Songs of the Resistenza: Fischia il Vento

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve last updated my blog. Many things happened in those last months and I didn’t have the time (and will) to update the blog. But lately I felt that I needed to hone my translations skills and here we are: Fischia il Vento (Wind whistles), is a partizan song, one of the most well known.
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Ten Tanka by Fujiwara no Teika (part IV)

Daaaaaamn, just how much time passed since my last post?! I’ve been a bit busy with kancolle university and I didn’t feel like writing here. However, today I’m in the right mood, so let’s read two more waka of Fujiwara no Teika.

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Italian Sayings: Tengo Famiglia

Imagine this scene: Police station. Interrogation room. Two detectives of the Italian Police force interrogated Mr. Rossi, an important civil servant, accused of taking bribes. After hours and hours of questions, he finally breaks down and confesses everything: he took bribes from shady people to close an eye on certain affairs. Thanks to his shameful behaviour, a lot of people suffered.  One of the detectives doesn’t understand why he took the bribes: he didn’t need money, he was respected by everyone thanks to his job and could have become an example to everyone if he exposed this corruption. “Why did you take the money?” asks the detective “Why did you ruin yourself like that?”.
A crying Mr. Rossi replies “Tengo famiglia“.

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Ten Tanka by Fujiwara no Teika (part II)

It’s spring again.
This is the period of the hanami, that will last ’till May, where Japanese people organize picnic under the blossoming cherry trees.
For some, Spring is the season of love, for me it’s just a rainy season.
Along with love and nature, season were a common theme of waka poetry.  Today’s poems are related to spring and I hope you’ll enjoy them.

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Ten Tanka by Fujiwara no Teika (part I)

First (relevant) post! How exciting!
I guess I should start with some explanations about Tanka and Fujiwara no Teika.
Tanka 短歌 (Short poem) is a type of Japanese poetry composed by 31 syllables divided in a 5-7-5-7-7 pattern. One of the master of this kind of poetry was Fujiwara no Teika (or Sadaie) 藤原定家 (1162-1241) poet, critic, calligrapher and much more. Like his father, he was a true authority in the field of poetry and compiled two imperial anthologies: the Shinkokinwakashū 新古今和歌集 and the Shinchokusenwakashū 新勅撰和歌集.
He also compiled the famous Hyakunin isshu 百人一首(one poem by a thousand poets), maybe you heard about this one thanks to anime.
But enough with the history lesson, let’s take a look at two tanka.

Continue reading “Ten Tanka by Fujiwara no Teika (part I)”