Hospital visit

For the first time in months, I paid a visit to the hospital my late mother used to go and see her doctor, just wondering how many times I took her there.

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Small handbag used/

For hospital visit has/

A fan for autumn use/

Translation and calligraphy by Chio

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Fans for mom

These old fans are what I did for my late mother.

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She used to love using these in bed before falling asleep.

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Woke up from a nap/

Saw late mother came/

To see me/

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Translation and calligraphy by Chio

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Heartwarming gifts

One of my valued, long-time friends from my previous work sent me some gifts for offering on my mom’s altar and myself.

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In the package, I found a couple of facial masks, essential goods these days with pink floral patterns, all-time favorite of mine.

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Mother left/

Showy pink at the bottom of/

Shrubby althaea/

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Translation and calligraphy by Chio

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“Lotus flowers begin blooming”

Here is a subdivided phrase of the solar terms for around this time, that is, the second or the third week of July.

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I thought adding some colors to my calligraphy might be amusing, when suddenly I remembered one of my past post about two years go.

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It is true that I am feeling a little lonely living alone in a house.  However, more than the loneliness I have been filled with sour-sweet memories of my young days.

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Happy Mother’s Day

Here is a haiku of irregular rhythm I made around one year ago.

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People may be celebrating Mother’s Day in a new and different manner from they used to.

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I took up a blouse/

Mother’s Day/

Is coming near/

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Mother’s 令和

Exactly one year ago, the very first day of this new era, that is, my mother did this 令和at the facility for the elderly.  She was ninety then.

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Remembering her, I composed a haiku on this.

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My mother/

Her calligraphy name: 絹笑 reached the era of 令和/

Summer is approaching, just around the next door/

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Flower gift

Someone came over and offered this flower arrangement for my mother who loved to see white flowers and passed away in February.

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I only wish she had survived to see these beautiful flowers.

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Live for today/

See white flowers/

Oh, the month of February/

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Calligraphy and translation by Chio

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Spring breeze

Spring is just around the corner.  And I only remember my late mother.

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It was such a happy time for me to push my mother’s wheel chair and take a walk with her under cherry trees on a river bank.

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So deeply linked by fate/

Mother and daughter/

Even got tired of the fate/

Spring breeze laughs at the two/

Going, going laughing at them/

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YouTube channel

I posted a new video on my YouTube channel (chio_art).

Check this and enjoy seeing how characters are born out of an artist’s arm and a small brush!

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The video shows my piece of a tanka by Hakushū Kitahara.

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As a matter of fact, I chose this one two years ago for collaboration work with my late mother, when I asked her to write the last one letter, “FLOWER”.

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Those who saw her letter were all amazed at its dynamic touch.

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But here, please enjoy the movement of the small brush produced by my arm.

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Visiting shrines

For some years now, I have been interested in visiting shrines at various occasions.

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Today it is Setsubun, the end of the winter according to the old lunar calendar, so I went to Yoshida Shrine, the most famous shrine in Kyoto regarding this occasion, where people say most elderly people in Kyoto gather for the occasion.

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Oh, birds chirp/

Shrine gave me the oracle/

Written on a pale-green paper/

Translation and calligraphy by Chio

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January 15

People have long celebrated the day, January 15 as a kind of second New Year Day, because according to the lunar calendar, it marks the first full moon after the New Year Day.

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The well-known shrine in my neighborhood provides rice porridge cooked with azuki beans every year.

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I got some for my mother who will turn 92 in summer, because the porridge is supposed and expected to bring good luck to the elderly.

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I wrote “avoiding disaster”, “inviting happiness”, “health” and “longevity” for her.

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Collaboration

Yesterday my mother and I went to the exhibition venue held annually by my teacher.

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This year we turned in four pretty big works describing four kinds of flowers of the seasons.

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Everyone was very much impressed with my mother’s works.

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It seemed little attention was paid to my works of my own haiku about those flowers.

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Mother smiles

My mother is playing a little child’s smile, at the table of the special dishes for the New Year, although they aren’t cooked in an orthodox manner.  I just prepared them casually to please my mother.

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I think they brought back her old, fond memories of her childhood days.

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Mother smiles/

Special meal for the New Year/

Brought back her child’s mind/

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Mother practices calligraphy

Yesterday, it was cold and rainy all day.

Sometimes we practice together.

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Warmth of mother’s calligraphy/

Beats/

Winter rain/

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Mother and daughter

These are collaboration works with my mother featuring the names of the seasonal flowers by her and my own haiku about them.

