama area on September 1 , 1 92 3 . According to the statistics, the magnitude was
7.8-8. 2 ; deaths totaHed 9 9 , 3 3 1 , with 4 3 ,476 missing.
C. H. Douglas : Major Clifford Hugh Douglas ( 1 8 7 9--1 9 5 2 ) . British economist and
originator of the theory of Social Credit, which holds that maldistribution of
wealth due to i nsufficient purchasing power is the reason for economic de­
pressions and World Wars . Publ ished articles in A. R. Grage's The New Age.
Gesell: Sil vio Gesell (1 862-1 9 3 0 ) , Minister of F i nance of the second Munich Repub­
l i c ( 1 9 1 9) ; monetary reformer and author of The Natural Economic Order.
Cavalcanti: Guido Cavalcanti Rime, publi shed in 1 9 3 2 [B2 7 ] .
A B C of Reading: publ ished i n 1 9 34 [A3 5 ]

Jean Coctea u : French poet and long-standing friend of Pound 's from h i s years i n
Paris ( 1 920-- 2 5 ) .

Izzo a n d Carnerino: Carl o Izzo, an Italian translator o f Pound's poems , a n d h i s
friend Aldo Camerino, sent out a group of letters i n t h e fa] ) o f 1 9 3 5 , a n d launched

"a movement tending to establish a regular exchange of technica l , mostly pro­

sod i c , i nformation . . . between l iterary people of different countries"; see
Charles Norman, Ezra Po u n d , p. 3 3 2 .
B u nting: Basil Bunting, B ritish poet.
Laughlin: James Laugh l i n , publ isher of New Directions.
Z ukofs ky : Loui s Zukofsky, American poet.
Angold : J. P . Angold, a B ritish poet; author of an unpubl ished book on economics
called "Work and Privilege" which Pound tried to translate i nto Italian; see
David Heymann, The Last Rower (New York: Viking Press, 1 9 76 ) , p. 1 4 0 .
welsh scholar: W . Moelwyn Merchant?; Hugh Gordo n Porteus?

Jefferson an d/or Mussolini: published i n July 1 93 5 [ A4 1 ) .

Ken Yanagisawa : ( t�P �,K_ il_ ) [ 1 889-1 9 5 3 ] , Japanese d iplomat and poet;
author of Orchard , Journals of South Europe, and Twilight on the In dian Ocean .
Ginza : the most fashionable street i n Tokyo a t that time.
VNKER and B opoto: see Kitasono's letter to Pound (30 January 1 9 3 7 ) .

Al berto Ca racci: Ital ian pub l i sher.
Utai : the rhythmic chanting of No texts.
Rih aku : Japanese name for the Chi nese poet Li Po.
con espressioni di alta Stima : with expressions of h igh esteem.

Hajime Ma tsumiya : ( ;f.� 1, ''I� ) , Council lor of the Japanese embassy i n Italy,
1 93 6--3 8 .
ABC: A B C of Rea ding [A35] .
W. E. Woodward : see selection of letters from Pound to Woodward fn Pa ide uma,
val . 1 5 , no. 1 (Spring 1 986), pp. 1 05-2 0 .

Sumo Genji: a No play whose "suspense i s the suspense of waiting for a supernatu-
ral manifestation-which comes "; see The Classic Noh Theatre of Japa n .
Active Anth o l ogy: [ 8 3 2 ] .
Make I t New: [A36] .
The Chinese Written Character: [ 8 3 6 ] .
Ta H i o : [A28] .
D. C. Fox: Douglas Fox, assistant to Leo Frobenius at the Forschungsinstitut fur
K u lt u rm o rp h o l ogie i n Frankfurt ; e d i t e d numerous works of Frob e n i u s .
Pa ideuma was the name o f the journal the institute published.
NOTES 22 1

Marga ret Le n oa : Margaret Gerstley Lenoa corresponded with Pound on staging No
plays , etc.
Meierhold : Wsewolod Emiljewitsch Meyerhold ( 1 8 74-1 94 2 ) , Russian actor and
d irector.

Po u th ier: M. G . Pauthi er, French translator of Confucius.
ka na : Japanese syllabary.
Cathay: published in 1 9 1 5 [A9).

Globe: Milwaukee magazine to which Pound contributed articles on politi cs and
economics during 1 9 3 7-3 8 .
Uncle George: Representative George Holden Tinkham of Massachussetts ; h e met
Pound in Italy.
l 'uomo piu edu coto : "the most experienced, or knowl edgeabl e man . "
Ronald Duncan : British poet a n d editor o f Townsman (Lon don ) ; "no relation " of the
American dancer.
Satie: Erik Satie, who l ived in Arcuei l , a southern section of Paris.
Sosajimo : Toshio Sasaj ima ( f� '( �}\.__ ) , a member of the vou Club.

Nakam ura : Chio Nakamura ( 1" 1:t + ft. ) , a member of the vou Club.
KOIKE: Takeshi Koike ( ; j ' ve �L
) , a member of the v o u Club.
C u m m i ngs : e. e. cummings .
Morrison: Robert Morrison, a Protestant missionary i n Asia w h o compiled a six­
volume Chinese-Engl ish d ict ionary (published i n Malacca, 1 8 1 5-2 2 ) .

MA O SHE cH- HiNG TSEEN: Mo o Shi cheng chie n ( � �.q- �f l·.
) , ! he text of the
Confucian Book of Odes edited with notes by Mao � en � ( 1:. J- ) and Mao
Ch'ang ( � -l), l ater annotated by Cheng Hsiian ( �p !._ ) in the later Han
period , and reputedly the most au thentic version of the Odes.
Kwan Kwan Tsheu KEw: f'� �l\ JJ(L f!� . The first line of the first poem (a fo lksong
of Southern Chou) included in the Confucian Odes, meaning " ' Kwan , kwan'
sing the [two] eagl efi shers . " " Kwan " means "pass , " but it is used here as onoma­
topoeia of the bird ' s cry.

as superior man . . . : Poun d 's trans lation from the fourth and sixth lines of the same
poem in the Confucian Odes above: � � -t J. l;K, t kJ 5-'"ff-c Z
old l a tin b l o ke : P . Lacharme, Confu cii Chi-King , sive Liber Ca r m i n u m , ex Latina, P .
Lacharme interpretatione, edidit Jul ius Mohl (Stu ttgart and Ti.ibingen, 1 83 0 ) .
Hem ingway's "They a l l m a de peace": V O U n o . 1 9 (J uly 1 , 1 93 7 ) contains Kitasono 's

Japanese translation of the poem by Hemingway (pp. 3 3-4 ) .

B u tchart : Montgomery Butchart, author of Money, one o f Pound's select economic

Jenn ings' appalling translation: The S h i King: The Old "Poetry Classic" of the
Ch inese by W i l l iam Jennings ( 1 89 1 ) .

bea utifu l book: Ki tason o's book of poetry, Letters of the S u mmer ( i. '-'\ j �� �

[Na ts u no Tegami in Japanese ] ; La Let tre d 'ete referred to in Kitasono's l ener of 6

September 1 9 3 7 .
B rin kley : Francis Brinkley ( 1 84 1 -1 9 1 2 ), a n Engl ish Japanophile journalist. Vis ited
Japan as a n aval attache to the English Embassy in Tokyo in 1 86 7 ; in 1 88 1 bought
the Ja pan Ma il and became its presi dent and chief editor. In 1 89 2 , also began
writing for the Lon don Tim es as its Tokyo correspondent. Author of Guide to
English Self-taught ( 1 8 7 5 ) ; History of the Empire of japan ( 1 89 3 ) ; Japan and
China ( 1 90 3 ) ; New Gu ide to English Self-taught ( 1 909); History of the Japa nese
Pe op le from the Earl iest nmes to the En d of Meiji Era ( 1 9 1 5 ) .

nowt red not . . . :( �
j{f..\li. �(1\ �-'....�Ji.� ) . "Red i s the fox , black i s the
crow. " Poun d l ater translated the l i ne (rightly) as "All red things foxes , each
bl ack a crow/(evil in omen) , " in Part One, Book 3 , The Classical Anthology
Defined by Confucius ( 1 954), p. 1 9 .

Ukiyoe: woodblock print.

B igelow: Will iam Sturgis B igelow ( 1 850-1 926), a n American physician and Orien­
talist who wen t to Japan in 1 88 2 . He later became a Buddhist, and gave his
collection of Japanese works of art to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. See Van
Wyck Brooks, Fenol losa and His Circle.

Broletto: Italian quarterly magazine edited b y Carl o Peroni .
Mari a 's booklet: Maria Poun d 's essay, "Gais or the B eauties of t h e Tyro l , " was
eventu ally published in the Reijoka i ( -t � Jf} ) in Japanese translation by
Kitasono; Reijoka i , val. 1 8 , no. 1 Uanuary 1 , 1 93 9 ) , pp. 9er- 1 1 1 .
G u id e : G u ide to Ku lchur [A4 5 ) .

bea utifu l Townsman: refers t o Townsman, va l. I , n o . 1 (January, 1 9 38) which
contained Pound's introductory essay "vou Club" and a selection of poems by its
members translated into Engl ish. Their poems were to be published in New
Directions 1 9 3 8 , edited by James Laugh l i n . See Append ix.

Peroni: Carlo Pero n i , editor of B roletto.
Wha t does vou stand for?: According to Yasuo Fujitomi, when Kitasono and Shozo
Iwamoto were talking in 1 935 about their new magazine in a coffee house,
Iwamoto u nconsciously and idly wrote with water from his fingertip on the table
V and 0 and U. Kitasono thought vou had no meani ng in any language , and they
decided then that it be the title of the magazine.
UTA l :l �l ) is the vocal part of the No play, and has noth ing to do with vou.
our Purcell m usic: Pound had organi zed performances at Rapallo of ten trio sonatas
for two violins and continuo by Henry Purcell ( 1 658-9 5 ) , based on an edition by
W. G i l l i es Whittaker and published by L'Oiseau Lyre in Pari s .
sheets of galley proof: for G u i d e to Kulch u r (A4 5 ] .

You ngm en's Noh Plays : No p lays performed by young men.

Kagekiyo and Kumasaka : two No p lays .
very small West e rn college: Ol ivet Col l ege (M ichigan) ; see Pound/Ford , Letters, ed.
T. Materer, p p . 1 5 2--4 .
Cla u de Bowers : member of the Nati onal Institute of Art and Letters i n the U.S . ;
author o f Jefferson a n d Hami lton and Th e Tragic Era , books Pound strongly
recommended . U.S. Ambassador to Spain in 1 93 8 .
Fox: Douglas C. Fox , Leo Frobenius ' assistant.
Delphian Quarterly: edited by Mary W. Burd; printed article by Olga Rudge on
V i va l d i , a s w e l l a s n u m erous a r t i c l e s and l e tters by Poun d , i n c l u d i ng
"Reorgan i ze Your Dead Universities" (Apri l 1 938 issue ) .

