Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. v-x

List of Illustrations

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pp. xi-xii

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Foreword: A Modernist in the Mountains

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pp. xiii-xxii

The Japanese poet Miyazawa Kenji, who died in 1933 at the age of thirty-seven, became a culture hero on the strength of a single brief poem written toward the end of his obscure and voluntarily impoverished life. “November 3rd”—an unpublished notebook entry probably intended more as a prayer than a poem—sketches a portrait of an idealized ascetic: ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-58

Gary Snyder was the first to translate a body of Miyazawa Kenji’s poems into English. In the 1960s, Snyder, then living in Kyoto and pursuing Buddhism, was offered a grant to translate Japanese literature. He sought Burton Watson’s opinion, and Watson, a scholar of Chinese classics trained at the University of Kyoto, recommended Kenji.1 ...

A Note on the Translations

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pp. 59-60

Poems

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pp. 61-62

from Spring & Asura (First Collection)

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pp. 63-104

from Spring & Asura (Second Collection)

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pp. 105-150

from Spring & Asura (Third Collection)

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pp. 151-202

from During Illness & Other Poems

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pp. 203-222

On Miyazawa Kenji

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pp. 223-224

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Four Images

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pp. 225-228

Printed on the flyleaf, in soft reddish-yellow like that of whetting powder, is the picture. In a zashiki1 of an old house in the countryside are small children dressed in kimonos too short for them, dancing hand in hand. Written horizontally on the picture mold near the ceiling2 is “Round the Highways”—is that the name of the dance? ...

We Are All Excellent Musical Instruments

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pp. 229-234

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Miyazawa Kenji

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pp. 235-236

No lack of reasons to like and admire his poems. The wildly different vocabularies that live side by side in them—religious, technical, scientific, official—keep you on your toes, dispel habit and routine. Every page makes it clear that in them there’s no such thing as the poetic, for then there would have to be the unpoetic, ...

Glossary of Japanese Names and Terms

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pp. 237-242

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 243-246

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 247-248

“A Modernist in the Mountains,” by Geoffrey O’Brien, from Bardic Deadlines: Reviewing Poetry, 1984–95 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1998). Reprinted by permission of the University of Michigan Press, with slight modifications by O’Brien. Originally published in the Village Voice. ...

Production Notes

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pp. 274-274