はち
かみさま
神様
Bee and God by
かねこみすず
金子みすゞ

You can read this text by clicking READ above. You can also read the text synchronized with video in the Media Corner:
はち
かみさま
神様
- Bee and God, by
かねこみすず
金子みすゞ
Click for more information on this video.
Welcome to the poetry of Kaneko Misuzu, one of Japan's most famous and enduring poets, whose 512 works continue to delight children and adults alike.
Bee and God is a wonderful expression of the idea that all things are connected – and that the spiritual and transcendent can be found everywhere.
Here we present Bee and God using a translation by Tilak Bhattacharjee, along with a video he created to illustrate the poem. Tilak's video continues after the part we use to illustrate the poem, and contains further analysis of the words and language used. Use the link above to watch the video synchronized with the poem on Kanshudo. You can also find the video on YouTube here ⇗.
Bee and God features in an in-depth article by Professor Yazaki Setsuo, the Japanese poet who brought Kaneko Misuzu's poems back into the public eye in the 1970s - see 金子みすゞの童謡:神さまは、小ちゃな蜂の中に ⇗ (also available in an English translation: Kaneko Misuzu: Finding God in a Little Bee ⇗).
For another Japanese introduction to the poem, see 蜂と神さま ⇗ by traveling musician and blogger
ゆげた
弓削
けんすけ
田健介
.
The following Joy o' Kanji essays cover key kanji used in this poem, and will enhance your reading experience:
For more information on the life and works of Kaneko Misuzu, read our detailed Point of Interest.
The Japanese is reproduced here, with thanks, by permission of JULA Publishing Bureau, the Japanese organization that administers Kaneko's legacy. JULA, a unit of Froebel-kan ⇗, also publishes a six-volume anthology containing all 512 of Kaneko's works, from which the Japanese is taken: Kaneko Misuzu Doyo Zenshu ("The Complete Poetry of Kaneko Misuzu").
The English is taken from Are You an Echo?: The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko ⇗ published by Chin Music Press ⇗, and we would like to express our thanks to the translators, Sally Ito and Michiko Tsuboi, as well as to the author, David Jacobson, and the illustrator, Hajiri Toshikado. Are You an Echo? is also available in Japanese - こだまでしょうか? -いちどは失われたみすゞの詩 ⇗. Both the English and Japanese versions present most of the poems in both Japanese (with furigana) and English, suitable even for beginning Japanese learners.
This text has been selected to suit reading level: Upper beginner.
However, it includes some vocabulary and phrases that you would not necessarily be expected to know at that level. We believe knowledge of such vocabulary and phrases is beneficial at any stage of Japanese language learning, as they are commonly used in everyday language.
Many of the readings in the Reading Corner, such as this one, have additional notes in the introduction. The notes often provide extra information that will help you get more out of the text, including links to articles in the Grammar library. Additional notes are included with some of the individual sentences in a reading directly below the text.
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