Be not Defeated by the Rain (Ame ni mo makezu), by Kenji Miyazawa

untitled - S. Fava 2004
untitled – S. Fava 2004

 

Be not defeated by the rain,
Nor let the wind prove your better.
Succumb not to the snows of winter.
Nor be bested by the heat of summer.
Be strong in body.
Unfettered by desire.
Not enticed to anger.
Cultivate a quiet joy.
Count yourself last in everything.
Put others before you.
Watch well and listen closely.
Hold the learned lessons dear.
A thatch-roof house, in a meadow, nestled in a pine grove’s shade.
A handful of rice, some miso, and a few vegetables to suffice for the day.
If, to the East, a child lies sick: Go forth and nurse him to health.
If, to the West, an old lady stands exhausted: Go forth, and relieve her of burden.
If, to the South, a man lies dying: Go forth with words of courage to dispel his fear.
If, to the North, an argument or fight ensues:
Go forth and beg them stop such a waste of effort and of spirit.
In times of drought, shed tears of sympathy.
In summers cold, walk in concern and empathy.
Stand aloof of the unknowing masses:
Better dismissed as useless than flattered as a “Great Man”.
This is my goal, the person I strive to become. 

(Translation by David Sulz)

Unperturbed by the rain
Unruffled by the wind
Unflurried by the snow and unfazed by the summer heat
Of sound body
Without desire
Never angry
But always a quiet smile
Eating three square meals a day
Of brown rice, some miso, and a few vegetables
In all things
Free of self-interest
Seeing and hearing well
Understanding and remembering
In the shade of a pine grove in a field
A small, thatched hut in which to live
If in the east there are sick children
Going to nurse them
If in the west there are weary women
Going to bear their sheaves
If in the south there are dying men
Going to ease their fear
If in the north there is conflict
Telling them to set aside their differences
Shedding tears in time of drought
And worrying over a cold summer that threatens the harvest
Thought of by all as a nobody
Neither sought
Nor avoided by any
That is the kind of person
I hope
To become 

(Translation by Steven P. Venti)

雨ニモマケズ
風ニモマケズ
雪ニモ夏ノ暑サニモマケヌ
丈夫ナカラダヲモチ
慾ハナク
決シテ瞋ラズ
イツモシヅカニワラッテヰル
一日ニ玄米四合ト
味噌ト少シノ野菜ヲタベ
アラユルコトヲ
ジブンヲカンジョウニ入レズニ
ヨクミキキシワカリ
ソシテワスレズ
野原ノ松ノ林ノ蔭ノ
小サナ萓ブキノ小屋ニヰテ
東ニ病氣ノコドモアレバ
行ッテ看病シテヤリ
西ニツカレタ母アレバ
行ッテソノ稻ノ朿ヲ負ヒ
南ニ死ニサウナ人アレバ
行ッテコハガラナクテモイヽトイヒ
北ニケンクヮヤソショウガアレバ
ツマラナイカラヤメロトイヒ
ヒドリノトキハナミダヲナガシ
サムサノナツハオロオロアルキ
ミンナニデクノボートヨバレ
ホメラレモセズ
クニモサレズ
サウイフモノニ
ワタシハナリタイ
Be not Defeated by the Rain (Ame ni mo makezu), by Kenji Miyazawa

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