23
November

Misao Fujimura’s Farewell Poem

Misao Fujimura (July 1886 – May 22, 1903) was a Japanese philosophy student and poet remembered primarily for this farewell poem.  He was born in Hokkaido, the grandson of a samurai. He attended middle school in Sapporo and a prep school in Tokyo to prepare for the Imperial University there.

Fujimura fell in love with Tamiko, who rejected him in favor of Tatsukichi Minobe, whom she later married. Distraught, he went to Kegon Falls in Nikko. He wrote this farewell poem on the trunk of a tree before committing suicide by jumping.  He was not yet 17 years old.  His farewell poem is tragic, touching and beautiful.  I find the last six lines particularly haunting.
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