Friday, January 10, 2014

Toyohiko Kagawa: "A Prayer"

I want to be ever a child.
I want to feel an eternal friendship
for the raindrops, the flowers,
the insects, the snowflakes.
I want to be keenly interested in everything,
with mind and muscle ever alert,
forgetting my troubles in the next moment.
The stars and the sea, the ponds and the trees,
the birds and the animals, are my comrades.
Though my muscles may stiffen, though my skin may
wrinkle, may I never find myself yawning
at life.

"A Prayer" by Toyohiko Kagawa, from Songs of the Slums. Translated from the Japanese by Lois Erickson. © Cokesbury, 1935.

Image credit: "Rain," by unknown artist, found at this link (originally color).



  1. Thank you for this prayer of Toyohiko Kagawa from his "Songs of the Slums," I have been asked to write a short article on his friendship with Dr S. Imaoka. Principal of a Tokyo School. Any sources you can recommend?

    1. I'm sorry that I only now became aware of your comment (this project is no longer active. But no, I'm sorry, I have no sources to recommend. Good luck with your article. Deep peace.


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