Tanka by Tsutomu Nimure in Akita


This is the first time to post tanka on the website.

 We post tanka poems by Mr. Tsutomu Nimure, and one of tanka poems in  万葉集(Manyoshu),“Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves” , which is  the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry, compiled some time around 759 A.D. during 奈良時代(Narajidai),“the Nara period ”.


First of all, Mr. Tsutomu Nimure introduces himself to us in Japanese, and then in English.


                二牟礼 勉の 短歌への道

 大学時代に授業で万葉集に触れ、先生が詠歌を勧められたのが最初です。二十歳前後に少し興味をもって詠歌し、先生に指導を受けましたが、その後は時たま詠歌する程度で、縁遠くなりました。65歳で現役を終えてから、趣味として短歌に興味を注ぎ、レベルを知るために新聞等に投稿を始めました。以来10年ほど経過しています。2008年の年間賞として朝日新聞秋田支社と毎日新聞秋田支社から記念の盾を受けま した。  (2009.10.20. 現在)


Tsutomu Nimure’s way of TANKA


 As a college student, I had a Japanese class, which dealt Manyoushu. The teacher of the class advised us to write a Tanka poem.  So at some twenty years of age I tried to make a Tanka and got some advice by the teacher. After that time I neglected to make Tanka poems.  At age of 65 I retired, so I have begun to pay attention to Tanka for my hobby. Since that day it has been passed some ten years. In order to know my level I have continued to contribute my Tankas to some newspapers..  I was awarded in 2008 annual prize in Tanka  by Asahi shinbun Akita branch and Mainichi shinbun Akita branch.    (As of Oct. 20, 2009)

From now on, Mr. Tsutomu Nimure shows his tanka poems in Japanese as well as in English to us.


短歌とその英訳 No.1(2009.10.16) 


My Tankas and the Meaning  No.1

by Tsutomu NIMURE                             


1)    戦争の傷跡残る台湾のガイドの使う日本語巧み


     A guide uses an excellent Japanese in Taiwan

where the scars of the War still remain



2)    秋の陽の優しく照らすひる時に懐かしき歌耳に届けり


     During lunch time when an autumn sun shone softly

a good oldie song came to my ear



 3)   チェンソーの音に合わせて森の中小鳥互いに美声を競う


          Birds in the wood, harmonizing with the sound of

 a chainsaw,    are singing beautiful songs  respectively



 4) 仕事終えハンドル握り帰路急ぐ頬触れる風に秋感じつつ


      Finishing the work I gripped a steeling wheel

  and hurried home feeling fall in the wind touching  my cheeks



 5)    英語での講演聴きて眠りたる脳に突然エンジンかかる


        While listening to a lecture in English

     I felt my sleeping brain started suddenly



 6)   朝明けの鳥海山を眺めつつ凪の沿岸運転楽しむ


        Looking up at Mt.Choukai at dawn

     I enjoyed driving along a calm coast



 7) 裏庭に積もりし雪をながめつつ今日もリハビリ続けて励む


       Looking at the snow covering the back yard,

    I went on striving for rehabilitation today, too.



 万葉集(Manyoshu),“Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves”  (1)


This is the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry, compiled some time around 759 A.D. during 奈良時代(Narajidai),“the Nara period ”.

The anthology is one of the most revered of Japan’s poetic compilations. The compiler,or the final in a series of compilers, is believed to be 大伴家持 (Otomo no Yakamochi). The collection contains poems ranging from A.D. 347 (poems 85-89) through 759(4516), the bulk of them representing the period after 600. The precise significance of the title is not known with certainty.

The following tanka was written by 大伴四綱(Otomo no Yotsuna).


月夜よし 川音清し いざここに 行くも去ぬも 遊びて帰かむ

tsukuyo yoshi  kawato sayakeshi  iza koko ni  yukumo yukanumo 

 asobite yukamu


On such a moonlit night

 the river is flowing with a clear sound;

 those present here,

 the departing one and the staying ones,

lets enjoy ourselves, shall we?


 ( Translated by Hidenori Hiruta )


  This tanka was written at the farewell party for 大伴旅人(Ootomo no Tabito), a Japanese poet, best known as the father of大伴家持 (Otomo no Yakamochi).

Before tanka was written at the party, 大伴旅人(Ootomo no Tabito) served as Governor-General of 太宰府(Dazaifu), the military procuracy in northern Kyushu(九州) from 728-730, and encouraged the composition of poetry among his subordinates in imitation of Chinese style elegance. He also showed his Chinese education in his set of thirteen tanka in praise of sake.                                                                                                                                     


                                                                                           Hidenori  Hiruta


One thought on “Tanka by Tsutomu Nimure in Akita

  1. I love that one about lunchtime and the oldie song. I want to be there! Thank-you. Now I have to look up Tanka! The older I get, the more I learn about what I don’t know.

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