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.
My Tankas and the Meaning No.1
by Tsutomu NIMURE
A guide uses an excellent Japanese in Taiwan
where the scars of the War still remain
During lunch time when an autumn sun shone softly
a good oldie song came to my ear
Birds in the wood, harmonizing with the sound of
a chainsaw, are singing beautiful songs respectively
Finishing the work I gripped a steeling wheel
and hurried home feeling fall in the wind touching my cheeks
While listening to a lecture in English
I felt my sleeping brain started suddenly
Looking up at Mt.Choukai at dawn
I enjoyed driving along a calm coast
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
On such a moonlit night
the river is flowing with a clear sound;
those present here,
the departing one and the staying ones,
let’s 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.