A Poem by Misuzu Kaneko

Posted on 09. Jul, 2011 @ 4:08 pm by in Art, Culture, Language Views: 10,033

Kaneko Misuzu

One of my good friends told me to check out this poem by Kaneko Misuzu [wiki] quite some time ago, and I finally got around to it. The poem is short and sweet, and not too difficult, so you can use it as a study tool as well. I have provided a simple translation below.

金子みすゞ

わたしが両手をひろげても
お空はちっともとべないが、
とべる小鳥はわたしのように、
地べたをはやくは走れない。

わたしがからだをゆすっても、
きれいな音はでないけど、
あの鳴るすずはわたしのように
たくさんなうたは知らないよ。

すずと、小鳥と、それからわたし、
みんなちがって、みんないい。

My weak translation. I have paid little attention to style. I have no skill in poetry, that’s my excuse.

Even if I spread wide both my arms
I cannot fly in the sky at all
but, that little bird that can fly
cannot run quickly on the ground like I can.

Even if I shake my body,
I cannot make it produce a pretty sound.
But that ringing bell
doesn’t know a lot of songs like I do.

The bell, the little bird, and then me.
We’re all different, but we’re all wonderful.

  • Thomas Hjelm

    Reading the poem it seemed really familiar.  I thought about it and realized that I have heard Koni-chan sing it about 100 times on the kids shows にほんごであそぼ :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofF-xmFIhwQ

    • http://www.japannewbie.com Harvey

      Thanks for that link! I didn’t know about this kids show and didn’t know they had set this poem to music. Awesome find!

      • Sachiko

         The poem is wonderful and I’m glad they utilize it till today.  What I don’t appreciate is the culture’s willingness to let children do just what they please … (ex- child thumping and bobbing in front of the tv!).

  • http://bloggermalone.blogspot.com/ emmie

    この詩は、国語の授業で習うことが多いです。勇気づけられる詩ですよね。
    Many Japanese learn the poem at a language art class in elementary school. I like it too.

  • Cherri(秦始莲)

    Thanks for sharing! I am reading her book in Japanese, her poems are simply but very deep.

  • YUMI_HEIKE

    わたしが両手をひろげてもお空はちっともとべないが、とべる小鳥はわたしのように

  • Timothy Takemoto

    I wonder how “ii” became “wonderful.”

JapanNewbie
    Twitter Feed

Welcome to JapanNewbie.com! My goal is to get you excited about Japan and the Japanese language. Love it! This blog has been around for more than five years now, so be sure to dig into the archives and use the search. You never know what you might find!

Recent Comments:

  • You Reap What You Sow (5)
    • Axel: Oh, ignore those who giggled, Jesus. I would be really impressed if any Japanese learner even tried to use a phrase 十人十色 (an English...
  • Learning Japanese through Proverbs (5)
    • Mark: I’m trying to translate this Japanese mantra, can you help? #hawaiianShaman
  • Shaking Like a Poor Man (5)
    • rugged_individual: Actually, the point of calling it poor man shake is that DOING it will cause you to demonstrate a lack of discipline, posture...
  • Sewa – Hindi and Japanese (10)
    • Japan This!: Linguistically speaking there is no basis for either connection. This is called pseudo-etymology or para-etymology. If it becomes...
    • yoshihito: siks have a word: “sewa” meaning “help, assist”, maybe the origin of the japanese word “sewa”. There...



  • Photos on flickr

  • You Reap What You Sow (5)
    • Axel: Oh, ignore those who giggled, Jesus. I would be really impressed if any Japanese learner even tried to use a phrase 十人十色 (an English...
  • Learning Japanese through Proverbs (5)
    • Mark: I’m trying to translate this Japanese mantra, can you help? #hawaiianShaman
  • Shaking Like a Poor Man (5)
    • rugged_individual: Actually, the point of calling it poor man shake is that DOING it will cause you to demonstrate a lack of discipline, posture...
  • Sewa – Hindi and Japanese (10)
    • Japan This!: Linguistically speaking there is no basis for either connection. This is called pseudo-etymology or para-etymology. If it becomes...
    • yoshihito: siks have a word: “sewa” meaning “help, assist”, maybe the origin of the japanese word “sewa”. There...