Archive for April, 2011

“Not Losing to the Rain” is a remarkable poem written by Kenji Miyazawa sometime before his death at the age of 37 in 1933. Miyazawa lived in the Tohoku region of Japan, site of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.  The poem was written in a small black notebook found posthumously in one of Miyazawa’s trunks.

Always well known in Japan, Not Losing to the Rain is being discussed even more today in Japan to both describe and inspire the spirit of the people after the 3/11 disaster.

Here is the translation, courteous of Wikipedia.

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
cultivating a quiet joy
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 suit 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


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