BL. W. B. Yeats

46. Pages from a Diary Written in Nineteen Hundred and Thirty. Dublin: Cuala, 1944.

  Reprinted in Explorations.  

Published in an edition of 280; page references here are adjusted to the reprint in Explorations (51).

a. ‘September 12th’ (p. 320). Includes passing reference to Sato’s sword (see notes at 21 and 48k) and the ‘piece of silk from a Japanese lady’s Court Dress’ in which it was wrapped.

b. ‘September 15th’ (p. 325). The ‘Nirvana Song [Jpn.: tôki-no-ge] of the Japanese Monk’ that Yeats recalls is in fact an anecdote about a Chinese monk, but it appears in the first series of Suzuki’s Essays in Zen Buddhism, which would have been the source of Yeats’s knowledge of it (see D28). Yeats recalls the same anecdote—and makes the same mistake about the monk—in the second edition of A Vision (38a).

c. ‘September 20th’ (pp. 326-28). The whole of the lengthy entry is about Kagawa Toyohiko (1888-1960), Japanese Christian labour leader, pacifist, and author of more than 150 monographs, including several successful novels. Yeats greatly admires Kagawa’s ‘moral understanding’, but raises questions about the repercussions of his thought, and the entry closes with Yeats’s curious explanation that his purpose in writing the passage has been to ‘protect [himself] against the fascination of Toyohiko Kagawa and his heroic life’. His acquaintance with Kagawa would have come in part from the 1924 English translation of Shisen o koete, Before the Dawn (London: Chatto and Windus), which Yeats recalled reading in a letter to Oshima of 19 August 1927 (52a), and from James Fullerton’s 1929 translation of Ai no kagaku, Love, The Law of Life (London: Student Christian Movement Press), passages of which Dume (80) traces to Yeats’s references here. See also 35c and 52a.





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