Japanese / Japan

Fujisan utagoyomi
(Enjoy Mount Fuji)

Tawara, Machi (text)
Satō, U. G. (illus.)
Tōkyō: Fukuinkan Shoten, 2012. – 48 p.
(Series: Nihon kessaku ehon shirjzu)
ISBN 978-4-8340-2760-0

Everyday life | Seasons | Mount Fuji | Poetry

This original picture book shows a new way to present poetry. Its bold concept unites the traditional culture of Japan with contemporary life. Tanka, a Japanese poetic form consisting of thirty-one syllables, has been practiced since the eighth century.

Machi Tawara, known best for her successful volume of poetry ≫Sarada kinenbi≪ (Salad anniversary), here offers Tanka poems about everyday life using colloquial language – an outright revolution when contrasted with the highly literary language of classic Tanka poetry. These twenty-four examples were selected from Tawara’s volumes of poetry and have to do with nature, emotion, love, and other topics. Every poem is dedicated to one of the twenty-four terms of the Chinese-Japanese solar calendar events in the Japanese annual cycle.

The volume’s colourful illustrations come from international awardwinning graphic artist U. G. Satō, who insightfully translates the texts into images, performing a kind of parody of Hokusai’s famed wood cut series ≫Fugaku 36 kei≪ (Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji). (Age: 10+)