Hobonichi 2021・Daily quotes
January cover page
This is a poem by Ōtomo no Yakamochi (大伴家持), which I shan’t pretend to be able to translate precisely. I did manage to get the general gist of it, because there are many websites that offer a more modern version of this poem, for example:
A very fitting poem for the first month (and day) of the new year. I love the comparison between the piling up of falling snow and the (hoped for) piling up of good things in the new year. When I saw this aptly picked quote, I knew it would be rewarding to try to read all of them!
I believe the spirit of poems has continuously been handed over from the time of the Manyoshu [to the] Meiji poets and finally to us today. In short, both 1300 years ago and now, the feeling of “I love you” that is composed in love poetry hasn’t changed.
I want to make a note of things that it would be inconsequential for me to forget if I don’t write them down on the spot. When I realise “this thing is inconsequential!”, my face lights up and I quickly try to make a note of it. Things like “children of this age hold their legs like this when they sit”, or “my uncle usually puts the cup here when he stops drinking”.
Things that are unpleasant, but also feel good at the same time.
Times when you should be sad, but the sadness just doesn’t come.
A feeling of increasing loneliness even though you were laughing the whole time.
Feelings that you can’t name, feelings so insignificant, but you still can’t ignore them.
On the first Monday of January, [I think] “Thank God It’s Monday”. I find it’s a “what a welcome Monday, let’s get to it!” kind of day. From this day on I reckon there are many people who start their jobs. Together with a sense of “let’s get to it!”
I have been using a Hobonichi Techo for 12 years. Without change, the thing I do first every year is to copy the holidays of my husband, who works as an auctioneer at the market. Even during Golden Week it appears that the market is often open. I note down the wish “do your best at your job with good humour this year as well”
In rugby, you get excited before a match and raise your spirits, stirring up your team mates as you stand on the pitch. However, it’s an interesting thing, it’s actually problematic to feel the same emotions during the kickoff moment. Although you have to be in an excited state, the game proceeds in an exceptionally strategic way. Because you have to input the strategy into your head and issue instructions to your team mates. There are many cases where you fail if you go in with an excited mentality similar to [the one you feel] at the kickoff site at the start of the game.
Since I have grown older, I’ve reached the point where, if someone – be they younger or older – is an amazing person, I can truly recognise that “this person is amazing”. Since some time or another I’ve become truly able to think like that.
Rather than going somewhere, I like to digest places I can’t go by making a drawing of them. There are also places where it is better not to go, rather than seeing how it differs from the real place, because there are many times when I let my thoughts expand too much into a direction that differs completely from the real place. In short, it’s ok if the places you want to go to only exist in your heart.
Upon entering a restaurant with his family and being asked by the waitress “would you like a seat in a tatami room or on a couch”, my father said with a loud voice “at a table!”. I think both options come with a table, dad.
Calligraphy is a tactile art. It is not a visual art. If you can sense what sensation you are trying to write, what kind of sensation of the brush you are feeling as you write, you already know how to do calligraphy. Calligraphy is a representation of feeling [something].
A researcher prioritises reading the passages that are closely related to the hypothesis of their thesis, right? A translator cannot afford to do that, though. He translates both the famous line from Hamlet “to be or not to be” and a single word from a part however small the same way: diligently word for word. Towards the original work, towards all of the characters, the translator is in the most fair/impartial position, I think.
When I think “I can’t draw very well”, the thought becomes stuck in my head. That is why when I draw, it might look like I am not thinking about anything at all, but I am thinking. And it might look like I am thinking, but I am not thinking.
Even if I simply asserted that “in order to be happy, you shouldn’t compare yourself to other people”, I have a suspicion that there are truly barely any people who can do so perfectly. But even if it’s little by little, I feel it is important to create a place where you don’t compare yourself to others. It’s very difficult though.
“The process of creating your role” is often talked about, but as for me, I don’t think that “roles” are things that you “create”. To what extent you can start up the character from the screenplay, that is not an act of “creating”. You felt it from the screenplay and you made a mental picture from the text. If you can get the thing that must be described as the ‘presence’ of that person, the thing that is like the manifestation of that person’s energy, in your belly, it means that you can go out onto the stage.
Sometimes I want to see people because I feel lonely, other times I don’t want to see people because I feel lonely.
Currently struggling with
The things I made/did in a time when I was young and trying to bloom,
were things that had いのちの働き that were more のびのび than necessary.
I am glad that I did my job at that time without grumbling.
Until I improve(d),
once I carefully amassed strength or something,
I am truly glad I didn’t say prodigy-like things.
[I want to tell you about] an important stretch I want you all to do every day without fail. That is the ‘while stretch’. For example, try writing in your Hobonichi while doing a leg opening stretch. That’s doable, right? In this way, do stretches while you’re doing things during your daily life. Doing it like this is quite effective.
みなさんにぜひ毎日やってもらいたい大切なストレッチを。What verb am I supposed to supply, do you think?
I got a Hobonichi Techo Cousin and I’ve been trying to read the daily quotes. The first two were easy, but I’m struggling with the third one. That made me wonder if there are other people out there reading the daily quotes who may want to read them together?
For what it’s worth, here’s the quote for 3 Jan (I assume they are the same across all models):