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皿 — Dish — Teller — Тарелка

A Dadaist poem by Takahashi Shinkichi (1921). Anniversary edition.

Dadaism in Japan was a powerful movement. It’s a pity, it remains unknown, in opposite to European, French, or American Dada. Japanese Dadaists — and Avant-Garde in general — is precisely researched and elaborated. At least in Japan: I’ve written about bookshelves full of Avant-Garde books in Japanese bookstores.

One of the most prominent Japanese Dada poets was Takahashi Shinkichi:

“the only Zen poet in modern Japanese literature”,
like poetry critic Makoto Ueda once said (Makoto Ueda Modern Japanese Poets and the Nature of Literature p.335 Stanford University Press, 1983)

Takahashi Shinkichi (follow Twitter user oldpicture1900 for great insights into historian Japanese photography)

He published 1923 a collection of his Dadaist poems 「ダダイスト新吉の詩」(Poems of Dadaist Shinkichi). Among them was his famous poem “Plates”.

Source: https://twitter.com/arikiti_mottoi/status/805427721996075008

高橋新吉

皿 皿 皿 皿 皿 皿 皿 皿 皿 皿 皿 皿 皿 皿 皿 皿 皿 皿 皿 皿 皿 皿
倦怠
額に蚯蚓這ふ情熱
白米色のエプロンで
皿を拭くな
鼻の巣の黒い女
其処にも諧謔が燻すぶつてゐる
人生を水に溶かせ
冷めたシチューの鍋に
退屈が浮く
皿を割れ
皿を割れば
倦怠の響が出る。

English Translation:

Takahashi Shinkichi

dish dish dish dish dish dish dish dish dish dish dish dish dish dish dish dish dish dish dish dish dish dish dish dish dish dish dish
ennui
passion with earthworms crawling on the forehead
Do not wipe the dishes
with the rice-coloured apron
Woman with a black nest of a nose
humor smokes there
In the pot of the cold stew
with the life dissolved in water
tedium is floating
Break a dish
If you break one
it will make the sound of weariness

Translation from: Being modern in Japan: culture and society from the 1910s to the 1930s, Elise K. Tipton, John Clark; University of Hawaii Press, 2000

(Interestingly, the number of dishes varies — in the first publishing he had 22 counted dishes).

The feeling of mundane redundancy, of everyday boredness, of anonymized plates and dishes, of latent wishes to break and to disrupt this stagnation of reality makes the poem especially powerful and fresh, even now, 100 years after it was written (1921).

I made this video interpretation 9 years ago, and now it’s time to present it to you.

Here is my proposal: this video is presented in limited edition: 22 exemplars, like 22 plates in the original poem (not 27 like in my version I used from later published poem edition).

Every collector will be presented here (with Twitter or HicEtNunc profile)

  1. Collector: Writer, poet and artist Kalen Iwamoto / Twitter.
  2. Collector:

Dada lives and exists globally outside time and space.

Link to NTF:

SocialLink

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Merzmensch

Merzmensch

3.4K Followers

Futurist. AI-driven Dadaist. Living in Germany, loving Japan, AI, mysteries, books, and stuff.