A translation of Kenji Miyazawa's most well-known poem, appearing in The Manga Biography of Kenji Miyazawa


Someone who is unfazed by the rain,
     undaunted by the wind,
     unbowed by the snow or the summer sun.
Who is sound of body,
     who wants nothing for himself,
     and who never gives in to anger,
     but is always smiling quietly within.
Someone who eats eight bowls of brown rice a day, simple farmers’ fare,
     with a bowl of miso soup and a vegetable or two.
In all things
     he never takes himself into account,
     always learns by watching and listening to others,
     and never forgets.
He lives in a thatched hut in a meadow in the shadow of a pine grove,
     and if there is a sick child in the east,
     goes to care for that child.
And if there is a mother overwhelmed by work in the west,
     goes to carry her bundles of rice.
If someone is dying in the south,
     goes and says there is nothing to fear.
If there is a dispute or lawsuit in the north,
     goes and says to stop being petty.
And when there is a drought, he sheds tears.
And when there is a cold spell in summer,
     he paces anxiously back and forth.
Someone who is known far and wide as a dreamer
     and never praised,
     but is not a nuisance to anyone either ...

That is the kind of person
I would like to be.


Translation opyright by Michael Brase

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here for a short story by Kenji.
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