Sleeping Poem by Santoka Taneda


Rating: 5.0

sleeping on a soft futon
I dream of my native village

Fabrizio Frosini 06 June 2016

In 1896 he entered middle school and began to write traditional-style haiku. In 1902 he enrolled in the literature department of Waseda University in Tokyo. There, following the custom, he took a pen name; from then on he called himself Santōka (Burning Mountain Peak) . He began to drink heavily, suffered a nervous breakdown, and was unable to complete the first-year requirements. In 1916 the Taneda family lost everything - and Santōka's father fled one night with one of his mistresses..

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Fabrizio Frosini 08 June 2016

'' futon fūwari furusato no yume '' '' sleeping on a soft futon, / I dream of my native village ''

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Fabrizio Frosini 08 June 2016

After a long absence Santōka returned to his home town of Sabare. He went to visit his younger married sister, whom he hadn't seen in years. When he arrived, the children in the neighborhood tried to chase him away, shouting '' Beggar, Beggar ''. His sister was not glad to see him, and he was an unwelcome guest that night. Very early, the next morning, she asked him to leave before the neighbors saw him. She took him to the gate and silently put fifty sen in his little bag.

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Fabrizio Frosini 06 June 2016

A futon is a sleeping quilt stored in a closet during the day and taken out at night.

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Fabrizio Frosini 06 June 2016

Santōka- was born in the village of Sabare in the Hōfu district of Yamaguchi Prefecture on December 3,1882. His father, a large and impressive figure, was a landowner and active in local politics but not very good at running his business or personal affairs.

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Fabrizio Frosini 06 June 2016

Unfortunately, his father was a dissolute womanizer who carried on with several mistresses at a time. When he wasn't playing with the ladies he was politicking, so he was rarely home. While he was vacationing in the mountains with one of his mistresses, his wife committed suicide by throwing herself into a well on the family property. She was thirty-three years old. Shōichi, just eleven at the time, never completely recovered from the shock of seeing his mother's lifeless body being lifted from the well, and this tragic event affected him throughout his life. Afterwards he was raised by his grandmother.

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