Pages for Poems Against the War



These are anti-war poems by Japanese poets against the war.
America is trying to deal with the problems of the world by using
overwhelming military force.But we definitely want to see peace
and friendship mintained through diplomatic efforts instead of
military force.
As for Japan in particular.Weinvaded China,Korea,andother coun
-tries in Asia in the past,causing heavy casualties and damage in
those countries.Also many civiliansin Japan were victims of the
war.In Hiroshima and Nagasaki,we witnessed the horror of the sho
-ckingly destructive power of the atomic bombs. The victims of
the atomic bombs are still suffering from mental and physical
after-effects of the nuclear weapon.Japan has vowed that we will
never again give such miseries and pains to other countires.We
have never engaged in war and have been trying to maintain pe
-ace ever since the end of World WarU.
However.the Japanese govermentreadily accepted the use of
military force of the United States of America and showed its
intention to support America's war in Iraq. This is clearly an act
of trampling the war-renouncing constitution of Japan. Most of
the Japanese people don't agree with the government'spolicy.
It threatens the stability in Asia.We strongly protest against it.
We ask our government to stop supporting America's strategy
immediately and execute diplomatic activities based on the wa
r-renouncing spirit of theconstitution of our country.

At this crucial moment of history,we have collected poems by
many poets in Japan who are against the war.
Please read these poems.
Incidentally, this is our response to Mr.Sam Hamill's "Poets Against
the War"appeal over internet HP
Partially you can read the English versions, although all the poems
here are waiting to be rendered into foreign languages.


Cape Kyan
Takara Ben

On the reddish-brown
poor field
Are the beautiful tracks
of fermor's plow
Car runs to
Cape Kyan

The sea at my feat
As clear as light blue
And hold bones of
NAUMAN Elephant
The wave are invading
to washed-out

On those rocks
The yallow Butterhurr-flowers
The sunrise on New Years Day
Reflecting on a white ligthous
Smart my

Cover the traces of numarous blood sheded
On Wrold WarU
Spread the green grass
In the flashes of light
<PAGODA of peace> with modern sculpture

In the conter of hollowed PAGODA
One sphere is
Behind that space
Spread the blue sky and sea
Open to the south

We offer a butterburr-flowers
and a leaf before the PAGODA
We pray
Yes pray
Like kissing with my lover

To break Grudge Grief
and Rago one by one
Sink into my Soul deepiy
On Cape Kyan

Like the sea
Like the waves
At the bottom of the root
of the sea rumbling
Pulling the trigger hardly
We pray at Cape Kyan

It is Me Dropping Bombs
Mita Hiroshi

The sun light is coming into the dining room in the morning
I spread the newspaper
Immediately the siren starts ringing aloud.

I turn on TV
The sound of explosion blasts out and the smokes rise up.

I start washing my hands in the bath room
On the water I am bending over
I see a child's face covered with blood.

It cannot be real
Here I am so far from the desert.

I try to sleep with my futon pulling over my head
I cannot sleep
I open my eyes slowly
Suddenly iron blocks are falling down from the ceiling.

Oh,I cannot escape it by any means
When I hold up my hands against the darkness like in X-rays
Palms covered with blood come up to be seen clearly.

It's me
I am dropping the bombs.

*Born 1943.
"A Ship for Marine Transportation"
Essay book of poetry" The Lyrical Century"

Translated by Mizusaki Noriko

Tree Planted Upside Down:
At Hiroshima
Shibata Sankiti

On that day,the hands of man
Planted a tree upside down.
The world flowed backwards and
The tree
With the force of death,upon the roots clutching the sky
Put out thick leaves.
Leaves swaying in the wind are
The words from the land of the dead.

The lost voices
The pain
Shining as debris of time
Heal our eyes.
The evening of
The city turned upside down and
Hanged on a tree.
Now it is a metaphor for something which continues to die.
The seeds of shadows
Burst out and
All at once
Start to fly.

Standing in front of the withered tree in winter
Can we read out
The naked city?
Our fingers touch the crotch of life
Which should be hidden under ground
The tree may
Put out thick leaves
From corner to corner under the ground.

When we think of
True treetops.

Translated by Mizusaki Noriko

Eyes of Okinawa
Noda Hisako

Coming down the cliff in Mabuni(*) where the sea is shining
At the bottom of the sea of trees of the Chinese banyan
On the track where the young women
Walked back and forth to draw water for the soldiers
A back is walking along in front leading me.