Tong Kien Kong Mou: T'ung chien kong mu ( J__i� ,�� § ) [Tsu gan ko moku i n
Japane�e] (59 vol s . ) , abridged b y Chu Hsi ( �+ ) from Tzu chih t ' ung chien
( "r! �a .@_ 'i.-'}L ) [Sh ijit sugan in Japanese ( (294 vol s . ) by Su-Man Kuang
( � ..
� ;[. ) of the Sung Dynasty.
sort of notes left by Em peror Tai-tsong: cf. Canto 54, " And the Emperor Tai Tsang
left his son 'Notes on Conduct ' . "
t h e first government note: Accord i ng to Meng Lin ( _t,ij,. )o f the Ching ( ;ff )
dynasty, the currency notes had been used since the time of Kao Tsang i n the

T 'ang period in China. But, according to more recent stu dies, the first govern­
ment note ( � .}- ) appeared in 1 0 2 3 in the S u ng period .
P rof. Mori : see notes to Poun d ' s letter of 24 May 1 93 6 .
Mr. Mats u miya : see Pou n d ' s l etter of 1 January 1 9 3 7 .

Miss Rl: Olga Rudge.
Isida: Ichiro Ishida ( 1 909- ), Japanese composer and friend of Kitasono; among his
works is Piano Pieces : Northern Coun try.

Manyosy u : Manyosh u , the o ldest Japanese anthology of poetry compiled toward
the end of the Nara period , in the latter half of the eighth century. It comprises
about 4 , 5 00 poems written by various classes of people, from Emperor to com­
mon soldiers, l iving in various districts in Japan , from the fifth century to 759.
Waka : literal ly means Japanese poetry. In ancient times the word "waka " was used ,
to distinguish it from Chinese poetry, to denote ch oka , tanka , sedoka , and other
forms of Japanese poetry, with the rhythmic pattern based on the combination of
5 and 7 syl lables , but it now denotes particularly tanka , the most popular form
among them, with 5, 7 , 5 , 7 and 7 syllables.
Uta : l i tera lly means poetry or song; i t often denotes tanka .
KokinsyO : Kokinwa ka shO (Anthology of Japanese Poetry, Ancient a n d Modern ) ,
compiled between c. 9 0 5 a n d c. 9 1 4 b y K i no Tsurayuki, K i no Tomonori,
Oshi kochi no Mitsune, and Mibu no Tadamine , by command of Emperor Daigo
(888-9 3 0 ) . It comprises about 1 , 1 00 poems, most of which are tanka.
S ink o kin s yO : Shinkokinwa kash ii (New Anthology of Japanese Poetry, An cient
and Modern ) , commissioned in 1 20 1 by ex-Emperor Gotoba ( 1 1 80-1 2 3 9 ) and
completed in 1 2 2 1 . Among the six compilers was Fujiwara Teika. It com pri ses
about 2 ,000 poem s . [All the dates supplied by Ki tasono in parentheses for the
three anthologies are uncertain . ]
A G u id e t o Japanese Studies : Kokusai B u nka Shin kokai, eds . , A G u ide to Japanese
Studies : Orientation in the Studies of Japanese History, B u ddhism, Shintoism ,
A rt , Classic Literature, Modern Litera t u re (Tokyo : KBS, 1 93 7 ) .
K . B . S . : Kokusai B unka Shi nkokai ( [fJ f� �H:�:. ..t��% ) [Society for Pro­
moting International Cultural Exchange ] .

Cactus II: Cactus Irland
Wyn dham U : Wyndham Lewis.
new portra it of me/: portrait in Tate Gallery.

K2°: " K secondo" or " d u o " ; K two times.
Girl's Ci rcle: Reijokai ; see Pound's letter to Kitasono, 18 January 1 93 8 , and Kitaso­
no's letter to Pound, 10 February 1 93 9 .

Porteus: Hugh Gordon Porteus wro te , " . . . the most fruitful experi ments w i t h lan­
gu age are likely to cont inue to emerge from those who concern themsel ves with
i m ages and their re lations . . . . Nothing more novel and exc i t i ng has been done
lately, a long these li nes, than by the poets of the Ja pa nese VOU group . . . . "
Criterion, vol . XVIII (January, 1 9 3 9 ) , pp. 3 9 7 .

Cha rles He n r i Ford : American avant garde poet ( 1 9 1 0-?) ; au thor o f nu merous books
of poetry, e d i tor of Bl ues ( 1 929- ) and V i e 1 v (1 940- ) . Ford 's Th e G a rden of
Disorder a n d Other Poems (European Press. 1 9 3 8 ) was rev iewed by K i tasono in
VOU no. 2 6 (A pri l 2 6 , 1 9 3 9 ) , pp. 1 7 - 8 ; K i tasono also trans lated into Japanese
W. C. W i l l i a m s ' "Preface " to the book and Ford 's note on international c h a i n
Chain poe m : Charles Henri Ford was a l so a contributor, a l ong with K i tasono, to the
chain poem pri n ted in New Direc t i o n s 1 94 0 , together wi th h i s in trod uctory
" How to Write a C h a i n poem . ''

ALL the Noh plays o ugh t to be filmed : in a later letter ( 3 1 October 1 939) to Iris Barry ,
cu rator of the fi l m arc h i ve of the Museum of Modern Art i n New York C i ty,
Pou n d wrote:
Dear Iris
Can t remember everyt h i ng all the time.
I forget whether the f i l m of Noh Play, " AWOl NA UYE , " that Shio Sakan ishi had
shown to me in Washi n gton is from your collection.
I n any case I am starting rumpus to get ALL the NOH filmed. Ought to be done
sooN , otherwise all the IN and YO will get messed and some god dam ned Jap
Wagner smeared over the whole business.
I wonder if you cd/ get the M useum to col ly/bo/rate by putt i ng i n an order, e i t her
via Dr. Sakan ishi (Congress Li br/) or d irect to the
Meiji Seimei kan , Marunouch i , Tokyo
If you can write to them , merely say that Museum i s interested in my proposal
and that you wd. of course be ready to take copies of all fi lms made w i th properly
qu a l i fied Noh actors .
I hear that Sh igefu sa Hosho is good. Forget w h o d i d the Awoi , but i t w a s a
good show.
some of the phono d iscs do NOT seem to me very good .
Whe ther Fox can get Forschungsinstl to place s i m i lar order, I d u n no but do
mention matter to h i m .
I h o p e t o b e publishing a boost fo r t h e idea in J a p a n , shortly.
and so forth .

A "Tong Kien Kong Mo u " of ja pa n : A general h istory of Japan l i ke T un g chien kon g


m u , from which de M a i l l a translated into French his Histoire Generale de la

Chine, ou Annales de cet Empire.
Nipon 0 Dai itsi ran : Nippon Odai Ichiran ( 8 f � �-( - \f ] [A Chroni cle of
Japanese Emperors] . 4 vol s . , edited by Nobuyosh i Fuj iwara� covers the period
fro m Emperor J i m m u to Em peror Gotoba.
Kl a p ro th: Heinrich Julius Klaproth ( 1 783-1 8 3 5 ) , an Oriental ist who taught A s i a n
h i s tory and geography i n Paris, edited and transl ated t h e 1 8 34 e d i t i o n of Nipon 0
Da i Itsi Ran , o u Annales des Empereurs du japan .

Mr. Maori: Yasotaro Mori ( {,
flj J \ T f.... ef ).
editor o f Th e japan Times, and
translator of Soseki Natsume's Botchan i nto Engli sh .

m y l a test and shortest book: Wha t Is Money For? [A46] .
Rothsch i l d : fam i l y that control led a n i nternati onal banking firm ; foun der was
M eyer A mschelm Rothsch i l d ( 1 743?-1 8 1 2 ).
Sassoon : fami l y that contro l l e d a large tra d i n g firm i n Engl a n d ; founder was David
Sassoon ( 1 792-?).

"poeta econom ista " : "poet econom ist."
m y beloved yo ung novelist: Mari a Pou n d .
"Shin b u " "Miaco" . . . know: referring t o Canto 58. T h e sources are de M a i l l a and
a l s o Klaprot h , tr. , Nipon 0 Dai Itsi Ran , ou Annales des Empereurs d u japan
(Pari s , 1 834 ) , p p . xiv, and 399; s ee a lso John J. Nolde, B lossoms from the East:
The China Cantos of Ezra P o u n d (Orono, Maine: National Poetry Foun d ation,
1 9 8 3 ) . p p . 3 2 3-2 6 .

Igor Markewi tch : Igor Markevich ( 1 9 1 2-83 ) , Russian com poser a n d conductor who
stayed in Italy d uring World War II.

MeN. Wil son : R. McNair W i l s o n , American h istorian ; author of Promise t o Pay, one
of Pou n d 's select texts on the truth of econ om i cs .
Kuh n Loeb a n d Co. : New York banking firm involved i n international finance.
De Wen del: French fam i l y involved in international finance.
Viva l d i week in Siena: the Settimana m usicale (September 1 6th to 2 1 st) o f the
S i e n a Academy, under the ausp ices of the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, de­
voted entirely to the music of Viva l d i . under the d i rection of Alfredo Casella;
Olga Rudge a n d Poun d greatly contributed to its inspiration and conception , and

managed to interest Cou nt Ch igi i n the project. This germ i n a l even t sparked the
re newal of i nterest in the music of Viva l d i wi t nessed i n our century. See essay 4 .
Odon Por: Hungaria n-Ital i a n economist; author of Pol i t ico economico-sociale i n
lta lia a n n o XVII-XVIII, which Pou n d tra nsl ated i n 1 94 1 : Italy's Pol icy of Social
Econom ics 1 93 9/1 9 4 0 [ A4 9 ) .
Dr. Saka n i s h i : S h i o Sakan ishi ( �k,.db .Z-.�f,
) , curator of the Japanese Sec t i o n at
the Library of Congress. She showed Pou n d the fi l m of N6 plays in the Libra ry
during the summer of 1 9 3 9 , which i mpressed h i m greatly. Shio Sakanish i , " A n
U n i nvited Gues t : Ezra Pou n d , " Eigo B u ngaku Sekai [
(November a n d December, 1 9 7 2 ) . See also note to letter 7 4 .

Lfl .i. %- �)fr ]

� ll
Shota ro Osh i m a : ( J� .:0 ):t.. Atof
,.. �
) [ 1 899-1 980] ; Japanese poet, translator,
and p rofessor of Engl ish l iterature ( 1 949-70). While teach ing Engl i sh at Waseda
U n ivers i ty ( 1 9 3 5-70), tra n s la ted many of W. B. Yeats' poems i nto Japanese;
author of A Study of Modern Irish Literature (1 9 5 6 ) ; W. B. Yea ts: Man and his
Works ( 1 9 5 8 ) ; and Engl ish Literature and Poetic Im agination ( 1 9 7 2 ) .
Poems: Among Shapes a n d Sha dows : Sh6tar6 Osh i m a 's book o f poems written i n
Engl ish, publi shed by t h e Hokuseido Press, Tokyo , i n 1 93 9 ; 3 5 0 copies were
prin te d , a n d the copy sent t o Pound was no. 1 99 . As Oshima wrote i n the preface ,
"the majority of these poems were written during my stay i n Engla n d , 1 93 7-
1 93 9 . "

"An tonio Vi va l d i " : probably " Vocale o verbale," an account of the Vivaldi Week
performances in Siena which appeared in Meridiana di Roma (November 2 6 ,
1 9 3 9 ) [C1 5 2 6 ] ; there a l s o a ppeared o n November 2 5 t h "Risvegl io Viva l diano" i n
I l Mare [C1 5 2 5 ] .
Kua n Ch i a Tu ng: ? related to C h i a Tung, author o f Lays a n d Relays; Being Selections
from the "Lays of Far Ca thay" ( Shangha i : Kel ly & Walsh, 1 894) .
Marq u is d e Laplace : Pierre S i m o n Laplace ( 1 749-1 8 2 7 ) , French mathematician a n d
astro nomer; author o f Exposition du Systeme du Monde ( 1 796).

t h e triangle: t h e Axis.
vou with yet agai n my p h i z . : V O U no. 28 (December 1 , 1 9 39) contained a photo­
grap h of Pound a n d Kitasono's tra nslation of " Statues of God s " [ D 1 86 ] . origin a l l y
publ ished i n Townsman , II, 7 (August 1 939) [C1 5 7 5 ) .
B eard : Charles Beard, American h i s tori a n ; author o f Economic Origin s of Jefferso­
n ia n Dem ocra cy.
Woodward: W i l l i a m E . Woodward , A merican journalist a n d h istoria n who was o n
severa l a d v i sory boards dea l i ng with busi ness a n d i n surance d u r i n g the
Roosevelt a d m i n istration; Pound sent him severa l i tems o n economics to pass on

to the presi dent-which he never d i d . See selection of letter from Pound to

Woodward in Paideuma, vol . 1 5 , no. 1 (Spring 1 986) , p p . 1 05-20.
B owers : Claude G. Bowers, Am erican historian and Ambassador to Spain ( 1 9 3 8 ) ;
au thor of J effe rso n and Hami lton and The Tragic Era .
Overholser: Willis A. Overholser, American economic hi storian; author of A Short
Review and Analysis of the History of Money in the United Sta tes (Libertyville,
IL: Progress Publishing Concern , 1 936) .
Evviva la Poesia : Long l ive poetry !
EPos: epic poetry.

