“Get Through Today” by Nobuyasu Okabayashi (今日をこえて–岡林信康)

Stop your fretting, that’s enough
Today’s passing yesterday by
Stop listening to yesterday, that’s enough
Today has passed, you have tomorrow

You’ve got to say something
Try to be a good, obedient kid
And you’ll never understand
Get through today
Start living for tomorrow

Stop clinging to the past, that’s enough
Today’s already yesterday
Stop acting so proper, that’s enough
Tomorrow’s already yesterday

You’ve got to say something
Try to be a good, obedient kid
And you’ll never understand
Get through today
Start living for tomorrow

Original lyrics:

くよくよするのはもうやめさ
今日はきのうを越えている
きのうに聞くのももうやめさ
今日を越えた明日がある

何とでも云うがいいさ
よい子でいたいお利口さん
あんたにゃわかるまい
今日をのりこえて
明日に生きることなんか

しがみつくのはもうやめさ
今日もきのうになっちまう
利□ぶるのももうやめさ
明日もきのうになっちまう

何とでも云うがいいさ
よい子でいたいお利口さん
あんたにゃわかるまい
今日をのりこえて
明日に生きることなんか

The Long Journey to Freedom by Nobuyasu Okabayashi (自由への長い旅–岡林 信康)

Suddenly it’s like I’m not myself anymore
Like a leaf fluttering in the wind, like a boat set adrift
To get back to myself again
I’m bidding farewell to the world I know and taking a trip
I want to believe, so I’ll keep going uncertainly
Alone on the long journey to freedom
Another day on the long journey to freedom

I don’t know where this road leads
I only know that I’ll finally get somewhere
What kind of place will it be?
What will I find there?
Without knowing, all alone, I’m bidding farewell and taking a trip
I want to believe, so I’ll keep going uncertainly
Alone on the long journey to freedom
Another day on the long journey to freedom

Original lyrics:

いつのまにか私が 私でないような
枯葉が風に舞うように 小舟がただようように
私がもう一度 私になる為に
育ててくれた 世界に別れを告げて旅立つ
信じたいために うたがいつづける
自由への長い旅を一人
自由への長い旅を今日も

この道がどこを とおるのか知らない
知っているのは たどりつくところが
あることだけ
そこがどこになるのか
そこでなにがあるのか
わからないまま一人で別れを告げて 旅立つ
信じたいために うたがいつづける
自由への長い旅を一人
自由への長い旅を今日も

Nobuyasu Okabayashi is a Japanese folk singer whose career dates back to the late 1960s. His style and social and political messaging quickly drew comparisons to Bob Dylan, an artist he covered early on in his career. This song is taken from his 1970 album 見るまえに跳べ (Leap Before You Look), which featured the newly-formed Happy End, who became one of Japan’s most famous folk-rock groups, as his backing band. The entire album can be heard on YouTube (highly recommended).

Pathway (道程) by Tate Takako (タテタカコ)

When walking the path alone
and feeling lonely
all warm creatures
reach out for one another

If desire is human nature
then even though violent waves are in our way
we will see somewhere in the distance
joy, light, life

If a chance encounter can change your life
I’ll keep waiting for someone I’ve never seen
because the waters that flow through my body
will not lie to me

If all that we can see
were to disappear completely
their echoes would remain in our hearts
Please tell me
your honest feelings

Right now if you’re sad, let your tears flow
Right now if you’re happy, laugh out loud

独りで歩く道程が
寂しいものだと感じたとき
ぬくもりをもつ生きものたちは
互いに手をとりはじめる

望みが人を性なら
行く手には荒波が来ようとも
眼差しを遠くまでもつことが
喜び 光 生きること

出逢いが人を変えるのなら
まだ見ぬあなたを待ちましょう
身体を流れる水たちは
自分に嘘をつけないから

目に見えるものはいずれ
消え失せても
心に響くものは残っていく
わけてください
あなたの気持ちを

今悲しいのなら ここで涙を流し
今嬉しいのなら 笑ってしまおう

Haiku by Ikeda Sumiko (池田澄子)

my favorite thing in life
when the start of winter
feels like spring

生きるの大好き冬のはじめが春に似て

snake berry
I always forget to look
at the leaves

蛇苺いつも葉っぱを見忘れる

the coming of spring
has come again
crocodile jaw

また春が来たことは来た鰐の顎

no less significant
than I am
rainy season mushrooms

わたくしに劣るものなく梅雨きのこ

everyone
stones on the ice
of the lake

ひとびとよ池の氷の上に石

hiding the sun
sunlightsunsunflower

日輪を隠す日光日日草

spring wind
words become sound
and disappear

春風や言葉が声になり消ゆる

Haiku by Ikeda Sumiko (池田澄子)

little Taku’s
first calligraphy this year
a giant oval

拓チャンの書初め大いなる楕円

fig trees
gods or buddha
never saw them

無花果や神も仏も見たことなし

moonlit pillar
if you want to bloom
be my guest

月の夜の柱よ咲きたいならどうぞ

under cherry blossoms
I do not wait to see
if they fall

桜の下散るか散るまで待てません

she is prettier
than I am
the tubifex worm

私より彼女が綺麗糸みみず

All poems originally appeared in Japanese at the Gendai Haiku Association Database (http://www.haiku-data.jp/).

Tanka by Okada Miyuki (岡田美幸)

They ran away
from a tower
called school
Shortcut
Rapunzels

学校という名の塔から逃げ出したショートカットのラプンツェルたち

Wanting to be a genius
the science kid
built a robot
and named it
after his mother

天才になりたい理系の少年がロボット作り母の名つけた

Melon bread
does not contain
melon juice
Reading a novel
I can’t shed tears

メロンパンメロン果汁は含まない小説読んで涙できない

NOTE: These poems originally appeared in the Japanese literary anthology Musica, vol. 2 (2015).

Haiku by Yoshii Yoshie (好井由江)

living together
with a single goldfish
raining in Ginza

いっぴきの金魚と暮らす銀座に雨

old scarecrow
crying out something
in the wind

案山子翁何か叫びぬ風の中

NOTE: Haiku taken from the Gendai Haiku Association Database (http://www.haiku-data.jp/).