Archive for February 9th, 2012

One of the Haniwa

Beautiful post and informative blog. Thanks.

The Heritage Trust

All emotions as well as quiet,
moss-covered Time
are raining behind your face,
which bears the weight
of two thousand years
behind your deep eyes.
Your mouth is tightened
by a great secret.

You do not cry or laugh
or become angry because
you are always crying,
laughing and angry.

You do not have thoughts
or feelings. You absorb those
continuously. Then they
precipitate in you forever.

Born directly out of the earth,
you were a human thing
before human beings.
There was a shortness
in one of God’s breaths,

and therefore, incomplete,
you can take pride
in a beautiful simplicity
and health.
You store away the universe.

Shuntaro Tanikawa

(Translated by Diane Furtney and Asuka Itaya)

Haniwa (埴輪) are hollow terracotta ‘cylinders’ whose upper part are in the shape of humans, animals, houses etc; they would have stood with others in a protective circle…

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