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A Handful Of Sand
Almost Compilation of Ishikawa Takuboku
Date:31, Mar, 2021
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
About our introductory articles


The 20th century began in 1901 when Yosano Akiko (the Japanese popular female poet) got married with a Japanese poet Yosano Tekkan. She made her debut in 1901 summer, became a supernova in Japan's tanka field. Her tanka gave a shock to many people. Next year, one boy came to her in Tokyo. It was Ishikawa Hajime (1886-1912), also known as Ishikawa Takuboku.

Ishikawa was born in Iwate. And in his teenage, he met tanka composed by Yosano Akiko, got a shock like several usual people did. He decided to be a poet, visited the Yosano couple in Tokyo for studying under them. And he could not get a job for his week constitution, was really hard to live in Tokyo. One day his father got him back to Iwate. He gave up his ambition, got to work as a teacher in Iwate and Hokkaido. He got married with his junior high school mate woman.

In 1908, he left his family and alone moved to Tokyo again. Getting into deep debt, he tried to have a job and become a poet. In 1909, the Asahi Shimbun company picked him up somehow. The major newspaper company already had Natsume Soseki who debuted as the author in 1905, by the way. He could earn his keep anyway, which made him call his family including his mother to Tokyo. And happened a cold war between his wife and his mother. O stressful! His wife finally went back to her own home. In 1910, she gave birth to a male baby, but he died at once. So sad. Through the death of his son, Ishikawa Takuboku released his virgin tanka collection in 1910 December. A Handful Of Sand was it.

He mainly composed tanka based on his life. So it contained lots of whinging. Some will say it is reasonable because it looks he didn't spend happy times in his youth. How could the unlucky guy write happy ones? you may ask. He died in 1912 April. 2 months later, out was his 2nd tanka collection Grieving Toys. It means A Handful Of Sand was the only collection of his own that he had seen actually. So I say A Handful Of Sand is the almost compilation of his work.

In the early 20th century, powerful tanka were shown by Yosano Akiko. On the other hand, men like Ishikawa Takuboku showed whinging. Women looked so lively, men seemed ephemeral like a handful of sand. That exactly symbolized the 20th century, I suppose.

about A Handful Of Sand

・Written by Ishikawa Takuboku





 

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