与謝野晶子〔鳳(ほう)〕の生家は堺の菓子商「駿河屋」である。 その店ののれんを継いだ弟の籌三郎(ちゅうざぶろう)が、日露戦争に出兵。 これは旅順(りょじゅん)の激戦地のさなかにいる弟の安否を気づかって詠まれた長詩。
Yosano Akiko (maiden name Hō) was born to a candy merchant called Surugaya. Her younger brother Chûzaburo, who inherited the family business fought in the Russo-Japanese War. This poem "Kimi shini tamau koto nakare(Prithee Do not Die)" is about her worries when he was in Lüshun(Port Arthur) which became a fierce battleground.
Prithee Do Not DieLamenting my younger brother in combat as one
of the troops besieged at Lüshun(Port Arthur)
Prithee do not die,
For you were born the very last,
And our parents loved you all the more,
Yet they made thee grasp a blade in hand,
Taught thee kill a man you shall,
Kill a man, and die you too,
groomed you thus to age twenty-four.
Master now of the proud old house,
The Heavenly-Prince does not himself
Lead by his own august presence his troop to battle.
For to command that men shed blood of men,
And die following the beastly path4,
And tell us death be the glory of men,
If his Highness' heart be compassionate,
How could he truly think it so?
Oh young brother mine in battle,
The frail young wife of yours,
Or have you forgotten? Or do you think of her?
Think on her maidenly feeling,
Together ere ten months, then parted,
And there's none another the likes of you,
Oh once again I ask,
Prithee do not die.
— pub. in Myōjō Sept. 1904.
Sakai is a merchant town with a rich history, which prospered
by foreign trade in the age of Warring-States, and its merchants
were proud and independent-minded. The famous tea ceremony master
Sen-no-Rikyū (1522-1591) who committed harakiri was a Sakai merchant.