Ton'a

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55

Who is Ton'a?

Ton'a, also spelled as Tonna; lay name – Nikaidō Sadamune 二階堂貞宗. A Japanese Buddhist poet, student of Nijō Tameyo 二条為世. Ton'a took a tonsure at Enryaku-ji Temple, but was later associated with the Ji sect 時宗. He looked up to Saigyō's poetic genius. Here are two of his most well-known poems:

naku semi no

koe mo hitotsu ni

hibikite

matsu kage suzushi

yama no takitsuse

Crying cicadas

are in one voice with the sound

that reverberates

– cool, in the shade of the pines

from a mountain cascade.

ne ni tatete

nageku wa nani zo

utsusemi no

munashiki yo to wa

shiranu mono ka wa

Just what can it be

that makes them cry so loudly?

But, ah, of course: cicadas would know

how empty is this world

of the cicada shell.

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Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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"Ton'a." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 1 Jul 2022. <https://www.biographies.net/biography/ton'a/m/04_0xb3>.

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