Ginza by Oguma Hideo (銀座 / 小熊秀雄)

Town of night,
neon signs,
full of obscenity,
you are not at all beautiful
The city’s public toilet,
so well constructed
Sweat drips into the ditch water
The beauty of another man’s wife
Of all that I see,
I can’t admire a single thing
from Ginza Icchoume to Shinbashi —
They speak of Ginza in Hell,
a dark place where the scent of flowers has wasted away
Pitiable people,
how many times do you intend to keep coming back to this place?

夜の街よ、
ネオンサインよ、
淫猥なばかりで
さつぱりお前は美しくない
都会の共同便所よ、
立派な建て方だ
掘割の水の上を油が辷つて流れてゆく
他人様の妻君の美しさよ、
眼にうつるもの
ひとつとして私を感心させない
銀座一丁目から新橋まで――、
銀座は地獄に筒抜けで
華かさの尽きたところが真暗だ、
哀れな市民よ、
なんべん此処を往復しようとするのか。

4 thoughts on “Ginza by Oguma Hideo (銀座 / 小熊秀雄)

  1. Very insightful. But Ginza should not be the only place to have such a poem composed in its honor. Most of what is said here applies equally well to Beverly Hills, Manhattan, etc. “A dark place where the scent of flowers has wasted away” just about describes every upscale shopping district in the world.

    • It’s interesting that he was probably writing this in the 1930s (Oguma died in 1940). I wonder how the Ginza of his lifetime compares to the Ginza of today. I only walked through it briefly on the day I left Japan (in December 2006), so my impressions are very vague. I remember a KFC, and some streamers, but that’s about all.

      But yes, I think his Ginza stands in for many a place in the world. There are a lot of cities that they hear about in Hell 8>}

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s