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Welcome to the 5th Wolf Twin Review!

Introducing: Kimihito Sasa . . . the renowned Tanka Poet. His current work is called "Telekinesis Family."

Portrait by: Tré
Portrait by: Tré

Tanka 1

The secret hideout

I made with my friend long ago

when we were still boys,

if I were to visit now

my friend would be living there

Tanka 2

During afterglow

at the Chuo Central Line

a girl’s mental scars

are being rocked back and forth

and melting away like butter

Tanka 3

Ms. Nakamura

who took off her eyeglasses

during the field trip

was such a beautiful girl.

And that is all I can say

Tanka 4

The simple three words

A password of “Let me in,”

it seems that I have

carelessly forgotten it

A window at morning glow

Featured Poet Interview:

1. Do you have a habit of preparing your mind before reciting tanka?

I don't have any particular habits. Inspiration comes suddenly.

2. Where do you like to write?

In family restaurants, coffee shops, etc.

3. Was there a decisive moment in your past when you realized that you should become a poet?

In the summer of 1999, when I was thinking: "Maybe I can become a poet . . . ?" A golden statue of Daikokuten fell from the sky. At that time, I had an intuition that I should pursue the path of tanka.

4. If you could have dinner with any tanka poets throughout history, who would they be?

Ono no Komachi of the Heian period.

5. If you hadn't become a tanka poet, what career could you see yourself having?

Careers in the realms of: script writer, broadcast writer, comedian, or movie director.

6. I love how science fiction and psychokinesis naturally inspire your work. Breaking tradition is brave. Though traditional in execution, your tanka themes are beautifully unconventional. Were you dissuaded or encouraged to be so unique?

There were people who criticized my tanka for being similar to manga, but there were many people who supported me. That being said, I do think my tanka, surprisingly, conforms to the literary style.

7. If you could write a tanka that granted a wish, what would it be?

To be able to have a cute dog that lives a long life.

8. Imagine you can travel through time. What advice would you give your younger self about writing tanka?

I believe that tanka is my destiny, so no matter what, do not give up. Also, read lots of the splendid tanka of your predecessors.

9. Do you have a favorite tanka poem, one you feel is perfectly formed, or has inspired you the most?

My little brother

and his bird had disappeared

without any trace

while going out to buy a

new Buddhist family alter

- Shuji Terayama

10. What is your favorite science fiction book or story?

"Bokko-Chan" by Shinichi Hoshi.

11. Are you already working on another book? If so, can you share its theme?

I'm currently writing something full of psychokinesis.

12. Any other exciting projects ahead that you’d like to share?

Yes, please keep a lookout for it this summer!

13. If you were a tree, what would you be?

A monkeypod tree from the Hawaiian island of Oahu. It is the tree from the famous Hitachi Group TV commercial in Japan.

Here is a short documentary introducing the “Hitachi Tree”: Video

"NHK Tanka #Shin Tanka Introduction" is now on sale!

To Kimihito Sasa:

Thank you so much for being our Featured Poet, and congratulations on your latest book release! It truly is a work of art.

Dearest Readers:

Greetings, fellow poetry lovers! This special interview is also available in Japanese, both versions were translated by Nora. Check back next month, or subscribe to our blog to see the moonstruck poets we have lined up. Owwwoooooo!

All poems are the copyright and personal property of the Featured Poet, all art is the copyright and personal property of the artists. No art or writing on this website may be copied and distributed without permission from the artist or author.


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