Every time he guides visitors from other prefectures
He is sharpning a bit of himself
He makes no sound even when he is swallowing blood, that's oozing up
from his insides.

Once my words echoed through the cave and
He stopped still and looked back as if saying.
"Really? Is what you say really true?"

His eyes are clear like those of a clay doll and gazing at my words
They do not blame me or get angry at me
They are the eyes of Okinawa that is just sharpening himself.

My words get dried up quickly
The eyes of Okinawa burn
Some parts of myself which have no words.

Days turn backwards slowly and
I feel something painful in me.
The pain which emits a faint smoke
I find myself turned new and strange.

Is waiting for it in silence.

(*)A place situated on the south edge of Okinawa Island (the main island of Okinawa).
The south edge is a cliff sloping into the sea.Here during World War2,the last hard
battle was fought between U.S. and Japanese Forces.Now on the chiff there is
Peace Memorial Park.
Translated by Mizusaki Noriko

Koda Shiro

The POWs were freed from the POW camp on the reclaimed land
In turn the Japanese war criminals were locked up there.
Perhaps some of them were the supervisors of the camp, officers and ranks.
Who had been charged with giving the POWs tree-roota as food.
They insisted that the tree―roots were a common food in Japan called goboh.
Their objection was rejected.
After the war criminals were send to Sugamo prison
The reclaimed land became a bathing place named Peace Island
Where the sea was brown in color and strangely didn't taste salty.
In front of the bathhouses hung with reed screens bathed emacited people
Who might have looked as if they were engaged in a ritual ceremony from afar.
Off the beach there was a breakwater
And another body of reclaimed land called Nakanoshima.
Human bones were deserted was said
But nobody was sure whether they were bones of Japanese or of POWs.
They couldn't find the human bones.
There were only darkened pieces of wood
Which many have been the human bones or goboh.
Beyond the breakwater there was nothing as in an empty stomach.
"Goboh wo taiheiyou de arau"*
How do you translate that into English?"
In those days, that's the kind of thing I might have been thinking about.

*" Washing goboh in the Pacific Ocean"

Translated by Inoue Kenji Kamata Suzanne

Sagawa Aki

When I was very young
I had a small birthmark on my back
Its shape and place was exactly like
That of the young man
Who was my mother's elder brother
And died in the southern country.
My mother and grandmother told me so.
In the room where I was born
There was a painting
Of a delicate cream-colored rose he left,
As if wishing to part from his fragility,
He'd gone off to war.

He wrote that he wanted to
Come back to eat his mother's cooked red rice,
But what come back was only a cake of soap.
So we offered the red rice to the soap.
Yes, he was a sad man.
When I was as old as he was when he died
I knew his slender fingers might have
Shot, stolen from, humiliated and killed
Those in the southern country.
My birthmark disappeared unnoticed
Yes, it disappeared.

But in the country where he died
Beside the river a war Memorial Hall was built
A saying is carved.
"We will forgive, but won't forget."
When one has no wish to be forgiven,
Being forgiven is a terrible thing.
When one does not hesitate to forget,
Being remembered against one's will is a terrible thing.

I had the same birthmark as
A young man I've never met.
It gave my life
A shape, and
Made me aware of
Connected time and human beings,
And now I know
I'm also connected.

translated by Kijima Hajime

Dora's Ear
(On the Fiftieth Anniversary of My Brother's Death)

Mizuno Ruriko

Through waves of showering cicada descending into the dark ear
of dawn I find before me endless grey dunes stars shoot
across a corner of tha sky my dead brother whispered in my ear
"Look See it up there?" Looking up I see the stars have
disappeared and in their place a little sickroom lamp is
burning "Do you remember Dora?" said my brother's voice "That
elephant's voice -- can you still hear it...?"