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Utmost joy

Waking up mother/

Little, pleasant time/

Reflected in the fall sunshine/

Chio

Today, the third Monday of September, is designated as the Respect-for-Senior-Citizen Day in Japan.

When I wake up my 91-year-old mother and help her get ready and have breakfast is my happiest time these days.

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Greatest pastime

 

My greatest pastime lately is practicing calligraphy with my mother who turned 91 in July.

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Afternoon nap

I thought I would practice a lot today.  However, seeing my mother nodding off sitting beside me, I myself became sleepy as well….

Drowsiness turns/

Ink slab/

Into late summer sea/

Translation and calligraphy by Chio.

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Memory of a summer day

I wrote this one about four years ago after visiting the facility for the elderly my mother then belonged to for the first time for a fun event for both the elderly and their families, a little concert of reed pipes.

In every household/

Is a good-hearted oldster/

Gourd flowers/

Translation and calligraphy by Chio

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For her good friends

My mother wrote these on postcards for her important friends.  Both of them are from other countries.  My mother is much more cosmopolitan than people would normally think.

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Please stay cool

As a little, humble present for the temple we follow and support, I asked my mother to write one letter on a paper fan, a hiragana  (Japanese syllabary character).  The letter is the first one of the temple’s name.  As my mother turned 91 years old last month and is rapidly forgetting various things, I showed her what to write.

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Autumn begins

Looking after an old parent is no easy task, even if you are dealing with your own mother.

According to the old lunar calendar, today marks the first day of autumn.

Unleashing love-hate/

To mom/

Autumn begins/

Translation and calligraphy by Chio

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Dragons in the air

As my first calligraphy teacher (秋山公道the late Mr. Akiyama Kodo) and my mother were both born in the year of dragon, I like visiting shrines associated with dragons.

Yesterday, I went to Shinsenen Shrine.  It was a beautiful place full of agreeable atmosphere.  I felt pleasant breeze blowing but unfortunately, I didn’t feel existence of dragons around, which some people with supernatural power may feel.

The photo shows my work of the letter 龍or dragon and a passage on the written oracle I got there.

Just outside your eaves/

It maybe storming/

But/

Inside your house/

Is springlike warmth/

Translation by Tomoko

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Birthday girl!

Today is my mother’s 91stbirthday.  She hasn’t been very well for some time.  But now she seems to be recovering her health. It is thanks, I think, to all the well-wishes and help from the people around her.

Even the rainy season feels nice and sweet/

When I cook the millet seeds/

My dear friend sent us for her/

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Thinking of you 祈り

I have a dear friend who says she always thinks of my mother and me.

I suppose to think is to pray.

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いつも母と私のことを考えていると言ってくださるありがたい友人がいます。

考えるというのは、祈りなのだなと思います。

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It actually happened 実話です

At this time of the year, I seem to be thinking what would be a good present for my mother with little awareness of it.

I picked up a blouse/

Mother’s Day is coming near/

Translation and calligraphy by Tomoko

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やはりこの時期には、プレゼントは何がいいかな・・・? と考えているみたいです。

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Same interest 母娘の作品

Yesterday, my mother did some calligraphy at the facility for the elderly (above).

About the same time, I was practicing calligraphy at home (below).

The caregiver who drove my mother home looked a little surprised to know we were doing the same thing.

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昨日、母がデイサービスで書いてきました(上)。

同じ頃、私は家でお稽古していました(下)。

母を送ってきてくださった介護ヘルパーさんは、母娘が同じことをしていたので、ちょっとびっくりしておられました。

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Visiting the grave, at last やっとの事で

This month I finally got to visit the grave of my mother’s natal home.  It was the fourth try since I first planned it.  I was almost angry with my grandpa, suspecting if he didn’t want me to come and visit him.

When I was preparing the offerings for the ancestors, a lady came and talked to me.  I was sorry I didn’t remember her, because she was one of my distant relatives.

I then had a new idea that maybe he tried to make me come at that time of that day.

In the spring sunlight/

Only dusts are dancing in the air/

What never changes/

Is Mother’s hometown/

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今月に入ってようやく母の実家のお墓参りに行きました。初めに計画したときから数えると4回目でした。もうだいぶクサっていましたよ。おじいちゃんは私に来て欲しくないのか!? とか。

お供え物の用意などしていると、女の方が話しかけてくださいました。申し訳ないことですが、私は覚えていませんでしたが、親戚の人でした。

おじいちゃんは、この日、このときにおいで、と呼んでくれたのか? と思い直しました。

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Fondness for a color 長年の好み

My mother loves clothing of indigotic color.

