personal interpreter

(click the image to view close up)

freshly drawn today.

the japanese writing on the left says, “i-ro-ha”. it’s the beginning of a japanese poem, the iroha. nihongo (the japanese language) has a syllabary, not an alphabet. the iroha poem contains each syllable exactly once. it was written sometime in the heian era (794-1192, when kyoto was the capital), and was used as an ordering system for the japanese syllables (kana) until the meiji era (late 19th century).

the original japanese poem:

(in translation:)
Though fragrant are the colors,
Yet shall the flowers scatter.
Who in our world
Could forever endure?
Over the mountain of transcendence
Let us today cross,
And there will be no more shallow dreams,
No more drunken illusions.

(translation from here)


Author: yuka

can you see this?

6 thoughts on “personal interpreter”

  1. this is very beautiful–both the drawing and the poem. いろは certainly puts the abc song in its place…also this is the first time i’ve ever seen a ゑ!very interesting.

  2. thanks vee-chan! i hear that ゑ and katakana version ヱ are often used among young girls for cellphone letters nowadays. it’s called “gal-go”.
    i’m not a gal anymore, but i’d like to use them too. such a nice font.

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  4. this is so lovely! i found it by chance because i was googling the iroha, and ended up posting it on my blog i hope that’s alright!
    i find your art really wonderful. colored pencil is my favorite medium, though i’m not at all a good artist. still, looking at your work i feel inspired to draw!

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