Thursday, December 15, 2005

Difficulty for attractive reading in Japanese language

The word in the subject "attractive" can be said in other word, "rhythmical".

Last week I was at the audience sheet of "Euro-Japan Poetry Festival in Tokyo" and have been listening to poets from mainly europe and of course Japan read her/his own pieces. When it was read in foreign language for Japanese, translated poetry was read by Japanese actress/actor. Sometimes poetry was read with piano.

To my surprise, some reading refused the sound of piano, over or under or into or stay with, because the performance reading has its own rhythm and sound, voice only(or sometimes gesture or stomp). Japanese translation readers seemed to be used to read on piano with beautiful voice and easy to listen to.

I understand that Latin origined languages' accent consists of strong-long and weak-short. The character makes poetry easy to have its own rhythm, I strongly felt to hear many readings read in several Europian language.

Bytheway, the accent system of Japanese language is quite different from that of European languages. It is expressed only tone; high or low. The length of each syllable does not change, except it is done intently. Let me show an example.

My name is Kasumi.(English) | Watashino namaewa kasumi desu.(Japanese)

My nei--m is kasu--mi.


Like that.

I wrote above that you can intently alter character of accent of Japanese language to strong-long and weak-short type; but you must adapt it very carefully with the words of your poetry piece or you will be said the reading is unnatural because of English accent.

So, Japanese poetry is difficult to be rhythmical.
At ancient times, domestic poetries were often sung with syllables extended extremely.
I wrote domestic, it is because at ancient times sinple word poetry meant that from China. It was ordinary that Japanese educated class wrote poetry in Chinese language. Nowadays there exists those who enjoys "kan-shi", Chinese poetry, in japan. Once I have heard a rumour it is easier to sing.

Then, what are contenporary poet and tanka poet(like me) and haiku poet doing when they read out their works?
And the story returnes to its subject.
I think I have it is necessary to concern many issues, including direction, to say nothing of to write good pieces to your ear.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


My name is Kasumi Numatani. I am a tanka poet for 10 years in Japanese languageand am doing tanka performance reading for 7 years and tanka poet in Englishfor 5 days :-)
I am writing a blog in Japanese around poetry readingsand/or so called spoken words. I do not enough prepare for this blog contentsyet, so please wait till I start to write; and I will be happy if you continueto read my writings .