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母は藍色の服が好きです。

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Women love their hair 髪は女の命

 

Yesterday I took my mother to a beauty parlor.

Beautician’s hands/

Working lightly/

Cool breeze/

Translation and calligraphy by Tomoko

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昨日は母を美容院に連れて行きました。

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Custom of visiting a grave お彼岸なので

 

I was planning to visit the grave of my mother’s natal home.  However, some serious affair prevented me from it.

昨日は母の実家の墓参りをするつもりでいましたが、別の要件のために行けませんでした。

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Collaboration work 母娘合作

At the annual new-year calligraphy exhibition

My mother who turned ninety years old last summer did the last one letter, and I did the other three letters.

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恒例の新春書藝展にて

昨夏90歳になった母が最後の一文字を書いて、私が他の三文字を書きました。

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Finishing the work これで仕上がり

My mother did the last stoke of the letter, “DREAM”「夢」to finish the work.

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母に「夢」の字の最後を書いてもらって、これで仕上がりです。

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I love taking calligraphy lessons! お稽古、楽しい!

The task for today’s practice session was a calendar for the year 2019.

As you can see, the last stroke of the letter 『DREAM 夢』is still missing.

I am going to ask my mother to finish the letter when we practice together next time.

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今日の課題は、2019年のカレンダー。

ご覧の様に『夢』の最後の点はまだ書いていません。

今度一緒にお稽古するときに母に書いてもらいます。

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Special moon 夜の散歩

After dinner on the eve of harvest moon, I went out for a short walk with my mother on her wheel chair and was in an ill temper a little, hoping she would feel better.  As she was appreciating the huge, beautiful moon, she obviously began to feel better and peaceful.

Bright moon/

Untangles/

Old mother’s emotional tension/

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中秋の名月の前夜、食事の後で、ちょっとご機嫌斜めの母と夜の車椅子散歩に出ました。大きくて綺麗なお月さんを見ているうちに母の心もほどけて行きました。

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Happy birthday やっと90歳

Today is my mother’s ninetieth birthday.  We received best wishes for her from a number of people and some pretty flowers from her pretty niece.

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今日は母の90回目の誕生日。お祝いの言葉が届き、可愛い姪っ子からは可愛いお花が届きました。

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I love taking calligraphy lessons! お稽古、楽しい!

These are the results of today’s practice session; copying practice and having a fun writing on a paper fan.  For the latter, I chose the first letter of my mother’s name, 絹(silk).

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今日のお稽古の成果を並べてみます。臨書と、団扇に書きつけるというお楽しみ。母の名の初めの字(絹)を書きました。

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Life in a hospital 前より元気かも

My mother has been hospitalized almost three weeks, and she committed to rehabilitation during that period.  GOOD FOR HER!

Undergoing rehab/

Anchorage for tomorrow/

Oh, rose periwinkles/

Translation and calligraphy by Tomoko

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3週間近い入院でしたが、その間母はよくリハビリを頑張ってくれました!

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Flowers of the season 紫陽花大好き

 

Year after year, a kind neighborhood lady gives us gorgeous hydrangea flowers.  Just for a moment I thought of bringing them to my mother’s hospital bedroom.  However, I changed my mind, since she will be back in a couple of days.

Girl split up/

Thrusting up/

Balls of hydrangeas/

Translation and calligraphy by Tomoko

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毎年いただきますが、今年もご近所からもらいました。

母の病室に持って行こうかなと考えましたが、2〜3日もすれば帰ってくるので止めました。

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Blue heron いつもの散歩道

 

My mother and I found this while taking a walk.  I wish I could take a picture when it was stretching its neck to the maximum.

Blue heron dances/

Waiting for the rice planting girls/

To appear/

Translation and calligraphy by Tomoko

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母との散歩の途中で見つけました。ぐんと首を伸ばしたところを撮りたかったのですが・・・。

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Gerbera flowers from Mrs. M’s garden ガーベラの花

Gerbera daisies that late Mrs. M. who was a very good friend of my mother’s gave us bloomed this spring again.

If primulas are grandpa’s flowers, gerberas are Mrs. M’s flowers.

Gerbera daisies/

Keep on blabbering/

In the darkness/

Translation and calligraphy by Tomoko

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今はもうおられない母の親友のお庭からいただいたガーベラが今年も咲いてくれました。

プリムラがおじいちゃんのお花なら、ガーベラはMさんのお花です。

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I love taking calligraphy lessons! お稽古、楽しい!

Because the task for today’s practice session was to choose and write one letter from our own name, in other words, the same as the last time, this time I chose one from my mother’s name.