Action: newspaper published i n Engl an d b y S i r Oswald Mosley.
B ritish Un ion Quarterly: j ournal published by the Mos l ey Party; formerly the
Fa s ci s t Quarterly.
Social Creditor: p ub l ished (begi nning 1 9 38) in Liverpool , England .

a very elegan t vol ume: Kitasono's The Violets of Fire ( * 0) f) [Hi n o S u m i re] ,
i l lustrated and designed by Seiji Togo.
Japanese Dance all time overcoat : Michio Ito's remark to Pound, quoted in Canto
a better a rticle . . . than the ]. T. in terviewer: see Japan Times, November 2 6 and
December 4, 1 93 9 .
Masaichi Ton i : uni dentifi e d .
Ainley's face behind that m a sk: Ito made a comment to Pound o n Ainley who
p l ayed the part of Cuchu l ain in Yeats' At the Hawk 's Well in London in 1 9 1 6 :
"He must b e moving and twisting his face behind his mask . " The remark i s
quoted i n Canto 7 7 .
borrowing the old lady's cat : Ito asked Mrs. Tinkey i f he could borrow her cat. But
she "never believed he wanted her cat/ for mouse-chasing/ and not for oriental
cuisine" (Canto 7 7 ) .
Di d y o u see t h e Hawk 's Well?: The Ito family produced At the Hawk's Well in
celebration of the 5 0 th anniversary of their parents' weddi ng. Michio Ito trans­
l ated the play. Kisaku d esigned the masks and the stage. Hiroji composed the
music , and designed the costumes. Osuke conducted the orchestra; Koreya
Senda p layed the part of Cuchulain; Michio, the Old Man; Teiko (the wife of
H i roj i ) , the Hawk. See Helen Caldwe l l , Michio Ito : the Dancer and h is Dances
(Berkel ey : Univers ity of California Press , 1 97 7 ) , Chapter II.

Miharu Ti ba : Miharu Chiba ( 1 903- ) , Japanese dancer, dance scriptwriter, and
music educator; author of Miharu's Textbook.
Seiji Togo : ( 1 8 9 7- 1 9 7 8 ) , Japanese painter, whose painti ngs are often phantasmal

and colorfu l . " A Woman w i t h a Parasol " a n d " A Woman with B lack Mu ffl er" arc
among hi s well-known works .
her portra it pain ted by Mrs . Fros t : "Mrs . Ruth Sterl ing Frost was an American lady
who rented Palazzo Contarin i i n Venice. She was also a painter and did a port rait
(unfi n i shed ) of me." (Mary de Rachewiltz i n a note to the edi tor. )

pamphlet I a m sen ding Iwa do: What I s Money For? [A46)?
Por: O don Por.
Da li: S alvador Dali , the surrealist painter.
The Little Review: edited by Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap ( 1 9 1 7-24 ) .
"Agon " i s later: T. S. Eliot's Sweeney Agon istes w a s publ ished i n 1 93 2 , hence
" l ater. "
Crevel : Rene Creve} ( 1 900--3 5 ) , French surreal i st poet , novelist , and critic.

Kokusai B unka Shinkoka i : Society for Promoting International Cultural Exchange.
Bauernfohig: farming ski l l , capacity.
Jb .}- : chiin tzu , a true gentlem an , a wise man.
Hoffm an n 's bulletin : News from Germany, ed. H, R. Hoffmann.
h is side kick Kung/: u n i dentifi ed .
Men c i u s : Meng-tse ( 3 7 1 ?-288? B.c. ) ; Chinese Confucian philosopher. Mencius held
that the d u ty of a ruler i s to ensure the prosperous l i vel ihood of his subjects, and
that warfare be eschewed except for defense. If a rul er's conduct reduces his
subjects to penury, then he m ust be deposed . Proposed specific reforms in
landhol d i ng and other economic matters .
Avicenn a : Ibn Sina (980--1 0 3 7 } . Persian philosopher, theologi an, physician , mathe­
matician , l i nguis t , and astronomer. I nterpreted Aristotle in a neo-p latonic l i ght,
h e l d that the u n i ty of Mind (or Nous) gave form to all that exists, and that the
universe e manated from the divine Active Intel lect.
Matsum iya : see note to letter 4 0 .
K. Takash i Ito 's British Emp i re and People: The book was originally written in
Japanese as Eiteikoku oyobi Ei kokujin ( 1 9 3 7 ) by Takashi I to ( i'¥ � � )
[ 1 906- ] , then an official of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Funk: Walter Funk, Nazi economist, appoin ted M i nister of Economy in 1 93 7 .
Miaco : M i yako l iterally means capital , a n d usually d esignates Kyoto in Japanese
Willkie: Wendell Lewis Willkie (1 892-1 944 ) . Republican nomi nee for President of
the U . S . in 1 940. See " W i llkie, the G.O.P. Hope , " Japan Times, 1 2 August 1 940.

Ponder's Modern Poetry: u n i dentified .
Solonfa h ig . . La Quiete: Solonfa h ig means "to be fit to be i n a salon , " l i terary or

otherwise, to have polite m anners , be ed ucated; to have s av o i r fai re. La Qui ete
" "

is the name of Pou n d ' s d a ughter's school in Florence.

Serva n t of the People article: uni dentified.
Vagli a : money order.

Fosco Moro i n i : ( 1 9 1 2- ) , Ita l i an anthropologist and art historian. Associate
professor at Hokkai do University ( 1 938-4 1 ) , l ecturer at Kyoto Universi ty ( 1 94 1 -
4 5 ) . A uthor of Meeting with Japan ( 1 9 5 9 ) ; Japa n : Patterns of Co n t i n u ity ( 1 9 7 1 ) ;
a n d other works .
Ma tteo Ri cci : Ita l i a n Jesu i t mission ary to China ( 1 5 5 2-1 6 1 0 ) ; had authentic respect
for the Chinese classics and a dopted the d ress of the l iterati; became court
mathemati cian and astronomer; d u e to h i s erudition and demeanor, the Ch inese
came to respect Christia n i ty. Tran slated many Western works of science and
m athematics i nto Chinese, as well as Christian texts . Sent back to Europe reports
on China. Acted as c u ltura l ambassador between these worl ds and as proponent
of a worl d cul ture.
Kung fu Tsu , Men -tsu : Confucius and Menci us.

P. Tyler: Parker Tyler, an A merican poet and ed itor.
Margaret An derson : editor of the Little Review.
Th ayer: Scofield Thayer, e d i tor of The Dia l .
Eddie and Wal lie: Edward V I I I of Engl and a n d Wallis Warfi eld Simpson (who came
from B a l t i more) .
Guarn ieri : Antonio Guarnieri ( 1 883-1 9 5 2 ) , Italian cellist, cond uctor. and com­
poser. He gave his first performances at Siena; also d i rected operas at Vienna ,
M i l a n , a n d other p laces i n Europe. Pound heard h i m at the Venice Biennale in
1 936.
Itoh 's book: s e e note t o Pou n d 's letter t o Kitasono, 2 5 August 1 940.
Bon G um i : progra m ; order of sequence of N6 plays.
Poss u m : T. S. E l iot.
Duncan : Ron a l d D unca n.
Ango l d : ] . P. A ngol d .
B u n t ing: Basil B unting.
Funk: Walter Fu nk, German Mi nister of Econom y.
Riccard i : Raffacllo Riccard i , Ita l ian Minister of Finance.
NOTES 23 1

1 00
Gero rc h i a : [Hierarchy] . journal publ ished in M i l a n ; founded by Mussolin i .
Di Ma rzio: Cornelio d i Marzio, editor o f Il Meridiana d i Roma.
my econ. B ook: ABC of Econom ics [A34 ] .
Tuan Szets un: uni dentified.
enclos ure : unidentifi e d ; probably someth ing on I toh's British Empire and Peop le.

two articles: Setsuo Uenoda , " Language Trouble , " and Tatsuo Tsu k u i , "Japan's New
Structure and Cultural Aspects , " Japan Times Weekly (October 1 7 , 1 940) , p p .
2 2 9-30, 2 3 6-4 0 , 2 4 2 .
B a s h o and Chika ma t s u : Basho Matsuo ( �� ft. � -�
) [ 1 644-94 ] , a haiku poet.
Monzaemon Chikamatsu ( li :ft.. �� � � � p� ) [ 1 6 5 3-1 7 24 ] , a kabuki and
joru ri playwright.
Tanaka s : reference uncertai n .
T . T . a n d S. U.: Tatsuo Tsukui a n d Setsuo Uenoda.
l ingua franca: common language.

1 03
L'OROSCOPO DEL 5 : "The horoscope of December 5-This Thu rsday lacks l unar
configurations, i t will be d o m i nated by a magic aspect between the Sun and
J u p i ter which will favour good busi ness, but we w i l l have to watch expenses ,
especially i f caused by the fair sex . " (Translated i n to English by Mary de Rache­
wil tz.)
Li Ki : Chinese book of customs and rituals.
Chiang K/Cheker: s u pp orter of Chiang Kai- s hek.

