Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

A single butterfly crossed the Tatar Strait.

Anzai Fuyue

A famous one-line poem celled “Spring”, from the collection Gunkan Mari, 1929. The author ,one of the pioneer of modern poetry, had tremendous influence on poetry of the 1930s on through his central role in the poetic prose movement of the late Taish ō period. Dattan Kaikyo is the old Japanese name for the Tatar Straits, now called Mamiya Kaikyō. “ChōChō”, “butterfly”, is written inthr old way, as “てふてふ”, which Hagiwara Sakutarō also preferred. This is because the unvocalized sound te-hu te-hu brings the way the butterfly flies clearly before the eyes. A just-born butterfly crosses the Tarar Strait from Sakhalin, headed towards the mainload of Asia. In it, the poet saw spring itself, and so he named the poem. The harsh sound and the look of the characters for Dattan(the radical for “leather” suggested saddles, horses and their fearsome riders, the Tatars) are quite effective.

てふてふがChōChō ga一匹ippiki韃靼海峡をDattan Kaikyōwo渡つて行つたwatatte itta