In those days Dora appeared against the backdrop of the island's
evening sun her shadow came towoard us reaching out Long and
narrow like a tall tree that has begun to rot (sometimes Dora
herself looked more like the shadow of a tree.....) her voice was
like wind blowing from another star the children following
Dora's green foolprints lost themselves among the multitude going
upwind through unfrequented memory some were seized about the
foot by the scarlet of trumpet vines they slipped and fell from
cliffs high as the stars some tripped over cactus-shaped bones
of elephants (somewhere Dora smiled and gave a little laugh)
To live was to carry bruises constantly even in our dreams


One day out of the deep darkness in the children's in the room along
with picture books and all the other trash Dora's page was torn
away after that only one grey bloodstained ear remained and
the world was dragged into war


" Dora's tusks were torn out her hide was ripped off she
raw flesh she escaped in vapor from our hours in the
dunes Each perishing thing (people animals plants insects)
is the last race of one certain star each departs carrying with
it the language of that unique star..." My brother's words broke


The sky over the dunes was one vast field of stars the stars
shone down into the dunes like hardened starfish some light
beams were from stars already burnt out some stars had traveled
from tens of thousands of light years away and now having each
traversed its own length of time they shone in muttering voices


The summer he was twenty in a hospital in a devasted country
defeated in war my brother died I barely managed to place one.
bouquet of belIflowers in his casket on its way to the cremation
grounds The star my brother belonged to where did it go?
where now do they twinkle the words of the lost star? (when I
closed my eyes Dora's grey ear shone tiny at the edge of a star-
cloud the color of deep violet bellflowers)

                   Translated by Edwin A.Cranston.

Kawakami Kamo

I found myself to be a naked body like an object on the bed. When I entered
the operating room, an empty hole, and laid myself on the table, I felt
ashamed of my body. A surgeon, as murderers do, gazed at the affected part
of my body. I trembled. At the bottom of fainting consciousness I felt the
lower part of my body decending the stairs. Was that one of my childhood
memories in the Pacific War? I remember that night in Beijing; we climbed
up the emergency steps for fear of the Russians' night-assault. I felt dimly
someone plunge forceps into the lower part of my body and I groped through
the dark mist along the iron steps with my body staggered. Beyond the mist
I heard the sound with which forceps and scissors touched. Ghastly light
covered my body. A woman wept on the waiting room bed before the opera-
tion. An old woman vomited at the corner of the bed. A small yellowish blot
on a white sheet. Her shoulders trembled as insects do.

translated by Ishihara Takeshi

Kureo Jun

A red pepper is hanging down in front of my face.
This red pepper asks me to come closer, looking
Like a boy with red hair by Renard.
I turn down the invitation.
I wake up in a scene in which I yell at him
"I'm going to cook you, Momijioroshi! "
It is May with no "R"
When I tasted Momijioroshi, granted radish and
red pepper.
For the first time.
That is when I touched her knee timidly
While drinking wine with oysters
In the blue-painted restaurant which had few
After I got off the boat in an artificial lake
Surrounded by new green of spring.
Needless to say, the supple and slender hand
grabbed my wrist .
However, she told me that this was Momijioroshi
At the point of time when fallen leaves were
On her oval face and Sygnus appeared in the east.
Keshimiso, Kinomeae, tartar sauce and demiglace--
She has been my teacher since then.
Now a srnall flower of culture is in bloom in my l
Once I braggad by saying that for me,
Eatinq was a kind of pumping the gas in me;
But I cannot go on like a horse any more.
Man does not live on bread alone.
But even in the cause of justice
war should be no more.
I just want to drink in the afternoon, not carrying
about the
Spirits of the dead still being spiteful.

Translated by Bunichi Kawamura

Collaboration of poem and haiku
No Flowers for My Biack-Eyed Doll
Yoshimura Ikuyo

Dear black‐eyed doll,my favorite friend.
Please answer these questions instead of me.

Where is my mom?
Where is my dad?
Where are my older broters?
Where are my younger sisters?
Where is my grandma?
Where is my grandpa?
Where are my friends?
Where is the kind lady next door?

Why do many strangers ask me,
Mhen I lost mom,
How my dad was killed,
Where my brothers and sisters were missing,
Whatl saw and how l spent the nights of bombing?

Why do many strangers ask me,
The reason why I am here in this place?

Dear black‐eyed doll,my favorite friend,
Though l have no bouquet of flowers for you right now,
Please answer these questions instead of me.

even a doll
in the rubble,
bathing in ocher sand


Takashina Kiichi

On the blackboard
I write the word, "love,"
just as my teacher showed me.

On the blackboard
I write the word,"dream,"
just as my teacher showed me.

On the blackboard
I write the word, "friends,"
just as my teacher showed me.

We need no eraser.
A bomb falls,
and erases all these
in a flash.

