While I was going to school in Kyoto, I was very fortunate to participate as an intern for the Kyoto Journal. Incredibly the editor John let me do a lot of layout and images for various pieces.
One of which was for a poem, “Blue Open Sky” by Nanao Sakaki.
Blue Open Sky
How lovely morning of June!
I send off three Kamikaze pilots
Who head for Okinawa
With a heavy bomb under the wing of
Training fighter, the Shiragiku, or White Chrysanthemum
At an air base in south Japan, 1945.
One of them, Sgt.Goto, looks like me
With long hair and beard.
Soon after taking off
They are besieged by
Ten American fighters, the Grumman Hellcat.
Three silver winged coffins.
Three long-tailed question marks
In the blue open sky.
-Nanao Sakaki (1923- 2008)
My original photograph for the work was of course a blue sky with a hint of white clouds, but the poem didn’t land on a color page for the layout. So I wanted to share it here in color.