1 04
Lah i ri 's book: Amar Lahi ri , Japan Talks (Tokyo: The Hokuseido Press , 1 94 0 ) .
Roppeita Kita : ( ..\- � r, '¥ A ) [ 1 8 74-1 9 7 1 ] , a No player who succeeded to the
old name of the K ita School at 2 1 . Author of Roppeita 's Tal ks on Art ( 1 94 2 ) .
Umewaka Min o ru : M inoru Umewaka ( 1 8 2 7-1 909 ) , a N o player of t h e Kanze
School. Fenollosa took lessons from h i m .
Mushakoji: Saneatsu M ushakoji ( �� 1\ , S.% � -�
) [ 1 885-1 9 7 6 ] , a Japanese
novelist and p ai n ter.
Y. Yas h i ro : Yukio Yashiro ( JK �' 1f" Ji.ll.
) , author of Sandra B o tticelli (London
and Boston : The Medici Society , 1 92 5 ) , 3 vols . (Onl y 630 copies were printed . )
Ne ue Sach l ichkei t : movemen t o f self-proclai med "sober objectivity . "
Frazier: Senator L. J . Frazier (Republ i can) of North Dakota. Pou nd corresponded
with Frazi er i n 1 93 6 about the possib i l i ty of com p i l i ng a " REAL text book" for the
study of A merican h i story in the schools.
Vol p i : Giuseppe Vol p i , Count d i Misurata ( 1 8 7 7-1 94 7 ) , Italian Minister of Fi n ance
( 1 9 2 5-29); translated The History of Fasci s m . He appears in Cantos 7 6/39 , 80/8 7 .

1 05
Y. Noguch i : J apanese poet and expert on wood-block prints [ Ukiyo-e] ; see letter 1 .
" th e jew is u n dernea th the lot ": T. S. Eliot, "Burbank with a Baedeker: B l ei stein
with a Cigar, " I . 2 3 .
Reese: Holroyd Reese, foun d er o f A lb at ross Books (Hamburg-Paris-Bologna) and
purchaser of Tau chnitz Editions.
Bibliotecario: l i braria n .
Bern ie Pshaw: George B ernard Shaw ( 1 85�1950); s a w M ichio I t o dance at a
gatheri ng at Lady Ottol i n e Morrell 's home i n 1 9 1 8 .

1 06
Mau passa n t : Guy de M a u p assant.
Caldwell: Erskine Caldwel l .

Gerh a rt Miinch : German pianist, who along w ith Olga Rudge , v iol inist, "formed the
nucleus of the Rapal l o concerts . " The A mici del Tigu l l io sponsored the concerts.
See R. M urray Schafer, Ez ra Pound and Music (New York: New Directions,
1 97 7 ) , p . 3 2 2 , and Canto 75.

1 08
]anequin: Clement Janequin ( 1 4 7 2/7 5-1 5 5 9/60} . French musician ; see Can tos 75
and 7 9 .
San Pa n ta leo: a s m a l l church o n t h e h i l lside o f Sant'Ambrogio.
videt et urbes : "and he looks a t the towns. "
Politico Economico-Sociale in Italia: Italy 's Policy of Social Economics 1 93 9/1 940
[A49 ] .

1 09 .,
Mats uoka : Yosu ke Matsuoka ( -*L.\ � �f.� ) [ 1 8 80-1 94 6 ] . was appointe d For­

eign M i nister of Japan i n 1 94 0 , and concluded the Japan-Germany-Italy Tri par­

t i te Pact.
G u a m : an island i n the South-west Pacific; soon to become the scene of a bloody
battle in World War II.
U.P. : United Press.
put it on the a i r : see " M arch Arrivals" ( 1 94 1 } in Ezra Pound Speaking.
Hosh u Saito and Gado Ono : ( �,f� %-H\ ). ( ,\·... �t t\l ·:t
) , Japanese c a l lig­
raphers who taught call igraphy in Japanese universi ties around the turn of the
Nott edtn/: [ B 3 6 ] .

1 10
" B u ono Pasq u a " : "Happy Easter. "

"HIGIHJUow": T h e Fou n t a i n of t h e High brow, selected essays b y Katue K i tasono.

Mr. Eliot con verting t h e A rch bish. of York : (?) reference to T. S. Eliot's broa dcast in
the s pring of 1 94 1 , "Towa rds a Christian Britai n . "

Studio Integrale: Italian translation of Confucius' To Hs ueh (To S 'e u ; Ta Hio;
Do igo ku) by Ezra Pound and Alberto Luch i n i , publ ished in 1 942 [ 8 4 6 ] . Each
page had the Chinese text with the Italian version below.
Moo 's com me n t : Mao S h i h Ch e ng Ch ien , a Confucian anthology of poetry e d i ted
with com mentary by Mao.
S. In t . on the bet te r paper: Some copies of the S t u d io In t eg ro l e were printed on a
"better, " thicker, and watermarked paper.
m a rried : Mary Pound married Boris de Rachewi ltz; their son is Siegfried Walter de

1 14
Lao , Moo : Probably Lao-tzu (the "originator" of Taoi sm) and Mao S h i h Cheng
Ch ien , but i t i s hard to guess the "in teresting p l a n " ; see Kitasono's letter to
Dorothy Pound , 1 5 December 1 94 8 .
J e m a nge , done j e s u i s : "I eat , therefore I am. " A parody o f Descartes ' dictu m , "je
pense , done je suis" ("I t h i n k , therefore I a m " ) . Sh ortage of food was extremel y
serious i n Japan duri n g t h e post-World W a r II period . [One form o f Pound 's
stationery had a l so born e the motto: "j ' a i m e , done je suis" ("I love. there fore I

G.H.Q. : Gen eral Headquarters (of the Occupation Troops i n Japan).
D . D. Paige : editor of Th e Let ters of Ezra Pound , 1 9 0 7- 1 9 4 1 [A64 ] .

The Rape of Lucretia: libretto by Ronald Duncan for music by Benjamin Uri tte n .
wh o was later t o compose a group o f No-inspired operas.

a cha rming duck: probably al lu d i ng to the phoenix myth and to the story of "The
Ugly Du ckl i n g . " "Cen d re" means ashes, cinders .

Fo u r Pages : a l i ttle magazine published by Da lla m Fl ynn, a member of Pou n d 's
circle at S t . Elizabeths ; see Eustace Mull ins, Th is D iffi c ul t Indi\'i d u a l . p . 3 1 4 .
Sokol s ky : George Ephra i m Sokol sky ( 1 893-1 962 ) , A merican journalist. I n his col­
u m n , "These Days , " which a ppeared in the New York Sun and some 3 0 0 news­
papers d u ring the 1 940s an d early 1 9 5 0 s , he crusaded against what he thought to

be the growing menace of Communism. He was one of the visi tors of Poun d i n
Washington , D.C. ; see M u l l i n s , p . 3 1 5 .
Marcos Fingeri t : Argentine poet; author of A n t n a , 22 Poemas Con tem pora n eos
(Buenos A ires , 1 92 9 ) ; Ca n cion ero Secreto (La Plata, 1 9 3 7 ) ; Ardiente Signo, con
una n ota Li mina r de jose Luis Sanchez-Tricado (La Pla ta , 1 940).

Ku m a s a ka : a No play;· see Th e Classic Noh Thea tre of japa n , Part II.
Ch i nese poems : The first t w o l i nes wri tten i n Chinese are from Po Le-t ' ien . The
longer poe m , accordi ng to Yasuo Fuj i to m i , is the Chi nese translation of Kitaso­
n o ' s poe m , " Di shes , " by a Chinese friend of K itasono. The original Japanese
p oem , " Di shes , " may be translated into Engl ish :
For s u pper Every day They grow
d ishes are spread ephemeral a grass leaf
l i ke tree leaves and del ightful a cloud
Rape blossoms Sound of the d i shes And are fil led with
fresh gingers a n d sorrowfu l a n d hard the potter's thought
starworts p ierces my heart l i ke a gust of w i n d .

Ken neth Rexro th : ( 1 905- 1 9 8 2 ) , American poet, essayi st , and transl a tor; a mong his
works are One H u n d red Poem s from the Japanese ( 1 95 5 ) , and One Hundred
More Poems from t h e Japanese ( 1 9 76 ) .
Manyo a n d Kokin Waka s : J a pa nese poems i n t h e a n thologies , Ma ny6s h u and
Kok in s h u ; see notes to letter 6 8 .

1 20
Mao S h i h : Mao S h i h Ch eng Ch ien , Confucian anthology of poetry ed ited with
com mentary by Mao . See Ezra Pou nd 's letter to Ki tasono , 21 October 1 9 3 7 ; and
Dorothy Pound's letter to Kitasono, 4 May 1 94 7 .

1 22
Th o m a s Cole: see K i tasono's next letter to Dorothy Po u n d . Cole's "Conversa tion
with Ezra Pou nd ," however, is not printed in VOU 35. Instea d , his poem
"Toward W i n ter Journey" transla ted i nto Japanese by K itasono i s printed i n
VOU 3 4 , publ ished 1 January 1 9 50.

s t i ll s : ci nema photogra phs (frames).
Prof. Hisa t o rn i Mitsugi: Mi tsugi Hisatomi ( 1 908- ) was to publish Fen ollosa : A
Record of a Man Wh o Devoted Hi mself to Ja pa nese Art (Tokyo : Risosha , 1 9 5 7 ) .
Kayoikom ach i : a N o play. A woma n , who daily gathers a n d bri ngs nuts a n d fi re­
wood to a priest in ascet ic practice at Yase, turns out to be the ghost of Ono no
Komach i , a Heian poetess . The priest prays for her and her lover, Fukakusa no
Shosho. They receive Bud d h ist command ments. Confirmed , they are saved from
the agon ies of hel l .
Koc h o : a No p l a y b y Kanze Nobumitsu. A priest from Yoshino wa tches a pl u m tree
in Kyoto. A woman appears, talks of the Ch uang-tz u , and di sappears. The pri est
chants a B u d d h i st scri p t . The woman reappears in the form of a bu tterfl y,
en l i ghtened , dances and d i sa ppears. Ch u a ng-t z u i s said to be written by Chua ng­
chou , or Soshu i n Japanese. Cf. Pou nd 's poem , " A ncient Wisdom , Rather Cosm ­
ic": " So-shu d reamed . . . a butterfly. "

1 25
Ya s u taka Fumoto: ( 1 907- ) , a Japanese Sinologist , who taught at The Third
H igh Schoo l , The First High Schoo l , Tokyo University. and other u n ivers i ties;
au thor of Th e Developmen t of Confucian S t u d ies in the North Su ng Dynas t y
( 1 9 6 1 ) , and other books on Chi nese history of thought.
Prof. Goto Sueo: Sueo Goto ( 1 8 8 6-1 96 7 ) , a Japa nese Sinologist, and professor at
Keio University; among his books are Cult ural Curren ts between East and Wes t ,
and Li tera ture and Science.

1 26
"Th e Garret " . . . : Th ese poem s are translated and published in VOU 3 5 ( 1 95 1 ) , pp.
1 5-1 6.

Ueda Tam o ts u : Ta motsu Ued a ( 1 906-7 3 ) , professor o f Engl ish at Kei6 University.
His trans lati ons of How to Read and some short poems by Po und were publ is hed
as Seka i B unga k u no Yorn i ka ta (Tokyo: Hobunkan , 1 9 5 3 ) . He is also the trans­
la tor of Selected Poems of T. S. Eliot ( 1 9 7 3 ) . His m i scellaneous works were
co l l ected and publ ished p osthumously as Col lected Works of Ta motsu Ueda
(1 9 75 ) .

1 29
Michael Reck: a disciple of Pound's St. Elizabeths years who travelled to Japa n :
Pou nd provided introductions to M i chio Ito and Katue Kitasono. a s well a s to
Yasuo Fujitomi (translator of e.e. cummings) wi th whom Reck attem pted a
Ja panese tra n slation of Pou n d 's \'\'o men of Trach is ( Traxinia i ) . Reck is the author
of Ezra Pou n d : A Close- Up ( New York: McGraw-Hill . 1 96 7 ) : see A ppen d i x 3.

