こだまでしょうか Are You an Echo? by
かねこみすず
金子みすゞ

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こだまでしょうか  Are You an Echo?, by
かねこみすず
金子みすゞ
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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.
Are You an Echo, or in Japanese こだまでしょうか, is perhaps the best-known of all Kaneko Misuzu's works. After the
とうほく
東北
ちほう
地方
たいへいようおき
太平洋沖
じしん
地震
, the tremendous earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in 2011, this poem was used as the basis for a simple advertisement encouraging the Japanese to feel compassion for each other and for those afflicted by the disaster. It was tremendously effective - over one million people signed up to volunteer. In addition, it made Kaneko a household name for the modern generation.
The following Joy o' Kanji essay covers a 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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