Yoko Nogami

Momochidori Series

from Kitagawa Utamaro "Momo Chidori Kyok-awase" (Myriad Birds: A Playful Poetry Contest) 

Translation: John Carpenter

Mono-prints on Arches, with acrylic and chiyo paper collage

Japanese Grosbeak (Mamemawashi 'bean-turner')

by Akera Kanko

"Irazaru kuchi no

mamemawashi

tsui saezurite

na ya morasuramu"

 

"My love affair is secret,

but the 'bean-turner' bird,

with it's big mouth

no doubt spilled the beans

and squealed her name."

 

Kingfisher (Kawasemi)

by Sandara Hoshi

"Kimi to waga

nochi no yo kakete

hasu no ha ni

ii-kawasemi no

hane o naraben"

 

"Let us exchange vows

that you and I will be reborn

on the same lotus leaf

and we'll be forever close

a joined wings of Kingfishers."

 

Pigeon (Hato)

"Hato no tsue

tsuku made iro ha

kawaraji na

tagai ni toshi no

mame wa ku tomo"

 

"Even when we need canes

to hobble about like pigeons,

our love life will never change,

all together we'll gobble up

beans to celebrate the new year."

 

 

Japanese Robin (Komadori)

by Fumotono Chikamichi

"Komadori no

na nomi koma naru

omoi kana

koi no omoni o

yarusenai mi"

 

"In name alone

is the 'horse bird'

a beast of burden, since

it can not bear, as I do,

the onerous weight of love."

 

Swallow (Tsubame)

by Sakazuki no Komend

"Tsubame ni mo

mi o kaetemashi

shita himo o

tokiwa ni nagaku

nen to omoeba"

 

"I wish to become a swallow

living in an evergreen tree,

so that I too could forever

enjoy feelings of love for you!

the one whose sash I untied."