- 電気通信大学紀要 (ISSN:09150935)
- vol.31, no.1, pp.48-60, 2019-02-01
This article aims to demonstrate three significances of tanka poems by HONGO Sumie (1934~), who has lived for sixty years in Nishijin, Kyoto: the significance of her poems in depicting the glory and decline of Nishijin fabric industry and the ever-inspiring historic places of and figures in Kyoto; the beauty and artistry of her poems in exploiting a variety of rhetorical expressions; the possibility of making ordinary Japanese people realize the beauty and richness of the Japanese language. Among her conspicuous rhetorical expressions is the use of onomatopoeia like saya-saya, light and rhythmic sounds of a bamboo or a small waterfall, describing a Nishijin fabric machine and a small waterfall in a well-known garden in Kyoto. Another is the frequent use of hikari or light, referring to encouraging aspects of the world around her. In a tanka poem her late husband is associated with light (hikari) and a shield (tate). Not well-known to the tanka-related people, the poet deserves, the author believes, to be accepted as a distinguished Nishijin- and Kyoto- related poet. (Kyoto and Nishijin need a poet who gives literary description of its glorious culture and history.) Her use of uta-kotoba or words frequently used in tanka poems like modasu or 'to remain silent' might enable ordinary Japanese people to be impressed with not-daily-used beautiful Japanese expressions, thereby being more interested in their native language.