Ishigaki Rin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
In this Japanese name, the family name is "Ishigaki".

Ishigaki Rin (石垣 りん?, February 21, 1920 – December 26, 2004) was a Japanese poet. Her motifs were pots, the nameplate on the house, and those things people find in their daily life. Instead of using complicated words, she wrote with simple words and compositions. Her poetry was based on common sense. Her words were the consciousness of a single female person in both the home and in society, as a working woman and an ordinary woman who engaged in housekeeping after work. Her attitude toward other individuals and society was unaggressive, but always allowed them to keep their dignity as individuals. Some of her poems are used in textbooks on the Japanese-language and she is therefore one of best-known contemporary poets in Japan.


Ishigaki was born in Akasaka ward, Tokyo in 1920. After she finished her course of high elementary school in 1934, she was employed by Industrial Bank of Japan. Her income sustained her family and she never married.

At the bank she joined a union which gave her an education in literature as a culture activity and she began to write poems. In 1959 she published her first collection. In 1968 she published her second. This book won the annual Mr. H Award (H-shi-sho, H氏賞) in 1969, which is given to the best book of poetry published in the previous year in Japan by a new poet. In those days it was uncommon for a woman to work full-time in Japan, and she was sometimes referred to as 'the bank teller poet'.

She published four collections of her own poetry, as well as edited two anthologies which contained both her own works and others', and wrote some books in which she expressed her opinions and told her life story.

Her best known work is "Nameplate" included in her second book Nameplate and other works. This was based on two experiences where she stayed in a hospital room and at an inn. At the entrance to those two rooms her name was displayed with the honorific words Sama and Dono. This is often done and most people don't mind it or consider it something unnecessary, but these honorifics made her uneasy. She began the poem "To the place where I live in/it is best to put my nameplate by myself", and then told of her two experiences. If she allows someone to put up a nameplate for her, then she can't deny the adding of an honorific word. She continued "Then will I be able to deny it?" But she denied any honorific addition for herself. "Also where you put a base for your spirit,/ you must put a nameplate for yourself / Ishigaki Rin / that's good for me." Later she wrote in an afterword of one of her books, "I was born to create one work Nameplate."


Poetry books[edit]

  • 私の前にある鍋とお釜と燃える火と, 1959. 1st book: The Pan, the Pot, the Burning Fire I Have in Front of Me
  • 表札など, 1968. 2nd book: Nameplate and other works
  • 略歴, 1979. 3rd book: Curriculum Vitae
  • やさしい言葉, 1984. 4th book: Tender words

External links[edit]