[great literature]

Topic: Japan

In my reading of East Asian historical source materials, I ran across this marvelous Japanese poem, written in the linked-verse style, which means that the first two lines were written by one person, and the final three lines were then “linked” afterward:

Bitter, bitter it was
And yet somehow funny.

Even when
My father lay dying
I went on farting.

And let me tell you, after spending a couple of weeks slogging through Japanese neo-Confucian and post-neo-Confucian philosophy (“Soil comes into being only from fire. Fire is mind and in mind dwells the god. This is not discussed in ordinary instruction, and it is only because of my desire to make you understand it thoroughly that I am revealing it to you”), fart jokes are a welcome relief.