Hanamaki and Ihatov (3)

Hanamaki and Ihatov (3)
Miyazawa Kenji was born in Hanamaki in 1896, where he spent most of his life. Miyazawa’s invented Esperanto word Ihatov refers to Iwate prefecture in general, and is agreed to refer more specifically to Hanamaki itself.

Strong in the rain

Strong in the wind

Strong against the summer heat and snow

He is healthy and robust

Free from desire

He never loses his temper

Nor the quiet smile on his lips

He eats four go of unpolished rice

Miso and a few vegetables a day

He does not consider himself

In whatever occurs . . . his understanding

Comes from observation and experience

And he never loses sight of things

He lives in a little thatched-roof hut

In a field in the shadows of a pine tree grove

If there is a sick child in the east

He goes there to nurse the child

If there’s a tired mother in the west

He goes to her and carries her sheaves

If someone is near death in the south

He goes and says, ‘Don’t be afraid’

If there are strife and lawsuits in the north

He demands that the people put an end to their pettiness

He weeps at the time of drought

He plods about at a loss during the cold summer

Everyone calls him Blockhead

No one sings his praises

Or takes him to heart . . .

That is the kind of person

I want to be


“Strong in the Rain” by Miyazawa Kenji, translation by Roger Pulvers