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What's going on in Japan? (No.24)

A poem by Kenji Miyazawa (1896-1933), a native of Iwate Prefecture, is gaining popularity throughout Japan and overseas as an inspirational message to the victims of the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake. The poem, "Ame ni mo Makezu (Strong in the rain)," is one of Miyazawa's representative works. The poet is often known only as Kenji in Japan. It is said that Kenji wrote "Ame ni mo Makezu" in a small notebook on his sickbed two years before his death. The poem was widely read during World War II and the postwar era for inspiration when enduring hardships. "The poem is filled with the sadness and agonies Kenji experienced," said Toshiya Ushizaki, vice director of the Miyazawa Kenji Kinenkan memorial museum in Hanamaki, Iwate Prefecture. "The poem has taken root in people's hearts when they are in need of support or healing."

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