Names in this site follow the Japanese custom of family name first.

August 9, 2011

Honen's Moonlight (Walking Waka Tracks)

Gojo-dori, one of the most eye-sore heavy-traffic arteries of Kyoto, is not exactly a place where you would expect to find a poem. On an ugly wall behind which lies a small graveyard, Jodo temple Sainenji has put up a board with a beautiful poem by its founder Honen:

[Sainenji on Gojodori Avenue, Kyoto. Photo Ad Blankestijn]

Here is my translation:
though the moon shines
all over the land
leaving no corner in darkness
it only purifies the hearts
of those who gaze upon it
tsukigake no | itaranu sato wa | nakeredomo | mitsumuru hito no | kokoro ni zo sumu