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Shuntaro Tanikawa: One of the Haniwa
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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)

"During the pre-Buddhist Kofun period in Japan (ca. A.D. 250-ca. 600), the huge, round burial mounds of the ruling military elite were surrounded by unglazed clay figurines along the perimeters (“haniwa” = “clay rings”). Two to four feet high, these symbolic sculptures were shaped like horses, houses, ships, pillows, fans, sunshades or, more often, armed and helmeted male or female warriors."

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Posted by Littlestone
15th April 2009ce

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Megalithic Poems (Littlestone)

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