A Poem by Senri Uyeno



“Thanks to lamenting over the pain in the world, 

I am able to become laughter when my life is happy. 

Due to being struck and trampled upon and biting

my lips to control my temper, I fully realise how

precious it is to be born. Even if I am intentionally

tired of an ugly world, look! What a blue sky!


Even if one laughs scornfully at my penniless life,

there is something much more beautiful,

true and worthy that everyone knows.

I don’t care so much about anything else,

except love and sincerity, the sun,

and a little amount of rain from time to time.

If I have a healthy body and a little piece of bread,

I want to walk with a smile in great spirits.


I will do my best to work without complaining

about anything at all.

I always consider things by putting myself in another’s

place without flinching, no matter how hard and

heart rendering it is to live.

If there is someone unfortunate, I will help

him out with anything. 

If I can forget myself to help out,

that will surely delight me.


In the morning the sun rises. I greet it.

I will do my best to live today.

In the evening the sun sets.

Staring at the evening glow, I always want to sit still.


With a little dream in my heart, I sleep

as quietly as a little bird.

If I have my own time, I want to spend it

reading an old collection of poems, meditating

on them alone, quietly.


Let’s find happiness by ourselves.

Within silver tears like pearls and laughter like sun,

let’s keep walking ahead each day. 

Certainly some day, as I look back over my past,

I will quietly see my life with a smile.”

Senri Uyeno.

Translated by Dainin Katagiri. Featured in his book “Returning to Silence.”

This poem was written a week before it’s author, Senri Uyeno, was executed, after being accused of killing an American pilot during World War II. After his death, the true story, which was recorded in his diary, was revealed:

An American pilot was injured after parachuting from his plane. Senri Uyeno started to operate on him, but during the operation was ordered by a senior officer to kill him. He disobeyed the order and continued to operate. During the operation, the place was bombed and he had to leave. When he returned, he found the American pilot had been stabbed to death and nobody knew who did it. Senri took the blame for the crime, and was imprisoned and executed.



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