Amenimo Makezu (Unbeaten by Rain)
by Kenji Miyazawa

Unbeaten by rain
Unbeaten by wind
Unbowed by the snow and the summer heat
Strong in body

Free from greed
Without any anger
Always serene

With a handful of brown rice a day
Miso and a small amount of vegetables suffice

Whatever happens
Consider yourself last, always put others first
Understand from your observation and experience
Never lose sight of these things

In the shadows of the pine groves in the fields
Live modestly under a thatched roof

In the East, if there is a sick child
Go there and take care of him
In the West, if there is an exhausted mother
Go there and relieve her of her burden
In the South, if there is a man near death
Go there and comfort him, tell him “Don’t be afraid”
In the North, if there is an argument and a legal dispute
Go there and persuade them it’s not worth it

In a drought, shed tears
In a cold summer, carry on
Even with a sense of loss

Being called a fool
Being neither praised nor a burden

Such a person I want to be

Translation Copyright © 2011 by Catherine Iwata, Fredrich Ulrich, Orlagh O’Reilly, Helen Bartos, Minaeri Park, Mokmi Park, Helen Bartos, Sophie Sampson, Kotomi Okbo, Eva Tuunanen, Alessanra Lauria, Sophie Sampson, Miwa Block, Nancy O’Reilly, Jasmina Vico & Yasuko Akiyama