Like a Title
Tokuhiro Yasuyo

 On my first day back
war breaks out in another country
 Home from China, I read a story
I read three years ago
 straight through to the end
not recalling a thing
 A novel like catching a cold
once it's over it's over forgotten
 for good Seems like only the title
stayed with me It'll all be forgotten
 the trivial the meaningful in the
same way With each thing learned
 with each thing felt something else
is lost forever Someday
 all there is is changed
into one big blank and then
 what floats up in the mind?
a few things, maybe
 like a title perhaps

Three summers back in a village in China
 I was shown three thousand bones: half
a century ago Japanese soldiers taking
 the village forced all the villagers
under a precipice then shot them then
 set them on fire burying the bodies
by toppling the precipice down onto them
Uncovered later, only skeletons remained
 So suddenly did it come upon them
 they appear unchanged from that moment
Bones half a century old a few are screaming
 a few are sleeping against the ground
And in the midst of
the bones, two skeletons lie holding each other
two lie there embracing each other, one behind
the other A single bullet pierced them both
then time erased both bullet holes, both bodies
 locked in embrace, only their skeletons
remain surrounded by love
l think of them, now and then
 and feel envious
Murdered like that
 I would want to be like them
Someday, when all of mankind
 has vanished off the planet
when I myself am a skeleton
 I want to embrace
another skeleton like that
What people laugh and scoff at
 dismiss till some later date
is remembered here, as a title
 might outlive its contents
like two sets of bones in
 a loving embrace

A city is crumbling

*translated by Wright, David W.
(from " A Zigzag Joy. The Bilingual Anthology of Contemporary Japanese Poetry." (1998)
edited by Kijima, Hajime (pp. 306-309) )

God of War
-His other name is Satan
Yaguchi Yorifumi

God of war, sometimes visible and invisible,
Showed up after his work of Terrorism,
Stood on the platform with his baton,
And started conducting.
Then the U.S. high tech vultures rushed to Afghan
And started unsparing bombarment.

His seeds bore splendid fruit again!
Joy danced on his face.
Thig God, who has been worshipped

In the mosques
Under the mask of Allah
And in the church

Under the mask of Christ,
Has been ceaselessly whispering to them
"Make wars."

Now so showily waved he his baton
Both camps rosponded in ecstatic unison,
"Kill them! Kill them!"

As he conducted more, their hatred
Increased more. His kingdom had been
The battle- field, but now it is the whole globe.

Even when he stopped conducting and disappeared,
He never failed to sow his seeds again.
It is this God who entices us,

"Go to war! Kill them! and
I will install you
In my Yasukuni shrine as gods,
As I did before." And our prime minister.
Half-rising, is almost ready
To follow him, like a patient infected with high fever.

Who made a mine?
Narui Toru

A girl who lost her fingers by a land mine
A boy who lost his leg by stepping on a mine
An old man whose arm was blown off by a mine
An old woman whose body was exploded into pieces by a mine

Who made a mine?
Who laid a mine?
Who killed children and old people by a mine?
For what purpose did you lay a mine?
Answer me
PIease answer, "it is me".

Men are working to dig out mines from underground
Thousands or ten thousands of them are needed
To dig out so romly mines.
It takes thousands of years
To dig out all the mines laid all over the world.

Why is mankind so foolish?
For what purpose do you kill people?
What joy can you get by driving them to misery?
Who made a mine?
Who laid a mine?
Answer me, please, and for what purpose?

Can you see a boy who is walking on crutches?
* translated by Noriko Mizusaki

Dar chan
Ishikawa Itsuko

Wearing a fine dress with a collar of white lace,
a red beadband,
coming between her elder sister and brother,
a little prim-looking,
Dar-chan was five years old.
(Where did she go?)

Her head swollen,
her body emaciated,
eyes hollow,
she lay motionless in the bed.
Dar-chan was six yeas old.
(Wher did she go?)

The number of depleted uranium shells used in the Gulf War was 950,000.
They hit the tanks at high speed, exploding spontaneously into flames,
on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was scattered around.
Their half-life period is roughly 4,500,000,000 years.

There was a prime minister
who said the Gulf War was for "restoring peace."
He offered $11,000,000,000,
which was securely put in the safe of America.
Since they said "Japan has not offered blood."in the Gulf War,
the present prime minister dispatched an Aegis destroyer.
(What is the Aegis destroyer doing in the Indian Ocean now?")

