Owara Kaze-no-Bon*

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High in the mountains
you and I planted buckwheat –
now those seeds have bloomed
while the love we had faded
leaving us with barren fields

*From the 1-3 September, the residents of Yatsuo, in Toyama Prefecture, Japan, mark the end of Summer with the festival of Owara Kaze-no-Bon. Dating back 300 years to rituals conducted by local rice farmers to appease the winds gods and enable a good harvest, the festival is noted for its gentle dances and folk songs (owara-bushi) performed to the melancholy strains of the shamisen and kokyu. The first half of this poem is loosely based on one of the owara-bushi sung at the festival.

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