Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Japanese Poets - Ono no Komachi

If you're familiar at all with classical Japanese poetry, then you probably already know about Ono no Komachi...but if you're not, then read on. :P

Ono no Komachi was a poet during the Heian period, and she was described as an amazingly beautiful woman. She had many suitors, and there is a story of one particular suitor -- Shii no Shosho -- who she agreed to see if he would visit where she lived every night for 100 nights...but the suitor fell ill and died on the 99th night.

I love her poetry, and this one is probably one of my favorites and one of the ones she is most famous for:


Did you come to see me
because I dropped off to sleep
tormented by love?
If I had known I dreamed,
I would not have awakened.
(--McCullough's translation.)

Nagoya Aquarium

I love wandering around aquariums, so I couldn't not go to the Nagoya Aquarium while I was in Japan!

Of course, I'm really bad with fish names in English, so even reading the name plates of all the different fish in Japanese didn't really help much. But the aquarium was really pretty, and there were so many different exhibits!

They also had jellyfish! They had special tanks for them so that they got kind of circulated around in their tanks. They also had a lot of turtles, and I happened to go by during their feeding time.

One other thing I saw was the dolphin show! It was really neat! Not much different than something you'd see at SeaWorld...but a lot cheaper, ticket-price-wise. ;)