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今日のお稽古の課題は、先日と同じように自分の名前から一文字とって書く、というものでした。それで、私は母の名前から一字書きました。

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Little flowers in our garden プリムラ

In our garden, primula flowers are beginning to bloom year in, year out.  My mother told me my granddad liked this flower and when she got married and came to our house to live, the flowers were already there.
My mother and I didn’t know the name and used to call this flower “granddad’s flower” until the lady next door who is a keen gardener taught us it was “primula”.

Granddad/

Is a very warm/
Stub/

Translation and calligraphy by Tomoko

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今年も毎年のように庭のプリムラが咲き始めました。母によると、祖父がこの花が好きだったようで、母がお嫁に来た時には既に咲いていたそうです。母も私もこの花の名前を知らなかったので、「おじいちゃんの花」と呼んでいました。ガーデニングがお得意のお隣の奥さまに教えてもらうまで。

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Regular visit to the grave 記憶の通り

Today I paid a visit to the grave of my mother’s family, which I do twice a year.

In my mother’s hometown, I have always felt more sunlight, that is, less shaded areas, and the air with much more dusts compared to Kyoto, my hometown.

In the spring sunlight/

Only dusts are/

Rising up/

Nothing has changed/

In mom’s hometown/

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今日は、母の実家の墓参りをしてきました。だいたい年に2回のペースでしますが。

母の実家の町は、私が生まれ育った京都に比べるといつも陽射しが多くて、つまり日陰が少なくて、埃っぽい気がします。

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Beautiful names 親子の縁

My mother’s name is Kinue and mine is Tomoko. I put these sounds Ki, Nu, E, Tomo, and Ko at the beginning of each line and wrote a poem.

I got this idea from a wonderful poem with a warm taste I found at a calligraphy exhibition I visited the other day.

Apparently, a mother wrote a poem putting the sounds of her daughter’s name at the beginning of each line, which I heard made the daughter so very happy. I tried the same manner.

 

Who are you?

What a strong bond we have had!

Like a coloring picture/

Let us continue painting together/

This picture of our lives, so VIVID/

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母の名前は、絹江。私の名前は知子。それで、その文字を行の頭に置いて歌にしてみました。

このアイデアは、先日見学した書展で、お母さんがお嬢さんのお名前でほのぼのとした良いお歌を書いておられるのを見て、ちょっと真似したものです。それで、お嬢さんはとても喜ばれたそうです。

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Another well-received work in the well-received exhibition 解説つき

This is another one I sent to the exhibition. It has my own tanka and haiku about my mother and looking after her. However, as I was afraid my poetry writing was not good enough to convey my feelings and present situation, I put a commentary as well.

 

Star and Moon/

Facing each other like smiling at each other/

To their beauty/

Mother offers/

Gratitude/

 

Taking old mother’s hand/

Flying in the universe together/

Starlit night/

 

I was pleasantly surprised to see my mother offering her gratitude to the beauty of the Venus and the Moon facing each other as if they were smiling at each other, when I put her in her wheel chair and went out for a short walk, because she became fretful after dinner one evening in fall.

 

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新春書藝展に出品したもう一つの作品です。母のこと、介護のことを短歌と俳句に書いて、それだけでは拙くて分かってもらえないといけませんから解説も付けました。

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Exhibition of the new year ご満悦

My mother and I went to the new-year exhibition of the works by our teacher and her students. My mother is smiling so delightedly. Just as the last year, I asked her to write one letter, this time “flower”.

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先生のお弟子たちのグループ展で。

今年も母に一文字だけ書いてもらいました。今回は「花」。

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I asked my mother the same thing as the last year. 「一文字企画」再び

I chose a tanka by Hakushū Kitahara for a collaboration work with my mother. As I did last year I asked her to write the last one letter meaning “flower”.

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白秋の短歌を書きましたが、最後の一文字だけ母に書いてもらいました。去年と同じです。

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I love taking calligraphy lessons! お稽古、楽しい!

This is what I desire the most at the moment, peace of mind. However, I definitely want to keep on challenging even for the sake of my mother who continuously gives fits to me.

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今一番欲しいもの。でも、挑戦はし続けたい。私を心配させ続ける母のためにも。

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Things of the past 興味の変遷

My mother with mental disorder seems to be forgetting many things from the past. She definitely liked shaved ice, however, it doesn’t interest her any more at present.

Kindness called forgetting/

Oh, shaved ice/

Translation and calligraphy by Tomoko

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精神を病んでいる母は、昔のことをどんどん忘れていっているようです。かき氷が大好きだったのに、今では興味も示しません。

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