In a letter of tviarch 1 2 , 1 9 5 4 , Pou nd wrote to Reck the fo l lowing remarks on

how to go about renderi ng a Japanese version of the TRAXINIAI:
RK/ re TRAX/
dont bother about the woR o s , trans late the mean ing. in the s poken
parts/d ia log, this shou l d be CLEA R , and be what the speaker wou l d S A Y if get t i ng
over the mea n i ng in japanese !\:OW.
in the XOROI, go for the FEELI NG . The two K l l\:D s of la nguage are quite d i fferent!
in the first real people are s peaki ng/
saying what carries forward the action/ i n the XOROI they are singing (except
the few l i nes marked " spoken ")/
Ito cd/ do some fine choreography for the Analolu/ xoros .
The troops have come HOME/ whoops. there is no need for more than one voice,
most of the t im e/ ( o t h ers repeat contrapunto, one voice (lL a time. However
No-like & for a s long as t h ey l ike.) a lot of voices migh t b l urr the word s. The greek
w i l l d o you no good , u n l ess the jap chorus cou ld get closer to the greek rhythm,
than i n working fro m the engl ish/ B U T it is not the least necessary to copy either/
it i s a case of gett i ng the equ i va l ent feeling. The form of the play i s magn if/
everything fits/ Daysair goes I NTO the tragic mask. Herak emerges from it.
TRA X i n antithesis to An tig/ and other Soph/ plays i n that N o o N E has any evil
intentions, N O bad fee l i ng , vendetta or whatso. A l l of 'em trying to be nice/ B UT
the tra gedy m oves on j u st the same.
Daysair, Qu een and woman/ top of all greek descri ptive writing in the Nurse 's
d escription of her before the suicide. HERAK/ tough guy who i s also a God .
Dont bother w i t h words or l ingu istic constructions/ t h e people are a l ive/ the
speech is clear and natura l .
Various peopl e fus s i ng about col l oqu ialism. What o n e wants is what a jap
Daysair, or Hyllos or messenger wou l d S A Y , under the c i rcs/ 1\:0T a copy of engl ish
gram mar/
In the sung parts, be as classic as you l i ke/ d rag i n phrases from Noh i tse lf if they
fit a n d i nten sify the s i tuation. (I dont recal l any in particular, but there m ight be
some or some that wd/ reca ll great Noh l i nes . )
rea d i ng i n N . Y . with cel l o a n d kettle dru m ace/ the Xoroi . ( s d . t o h v . gon e wel l .)
B . B . C . transmitting i t on or about A pr/ 2 5 . I dont spose Tokyo gets London 3 rd/
program .
I t o t o do anything h e l ikes . ko GUN fu n-TOooo. ( H e w i l l b e sorry t o hear that
Du lac is dead if he hasn 't heard it a l rea d y . )
( S l o w m a i l ) D . P . sen d i ng two Hud/ i n case F.M. dont step on t h e gas at once.
You can ask me re/ partie/ passages . natural ly.
The Ve nus is practically na ked beh i n d that gauze curta in/ I dont know qu ite
how naked a jap god dess can be in apparition/ at any rate from the crotch up. Sh e
aint eggza kly a Kuan on/ but the w i l low bough cd/ be brought in definitely. she
cd/ hold one. Coacher who is d o i ng the Hyllos for BBC/ has sent on some pri ze
NOTES 23 7

bestial i t ies i n other translations. They dont even understand that LA M P R A .

a fter t h a t phrase Herak w h o has been cursing D / for a bitch never ut ters a
rep roach. THAT is l i ke the t ransformation in Noh .
Do they, or do you know that the last message I go t thru i n to U . S . press ( 1 940)
was : We shd/ G I V E Guam to the Japs, but INsist on having 300 sound fi lms o f Noh
in exchange . (And how d a mn much better THAT wd/ have been.) Don 't l i e d own
on the fight to get sound fi l ms of actual Noh. some bl oody found ation/ basti ds
pouring out m i l l ions for scholastic fugg.
even "grammar" dont matter if the speech is a l i ve/ it can be ungra mmatical I F it i s
the way peop l e speak/ the way a Queen , o r a hobo , s peaks I':OW i n japan. Day/ i s
a n aris to/
and also sensiti ve , very del i cately. The Hyl l os the next role in so far as i t requ ires
un d ersta n d i ng presentation . Tha t is why I am so glad to have got Coacher for i t .
They s a y t h e i r B BC Herak/ i s a colossus w h o c a n roar. The nu rse narrates so that
i s l ess d i ffi cult!
but Ito m ight d o a choric dance, combine a choric movement to
occur si lently while she i s d escribing the suicide. IN fa c t , a l l the i ntel l igence they
have got can be turned on/ and let 'em ENjoy themselves.

One m i sprint in Hud/ P U T t here i n print shoppe A FTER proofs were corrected/ i . e .
read Nemean NOT Newman herdsman .
A Lzo/
p . 5 1 1 , e n ter Nurse.
Better she a l so enter in a tragic mask (smal l mask, quite d i fferent
from Daysair's).
The Minoru wi l l und erstand difference.

1 30
seal c haracter: The "seal text" of the Confucian Odes was to have been publ ished by
Harvard U n i versi ty Press but never appeared.
Van n i : Van n i Sche i w i l ler, p u b l i sher of All 'In segna del Pesce d 'Oro edi tions
( M i l a n ) ; Poun d 's Ita l i a n p u b l i sher.
germ a n a n d italian versions of TRAXINIA I: Transl ated by Eva Hesse [ D3 1 ] and
M a rgherita Gui dacci [D68 ] , res pecti vely. German version was performed i n
Berl i n ( 1 959) and Darmstadt (1 960) .
projected e d i tion of t h e Odes : The Harvard Un iversity Press de l uxe edition was to
have i ncl uded "sound graphs" al ongside the seal text.
Scarfogl io: Carl o Scarfogl i o , a n Italian writer (son of Mati l d e Serso, one of Italy's
leading journal i sts) who translated the Confuci a n Odes i n to Ital ian [081 b ] .

1 31
B roletto: edited by Carlo Peroni and publ ished i n Como.
Beauson Tseng: Beauson Tseng ( � ,�/l l
) [Tseng Yu eh-nung] . author of Cui-

t u ral Rel ations between China and the Wes t ( 1 968).

Tcheu 's lamen t : lament of Ch 'u Yuan ( � "fK ).
Kripa lani : Krishna Kripalan i , translator of Rabind ranath Tagore' s Chokher Bali and
other writings.
Warsaw cellarage: Polish trans. by J. Niemojowski , privately circulated ( 1 9 5 9 ) .
the charming member of you r other profession: the Italian dentist , Bacigalupo.
d 'a n t a n : of the past.
Obert i , Carrega : edi tors of Ana Eccetera , a literary magazine published in Genoa.
B oris : Boris d e Rachewiltz, Ital ian Egyptologist and Pou n d 's son-i n-law.
Mary 's Kagekiyo : Mary d e Rachewi l tz translated Poun d 's " In troduction" to 'Noh' or
A ccom plishment a long with the play " Kagekiyo " from Certa in Noble Plays of
Japan , published by Van n i Scheiwi l ler in 1 954 as In troduzione ai N6 [060 ] ; the
play was reprin te d in 1 95 6 in Leo Magnino's Tea t ro giapponese [09 1 ) .

1 32
Di Riflesso: published by Vanni Scheiwi ller.
vis u a l ly I can see: Ki tasono was a n in novator and enthusiast of "concrete poetry . "

1 33
t h e Japanese transla tion of your poems : Ryozo Iwasaki , tr. , Ezra Pound: Selected
Poems (Tokyo : Arechi S h u p pan , 1 9 56) .
Homyoin, Enjoji Temple: H6my6-in ( 3-t 8):\ FL ) i s in the northern precinct of
Onj6-j i( I.E 1P£. t ) , com m o n l y ca l l e d Enj6-ji , more popularly known as
Miid era ( � � .{r ).
La u rence Binyon : Robert Laurence Binyon ( 1 869-1 9 4 3 ) , B ritish poet a n d art h istor­
ian; for many years an offi cial in the B ritish Museum in London. He was a friend
of Pou n d ' s and vis ited Japan in 1 9 2 9 . Author of Japanese Art ( 1 909 ) , Art of Asia
( 1 9 1 6) . The Spirit of Man in Asian Art ( 1 936) and A rt of the Far East ( 1 936) . etc.
Val e ! : Be in good health, farewel l .
Junzaburo Nish iwaki : ( 1 896-?) Japanese poet a n d scholar; wrote introduction to
Ryozo Iwasaki 's translation of Poun d ' s " Mauberl ey . " His poem "January in
Kyoto" was translated into Italian by Mary d e Rachewiltz and published in 1 9 59
b y Van ni Scheiwil ler; it also ap peared in Edge 5 .

1 34
Edge : Au stra lian l iterary magazine founded by Noel Stock in October 1 9 5 6 , to
which Pound was a frequent anonymous contributor. Po und 's " Five French
Poem s " appeared in the first issue.
Zielinski : Thaddeus Zieli nski , Polish professor of Greek; author of La Sibylle, Trois
Essais sur la Religion Anti qu e e t le Christianisme (Paris : Redier, 1 92 4 ) . Edge 2
was entirely composed of a trans lation of this work into Engl ish as "The Sibyl . "
W. L. : Wyndham Lewis.
D. P. : Dorothy Pou n d .

La Mart i nel l i : a booklet publi shed by Va n n i Schc i w i l ler i n 1 9 5 6 . I t conta ins repro­
ductions of p aint ings by Sheri Mart ine l l i , an Am erican pa inter and "d isci p l e " of
Pou nd at St. E l i zabeth s , w i t h an i n troduction by Po u nd .
Ford : Ford Madox Ford.
Amara l : Jose Vasquez A mara l ' s tra nslation of The Pisan Ca n tos i n to Spanish was
p u b l i shed i n 1 9 56: Los Ca ntares de Pisa I D2 1 9 J .
Eva : Eva Hesse's t ra nslation of The Pi sa n Ca n tos into German was publi shed a lso i n
1 9 5 6 : Die Pisa ner Gesa nge ID28 j ; she also tra ns l ated a selection of Pou n d ' s
poetry and p rose, Dich t u ng u n d Prosa ( 1 9 5 3 ) , which was re issued i n pa perback
in 1 9 56 I D 2 6 ) .
TRAXINIAI in London : Fi rst E nglish publ ication i n book form of Pou nd 's Wo men of
Tra c h i s a p peared o n November 3 0 , 1 9 5 6 , publ ished by Nev i l l e Spearman I A 7 2 J ;
the play had a l ready been published , however, i n the Winter 1 9 53/4 issue of
Hudson Review, vo l . vi, no. 4, ed. F. Morgan . The English edition bears the
ded ication by Pou n d : "A version for Kitasono Katu e, hoping he will u se it o n my
dear old friend Miscio Ito, o r take it to the Mi noru if they can be persuaded to add
to their reperto i re . " The addenda i nclude remarks by Den i s Coacher, Peter
Wh igham , S. V . Jankowski and Ricardo M. degli Ubert i .
Aca demia B ullet in : a Pou n d - i nstigated leaflet ed ited by David Gordon , a freq uent
visi tor to S t . Elizabeths. Ubert i 's essay ( "Why Pou nd Liked Italy") appeared i n
the first issue ( 1 95 6 ) ; see Pa ide u m a , vol. 3 , no. 3 .
Verkeh r: comm u n ication .
Lo re n za t o s : Zes i m o s Lore n za t o s , t ra n s l a t o r of Ca t h ay i n to Greek a s Ka t a h
Meta p h rasoon apo to Aggl iko ( 1 950) ID5 1 ) .
Pivot : see I B 5 3 j a n d [B 5 5 j .
cordialie sa l u t i : cord ial greeti ngs.

