商に就いての答 – Translation

” 商に就いての答”  is a poem written by Ogata Kamenosuke, an Japanese poet from the early 1920’s. The poem depicts an man answering what business he’d run if he ever was to, as he mentions opening a geta store in the morning, a beauty stand during the afternoon, and selling poetry at night. The poem has a very dreamy and romantic tone, and it was first published in his collection of poems “色ガラスの街”  (City of Coloured Glass) in 1925. Below is the translation of the poem in English.

To run a business

If I was to run a business

I’d open a geta store in the morning

And

I’d find the perfect geta with red straps for a beautiful maiden

 

During the sweet, dull hours of the afternoon

I’d open a beauty stand

And then

I’d transform her face into art

a beauty spot and some rouge.

By the time its evening I’d close the store,

Take her by the arm

and to a walk for an hour or two

 

At night

I’d open a stand with flowers and stars

and sell expensive love letters

to maidens in love


商に就いての答

もしも私が商(あきなひ)をするとすれば

午前中は下駄屋をやります

そして

美しい娘に卵形の下駄に赤い緒をたててやります

 

午後の甘まつたるい退屈な時間を

夕方まで化粧店を開きます

そして

ねんいりに美しい顔に化粧をしてやります

うまいところにほくろを入れて 紅もさします

それでも夕方までにはしあげをして

あとは腕をくんで一時間か二時間を一緒に散歩に出かけます

 

夜は

花や星で飾つた恋文の夜店を出して

恋をする美しい女に高く売りつけます

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