I recently became a fan of poet and songwriter Misuzu Kaneko. I had long been aware of her poems for children, but until recently I had never wondered about the poet herself. Now that I know more about her, I am hit harder and more deeply by her poems than I was before.

I’ve tried to translate the short poem that inspired today’s etegami, but I haven’t been able to capture the rhythm of the Japanese words, or convey the unsentimental pathos of the original. I will keep working on it. But the meaning goes something like this:

The Big Haul
Beneath a glowing sunrise,
the fishing boats return,
loaded with Ooba Sardines.
On shore, villagers celebrate like its a festival.
In the sea, sardines hold a funeral
for their tens of thousands of mates.

This is an original Etegami painted with sumi ink and water-soluble gansai paints on a soft washi postcard. Etegami is a traditional Japanese folk art that combines simple images with thoughtful words.

I am a professional Japanese-to-English translator and an Etegami artist. Etegami is a traditional Japanese folk art that combines thoughtful words with simple images painted on washi paper.

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  • davvi
    davviover 3 years ago

    very good.someone happy.someone sad.that’s the world.i like your heart.

  • You are sweet, davvi… : )

    – dosankodebbie

  • Steven  Sandner
    Steven Sandnerover 3 years ago

    Cool, i really like the colour choice!

  • I’m glad you like it!

    – dosankodebbie

  • Rima Dadenji
    Rima Dadenjiover 2 years ago

    This is beautiful.

  • Thank you. For this and all your kind comments today.

    – dosankodebbie

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