These poems are mirrors reflecting the feelings or thoughts of the people and the social conditions of the time . The emperors and noble people mentioned love, essence of beauty of flowers or glory of the realm. The poor farmers lamented the misery of poverty and hunger. The frontier guards cried over the pain of separation from their families. As the poems are freshly appealing to us , we vividly feel the emotions of ancient people.
In December 2008, one Tanka(short poem) was sent in to the poetry section of Asahi Newspaper by a self-declared homeless person, Koda( or Kuden) Koichi. Since then he had regularly sent in his poems and most of them were selected and appeared in the newspaper every Monday. Judging from his poems which described his everyday life, we believed he was a homeless poet. His perspective and the way he lived with dignity as a homeless person deeply touched our hearts.
I can hardly decide whether to buy Akai Kitsune cup noodle at a 100yen shop
or to buy Asahi Newspaper.
But I choose to buy Asahi newspaper only if it is on Monday.
by Koda Koichi (homeless)
Every time I read his poems, I am moved very much, and I was especially moved by this poem. Monday is the day when the selected poems appear in the newspaper. He wanted to read the poetry section on a brand-new newspaper.
Here is the other unique poet who has been regular member of the poetry section of Asahi Newspaper since 1996. He is Go Hayato who has been serving a life term in prison on a murder charge in California, USA.
Even I, a prisoner,getting a hot meal,
thinking of homeless Koda.
by Go Hayato (America)
I sleep holding a warm canned coffee
and sip cool coffee upon waking.
by Koda Koichi (homeless)
Above two poems appeared on March 30th, 2009 in Asahi Newspaper side by side. It was the most exciting moment for the readers. This was a miraculously rare chance as every week thousands of people send in their poems to the newspaper and only 40 poems are selected. Both of them sent their poems and both of poems were selected. It's uncertain, but it seems as Koda is responding to Go while Go is consoliong Koda. This is the only one moment the two lonely hearts crisscrossed.
Koda appeared like a comet and disappeared suddenly in September 2009. Nobody knows who he is or what happened to him. He has remained enigmatic.
Go published the collection of his Tanka (short poems) and essays, titled "LONESOME 隼人（Hayato)" in 2004.
The people in the disaster-stricken area have also started to compose the poems on the earthquake, Tsunami and nuclear plant crisis. I am sure all of them could be the poets of a Current Ten Thousand Leaves Anthology if it were compiled. One thousand years later, future people will read their poems and share their emotions, sorrows, passions, pains as we are now sharing love, misery, sadness and more mentioned by ancient people through the poems. I believe these poems are more powerful than history books.
Normal life is gradually returning to Japan even though a pile of issues lie ahead of us . Tokyo Disneyland reopened with fewer lights on April 16th. Many notable Japan's musicians such as Gackt, T.M Revolution, Radwimps, AKB48 and more are contributing to collect donation for the badly affected areas. If you are a fan of XJapan, this news will interest you. The founder of XJapan, Yoshiki announced to offer up his favorite crystal piano to the highest bidder for the quake relief. Yahoo Auction (sorry, it's only in Japanese) already started on April 17th beginning with 1 yen and will end on 24th April. Now the bid is soaring up to one hundred million yen!
Yoshiki, XJapan のクリスタルピアノ、オークションのやり直しをしているようです。60億という値段まで飛び出しましたが、いたずら入札が多かったようですね。とても残念なことです。4月27日
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