Aida Tsunao--Japanese

Tsunao Aida

Born in Japan in 1914, Tsuanao visited Nanking in 1940, and went on to work for a publishing house in Shanghai. He returned to Japan in 1945. Shortly afterwards he received the first Kotaro Takamura Poetry Prize for his collection of poems, A Lagoon.   His work is included in a number of international and Japanese journals, including Like Underground Water: Poetry of Mid-Twentieth Century Japan. He died in 1990.



Finally I returned.

To my desolate village.


Where my home had burned.

Wheat, wheat feeding on the ashes.

There I squatted

And emptied my bowels

For the last time

And fell along the earth

Like molted skin…

Some wandering dog

Will take my shoes.

And I

Will go into the earth,

To feed the wheat—

Grind the fat wheat

Into flour.

Translated by T. Fitzsimmons and R. Fukuda