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Hisashi Matsue Tanka Collection

 Collection
Identifier: SPC-2023-005

Content Description

This collection comprises tanka poems (one of the Japanese poetry styles consisting of 31 syllables in five lines of 5, 7, 5, 7, and 7 syllables each) which were authored by Hisashi Matsue, who is a master of tanka poetry, an instructor for the California Tankakai in Los Angeles, California which mainly consists of the Japanese and Japanese American poets in Los Angeles, and the editor for their quarterly magazine. Included are a complete set of the California Tankakai’s magazine published quarterly (1979-2021) and semiannually (2022-present) since February 1979, a set of the special issues published every few years since 1981, his anthologies of tanka poetry, and an anthology of tanka poetry by Aiko Kadowaki. The member poets often write their life experiences in poetry and their views for social issues and problems that they have experienced and witnessed are captured.

Dates

  • 1979-2023

Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

History

松江久志 Matsue, Hisashi

Hisashi Matsue (松江久志), his real name is Hisashi Iwami (岩見恒), is a Japanese immigrant in Los Angeles, California. He is a master of tanka poetry, promoting the literary activities and shaping the artistry of the tanka poets in California. He was born in 1939 in Matsue, Shimane, Japan. He attended the Shimane University and earned his bachelor’s degree in horticultural science. In 1961, he came to the United States for a study-abroad program, attended Cal Poly Pomona, and earned a degree in Parks Administration. After graduation, he married Junko Kadowaki who is a tanka poet and whose mother is also a Kibei Nisei tanka poet. He was also a teacher at Japanese language schools in Los Angeles and served as the principal for the San Fernando Valley Japanese Language School and an ex-officio member for the Southern California Japanese Language School Unified System.

Hisashi was influenced by his father who was also a poet in Japan and started writing tanka poems when he was in high school. He has been devoted to tanka poetry and his works are well recognized. Serenity and beauty of nature are often themes in his poetry as he is well versed in the subject. He is a member of "Nihon Kajin Club" or “The Japan Tanka Poets' Society,” which is the largest and most prestigious tanka organization in Japan, and was a member of “Nanka Bungei,” which had lasted longest in the United States and been initiated by the former members of tanka poetry groups formed in incarceration camps during the war, such as “若人 Wakodo” in Gila River camp and “怒涛 Doto” and “鉄柵 Tessaku” in the Tule Lake Segregation Center. Hisashi was also a founder of "セコイア短歌会 Sekoia Tankakai."

One of his fellow poets, Itoko Sonekawa, coordinated a group of Japanese and Japanese American tanka poets and invited him as an instructor for them in 1978, and in 1979, the California Tankakai was formally established and has continued over 40 years.

門脇あい子 Kadowaki, Aiko, 1920-2019

Aiko Kadowaki was born to her Issei parents, Yoshishige and Ise Watanabe, in Tacoma, Washington in 1920. While she was still an infant, she was taken to Yonago, Tottori, Japan and raised by her grandparents. Being separated from her parents, she spent her childhood and completed school in Japan. When she was age 17, she returned to Seattle and reunited with her parents and other siblings. As a result of the Executive Order 9066, the family was incarcerated in the Pinedale Assembly Center and transferred to the Tule Lake Segregation Center. In the camp, Aiko met her future husband, Eiji Kadowaki. Eiji had been incarcerated along with his father, Hidetaka, who died in February 1945 in the camp. Aiko and Eiji married in October 1945 and the newlywed couple returned to Japan on December 25, 1945, where had been devastated by the bombing attacks during the war. They resided in Yonago, Tottori, Japan for 17 years and had four children, including Junko Kadowaki Iwami. The family returned to Los Angeles, California in 1963.

Aiko started writing tanka poems when she was age 19 and was a member of “華陽会 Kayokai” which was one of the tanka poetry groups in Seattle, Washington where Japanese Issei and Kibei Nisei literary work thrived, and several literary groups had been established since the early 1900s. Although their literary activities were interrupted by the war, the members played a significant role to promote literary work among the incarcerees during the war. Her "短歌集シャスタの峰," or "An anthology of tanka poetry: Mount Shasta," contains her 1,540 works published in the tanka poetry publications in the past, including “華陽会 Kayokai” in Seattle between 1939-1941; “高原 Kogen” in the Tule Lake Segregation Center between 1942 and 1945; and “黎明 Reimei” and “California Tanka = カリフォルニア短歌; 加州短歌” in Los Angeles between 1968 and 2005.

Extent

3 boxes (1.25 linear feet)

1.25 Linear Feet (3 document boxes)

Language of Materials

Japanese

Abstract

This collection comprises tanka poems authored by Hisashi Matsue, who is a master of tanka poetry, an instructor for the California Tankakai in Los Angeles, California, which mainly consists of the Japanese and Japanese American poets in Los Angeles, and the editor for their periodical magazine. Included are a complete set of the California Tankakai’s magazine, "California Tanka," published quarterly (1979-2021) and semiannually (2022-present) since 1979, a set of special issues published every few years since 1981, and his anthologies of tanka poetry. There is also an anthology by Aiko Kadowaki.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Gerth Archives and Special Collections acquired the collection through gift in 2022 from Hisashi Matsue.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Yoko Okunishi in 2023.

Title
Inventory of the Tanka Collection of Matsue Hisashi
Author
Yoko Okunishi
Date
2023
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the California State University Dominguez Hills, Gerth Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
University Library South -5039 (Fifth Floor)
1000 E. Victoria St.
Carson CA 90747
310-243-3895