We present this work in honor of the Japanese holiday, Labor Thanksgiving Day.

Ryuichi Tamura
1923 – 1998


Hoya is now
in the middle of autumn. I am now
in the middle of misery
The misery has deep origins
It has a deep-rooted history.

Blazing summer has finally ended
Autumn breezes pass from one end to the other of the Musashino plain
My small house sits on a spot
in dark Musashino, silent Musashino

In my small house
I have a small room of my own
In the small room I turn on a light
I labor, zeroing in on my misery,
until the deep-rooted misery in my heart
thrusts its roots into the earth, and
grows into that gigantic Zelkova tree
in my forsaken backyard

Translation by Takako Lento

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