稲美里佳の短歌:Tanka by Rika Inami (60)

2022年8月 短歌

August 2022, Tanka

All rights reserved ©Rika Inami 稲美 里佳  

Five pieces of tanka for Tatsumi Hijikata

The other day, I visited the Kamaitachi Art Museum, where photos of Tatsumi Hijikata, the founder of Butoh, a dance genre, are displayed. Photographer is Hosoe Eikoh.

The museum was opened in 2016 in the former Haseyama Residence in Tashiro, Ugo Town, Akita Prefecture. The Haseyama family was a large landowner and wealthy farmer in the Tashiro area from the Edo period to the farmland reform (1946-1950). The residence was built in a three-story house in the Meiji period and was repaired by Ugo Town in 1998 after the family left; since then, it has been used as the Comprehensive Exchange Promotion Facility.

Now, I heard the following story about Tatsumi Hijikata from Mr. Hisao Abe, Director General of Kamaitachi Association, a non-profit organization.

Tatsumi Hijikata suddenly showed up for a photography session in Tashiro with Eikoh Hosoe one day in the autumn of 1965, leaving a note for his family,

"I'm going to the Haseyama family in Tashiro, Ugo Town, Akita."

How did Tatsumi Hijikata know the mountainous areas of Ugo Town in southern Akita Prefecture, like an isolated island in Japan?

Tatsumi Hijikata's father was from Ugo Town, and Tatsumi visited there with his father in his childhood. He also knew the Haseyama family in the mountainous area of Ugo Town, just up the mountain from his father's family home because his cousin(woman) had married into a family next door to the Haseyama family in Tashiro.

Thus, Hijikata Tatsumi visited Tashiro with photographer Eikoh Hosoe, and Eikoh began taking pictures of Tatsumi's performances in Tashiro. The appearance of Tatsumi, with his piercing eyes and white kimono, and his bizarre behavior startled the villagers of Tashiro, who had been living in peace. The season was the harvest, and the place was in the rice fields. Abruptly, he started running, climbed on the drying rice rack with ease like a monkey, and without anyone's permission, he took a baby in the Izume in his arms and carried her away for photographs, etc.: In the past, the Izume was like the cradle made of straw of rural areas, in which babies were laid down to sleep or rest while farmers were working. 
To take pictures, Eikoh followed Tatsumi, running and jumping along with his action.
However, Tatsumi Hijikata made friends with the villagers soon, began to make them laugh, and talked with them. 
Eikoh Hosoe also photographed scenes of Tatsumi Hijikata chatting with the villagers.

After I appreciated the photo exhibition "Kamaitachi," which also includes the interaction between Tatsumi Hijikata and Tashiro villagers, Ugo Town, I was deeply impressed and inspired to compose five pieces of tanka.

Note 1:
About Mr. Eikoh Hosoe's photographs, I took his pictures in the museum with the permission of Mr. Hisao Abe, Director General of Kamaitachi Association, a non-profit organization, and they have been accepted for publication.

Note 2:
The " Kamaitachi" is a legendary specter of the Tohoku region. It is said that those who encounter Kamaitachi get hurt as if their skin were cut by a thin, sharp knife without their awareness. Tatsumi Hijikata, who headed for Tashiro after getting an inspiration that something possessed him, suddenly appeared in Tashiro like a whirlwind and may have left something like a scar or mark on the people of Tashiro in those days. Just like Kamaitachi.








註 1


地ゆいづる稲のうねりか しなやかな舞踏のをのこ土方巽

a man Tatsumi Hijikata

dancing Butoh with suppleness

may express

undulation of the rice growing

out of the Earth


天地(あめつち)は漢の一人に結ばれりディオニュソスの舞  狂気は撓ふ(しなう)

the dance of Dionysus…

Heaven and Earth being united

by the powerful man

lightly and gracefully, madness flexes

with ecstasy


やたらっこ出没するや田代村 土方巽 鎌鼬の如


a prankster haunts people

in Tashiro village!

Tatsumi Hijikata appears

like Kamaitachi




heart pain in his depth

edging up, love for mother Earth

suddenly, running

and leaping into the air

he rides on the drying rice rack



mass of dark reverie

can’t be kept within him…

vibrant dance

in which his omen

lively shakes

……     ……     ……     ……

< 詩の国 秋田の日々の歌 / Daily Tanka in the Land of Poetry, Akita>



from the paddy

wrapped in milky white

summer mist

dragonfly naiads hatch 

and dance in a circle



dragonfly nymphs

growing in the paddies

flying away–

July celebration wrapped

in summer mist



a bit of breeze…

turning my head to look

I see

a black-winged dragonfly

flapping soundlessly



black dragonfly

slowly slowly spreading

soil-black wings

and filling the void

…I lose myself in gazing



amid the forest

a black-winged dragonfly floats

shadow of the deceased…

how graceful

mourning-colored wings are

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