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Showing posts from January, 2013

Hyakunin Isshu: poem 13 (Retired Emperor Yōzei)

Feel the love deepen over time, like the stream widening into a river as it descends Mount Tsukuba. 筑波嶺の
The tyrant emperor...
(Retired) Emperor Yōzei (869-949) was the 57th emperor of Japan. His reign spanned the years from 876 through 884 (from the age of 7 to the age of 15, even though he was formally enthroned at the age of 8). Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne his personal name was Sadaakira Shinnō. He was the oldest son of Emperor Seiwa (56th emperor of Japan) and his mother was the famous Fujiwara no Takaiko, who was involved in a scandal with Ariwara no Narihira (poem 17).
In his early years, Yōzei often spent time alone. Sometimes he would feed live frogs to snakes so that he could watch the reptile swallowing; something he would find pleasure in setting dogs and monkeys to fight. Later, these amusements became more dangerous and he himself executed criminals; when he became angry, he sometimes chased after those who dared to speak up;…
“While they’re still alive, people can become ghosts.”

— Haruki Murakami. Kafka on the Shore