Dar-chan didn't get to live to be 7.
What wrong did she ever do?
She was playing outside.
(Where is Dar-chan?)

On March 20.2003
America and Britain started to attack Iraq "for the sake of peace."
While Dar-chan's mother's tears haven't dried yet.
how many new tears should be shed?
(Where is Dar-chan?)

*Itsuko Ishikawa.b.1933."Chidorigafuchie Ikimashitaka?" (Have You Visited Chidorigafuchi?)
"Yureru Mukuge"(Swaying Rose of Sharon Blossoms)

Things That Were Lost -Ehimemaru-
Shiba Noriko

Children like pearls
Who grew up by the sea of Uwa
Protected in a slash of the mother shell,
They developed and grew with layers of thin membrane year by year.
And now,
As they were ready to shine
Carrying on the traditions of the ocean nation,
They spilled off Hawai.

Children like pearls
Who grew up by the sea of Uwa
Connecting their families and their friends,
They were a strand that would scatter With one missing.
But the loop was cut by nuclear scissors.
Having no time to call the names of their families,
They sank in an instant.

It must be cold.
It must be lonely.
The sea, the sky, and the earth-the military is doing whatever they want.
It is mortifying to be the victim
Of a demonstration ride for the military budget.
A hard, round lump
Was born in our throat.

The milky whites are about to sleep in the darkness of the sea.
Children like pearls
Who grew up by the sea of Uwa.

*Ehimemaru: A Japanese training ship for high school students of
Uwajima which is famous for pearl shell farming.
In 2001, a U.S. Navy Submarine crashed into it and
sank it near Hawai.
Translated by Moroi, Yuichi (
in U.S.)

Miserable soldiers
Hama Ryu.
Soldiers, do you know Iraqi is a ground of God.
It's a ground of the Bible and Abram was born in the land of Ur.
But you got the ground of God dirty
     by the blood of the Iraqi's people and you.

U.S sinned more against God, rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
They tested God in their heart by demanding the oil.
They spoke against God, saying
"Can God spread a table in the wilderness?"

US peoples have Cat and dog blood donations.
They have national animal blood banks.
Oh, how happy animals in U.S!
But U.S didn't send the medicines to the poor people of Iraqi,
 who doesn't get sufficient medical cares.

People treat their pets as a number of the family.
But they don't turn their eyes toward Iraqi's children.
People get suffering from miserable attacks with unfair bombardments and
the uncountable missiles.
How much money U.S spent for the war, baseball and their pets!

Now U.S uses again the Depleted uranium bombs.
It gives a long-term damage to the people and soldiers.
It spreads the dust of the death toward Iraqi's people and soldiers.
But U.S government says,
"We confirm its bomb isn't effective to the human health. "
Oh, miserable poor U.S Soldiers.

U.S people believes the pet goes to heaven,
but they are indifferent to the death of poor Iraqi's children or mothers.
When their cats need the operations for a kidney transplant,
they pay $25,000 immediately.
U.S Soldiers, your salary is only 120 dollars per month.
Oh, miserable poor U.S Soldiers.

U.S, you know Iraqi is a ground of God.
It's a ground of the Bible.
Abram was born in the land of Ur.
U.S got the ground of God dirty by your own blood.

Kimura Toshitaro

Hey, Shiro, do you like WAR?

Of course I do! What about you?

I hate WAR.
If somebody died, maybe "the EARTH" feel sad.
HE is doing his best to make us alive.

It's terrible. The WAR hurts HIM.
For HIM, human is like his own children.

It is human that is the most cruel creature in this world!!

Please stop the WAR.
I think it's stupid.

It's no use to keep on such a battle,

Please stop the WAR now.
What a stupid thing.

Hmmm..... You seem to be right.
War is not the right thing.
Thank you boy,
I think I'll take care of HIM from now.

I'm one drop of the blood which Jesus shed
Tozyo MIho

I'm one drop of the blood which Jesus shed
All the tears of the women
passed on the ground
Where have gone salty water?
All of things sea

brings near and returns
and brings near
the surge of wave train
Where have gone
water of the taste of blood?
All of things ........
to where?

