Shiki - mother and sister


. - Masaoka Shiki 正岡子規 Introduction - .

His younger sister Ritsu cared for him with great devotion.

Ritsu to iu Shiki no imooto kinomi furu

the younger sister of Shiki -
nuts are falling

Miyasaka Shizuo 宮坂静生

Shiki was in bed most of the time, in pain. . . and his sister had been there to do all the kitchen chores, care for the ill brother and keep the home warm during winter, go shopping, cleaning, preparing firewood . . .

maki o waru imooto hitori fuyugomori

to split the firewood
there is only my younger sister -
our wintering 


Ritsu is a literal-minded woman. She is like an unfeeling tree or stone. She will nurse an invalid dutifully but can not comfort him emotionally. She will do anything the invalid orders, but is incapable of taking a hint. . . .
- - - Janine Beichman
source : books.google.co.jp

under construction

- quote -
A Stray Note, Shiki’s Sister
Debra Woolard Bender

I have been many women (roles) in my fifty years. Once, I was also a Ritsu, as a personal care attendant for my husband’s former employer Lloyd who was quadriplegic.
May I be honest, as Shiki was about his feelings toward his sister, Ritsu?
He was my brother, not by physical family, but by spiritual family. Ritsu’s “life of poetry” would include all those same emotions, but over a longer period of time.
I’ve not even been sure that anyone would really wish to hear about those everyday acts of caring for one in such a manner as Ritsu and her mother did for Shiki, or as I did with Lloyd.
As a Ritsu, my poems must need tell you about the careful daily cleaning out, with latex-gloved fingers, the bowels of a man, dressing chronic bedsores, staying nearby him day and night. . .
When one has been placed in such a position of Shiki or Ritsu, one’s views of life change — some for bitter, and some for the better. It reduces and reveals much negativity and argument over trivial issues to the pettiness it truly is.
Being in such a position as Ritsu or Shiki also reveals the greatness and strength of the human spirit. I hope my life and Ritsu’s changed for the better. I am more aware of the huge weaknesses and dark places of my own soul (and sometimes those of others) because of it.

kuni koete Ritsu wa ware ni mo imoto nari

transcending nationality
Ritsu is also
my sister
*Japanese translaton  by Eiko Yachimoto

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Ritsu, Shiki’s sister, along with their mother, provided personal care for Masaoka Shiki when he became bedridden with degenerative tuberculosis of the spine. Jane Beichman, in Masaoka Shiki, notes:

“Shiki’s relations with his mother and sister seem to have been difficult even though they nursed him devotedly after he became invalid. The vignette of his mother in the episode from Stray Notes . . . makes her sound a rather ineffectual person. Elsewhere in the diary, he claimed that both she and his sister were completely lacking in the imaginative resources necessary to cheer an invalid like himself (I can not resist adding that they were probably too busy simply accomplishing the basic tasks of life — cleaning, laundry, cooking, and attending to Shiki’s medical needs, as well as waiting on the guests who came to call — to have much time to spare for imagination).

‘Shiki’s particular wrath was reserved for his sister, Ritsu, who became the subject of one of the most extraordinary series of entries in Stray Notes.”
Stray Notes While Lying on My Back (Gyoga manroku 仰臥漫録),
A, VII; K, XI, Shiki Masaoka.

source : World Haiku Review 2001

Masaoka Shiki: His Life and Works
By Janine Beichman

about his sister RITSU
source : books.google.co.jp

about his mother
source : books.google.co.jp

about his grandfather Kanzan:
... The first of his tutors was his grandfather Kanzan, from whom he learned the elements of reading Chinese beginning in 1874.
... Kanzan doted on his grandson and said it was a pleasure to teach him, for he never forgot anything. Shiki in turn aquired from him a reverence for scholarship which he carried with him for the rest of his life and which deeply influenced his approach to literature.
... Kanzan, who was a distinguished Confucian scholar and Shiki's earliest teacher, became Shiki's ideal.
... Kanzan was a samurai's samurai . . .
source : books.google.co.jp


source : satton/bungaku

明治18年、帰郷の際に撮った写真。母八重40歳 - Yae age 40

Shiki's mother Yae 八重 in 1885, when Shiki visited Matsuyama
She remembers her son:
When he was young, he was quite a coward.
yowamiso 弱味噌 a weekling, a coward

Oohara Kanzan 大原観山 Ohara Kanzan, his grandfather
(1818年 - 1875年4月11日)
He was of the "traditional spirit" and never cut his chonmage hair of a samurai.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

- - - - -

- quote
That Masaoka's mother was a daughter of Ōhara Kanzan, a Confucian scholar, and therefore had more than a passing knowledge of Confucian thought herself, I wonder how much of an influence that had on his own writings.

. Hayato Tokugawa - fb .
Read the discussion.


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