The Taishō commute

Tanka by KOIZUMI Chikashi (古泉千樫):


asa hayami/ densha norikahuru/ miyakezaka/ kamo wiru hori wo/ tatite koso mire

Still early morning when I change trains
at Miyakezaka, so
at the moat I stand and watch the ducks

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[Pedantic, rambling discourse on trams alert] Wouldn't that be Miyakezaka on the now-defunct Aoyama-sen (which was so determined to epitomise its name that a glorious four of its seven stops are in Aoyama), and that 電車 a tram rather than a train? Or are not all 都電 trams? I know the 都電荒川線 doesn't look much like a tram these days, though I understand that most trams met their end in a Great Tram Cull before the Tokyo Olympics and can easily imagine it having been smuggled offroad for protection from the spanner-wielding mobs. Incidentally, none of the Experts who decided that trams were the root of Tokyo's traffic problems seem to have seen the irony in the fact that, effectively, they were claiming that they got in the way of the many thousands of newly-purchased cars thronging the roads.


I can only assume that being in possession of that much knowledge on the subject, you must be right, my friend. And that somehow makes the poem even tranquiller.

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