Beautiful People Beautiful Things

Yet another poem by

late Sachiko Yoshihara

Power of Self-Dicipline

To The Gen Z’s

I confess, as much as I desperately wanted to kill myself

ultimately, I share that I never succeeded in killing myself

not even once

It’s probably because, rather than to die

or to kill,

I found writing I ended up writing

But in that same vein,

one must not replace living by writing

If you can save yourself from having to kill yourself by writing, and still you want to kill yourself, then,

poetry is as useful as


poetry IS my medicine

But one must not stop living by writing

But one must not stop loving by writing

I’ve found that an actual “real”flower is definitely lost – poof – disappears – as soon as I write the word “flower”

Likewise dragging my feet on writing paper makes my life insignificantly blithe and livable

Maybe even tolerable

so I set out to walk around erasing my foot prints, only to find new foot prints following right behind me.

(translated by K. Tsuyama)

Sachiko Yoshihara


It’s actually addressed “To The Youth” of the time. The poem was prompted when Yoshihara served as one of the panalists serving as a judge for a high school poetry contest. It is said that she was surprised, saddened and triggered by so many entries that expressed many teens’ desire to end their lives. She felt the anguish, a certain suicide ideation in many of the student entries which prompted her to write this poem.


















As this poem is about how one uses the Discipline to not destroy oneself, one of the 8 limbs of yoga popped up in my head as it is that Discipline or Restraint (for harm to self and others) that will ultimately save us, preserves us, empowers us to live a more fulfilling yogic (that of content and inner peace) life.

1. YAMA – Restraints, moral disciplines or moral vows

YAMA – “Restraint, moral disciplines or moral promise/vows”

Yama is the first limb or the principal. There are 5 YAMAS in the practice of yoga.

There are five Yamas: 

  • Ahimsa (non-violence), 
  • Satya (truthfulness), 
  • Asteya  (non-stealing), 
  • Brahmachaya (right use of energy), and 
  • Aparigraha (non-greed or non-hoarding). 

Recommended Reading: “Light on The Yoga Sutras” by BKS Iyengar


Yoshihara Sachiko


覚めたとき わたしにはわからない

 夢のなかで みたと思った色が

色 そのものであったのか

それとも ただ 色の記憶であるのか

赤なら 赤

といふことばによって ふりかへる

するともう 赤はない

そして 今

わたしには わからない


生活 そのものであったのか

 さまざまの色の断片(きれぎれ)に ちりばめられた

ただ 生活の 記憶であるのか

夕やけのガラスは オレンジ色だと思った

シャワーの水しぶきは ダイヤモンド色だと

思った そのことだけが のこってゐて

水しぶきも ガラスも のこってゐない 今


        (詩集 幼年連禱・ 1964年刊)


When I awoke I did not know

if the vivid colors I saw in my dreams

were really colors

or were the colors merely memories of colors but not colors themselves

Red is Red

I look back based on such notion, red is red

but then that red no longer exists

And now

I do not know

Life itself that I thought I led

if life too, patched up and sprinkled with colors

to serve as memories of the day to day, a mere figment of our imaginations

the glass through which we see the sunset was color orange

the splash of shower water had colors just like that of a brilliant diamond

impressions of colors remain in our thoughts

but splashing water nor glass … no longer remains, here and now.

Sachiko Yoshihara

When her poem is read, why is it that my head swirls like it’s coming up from under water to above … to take a breath only to submerge oneself once again into bright swirl of colors. Blue is blue; red is red is red … It’s about our consciousness … how we live our day to day asleep or in consciousness. Do we live in full awareness of every color that presents itself into our visuals or … not. Asleep in colorless dreamless slumber … going through the motions. Forget & Forgotten.


Sachiko Yoshihara


   ふりだした小雨が わたしをさました

   暗い 大通り


Dreamy-Play Virus

I was asleep

The kind of slumber without dreams

Light rain awoke me from this dreamless slumber

Crossed the railroad tracks over a block

Taxis speed past like ominous dark spirits

Darkened Main Street

I looked around everywhere and nowhere

did I exist

I did not see myself but I was in the midst

engulfed in fear

Sachiko Yoshihara