Also my blood vessel is filled with it
With beat
from one to another
This love is
more salty than sea

As the sea reflects the sky,
this blood too
and blue
Brightness is illuminated.....

are we not the target,too?
Kijima Hajime

where are they aiming at ?
your weapons
your nuclear weapons
the earth is getting so small

a louse in my palm
can be crushed or kept alive
no need to tell anybody why

what can they do?
your weapons
your nuclear weapons
threatening us into extinction

bound down from afar
how to escape from this weird net
nobody knows miserablly

whom do they bang at?
your weapons
your nuclear weapons
consider all humans are kindred

Even Fetuses Protest in Baghdad
Koriyama Naoshi

Even fetuses in their mothers' wombs
protest in their wee tiny voice in Baghdad.
"In my mother's womb I am shaken hard
when American planes drop powerful bombs.
In the dreadful bomb's earth-shaking bangs,
my shocked mother huddles in the shelter.
Many people in the dark do falter
as they run about, feeling deadly pangs.
The U.S. ground forces proceed northward
to Baghdad by the Euphrates River.
Innocent Iraqi people quiver,
fearing that their land will soon be a graveyard.
Hundreds of thosands of inncent people
will be involved in bloody ground battles.
Some may step on shards of broken bottles.
Some may be hit and suddenly crumple.
No one should mangle people innocent.
To the fate of pregnant women,mothers
with babies,sick folk,sisters and brothers,
invaders shoud not be indifferent.
And we all run around in confusion.
What little blood I have in my body
within my mother's womb is already
seething in rage at Bush's deadful action
I will be born into a war-torn land
where many homes.buildings,bridges,stores,
hospitals,schools,and hotels by the shores,
are ruined, and I'll in confusion stand.
Involving innocent folk in airstrikes
and ground battles is a criminality.
What man needs is amicability.
We must fly flags of all nations on dikes.
Killing innocent people by mistake
is a crime that can never be redeemed.
If President Bush wished to be esteemed.
he would not of me an enemy make.
Will I grow up happy, kind and friendly?
The great fear I feel in my mother's womb
as she runs, shocked by the dreadful bomb,
will stay at my heart's bottom steadfastly.
Since violence only begets violence.
Bush should stop this bloody war all at once."

The Massacre
Kawasaki Hiroshi

First came my parents
then I was born
but only because my grandparents came before
and before them, my great-grandparents
Going back ten generations
my ancestors, including parents, come to a
total of one thousand and twenty-four
If even one was missing
I wouldn't be here now
War kills
that "even one"
not only that one but also
countless lives as yet unborn it

Spring on tho Earth
Kikuta Mamoru

When hyacinthes and crocuses
quietly open their hearts,
beautifully blooming
in the garden of my home,
why does my heart feel so sad?

When violets bIoom
and sparrows and thrushes visit my garden
and happily peck at feed,
why does my heart ache so?

Why does the horsefly
visiting the flowers to suck nectar
look like a reconnaissance plane?
Oh,. my poor heart!

My peaceful garden extends as f ar as that I and sky
of the Earth.
Even now land mines are buried in the ground,
awaiting their time to bloom into bloody fIowers.
In the sky where birds were freely flying
bombers now hover bombarding the city.
The areas looking like habitats of purpIe violets
are really the scenes of the bombarded city burning

The spring on Earth is mournful.

Kikuta Mamoru b.1935"Kanakana(EveningCicadas);"Aomuke(Lying on my back)"

Stir Your Stew

All mothers in the world,
Stir your stew!
Feed it to your son who's going to a war
Put him to sleep by your side and
Don't Iet him go

All wives in the world,
Stir your stew!
Feed it to your husband who wants to use
the new weapons
Tell him there's nothing more important
than the supper you have with your family

How amazing!
Amerikan, French, Russian, Korean, Iraqi, Japanese
Our stews are just alike
Because all women are just alike
When we make a stew, our hearts are just alike
Give your stew to your neiqhbors!
Give your stew to children in the country which called an enemy!

All women in the world,
Feed and hug your man and don't let him go

In Okinawa: beside Abutiragama Cave
Mizusaki Noriko

On the eighth of march, 2003
In the evening, beside Abutiragama Cave.
I was waiting for my tour members to return in our van.