1 35
causerie: banter.
Ni mbus: ed. T. H u l l and D. W right; vol . I I I , no. 4 (Wi nter 1 956) !London) .
om nes eadem cogi m ur: " we a re a l l urged toward the same."
tra n sla te it into Japanese: see no te to letter 1 29 .
Norm a n Douglas: British author and l ong-time res i dent i n Italy; author o f S o u t h
Win d , etc.
John Espey: author o f Ezra Po und 's Ma u berley: A Stu dy in Com posit ion (1 9 5 5 ) .
Friar: K i m o n Fri ar.
B rin n i n : John Malcolm Bri n n i n (?).
Legge: James Legge , 1 9 th cent u ry British Si nologist; translator of the Li Ch i . etc.
T'ao Yiian-ming : ( fiJ
i�R G}1) ITo Emrnei, i n Japanese] (3 65-4 2 7 ) . a Chinese

"derocher": "to cleanse meta ls with aci d . "
240 i\'OTES

Noel Stock: editor of Austral ian l iterary magazine Edge .

prebebde: i ndication of rhyme scheme (?) , or of divin ity degree (?) .
Kojiro Yosh ika wa : ( � ' ' \ $ ;.)2__ tp ) [ 1 904-80) , a Japanese scholar of Chi nese
l i teratu re, for many years professor at Kyoto University. Among his books is The
East i n t h e West (Tokyo : Bu ngei Shunju, 1 9 5 5 ) , which contains a reproduction of
a p a i n t i ng by Sheri Martinel l i and an essay on his v is i t to Pou nd at St. E l i zabeths
in Wash ingto n , D . C .
h . de compos: Haralda and Augusto de Cam pos , poets; tra nslated t h e Con t os i n t o
Portuguese (Contores, S a o Pau l o , 1 960) .
Eva Hesse O D onne l l : Pou n d's German translator; ed itor of New A pproaches to

Ezra Po u n d ( Londo n : Faber 1 969).

Garcia Tern�s : J a i m e Garcia Tern�s. Mexican transl ator of Pou nd 's poems i n to
S p an i sh.
Chiang: Chiang Kai-shek.
]o B a rd : Joseph Bard , ed itor of El Dinamismo de una Nueva Poesia ( Puerto de I a
Cru z : Instituto d e Estudios Hispan icos , 1 95 7 ) a n d nove l i s t ; Pound had met h i m
in Rapa l l o in 1 9 2 8 .

1 37
parce l : see [060), [84 6 ] , [0 59] , [06 1 ] and [A68 ] .
etiom a t que-e t i a m vale: " further a n d even fu rther may you b e wel l . "

1 38
Nippon: Japan.

Cole Rice: Karel Vaclav Ra is ( 1 859- 1 9 2 7 ) , a Czechoslovakian poet a n d novel ist.
El mer Rice is a n American novelist and p laywright.
Fletcher's widow: M rs. John Goul d Fletcher, wife of the A merican poet w hom
Pou nd knew during the years of the Im agist movement i n London.
Hagoromo: a N o play.
Kiogen : Kyoge n , a comic i n terlu de set between No p lays.

gra n d son of Leo Frobe n i u s : Sebastian Frobenius; the story a p pears i n A l to A d ige
(December 7 . 1 9 5 8 ) , the day fol l owing the v i s i t .
m y da ughter works on J u n z a b uro 's poem s : Mary de Rachewiltz was tra ns l a t i ng
"January in Kyoto" into I tal ian.
Del Pelo Pa rd i: Giu l io Del Pel o Pard i , classical scholar, agrarian archceologist and
inventor of a system of soil conserva tion and s hal low p lough ing.

Oka d a : Tomoj i Oka d a (1 880-1 965), former d i rector. Lo ndon Branch. Yama naka
NOTES 24 1

and Co.
to h ono ur E . F . in manner stated: Pound had written of Fenollosa in the " I n trod uc­
tion" to the transla tion of No p lays: "When he d ied suddenly in England the
Japa nese government sent a warship for his bod y, and the priests buried him
within the sacred enclos u re at Mi idera . "
you r information: Tomoji Okad a , u n d e r t h e d irection of Kichirobe Yamanaka of
Yamanaka and Co. , had the rema ins of Fenol losa which had already been buried
at Highgate Cemetery, London cremated in 1 909; Okada then asked Yasotaro
Kato, an art dealer, who was on his way to Japan through the Siberi an Rai lroa d , to
take the ashes to Japan and l ay them to rest at M i i d era, the temple in Otsu where
Fenol losa had studied B u d dhism and which he had especially loved . See Toku­
taro Shigehisa, " Fenollosa 's Ashes and Japa n , " Com parative Li te ra ture (Tokyo ) ,
v o l . 2 ( 1 959) ; a n d " A Letter of Ezra Pou n d , " Fenollosa So c ie ty of japan Newslet­
ter, no. 5 ( 1 9 8 2 ) .
vall on Art : E . F. Fenol losa 's Epochs of Ch inese and Japanese Art, published by
Wi l l ia m Heinemann in 1 9 1 2 .


Dowlan d : John Dowland, (c. 1 56 7-1 6 2 6 ) , Engl ish l utenist and composer.
Ogd en : Charles Kay Ogden ( 1 889-1 9 5 7 ) , author of books on " basic Engl i s h , " i n ­
c l u d i ng The ABC of Basic English ( 1 93 2 ) , Basic En g li s h ( 1 93 3 ) , The Basic
Dictionary ( 1 939) and Basic by Pict ure St a m p s ( 1 94 1 ).

the m a gnifice n t "Runner": see Leo Frobenius, Prehistoric Rock Pic t u res (New York :
M useum of Modern Art , 1 93 7 ) .
totalitarian : see "Tota l i tarian , " Guide to Ku lch ur.
Anscha u ung: "outlook."
P. Bottome: Phyl l i s Bottome ( 1 8 84-1 9 6 3 ) , Engli s h nove l is t ; author of Pri v at e
Worlds ( 1 93 4 ) , Th e Mora l Storm ( 1 9 3 7) , etc.
Active A n th o l ogy : [ B 3 2 ) .
]. F. C. F u ll e r: John Frederick Charles Ful ler ( 1 8 78-1 966), Major General ( 1 93 0 ) ;
au thor of War a n d Western Civilization, 1 8 3 2- 1 9 3 2 ( 1 93 2 ) ; Arm a me n t s a n d
His t o ry ( 1 94 5 ) ; Th e Secon d World War ( 1 949) , etc.
Sickert: Walter Sickert ( 1 860- 1 94 2 ) , Engl ish pai nter.

JE.;b " the clear defi nition of terms "

�JX' : "si nceri ty"

Funa-Benkai : a N6 play.
Arrow Ed ition s : New York publi sher of Th e Chin ese Wri tten Character as a

Med i u m for Poetry [ B 3 6b] .

S h i g efu s a Hosh o : ( � � i
... � ) [ 1 900-1 9 74 ] , Head Master of the Hosho

School of No.
Mich itar6 Shidehara : ( �
� ) son of Prem ier Kijiiro Shidehara ( 1 90 3 - ) ;
studied i n the U .S . a n a worked for Koku sai Bunka Shi nkokai . Translator o f the
No program specially arranged for the delegates to the seventh conference of the
World Federation of Ed u cation Associations held in Tokyo in 1 93 7 ; the No p l ays
were performed by Shigefusa Hosho's troupe a n d were accompanied by an
exhibition of No costumes and masks; see essay 3 .

Da vid Nixon : violinist; see M . de Rachewi ltz, Discretions.
an a bortive Vivaldi society: its establishment i n Venice was attemp ted by Giorgio
Levi .
Count Chigi : Cou nt Guido Chigi S arracin i , patron of the Sienese Acca demia Musi­
cale a n d s ponsor of the Viva l d i Week ; see Murray Schafer, ed., Ez ra Pound and
Cobbet t : Walter Wilson Cobbett ( 1 847-1 9 3 7 ) , Engl ish viol inist, businessman and
pat ron of music.
Goldoni : Carlo Goldoni ( 1 70 7-93 ) , Italian playwright, author of the libretto for
Mozart's La Finta Giardiniera and other operas.
Frazzi : Vito Frazzi ( 1 888- ) , Italian composer who taught composition a t the
Conservatory of Florence, and l ater at the Accademia Musicale Ch igiana i n
S i e n a ; s e e Murray Schafer, e d . , Ez ra Pound and Music.
Vi rgilio Morta ri : ( 1 902- ) , Italian pianist, music critic, and composer; educated
at the Milan Conservatory; associated with the Viva l d i Week of the Siena Festi­
val s i nce 1 9 3 9 . A mong his works are : " La Figl ia del Di avolo" (opera , 1 9 54 ) , and
La Tecnica del l ' Orchestra Contemporanea ( 1 950) , etc.
S. A. Lucian i : Sebasti a na Arturo Luciani ( 1 8 84-1 950). Italian musicologist, associ­
ated with the Sien a Accademia Chigia na. Olga Rudge and he founded the Centro
di Stu d i Vivald i a n i ; edited, a long with Olga Rudge, Antonio Vivaldi: note e
documenti s u l l a vita e s u l l e opere ( 1 9 3 9 ) ; see Murray Schafer, e d . , Ez ra Po u n d
and Music.
Vincenzo Gal ilei: (c. 1 5 3 3-1 5 9 1 ), Ita l i a n composer, viol p layer, and si nger; father of
Gali leo G a l i l e i ; com poser of Mad rigali Mon odiche ( 1 5 8 5 ) and l ute pieces, among
G i u l i o Caccini : ( 1 5 58-1 6 1 5 ) , Italian singer and composer at the Medici court in
Florence; composer of the opera Eurid ice ( 1 600 ) . Both Galilei and Caccini were
members of the Camerata B ardi , a group of musicians and l i terati who attempted
to revive ancient Greek music and drama in the new form of opera .
Vi llon : Le Testament [E3h] .
Cavalca n t i : [E3a ] .
Sardella: [ E 3 a j .

A n theil : George Anthe i l ( 1 900-- 1 9 5 9 ) , American p i a n ist a n d com poser; accom­

panied violinist Olga Rudge in nu merous Paris performa nces of Pound 's m u s i c ;
helped P o u n d edit Le Testa ment; see Pou n d ' s A n theil and the Trea t ise on
Ha rmony [A25) and Murray Schafer, ed . , Ezra Po u n d and Music .
Tibor Serly : ( 1 900-- 1 9 7 8 ) , Hu ngarian-American com poser and vio list; studied with
Kod aly; friend of Bela Bart6k, whose music he brought to Pou n d ' s a ttention;
composer of a symphony, a viola concerto, orchestral works , songs , etc . ; his
music was performed severa l times d u ri ng the Rapallo co ncerts , and he per­
formed at one h imself (March 3 , 1 93 5 ) . Serly " a m p l i fied" Po u n d ' s viol in sonata
"by extensions"; see Charles Norman , Ezra Pou n d , pp. 2 8 2-3 , and M u rray
Schafer, e d . , Ezra Po u n d and Music.

