Jan 27, 2009

Living forward for a year

Every year the Emperor of Japan selects a poetic theme for the next year. The theme is announced and guest poets and the public are invited to submit waka poems based on the theme. Waka or Tanka is a five line poem with 5-7-5-7-7 syllables in each line. Anyone can submit a poem and if your poem is selected, you will get an invitation to attend the gathering held for poems in January. You will have the opportunity to have an audience with the Emperor and recite your poem at the gathering. The Emperor will present his poem at the gathering as well.

The chokudai, or poetic theme for last year was fire. for 2009 is sei – meaning “to live” or “to live forward.” If you are an artist, this might mean you continue striving in the arts. If you are a craftsperson, perhaps it means to keep the old or new tradition going. If you are a teacher, you might try to impart a good education to your students. Or for a plant it may mean to remain in the ground for another year.

For this year, I will not dwell in the past. All the mistakes I made in the past or perceived slights made by others will be in the past. Everyday for this year, I will wake up to a new day and continue to live forward.


  1. Margie-sensei, happy new year and welcome back!
    Thank you, so much, for the lovely posts again! :)


  2. Zlati,
    Thank you for your comment. Happy new year to you as well. I hope the coming year will bring you everything you could wish for.