The Song of Loneliness
A state is called the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly lieth it also; and this lie creepeth from its mouth: “I, the state, am the people.”
Finally these guardian deities of the lonely spirit brought the war.
You are not to blame. I, of course, am not to blame. Everything is the doing of loneliness.
Loneliness made them carry guns, even made them, with the bait of loneliness, shrug off their mothers and wives
and leave toward where the flags flapped.
Trinket makers, cleaners, clerks, students,
all turning into folk shaken with the wind.(1)
Every and each one, no distinction among them. All taught to die was best.(2)
Petty, timid, good-natured people, their thoughts darkened in the name of the Emperor, went off like brats, delighted, hubbubbing.
But on the home front, we’re nervous,
fearful of an arrow with white feathers, (3)
forcing ourselves to push aside skepticism and anxiety,
we try to spend just this one day, we’re all doomed anyway,
drunk on the sake given out. (4)
Egoism, and the shallowness of love.
Bearing it in silence, women wait for rations,
linking themselves like beggars.
People’s expressions growing sadder day by day,
the fate of the folk of an all-out nation,
I had not seen, since my birth, a loneliness so immediate, so profound.
But I no longer care. To me, such loneliness doesn’t mean anything now.
The loneliness that I, I now truly feel lonely about
is that I can’t feel, around me, any desire, not even of a single person,
holding his ground in the opposite direction of this degradation, trying to find the very roots of loneliness as he walks with the world. That’s it. That’s the only thing.
On 5 May 1945, Boys’ Day (5)