They long stayed there and had not returned yet afier my long waiting.
The pictures I had seen in the museum of Himeyurl flickered before me.
The girls of seventeen or eighteen years old
Ordinary girls, all were killed by bomb's blasts or by bomb's straight hits.
And one big picture I saw in the museum of the Peace Memorial Park
Of self suicides of women by handy bombs
Their hands and legs were gone somewhere and strands of blood were on their blasted bodies
I was in the evening that started getting darker
It would turn into a big darkness we could never come out of

On the first of April, 1945, the landing of the U.S.Forces on Okinawa Main Island
Fierce fightings in the rain with life ald death
The earth turned into chocolate rivers with blood and rain
Many of Japanese soldiers were Korean people enlisted by force.
Hard battles for attacking and defending between U.S. and Japan
An Okinawan nurse killed by shot
A villager shot to death, mistaken for a disguised Japanese soldier.
After long and exhausted escaping villagers jumped fiom the cliff into the sea to kill themselves,
Group suicides, children killed their parents and parents killed their children.
When villagers asked for help to Japanese soldiers
They ousted villagers from caves for their own safety and
For hungry snatched foods from than by force.
Japanese Army did not try to defend villagers, now people of Okinawa say so.

Today is the twentieth of March, 2003
The television is now reporting the start of attasking Iraq by U.S.
How many times does mankind repeat holocaust?
The Cave of Darkness will be filled with corpses again
They will have no necks, arms, heads and legs.

*Gama: the underground cave called so in Okinawa, mostly of limestone. Usually they were used
for storing foods by villagers near-by and during the World War II, used for escaping places for
villagers, temporary hospitals for wounded soldiers, or hiding places for Japanese soldiers. Some
of them kilied themselves in it by some means like handy-bombs.

Ogawa Kiyoko

A baby still fumbled with nipples of Mother
who had shielded and perished under the atomic bomb.
This was our country half a century ago.

A young man had been sent into battle a year before.
Mother prostrated herself over his gravestone, sobbing.
Autumn in Bosnia.

A business soldier died at dawn four years ago.
Mother visited his tomb one Indian summer day,
murmuring." I'm glad I've been there today."
This is my mother in the country of Karoshi."

*Workers' sudden death caused by overfatigue stemming from
unusally excessive work and intense stress before death.
*Born in 1952. Poems: Lonely Island,Broken Taboo.

Taki Yuriko

The sound of a bat flapping it's wings
is the sound of my knocking

A hole gapes in the sky
is the scar of clouds scorched at the scattering of my flesh.

The voice of Emperer Hirohito praying,
is my alarm clock screaming at me never to sleep.

Look, Mama
my little sisters are playing over my head.
From inside my eye
a single biade of grass
is about to grow.

Long have my eyes been bone dry
No longer do I cry.


Scott Watson


all the knowledge--their degrees from
top schools--the dead will be glad to know
the meaning of

things not
human even

tooth and claw know
no war

animals eat
in peace


two old war vet men
chew fat national destiny
that is as old as is their
hunger undying

air raid sirens
one after another
persimmons are red

there they all go,
mountain green
greener still
*going off to the Japan-China War

light of the moon
where do the
bombs kaboom?
*born 1954.recent publications:NO VISON WILL TELL :Selected Poems 1992-2002
WEEDS WE'D WED:Translations of Taneda Santoka Haiku

I'm Going to Die
Matsuo Shizuaki

I can see you,
who have never seen me.
I can see you,
who have never thought of me either.
And, as for you.
you cheerlessly live a petty life
which I would most eagerly want to live.

In this land you have never seen,
in this land you have never thought of.
I can see you.
You cheerlessly clothe yourslef and eat
and cheerlessly read interesrting poetry.
I can see you.
I can see your country.
*b.1940."Oka(Hill)""Tokai no Hatake(Fields in the City)"

Pigeons of Hiroshima
Arima Takashi

Coo, coo, coo
Sky blue,blue,blue
From the pre-afternoon plaza
A flight of pigeons lift off en masse
Circle slowly over the Motoyasu River
A shimmering fountain, higher and higher
Blown straight up to the midsummer sky
A sultry breeze,more temperate
A stiff gust from the stagnant riverside
At the approach to Aioi Bridge
When lingering before the rustling weeping willow
That drapes the monument to Miekichi Suzuki
At a tilt even steeper than
The leaning wreck of the dome
On the verge of collapse
Lamenting, the numerous
Short shadows of the dead

What's this, an illusion?
Beyond the melting air
Loading immobile people
Second-hand streetcars displaying destinations in Kyoto
Above which wheeks
A single flock of pigeons returning to the Moto River
Turning up into the tense blue sky
Louder than the giant cheer
Rising from the nearby baseball stadium,crying
.b.1931."Journey to the Real"