Volume 5: Japan & the Beats

Table of Contents


Introduction: ToPoJo Volume 5: On the Road of the Beats in Yaponesia

              Taylor Mignon (published January 2020 on Asymptote)


Photo: Kenneth Rexroth

Morgan Gibson


Art: Kiss Me with Kenneth Rexroth Disguised as Shiraishi Kazuko on Your Lips

Ray Craig


Shiraishi Kazuko, “My Tokyo”; “My America”


Essay: Kenneth Rexroth: Beat Forerunner, The Foreseer Foresees

Shiraishi Kazuko (translation by Julia M. H. Clarke)


Suite of Five Settings, Poetry from the Man’yoshū (as translated by Kenneth Rexroth in One Hundred Poems from the Japanese)

Huw Lloyd


Niiro Shinnosuke, Earthborn                                                                         

Essay: Japan Beat: Kazuko Shiraishi

A. Robert Lee


Shiraishi Kazuko, “Dedicated to the Late John Coltrane”; “Little Planet”


Interview: In the Land of the “American Dream”: Interview with Nanao Sakaki

Shiraishi Kazuko (translation by Jonas Engesvik)


Nanao Sakaki, Top Ten of American Poetry


Essay:   Sakaki 

              David Cozy


Photo: Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, Nanao Sakaki.

              Anne Waldman


Anne Waldman, Indigo, for Nanao Sakaki


Photo: Anne Waldman, Vaclav Havel, Nanao Sakaki

              Jaroslav Kratochvil


Photo: Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman at The Velvet Revolution

              Jaroslav Kratochvil


Tanikawa Shuntaro, Letter to Allen Ginsberg

             (translation by Jordan A. Y. Smith)


Linda Russo, At the Rise of the Hill: Joanne Kyger in Kyoto             

                  (from a larger essay-in-progress)


Edith Shiffert, handwritten poems, Under the Trees, Transcendentalist, and selected waka


AJ Dickinson, for Edith Shiffert; suchness; word; Quoth the invalid


Essay: Ginsberg and Brautigan — Hyperreal in Japan

Steve Finbow


Sam Hamill, To Kenneth Rexroth


Keida Yusuke, Magnolia; Soul Train


Essay: First Thought Best Thought

Jeffrey Johnson


Jeffrey Johnson, Wafting on Hot Waves through Windows


Philip Rowland, Scattered Tokyo Poems


Edward J. Taylor, An Open Letter to Kerouac


Ira Cohen, Blue Train; Tokyo Birdhouse


Jordan A. Y. Smith, 囁く王(キミ)が嫌い我輩・I Hate the Way Kings Whisper


Michael Pronko, Writers Resist


Yamao Sansei, Gathering Shellfish; After Rain; Two Plum Flowers

(translation by Scott Watson)


Cid Corman, The Pleasures (Kinkakujimae)


Essay: Snyder, Kerouac and the Dharma

Simon Scott


Simon Scott, Postcard from Tokyo


Holly Lanasolyluna, Zen Retroversion; Breakfast in Neo-Tokyo (QR)


Yarita Misako, I Didn't Give Birth to my Mother

(translation by John Solt)


Frank Spignese, earthquake 2; How Lovely is your Dwelling Place;

Death of a Fisherman, for Hillel Wright


Hillel Wright, Dreaming of Allen Ginsberg  


Art: Etching of Hillel Wright by Josef Williamson


Joy Waller, snapshot; hunched in his denim jacket: cosmic-eyed man; tokyo shadows; high;

Shibuya Dawn Sketches: II; Mode on / Mode off


Owen Skelton, My girlfriend; Dasaitama;

Tokyo, after I left her for the last time


Mihiro Kizuki, Must; Beatific


Richard Oyama, Dostoevsky and Carson; Farrang


Jane Joritz-Nakagawa, Selections from Terrain Grammar


Art: Untitled sketch.

Irving Stettner


Steve Dalachinsky, Ten Short Poems


Yuko Ōtomo, The Wall; Empty Space; Window; Desert;

The Problem of Language; Freedom of Security

              (translation by Andrew Gebert)


Lawrie Hunter, “Served Raw” – Poem and Illustration for Burroughs


Yuri Kageyama, Ode to the Stroller


John W. Horton III, Black Friday


Simon Rowson, two poems 


Barbara Summerhawk, #Beats me


Jessica Goodfellow, Alphabet Confetti; Ode to Hydrangeas;

Five Ways of Resisting Nothing


Miho Nonaka, At the Tea Moon; My Moby-Dick; Student


M. Ninfa Catania, Post Modern Edit; Train of Thought; Flash Boredom


Anonymous, Selected Bareku,

translation by John Solt


Hirata Natsuko, A Hollow in Afternoon’s Kabukicho; Foggy Mt. Fuji


Photo: Kris Moon, Elegy for Karl Young


Susan Sullivan, untitled; garden (koike – toyohashi); matsuyama, japan, 1993


Leza Lowitz, The Lantern; The Gate


Kijima Hajime, Collage poem


Taylor Mignon, The Lady of the Wild Things 


Contributor Biographies


Publications Received

From this issue:

Nanao Sakaki

Top Ten of American Poetry

Shiraishi Kazuko

Little Planet

Tokyo Poetry Journal


Tokyo Poetry Journal
c/o Jeffrey Johnson
English Department, Daito Bunka University
Iwadono 560 Higashimatsuyama-shi
Saitama-ken 355-8501 Japan

Find us on social

See our facebook page for live events in Tokyo.

Get our newsletter

For news about new issues, contests and live events.

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon

Copyright Tokyo Poetry Journal 2020. All artwork and poetry copyrights remain with authors and artists.