Poetry. Asian Studies. Translated from the Japanese by Janine Beichman. "One of Ooka's virtues was that he was not an intellectual, someone who has forgotten that human beings are more important than ideas, that human beings take priorityover everything. This poet knows, in the deepest sense, that human relationships rest on the relation of human beings to nature and to the universe. It is not difficult to see traces of the surrealist influence that colores Ooka's youth. But in contrast to many other Japanese poets, Ooka was never a blind worshipper of anything imported. Ooka is convinced that only when you approach actuality from two mutually opposing sides can you get a glimpse of its entirety. Rather than pantheism, the undercurrent of Ooka's poetry is paneroticism and it is that which saves him from indulging in conceptualization." Fromthe preface by Tanikawa Shuntaro.