- 現代と文化 : 日本福祉大学研究紀要 = Journal of Culture in our Time (ISSN:13451758)
- vol.135, pp.115-126, 2017-03-31
This paper will show how Mahmoud Darwish was introduced in Japan and visited Hiroshima. He was not only the greatest poet of the 20th century but also an activist to fight for the right of Palestine. We should not forget that he once visited Japan. After he was awarded the Lotus Prize for Literature in 1970 some Japanese writers such as Yoshie Hotta got interested in Middle East literature including the works by Darwish and planed to invite some writers and poets from Middle East countries to Japan to have a conference. In 1974 the conferences were held in Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka. The members from Middle East included Darwish, Adonis and so one. Because of a political trouble the writers from Egypt refused to attend it on the first day. But Darwish attended all the meetings and also visited the monument and the museum of Hiroshima on the way to Fukuoka. When he suffered from the air raids by Israel at Lebanon in 1982 he began to write a prose poem called Memory for Forgetfulness. He wrote about Hiroshima in it. The visit gave him the chance to connect Hiroshima and the atomic bomb to Lebanon and the air raids. His words were quoted in a local newspaper that“ The Problem of Hiroshima has been stuck in a heart of all the people on the earth. People in Hiroshima has suffered from the cruelty but we should say it is up to all human beings.” I want to say it’s not a coincidence that the poem started at August 6th which is the memorial day of Hiroshima. Just after he became a member of PLO and a speechwriter for Yasser Arafat there was no article on him in the papers in Japan until his death. We should not forget his visit to Hiroshima gave him an inspiration to his poetry.