Thank you Kuro Sama for nominating me to do this challenge. I happen to have a soft spot for pretty words, so this works out quite well. I’ll try to remember some of the quotes that have struck me from my wanderings in anime.
- Post one quotation a day for three days (they can be from other sources or one of your own).
- Nominate 3 other bloggers to participate per post.
- Thank the blogger who nominated you
My first quote is a little bit of cheating. I did first see it in an anime, My Neighbors the Yamadas, but it’s borrowing a rather famous haiku from Taneda Santoka.
“A lone figure / back turned / receding into the mist.”
Ushiro sugata no shigurete yukuka
My Neighbors the Yamadas is a Studiio Ghibli film. It’s a rather fun, yet irreverent look at a Japanese family. This particular anime I find can resonate with families from many cultures. This quote comes at the end of a somewhat sad scene. The father wants to take a picture with his family to commemorate the first snow of winter. Meanwhile, the family is enraptured by a drama playing on TV. His solution – to set the camera on the TV and take a picture in a way that made it look like all of them were together outside. Of course, there’s a ton of symbolism in the scene, but it’s greatly enhanced by this haiku.
Since I went to Japan to learn both language and culture, I have gained a tremendous appreciation for haiku. Some of the best haiku are so very descriptive, they create a clear image in your mind’s eye. Translating haiku is an exceptionally difficult task, so I can appreciate the effort that went into this translation. In the translation above, they went to encapsulate the feeling of the haiku.
One of the odd things about the haiku is its little か at the end, which makes it contemplative. Santoka was reflecting on how Santoka appeared to his friends as he left them. If you add in his really tragic past, it makes the phrase quite somber in tone. That’s what I really like about the quote – it’s a quiet reflection on how you appear to others.