An album has been discovered featuring 34 poems, including five unpublished works, by celebrated poets Tekkan Yosano (1873-1935) and his wife, Akiko (1878-1942).
The album was presented as a wedding gift to a daughter of the couple’s acquaintance. The poems were all written with a brush.
“It is extremely rare for the two to present their poems in such a big volume,” said Haruyuki Irie, an 87-year-old researcher of the couple’s works. “That is an indication that they had a strong connection (with the recipient).”
The album, which is about B-5 size, is currently in the possession of Michihiko Suzuki, an 85-year-old scholar of French literature, in Tokyo.
The album was compiled in 1919 to celebrate the marriage of Suzuki’s parents.
According to Irie, it is difficult to conclude who composed the five unpublished poems, but he said they are probably Tekkan’s works judging by the style.
A flower theme appears throughout the collection in an apparent tribute to the bride, Hanako (flower child).
One poem goes: “Sinking my feverish cheeks into roses/ I am determined to live my life/ With you, surrounded by flowers.”
Tekkan composed 11 of the remaining poems, while Akiko wrote 18.
Those 29 poems were published in their collections, and they appear to have been chosen for the album to match the celebratory occasion.
According to Suzuki, Hanako’s father, Shotaro Nakamoto, was a timber dealer who provided financial help to the poets.
Suzuki’s new book, “Furansu Bungakusha no Tanjo” (The birth of a scholar of French literature), contains episodes surrounding his parents’ marriage and lists all of the poems by the couple. The book was released on Oct. 9.