The creator of any diary may say he or she is only recording day-to-day life; but in many cases, the writings have more than one purpose. In The Kagero Diary, the unnamed narrator begins her story differently than most diarists. Not only is she speaking to an audience she presumes would be listening, her outlook on the life she leads is quickly placed into a negative category. Occurring in the third part of her diary, a poem is written that I believe significantly portrays her inner thoughts. This poem uses the warbler’s cries as a representation of the diarist’s yearning for Kaneie’s visits. In the section where the poem appears, the diarist is watching the burning of the festive New Year’s decorations. Before her poem, she seems to be in a mild form of high spirits--a mood she rarely places herself in during this section of the book--as she turns her sights from the festivities to the luminescent full moon. But those feelings are quickly replaced with a sensation of abandonment as her gaze travels to the mountains. Her mind hovers over her husband, Kaneie, and she then plummets further into a depressed thought. She is finding herself thinking increasingly of her husband’s absence. This is when the poem begins to form. The poem revolves around the diarist’s relationship with the warbler, “The one who should cry joining voices with mine, the warbler,” (333) which is a frequent friend she writes about throughout the diary. In many cases, the warbler is mentioned while the diarist is seen wallowing in depression: “Warbler, do you too suffer from the sadness that has no fixed term,” (197). I believe the narrator is connecting with the warbler’s song as a sort of comfort--the warbler’s breeding call mirrors the diarist’s coveting of her husband, and she feels she is not alone. In the second part of the poem, the diarist wonders if the warbler is in the same state of mind she is in, “...can it be he knows not the new year is already here,” (333). This...
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