Ritterschaft and Bushido: chival ry in German and i n Japanese.
� ..}- : "kunshi" in Japanese ("chun tsii " in Chinese); the Con fucian ideal of man :
a true gentlema n . "

Li n Yutang: L i n Yu-tang ( tt �-t"- t ) [ 1 895- ) . Chinese l ingu i st and novel ist;

his Mo m en t in Peking ( 1t ·�- .of{;} 8 ) [ 1 9 3 9 ) was o n the best seller l i st in
Fra n cesco Fiorent i n o : ( 1 83 4-84 ) , author of S toria della Filosofia, Scritti Va rii di
Let tera t ura , Filosofi a e Critica ( 1 8 7 6 ) and 11 Risorgimento Filosofico nel Quat­
t rocento ( 1 8 8 5 ) ; see "The New Learn ing: Part One," Guide to Ku lch ur.
S t . A mbrogio and S t . A n t o n i n o : St. A mbrose (340--3 9 7 ) , bishop of M i l a n ; St. An­
tonino d a Firenze ( 1 3 8 9- 1 4 5 9 ) .
Motoich iro Ogu imi: ( 1 845-1 94 1 ) . Japanese Christian min ister a n d educator; com­
piler of Th e New Testamen t Greek-Japanese Dictionary, publi shed by Kyobun­
kan , Tokyo, in 1 940.
John Scot us: J oannes Scotus Erigena (c. 8 1 0--c. 8 7 7 ) , Irish Neop laton ic phi losopher;
author of On the Division of Na t ure.
Grosseteste: Robert Grosseteste (c. 1 1 7 5-1 2 5 3 ) , Engl ish theologian and astron omer.
A l be rt u s : Albertus Magnu s ( 1 206-1 280), scholastic phi losopher with wi d e and
accurate knowledge of physical scien ces of his time.
Nichomachean Eth i c s : see "And Therefore Tend ing , " Guide to Kulch ur.

Pi lhaou-Th ibaou: [C623 & C6 23a) . " s up plement i l l u stre " to 3 9 1 , contain ing contri-
butions by Pou n d , Picabia, Jean Cocteau and Erik Satie.
A c t i ve A n t h ology: [ B 3 2 ) .
Hood : Thomas Hood ( 1 7 99-1 845 ) , Engl i sh poet.
La n ie r: Sidney Lanier ( 1 84 2-1 8 8 1 ) . American poet.
Firdusi: Firdausi (c. 9 2 0--c. 1 02 5 ) . early Pers ian epic poet.
A Russian p h i loso p h ica l studen t : Slovinsky ; see " M u rder by Capital . "
Lewis' last volume: Th e Hit ler Cult (London: Dent , 1 9 39).

Hargra ve: John Gordon Hargrave ( 1 894- ) , Engl i sh artist and writer; leader of a
faction of Social Credi t movement i n England ; author of the novel S u mmer Time
En ds.

Haza rd : Row l a n d Gibson Hazard ( 1 80 1-1 8 8 8 ) , American ma nufacturer, writer,
member of the Rh ode Island House of Representatives ( 1 85 1 , 1 85 4 , 1 880), and of
the State Senate ( 1 860). H i s fi nancial articles, which gained for h i m a w i de
rep u tatio n , were written d u ring the Civil War, and some of them were collected
and published as Our Reso u rces in 1 864.
Paterson : W i l l iam Paterson ( 1 65 8- 1 7 1 9 ) , the founder of the Bank of Engl a n d .
Shortly a fter t h e Revol ution of 1 68 8 , w h e n W i l liam and Mary fou n d t h e royal
coffers empty, Paterson and his col l eagues proposed to establ ish the new Bank of
Englan d . See Earle Davis, Vision Fugitive: Ezra Po u n d and Econom ics (Law­
rence: U n iversity Press of Kansa s , 1 9 68) , pp. 85-6.
Hume: see "Essay on Money . "
W. A . Overh olser: author of A S hort Review a n d An alysi s of t h e History of Mon ey in
the U n i ted States ( L ibertyv i l l e , IL, 1 93 6 ) ; conta i ned material on u sury i n the U . S .
d u ri ng the 1 860s.
Sherm a n : John Sherman ( 1 82 3-1 900 ) , American statesm a n , Senator from Ohio
( 1 86 1- 7 7 , 1 88 1-97) and Secretary of the Treasury; see "A V i si t i ng Card . "
Iklehei mer: I kl eheimer, Morton a n d Van der Goul d , a New York banking fir m ; see
"A Visiting Card " a n d "Gold a n d Work . "
Rota : author of Storia delle banche [The History o f Banks] (M i l a n , 1 8 74).
Schach t : Hja l ma r Schacht ( 1 8 7 7- 1 970), German banker, President of the Reichs­
bank ( 1 9 2 3-30, 1 93 3-39 ) ; see Canto 5 2 .
Verbra uchsgiiter: articles of cons umption , expendables.
printed the s ta teme n t : see " Ezra Po u n d on Gol d , War, and National Mo ney,"
Cap itol Daily (May 9 , 1 9 3 9 ) [ C 1 509 ] .

Co u n t Potocki : Jerzy Potock i , Polish Ambassador to the United States , with whom
Pound d i ned in Washi ngton in May, 1 9 3 9 ; Pound remarked : "God help you if
you trust Engla n d . "
Lazard : fa m i l y o f i nternational ban kers ; Lazard Freres, foun ded duri ng the gold
rush in Cal iforn i a , traded i n go ld between San Franci sco and Paris via New York
a n d Lon d o n .
Kuhn -Loeb: U . S . i m m igra nt d ry-food mercha nts w h o la ter becam e prom inent i n ­
vestment bankers i n N e w York. The firm " K u h n , Loeb a n d Co. ' ' was foun d e d i n
1 8 6 7 b y brothers-in-law Abraham Kuhn ( 1 8 1 9- 1 892) and Solomon Loeb ( 1 8 28-
1 9 1 3 ) . James Loeb ( 1 867-1 9 3 3 ) , American banker, planned a n d helped to p ub­
l ish Loeb Classical L ibrary.
B u l l i t t : W i l l i a m Chris t i a n B u l l i tt ( 1 8 9 1 - 1 9 6 7 ) , then American di p lomat. U . S .

A mbassador t o Russia ( 1 9 3 3-36 ) . a n d U . S . Ambassador to Fra nce ( 1 9 3 6-4 1 ) .

Ma n d e l : Georges Mandel [J eroboam Rothsc h i l d ) ( 1 8 8 5- 1 944 ) . French states m a n ,
M i n ister of t h e Interior i n Pa u l Reyn a u d ' s government.
R eyna ud : Paul Reynaud ( 1 8 7 8- 1 9 6 6 ) , French statesma n ; as M i n is ter of Finance in
1 93 8 , p ursued extreme d efl ationary pol i cy; beca me Premier i n March 1 94 0 ;
a p poin ted Marshal Peta in Vice Premier i n May 1 94 0 ; res igned on J u n e 1 6 , 1 94 0 ,
giving way to Peta i n .
Neuflize . . . Moca t t a : Jewish fam i l ies prom i n ent in vari ous fi elds. S ieff: Israel
Moses Sieff, British i n d u stri a l i st, " repu ted anonymous owner of . . . the Daily
Mirro r " (Edwards and Vasse, Annotated Index to t h e Ca n tos , p . 1 99 ) . ap pears in
Canto 7 4 . B e i t : Al fred Beit ( 1 8 5 3-1 9 0 6 ) , South Afri can fi nancier and co-founder,
w i t h Ceci l Rhodes , of Rhodes i a . Go/ds m i d : Engl i s h fa m i l y , settled in Lond on in
the eigh teenth century. Abraham Goldsm i d ( 1 7 5 8-1 8 1 0 ) was a prominent fi n a n ­
c i er; Isaac Lyon Gol d s m i d ( 1 7 7 8-1 8 5 9 ) m a d e a large fort u n e by fi nancing ra i l ­
w a y construction. Moca tta : old Engl ish family of Ma rra no origi n .
Cobbe t t : W i l l i a m Cobbet t ( 1 7 63-1 8 3 5 ) , Engl ish journa l i st , social reformer a n d
p ol i ti c i a n ; publi shed the Pol i t ical Register, a rad i cal reformist jou rnal which
d ecried the pitiful cond i tions of the worki ng c l asses , a n d Pa rlia mentary De­
bates ; elected member of Parl i a ment after the Reform B i l l of 1 83 2 was passed .
Wa l lace: Henry Agard Wall ace ( 1 888- 1 965 ) . Secretary of Agriculture ( 1 9 3 3-40 ) ,
Vice-Presi dent o f t h e U . S . ( 1 94 1 -4 5 ) , Secretary o f Commerce ( 1 945-4 6 ) ; l eader
i n the New Dea] a d m i n i stration; author of Agric ul t ura l Prices ( 1 9 2 0) , New
Frontiers ( 1 9 3 4 ) , Tec h n ology, Corpora t ions a n d the Genera l Welfa re ( 1 9 3 7 ) , and
ot her books.
Lloyd George : David Lloyd George ( 1 863- 1 9 4 5 ) , Bri t i sh statesma n ; leader of coa l i ­
t i on govern ment (December 1 9 1 6-1 9 2 2 ) ; leader of the Liberal Party ( 1 9 26-3 1 ) .
Mond : Jewish fa m i l y of chemists i n Engla nd. Lord Al fred Mond ( 1 868-1 9 3 0 ) , " head
of the m ushrooming chem i cal tru s t , Imperial Chemical I n d ustries , " bought the
English Review; see Eu stace M u l l i n s , Th is Diffic u l t In dividu a l , Ezra Po u n d
( New York : Fleet, 1 9 6 1 ) , p p . 4 1 -4 2 ; s e e a l s o Can to 1 04. Robert Ludwig Mond
( 1 8 6 8- 1 9 3 8 ) , his brother , was a scientist and a rchreologi st. See "A Visiting
Card . "
Mon tagu Norm a n : Montagu Col let Norman ( 1 8 7 1- 1 9 5 0 ) , Engl ish banker, President
of the Bank of England ( 1 9 2 0- 1 94 4 ) .
Loeb report : report by Harold Loeb ( 1 89 1 - ) . Th e Ch a rt of Plent�·: A S t u dy of
A m erica 's Pro d u ct Ca pacity (New York: Viki ng. 1 9 35 ) : a u thor of Th e Non ­
Prod uction of Wea l t h ( 1 9 3 3 ) . Pro d u ct ion for Use ( 1 9 3 6 ) , a n d F u l l Pro d u ction
Wi t h o u t War ( 1 94 6 ) .
King Bori s : Boris III, Czar of Bulgaria ( 1 9 1 8-4 3 ) .

