JAPAN: MY FATHER”S IMAGE OF A GOOD PERSON

MY FATHER’S IMAGE OF A GOOD PERSON

June 24, 2006 is my father’s 50th anniversary of his death. On this day, I wanted to remember him by reciting the poem, by Kenji Miyazawa, he liked very much. My father was my hero; gentle, kind, and unassuming. He was much loved by many people. He died much too early at his age 50, while in his active ministry at Ginza Church in downtown Tokyo. The following poem humbles me when I realize that my father had such a humble life as his role model.

Tad Mitsui, June 25, 2006

NOT BEATEN BY RAIN

by Kenji Miyazawa

 

Not beaten by rain, nor by wind,

Neither by snow, nor by heat of a summer,

With such a healthy body.

Not greedy, never petulant, always smiling quietly.

Eating two cups of unpolished rice a day,

With a bit of miso and some vegetables,

I do not count myself in any matter,

I listen, observe, and understand well,

Forgetting nothing,

Living in a little thatched roof cottage,

In the shadow of a small pine grove in a plain.

If there is a sick child in the east,

I would go to take care of him;

If there is a tired mother in the west,

I would go to carry her bundle of rice straw.

If there is a dying man in the north,

I would go to tell him “There is no need to be afraid.”

If there is a quarrel or a court case in the south,

I would go to tell them, “Don’t be a bore.”

Shedding tears in a drought,

Wandering aimlessly in a cold summer,

Everybody calls me, “Blockhead.”

Nobody praises me,

I bother nobody.

I want to be a person like that.

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