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Uji no Shi: Poems from Uji, Kyoto, Japan

ByBruce Rimell

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In the late 1990s, artist and poet Bruce Rimell travelled halfway across the world to live and work in Japan. There in his new home city of Uji, just south of Kyoto, he discovered a wonderful new world of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, as well as evocative myths and folktales, beautiful rivers and forested mountains. Losing himself in this ancient landscape, where the Uji River emerges from the mountains into a picturesque cultural scene, he soon discovered the traditional Japanese artform of the tanka, and he began writing these brief poems to reflect upon his emotional life, and to note his personal impressions of the historical region in which he lived. After two years in the country, he decided to return home to Britain, initiating a transformative period in his life. The tanka struck him as an appropriate way to record these changes, particularly as the medium commonly evokes traditional Japanese cultural ideas of impermanence, transience and the fleeting nature of moments in time. As he departed from Japan, and settled back slowly into British life, he mused upon sorrows of a life left behind, impressions of natural beauty and failed love affairs, all of which are enfolded into a collection of poems – in Japanese, but with English translations and notes – that represents an emotionally sensitive work of memory, of reminiscence, and of mono no aware, the ‘sigh of things’, the delicate knowledge that everything in this fleeting, floating world eventually fades and passes away.


Publication Date
Apr 27, 2022
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
By (author): Bruce Rimell


Interior Color
Black & White
A5 (5.83 x 8.27 in / 148 x 210 mm)

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