vulgar songs fill the days…

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Customs become diluted year after year.

Both the noble and the common decline.

The human mind grows fragile with time;

the ancestral way becomes fainter day by day.

Teachers can’t see past the name of their school;

students enable their teachers’ narrow-mindedness.

They are glued to each other,

unwilling to change.

Thornbushes grow around high halls,

fragrant flowers wither in the weeds.

Vulgar songs fill the days.

Who will expound the luminous teaching?

Ah, I, a humble one,

have encountered this era.

When a great house is about to crumble,

a stick cannot keep it from falling.

Unable to sleep on a clear night,

I toss in bed, …

~Ryokan, 1796-1816 (K Tanahashi, Sky Above, Great Wind)

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