Canberra Japan Club Bluebells Tanka Group


Translated: Saeko Ogi and Amelia Fielden



1. 茨木美穂  大阪


my friend’s daughter
staged a beautiful wedding
in Cowra
amid the fragrance
of apple blossom


2. 小城小枝子 キャンベラ
Saeko Ogi, Canberra


story-tellers relate
this sad tale –
the hand-planted trees
are now deep green


霜深き冬は去りたりうつむけるもののふどもよ 春の野に出よ

the winter of hard frosts
has finally departed –
come out now
onto the spring fields
you soldiers who hang your heads


3. 川俣千枝子 キャンベラ
ChiekoKawamata, Canberra

異土の地に眠れる兵士らのために クワイヤー唄う「ふるさと」の歌

for the sake
of these soldiers who sleep
in foreign soil,
the choir performs ‘Furusato,’
song of home


あの時は若木であったユーカリは カウラ事件の無言の証人

still young trees
at that time
the eucalypts
over silent witnesses
to the Cowra incident


墓地の中遺児が見つけし父の名を じっとたたずむ声を殺して

in the cemetery
a child stands motionless
where he’s discovered
the name of his father,
kills the sound of his voice


4. 田中教子  大阪
Noriko Tanaka, Osaka


a map of Cowra
spread on a tree stump
and over it
float the shadows
from wooly clouds

偽りの名に死に行きし兵士らの 墓標を越えてゆく蝶ひとつ

a single butterfly
of soldiers
who went to their deaths
under assumed names


5. 林幸子 東京
Sachiko Hayashi, Tokyo


the ticks
written on the toilet paper
a vote dividing
life and death


6. 福井美穂子キャンベラ
MihokoFukui, Canberra

ひっそりとカウラの墓地に桜ゆれ 異国に倒れし兵の魂

in the Cowra cemetery
cherry blossoms tremble
with the spirits of soldiers
fallen in a foreign land

英霊へ弔慰の詩を吟じなん母の夢路に 折々かえれと

I shall recite
poems of condolence
to these heroic souls,
begging them to come home
sometimes in their mothers’ dreams


7. ラム直子キャンベラ
NaokoLamb,Canberra カノーラの畑増えゆきだんだんと


with the canola fields
Cowra lies in the middle
of a piece of patchwork

家族への恥を恐れて君の名は 偽名のままの墓となりしか

was it fear
of bringing shame
to your families
that brought about false names
for your graves?


8. Hazel Hall, Canberra
ヘイゼル・ホール キャンベラ

sun up
above a quiet garden
echoes throb
over lucent foliage
from a bugle call


and to this . . .
from a promise
of long ago
cherry petals dropping
in a tranquil lake

湖に静寂に散るさくら花かつて約せし花は ここにも

the white-naped crane
cries only fifteen years
when captive
how speedily a lifespan
passes in combat



9. Amelia Fielden, Canberra
アメリア・ フィールデン キャンベラ

by stalwart eucalypts,
cherry blossom
transplanted to become
the vision of Cowra



10. 石田郁男 リヨン、フランス
Ikuo Ishida, Lyon, France

冬のローヌを花の舞いたるつごもりに はじめて知りにきカウラのことを

at the end of the month
when flower petals fluttered
over the winter Rhone,
I first came to know
about the Cowra incident



11.家永和治 兵庫,

Kazuharu Ienaga Hyogo, Japan

吹き抜ける風には潮の香りなし カウラは今も乾いた響き

on winds
blowing through it,
no scent of the sea –
Cowra even now
filled with dry echoes

カウラには地鳴りの如き念仏が 風に掠れた御霊の声が

in Cowra
like a rumbling of earth, prayers
to the Buddha
in the voices of spirits
skimming on the wind

黄の光黄泉の国への道筋か カウラを包む光輪夕暮れ

does that yellow light
show the way
to the Other World?
wrapping Cowra’s dusk
is a bright halo


12. 浦晶 奈良
Aki Ura, Nara, Japan


the night they pray
for death at other hands,
prisoners of war
plan their escape
from this world

満月の暗い光にきらめいて 自決を誘う銀の剃刀

in the dark luminescence
of a full moon,
the silver razors
inviting suicide

家々に火を放ちゆく辺りばかり 真昼のようにあかあかとして

in each house
fires are being lit –
all around
they glow red,
red as daylight


13 兼築信行 埼玉
Nobuyuki Kanechiku, Saitama, Japan

ふるさとを はなれてしせる ふたももちの つはものどもが あらがひのあと

traces remain
from the struggles
of the myriad soldiers
who left their hometowns
to die far away

みんなみの まめなるをのこ いつはりの なもてしにたり カウラかなしも

in the south,
that sad place
where loyal men died
under assumed names

いきながら とりことなれる はぢとして カウラののべに ながせしちはも

alas, blood flowed
in the fields of Cowra
from prisoners
who were ashamed
to be taken alive



14 御厨慶子 大阪
Keiko Mikuri, Osaka, Japan

ちちははの家はがらんだう目をそらしつつ 寄り添ひしおしどりの絵が

I avert my gaze
from the emptiness
of my parents’ house
where there is a painting
of mandarin ducks nestled together

娘むこ四十歳(しじふ)で逝きしとハガキ来て 楓ひと葉が青きまま落つ

a postcard arrives
telling of their son-in-law’s death
at forty –
from the maple tree falls
a single leaf, still green

筆の音だけが聞こえる写経の間 ただひたすらに無の文字を書く

during the sutra copying
just the sound of brushes
can be heard –
earnestly I write only
the word ‘mu,’ nothing


15 三宅眞理 大阪
Mari Miyake, Osaka, Japan


in vain, in vain
your inner resolve
at the charge –
to you we promise
the bonds of peace

春と秋あなたを思う桜咲く二つの国の 忘れじの道

I think of you
in spring and in autumn –
an unforgettable pathway
between two countries
where cherry trees blossom

若人よ幸せに咲き青葉舞えわれは 海の子桜にねむる

oh young ones
bloom happily, flutter
you green leaves,
we are the sea’s children
sleeping beneath cherry blossoms


16 高山征三 メルボルン
Seizo Takayama, Melbourne

カウラの地 (ち)収容所から見る月は 故郷(ふるさと)のきみも眺めるらん

that moon visible
from the prison site
at Cowra –
it must be the same moon
you watch in your hometown

かなしきやカウラブレイク虜囚(とらわれ)の 兵士(もののふ)生(しょう)より


how tragic –
those captured soldiers
of the Cowra breakout,
did they cherish their names
rather than their lives

ふるさとの土に戻れぬ兵士達(もののふら) カウラの墓標じっと北を向く

the soldiers
who never returned to the soil
of their homeland
have grave markers in Cowra
facing north in silence


17 伊藤さと メルボルン
Sato Itoh, Melbourne


the sole prayer
that the soldiers convey
through the reverberations
of the temple bell,
is for mutual understanding

聞こえますか 丘の麓で眠る兵に 梵鐘打ちつつ我は尋ねる

can you hear me?
I ask the soldiers
at the foot of a hill
as I strike the temple bell

梵鐘を打つ手止めて願うこと 争いなき世が訪れるよう

stopping the hand
that strikes the temple bell
I say a prayer:
may there come
a world without conflict


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