Ame ni mo Makezu

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Ame ni mo makezu (Be not Defeated by the Rain[1]) is a famous poem written by Kenji Miyazawa,[2] a poet from the northern prefecture of Iwate in Japan who lived from 1896 to 1933. The poem was found posthumously in a small black notebook in one of the poet's trunks.

The poem[edit]

The text of the poem is given below in Japanese, as a transliteration using romaji, and in translation. While this version includes some kanji, the poem was originally written in Katakana (see style).

Original Modern orthography Transliteration English Translation

雨ニモマケズ
風ニモマケズ
雪ニモ夏ノ暑サニモマケヌ
丈夫ナカラダヲモチ
慾ハナク
決シテ瞋ラズ
イツモシヅカニワラッテヰル
一日ニ玄米四合ト
味噌ト少シノ野菜ヲタベ
アラユルコトヲ
ジブンヲカンジョウニ入レズニ
ヨクミキキシワカリ
ソシテワスレズ
野原ノ松ノ林ノ蔭ノ
小サナ萓ブキノ小屋ニヰテ
東ニ病氣ノコドモアレバ
行ッテ看病シテヤリ
西ニツカレタ母アレバ
行ッテソノ稻ノ朿ヲ負ヒ
南ニ死ニサウナ人アレバ
行ッテコハガラナクテモイヽトイヒ
北ニケンクヮヤソショウガアレバ
ツマラナイカラヤメロトイヒ
ヒドリノトキハナミダヲナガシ
サムサノナツハオロオロアルキ
ミンナニデクノボートヨバレ
ホメラレモセズ
クニモサレズ
サウイフモノニ
ワタシハナリタイ

雨にもまけず
風にもまけず
雪にも夏の暑さにもまけぬ
丈夫なからだをもち
慾はなく
決して瞋らず
いつもしずかにわらっている
一日に玄米四合と
味噌と少しの野菜をたべ
あらゆることを
じぶんをかんじょうにいれずに
よくみききしわかり
そしてわすれず
野原の松の林の蔭の
小さな萱ぶきの小屋にいて
東に病気のこどもあれば
行って看病してやり
西につかれた母あれば
行ってその稲の束を負い
南に死にそうな人あれば
行ってこわがらなくてもいいといい
北にけんかやそしょうがあれば
つまらないからやめろといい
ひでりのときはなみだをながし
さむさのなつはおろおろあるき
みんなにでくのぼうとよばれ
ほめられもせず
くにもされず
そういうものに
わたしはなりたい

ame ni mo makezu
kaze ni mo makezu
yuki ni mo natsu no atsusa ni mo makenu
jōbu na karada wo mochi
yoku wa naku
kesshite ikarazu
itsu mo shizuka ni waratte iru
ichi nichi ni genmai yon gō to
miso to sukoshi no yasai wo tabe
arayuru koto wo
jibun wo kanjō ni irezu ni
yoku mikiki shi wakari
soshite wasurezu
nohara no matsu no hayashi no kage no
chiisa na kayabuki no koya ni ite
higashi ni byōki no kodomo areba
itte kanbyō shite yari
nishi ni tsukareta haha areba
itte sono ine no taba wo oi
minami ni shinisō na hito areba
itte kowagaranakute mo ii to ii
kita ni kenka ya soshō ga areba
tsumaranai kara yamero to ii
hideri no toki wa namida wo nagashi
samusa no natsu wa oro-oro aruki
minna ni deku-no-bō to yobare
homerare mo sezu
ku ni mo sarezu
sō iu mono ni
watashi wa naritai

not losing to the rain
not losing to the wind
not losing to the snow nor to summer's heat
with a strong body
unfettered by desire
never losing temper
always quietly smiling
every day four bowls of brown rice
miso and some vegetables to eat
in everything
count yourself last and put others before you
watching and listening, and understanding
and never forgetting
in the shade of the woods of the pines of the fields
being in a little thatched hut
if there is a sick child to the east
going and nursing over them
if there is a tired mother to the west
going and shouldering her sheaf of rice
if there is someone near death to the south
going and saying there's no need to be afraid
if there is a quarrel or a lawsuit to the north
telling them to leave off with such waste
when there's drought, shedding tears of sympathy
when the summer's cold, wandering upset
called a nobody by everyone
without being praised
without being blamed
such a person
I want to become

Style[edit]

Miyazawa chose to write the poem using katakana. This could seem to be stylistically odd from a modern perspective, as katakana is nowadays (usually) only used in Japanese writing to denote foreign words. However, at the time, katakana rather than hiragana was the preferred syllabary. The limited use of kanji might be viewed as a move to make his poem more accessible to the rural folk of northern Japan with whom he spent his life,[citation needed] or perhaps as similar to American poet E. E. Cummings's style in using primarily lower case.[citation needed]

Notes[edit]

  • It is important to note that cold summers in Japan mean a poorer harvest, hence the line "when the summer is cold, wandering upset."
  • The transliteration above is not direct, and uses a modern romaji rendering. Miyazawa wrote in the orthography common to his time, where コガラナクテ (kohagaranakute) would today be rendered as コガラナクテ (kowagaranakute), イヒ (ihi) as イイ (ii), and サウ (sau) as ソウ (sou).
  • "hidori" in "hidori no toki ha namida wo nagashi" is generally taken as a simple typo,[citation needed] as Miyazawa made similar typos in his other works. But since hidori means the daily wages of day laborers in the dialect of Hanamaki, some people believe the true meaning of this verse is that Miyazawa cries out of sympathy with the poor farmers who have to work as day laborers.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Silenced by gaman". The Economist. April 20, 2011. Archived from the original on 22 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-23. "The best-known poem by the region’s most beloved poet, Kenji Miyazawa (born in 1896), starts “Be not defeated by the rain”. It extols the virtues of enduring harsh conditions with good grace." 
  2. ^ "Can poetry in translation ever be as poetic in its new language?". The Japanese Times Online. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  3. ^ "宮沢賢治学会イーハトーブセンター" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2010-06-15. 

External links[edit]