Translator's blog

From the translator’s journal ~Memory of my mother~

Mom started a new life
with nothing but her family
in an inland (said she for Japan)
after repatriation from Manchuria.

She had hands of magic for
dressmaking, knitting, embroidery,
patchwork & quilt, cooking, and
even composing Haiku.

Such an almighty super woman
had a stroke one day and
became unable to do anything.

It happened on a cold day in February.
How hard it must have been for her
to accept such a situation!

I still remember her Haiku (short poem)
made on the night my Dad passed away:
“Itetsukino Mashita ni Hikaru Namidaboshi.”
(A star, twinkling like a teardrop,
under the frozen moon)

How many Haikus did she make
and kept in her heart
after she lost her words?

How much joy and pain
did she put in her Haiku
in her speechless/bedridden life?

Her silent world
must have been such a serene
and poetical world!
Beyond my imagination
in this noisy world…

My memory of my mother is forever…
(September 17, 2021, on my Mom’s birthday)

Teruko Yamakawa (translator)