Fa u n tleroy : hero of Li t tle Lord Fa u n t leroy ( 1 8 8 6 ) by Fra nces Hodgson B u rnett ;
( Sh okosh i , i n Japan ese tra nslation ) .

my New Englan d hos t : Pou nd stayed with Theodore Spencer during his visit to the
U. S . in 1 9 3 9 .
Raffa l ov i t ch : Arth u r Germ anovich Raffalovich ( 1 853-1 9 2 1 ) , Russian econom i s t ,
was a Russian publicity agent i n France, which exposed him t o the charge of
bribery .
Meyer: Arthur Meyer ( 1 844- 1 9 2 4 ] , French journ a l i s t , co-founder of Le G a u lois
( 1 865).
Mr. R i p van Wendell Wi JJkie: Wendell Lewis Willkie ( 1 892- 1 944 ) , American
lawyer and busi n ess execu tive; Repub l ican nomi n ee for Presi d en t of the U . S .
( 1 940); see C a n t o 77, I . 2 5 7 .
Carol of R u m a n i a : Carol I I ( 1 893-1 953 ) , King o f Ru mania ( 1 930--4 0 ) ; renounced
right of su ccession to throne in 1 9 2 5 , deserted wife, and went to Paris to live i n
ex i l e w i th Mme. Magda Lupesu . Depri ved of the throne i n 1 940 through German
influence, he fled to Spa i n , Cuba, and then Mexico.
Brooks A d a m s : ( 1 848-1 9 2 7 ) , A merican h istori a n ; d i rect descendent of John A d ams
a n d brother of Henry; author of Th e La w of Civil iza tion a n d Decay ( 1 89 5 ; 1 89 7 ) ;
A m erica 's Eco n o m ic S u premacy ( 1 900 ) ; Th e New Emp i re ( 1 90 2 ) ; a n d Theory of
Social Revo l u tions ( 1 9 1 3 ) . Pou n d championed The Law of Civilization a n d
Decoy, which emphasized the r o l e pl ayed by money and usury in t h e rise a n d fall
of civi l i zations.
"vol u ta-la voro " : labor money.
f. F. C. Fuller: John Frederick Charles Fu l ler ( 1 8 7 8-1 9 6 6 ) , British soldier; served in
B oer War a n d World War ( 1 9 1 4- 1 8); Major-Genera l ( 1 9 30) ; author of Wa r and
Wes tern Civil iza t i on , 1 83 2- 1 932 ( 1 9 3 2 ) ; Th e Last of the Gen tlemen 's Wa rs : A
S u baltern 's Jou rn a l of the Wa r in S o u th Africa , 1 899- 1 902 ( 1 9 3 7 ) ; etc.
B l u m : Leon B l u m ( 1 8 7 2- 1 9 5 0 ) , French statesma n ; see Canto 80.
Pierl o t : Hubert Pierlot ( 1 883-1 963 ) , Belgian s ta tes m a n .
Morge n th a u : Henry Morgenthau ( 1 89 1 - 1 9 6 7 ] , American statesma n , Secretary o f
Treas u ry ( 1 934-1 945 ) .

Prof. B rea s t e d : Professor of Romance languages at Uni versi ty of Chicago : see G u ide
to Kulch u r. p . 62.
Overholser, Woodwa rd , Beard , Bower: W i l l i s A. Overholser, au thor of A Sh ort
Review a n d Ana lysis of t h e Hist ory of Money in t h e Un i t ed Sta tes ( 1 9 3 6 ) ;
Wi l l i a m E. vVoodward ( 1 8 74-1 9 5 0 ) , au thor of Mon ey for To morrow ( 1 93 2 ) ;
Charles Austin Beard , a u thor of A n Economic In t erpreta tion of t h e Constit u tion
of the U nit ed S t a t es ( 1 9 1 3 ) and Econo m ic Origin s of Jefferson ian Democracy
( 1 9 1 5 ) ; Claude G . Bowers , a u thor of jefferson a n d Ha mi l t on : Struggle for Dem oc­
racy in Am erica ( 1 9 2 5 ) , a n d jefferson in Power. t h e Dea th Struggle of the
Federa l i s t s ( 1 936) ; see a l so Pou n d 's letter to K i tasono. 13 Janu ary 1 94 0 .
jerry Voo rh i s : monetary reformer and U . S . Congressman fro m Californ i a , whom
Po u nd met i n Washington in 1 93 9 ; s e e David Heyma n n , Th e Las t Rower, pp.
NOTES 24 7

85-6 ; a n d also Earle Dav i s , Vision Fugitive: Ezra Po u n d a n d Econom ics , p p .

1 94-6.
Ch ris . Hol lis: Ch ristopher Ho l l i s . a u t hor of The TIVo Na t io n s : A Financial S t u dy of
English History ( 1 9 3 5 ) .
Ka rl v o n S t e in : ( 1 7 5 7-1 83 1 ) , Pru s s i a n states m a n .
R u h la n d : Gustav Ruh l a n d ( 1 860-1 9 1 4 ) . author o f System d e r poli tischen O kono­
m ie ( 1 9 3 9 ) .
La Tou r d u Pin : Pa trice d e L a Tou r d u P i n ( 1 9 1 1-75 ) . French poet, a uthor o f La
Quete de Joie ( 1 9 3 3 ) , Com m e de Poesie ( 1 94 6 ) , La Co n templat ion Erra n te ( 1 94 8 ) ,
a n d other works; see G u i d e to K u lch ur, pp. 96 a n d 264.
Fabre : Jea n Henri Fabre ( 1 8 2 3-1 9 1 5 ) , French entomologist, a uthor of So u venirs
E n t omologiq u e , 1 0 vols. ( 1 8 79-1 9 0 7 ) .
Fra ze r: James George Frazer ( 1 854-1 9 4 1 ) , Scot t i sh anthropologi st, au thor o f Th e
Golden Bo ugh , 1 2 vol s . ( 1 890-1 9 1 5 ) .
B u rba nk: Luther B u rbank ( 1 849-1 9 2 6) , American horticu l turist.
Ot to Dietri c h : ( 1 8 9 7-1 9 5 2 ) , German journal ist a n d p o l i t i c i a n . Si nce 1 9 38 he was
Press-Chief of Germ a n gove rn ment and Sta te-Secretary in German Mini stry of
Propaga n d a .

Skoda : firm founded by E m i l e von Skoda ( 1 839- 1 900), a Czechoslovak i a n m a n u ­
factu rer.
Mon t e dei Pa sch i : i .e . the Siena Bank; see Cantos 42 and 4 3 .
C . H. Douglas . . . B u tchart 's compend i u m : Pound i s referring t o t h e l i st of books i n
h i s " I n trodu ctory Text B oo k . " C . H. Douglas, Economic Democracy; S i lvio
Gesel l , The Na t u ral Econ o m ic Order; R. McNa i r Wi lson , Prom ise to Pay; Wi l l is
O v erholser , History of Money in t h e U. S . ; P. Larranaga , Gold, G l u t a n d Gov­
ern m e n t ; Montgomery Bu tchart, Money. Christopher Hol l i s is the author of Th e
Two Na t i o n s : A Financial S t u dy of English His t o ry, to which Pound is m u ch
i n d ebted.
Gera rc h i a : Hiera rchy: journ a l fou n ded by Musso l i n i .
Rivista d e l La voro : Review of Labor.

Reut ers : Reuters , the German news agency fo u n d ed by Paul J u l i us Reuter ( 1 8 1 6-
1 8 9 9 ) ; of Jewish parentage , h e beca me a Christian i n 1 844.
Havas: French news agency fou nded in Par i s i n 1 8 3 5 by Charles Havas.
Boake Carter: Boake Carter ( 1 898-1 944 ) , rad i o broa d caster (CBS): a u thor of Black
S h i rt . Black Skin ( 1 9 3 5 ) [ d ea l i ng w i th Ita ly and Eth i o p ia ] : "Johnny Q. P u b l i c "
Spea l s ! Th e Na t ion Appra ises t h e New Dea l ( 1 9 3 6 ) : I Ta lk As I Like ( 1 9 3 7 ) : \Vhy
Med dle in t h e Orien t ? ( 1 9 3 8 ) : Why Meddle in Europe? ( 1 93 9 ) : Bo a ke Ca rter's
A nswer to A n t i-Sem i t i s m ; The Tru t h Abo u t J u d a h in Re l a t ion to the Anglo­
Saxon-Ce l t i c People ( 1 94 1 ) .

Ezra Pound to Haj i m e Mats u m i ya , Secretary of the J apanese Embassy ,

TLS-2 1 5 Dec. 1 9 3 7

Dear M r . Matsumiya

or i f Sig. Matsumiya is no l onger in Rome, perh aps his successor w i l l

read this a s i t is more urgent than permits commun ication v i a Toki o .
I a m h appy to say t h a t j u s t at t h i s moment I have h a d a very interesting
manifesto of Japanese poets printed i n Townsman, London. I hope they
w i l l send you a copy. I am sorry you never got rou n d to send i ng me
your own manuscript.
In view of the acci d ent to the American Gunboat. I think it perhaps
(wo u l d ) ease the strain if someone wou l d explain to the american public
that the Emperor i s not exc l usively a pol itical Emperor. If they had any
inkl i n g of the religious phases of his position they m ight u nderstand it
I mean they should be told that i f not exactly a Pope, the Papacy i s
t h e o n l y European institution representing some of his attributes.
I d o n ' t myself u nderstand all this very clearly, but i n the i nterest of
conco rd , I think this p hrase m ight be u sefu l .
There are some civ i l i zed A mericans , at least some o f u s are more
civ i l i zed than them.
I hope to see you again when I come to Rome. The new m icrophoto­
graphic and p hotostat process , usi ng Leica films and enlarging them, op­
ens a totally new possibil ity for b i l i ngual texts.
I mean we can NOW print
i deogramic texts , and any o riental scripts as cheapl y as we d o our own
printing i n a l ph abet, and texts faced by translati o n into English or
French , German, Ita l ia n , CAN now be produced at a rate which will per­
m i t their sale to students.
It is q u i te poss ible that someone i n Tokio coul d start this exchange
of culture more q u ickly and intel l igently than u nofficial persons l i ke my­
self can do it here.

with cordial recoll ections of our meeting

I remain yours very s incerely
Ezra Pou n d

Ezra Pound to Yosuke Matsu oka, Japanese Ambassador to Rome

TLS-1 29 March 1 94 1

T o His Excel lency Y O S U KE MATSUOKA

Ernest Fenol losa's l iterary executor begs l eave to present his respects and
to hope that after the present tension has passed Fenol losa 's work may
be better contin u e d .
I t h a s been my experience t h a t no occidenta l decentl y aware of the
qua l ities of your Noh dra ma can be infected with anti-japanese propa­
gan d a , especi a l l y of the beastly sort I found two years ago in the U .S . ,
the theme being "yah I w e can starve you o u t , " and this mea n l y ex­
pressed cinematographic l y .
M e n l i ke myself woul d cheerful l y give y o u G u a m for a few sound
films such as that of Awoi no Uye, which was shown for me in Washing­
ton. I regret deeply that t here are not more of u s .
B u t i n a n y case t h e least, and a l a s probably the most that I c a n do i s
to assu re y o u that t h e seeds of respect and affect i o n sown by Fenol losa
have not been wholly u n fruitfu l . I mean in a few American m i n ds for
the qual i ti es of Japanese spirit.

I beg your Excellency to accept this

assurance of my respect.
Ezra Poun d
Ta rn i Ko urne (ph otograph by Arnold Gen t h e)
Mic h i o Ito i n Yea t s ' A t the Hawk's Wel l ( 1 9 1 6)
(Photogra p h by A l v i n Langdon Cob u rn)
Ka t ue Kitasono
Mary de Rach ewi l tz a t La Qu iete ( 1 9 3 7)
Phot ograph of Ezra Po u n d m scribed " To Kit Ka t . . ( 1 9 5 9)
Ryozo Iwasaki