Japanese Brush-Strokes by Jun Fujita


Japanese Brush-Strokes
by Jun Fujita

Under the scowling sky
The frozen sand-plain stretches.
Curled and crisp, two leaves
Scud away.

There is no time here.
From giant trunks hoary moss
Hangs through the air of shadowy green.
And cool drew drops.

Above the settling mist,
Above the phantom isles upon the settling mist,
In the opalized moonlight,
The whinny of a horse careers by.

PHOTO:  Horses, Aso Kujū National Park, Kumamoto, Japan, with Kujū Mountains in the background. Photo by Kohji Asakawa, used by permission.

NOTE: Aso Kujū National Park is located in Kumamoto and Ōita Prefectures, Japan, on the country’s southernmost island, Kyushu. The park derives its name from Mount Aso, the largest active volcano in Japan, and the Kujū Mountains.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jun Fujita (1888-1963) was a first-generation Japanese-American photojournalist, photographer, silent film actor, and poet. Fujita lived in Chicago, Illinois, where he worked for the Chicago Evening Post and Chicago Daily News. The only photographer to document the aftermath of the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day massacre, Fujita also photographed and documented racism against African-Americans. His portraits featured some of the most famous people of his time, including Albert Einstein, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Al Capone. Fujita was also a published poet and author, contributing to literary publications including Poetry magazine. A collection of his poems in Tanka: Poems in Exile, was published by Covici-McGhee in 1923. 

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