Translated by Michihiro Ama in “Neglected Diary, Forgotten Buddhist Couple: Tana Daisho’s Internment Camp Diary as Historical and Literary Text,” Journal of Global Buddhism 14 (2013)
Saying, “To the Buddha,” young girls pick flowers and hand them to me;
I delightedly offer them to the Buddha.
From the peaks of the Sierras, winds blow this way and that:
In the dead of night, I pile on more clothes because of cold.
During a Dharma Talk, cries of a cricket are heard from time to time;
How like the voices of the Buddha.
Opening a sacred text I carry;
The voices of the devout chant a sutra in unison.
When rains come, clouds leave.
How like the world of impermanence
This sudden change, where no one lives forever.
(Ama, p. 51)
Minding a sick child who seeks mother’s affection,
I cannot progress with my needlework, or even wipe away my perspiration.
Skimming his diary without stop makes my eyes moist;
When I put it down, I realize I have forgotten to even wipe off my perspiration.
Wandering without a husband for whom I yearn,
I look with nostalgia at his handwriting, reading it again and again.
My husband is about to touch my face;
When I awake from that dream, the flickering of stars enters my eyes.
The lullaby I croon seems to wake the child;
He croons with me while half asleep.
(Ama, p. 52)