Tsukumogami 付喪神

It has been 100 years,
and I’m waiting on a shelf, in a drawer,
under foot, in my cage.

Adorned and inventoried, forgotten
in my lacquered muteness,
I am the tool and the torn thing,
the awl and the plank.

I’m promised a soul, and shining eyes
that I can turn from the bright sun like a coy girl.
Quicken my wooden skin, and I’ll
live and die as a being, not a possession
relegated by your disdain.

100 years and one day.
Don’t be afraid.
The shadow and breeze in the shut room—
it’s the difference between being needed
and being cherished.

(Japanese/romaji)

Sore wa hiyaku nen sodatta,
tana ni, hikidashi ni, ashimoto,
atashi no naka de matte aru.

Tsukuritateru to mokuroku deshita
atashi no urushi nuri no musei wasureta,
atashi wa yougu to hikisaka reta no mono desu.
Senmaidoshi to ita desu.

Watashi ni keiken to pikapika shite
no me o yakusoku sa reta,
sorekara maibushi taiyo ni tenji ru
hanarete, onnanoko toshite.

Watashi no mokusei no hada unagashite
soshite, atashi wa konpaku o ikiru to shinu
toshite, shouyu mono aru nai.

Hiyaku nen to ichi nichi sodatta.
Osorete wa ikenai.
Kage to kaze ga heishitsu ni aru,
sore wa no chigai ni
hitsuyo to sa rete iru, to
taisetsu ni shite iru.

Video Poem Links Here

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