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Bob Holman & Margery Snyder

Farewell to Nanao Sakaki

By December 24, 2008

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We received this note from our friend Anne MacNaughton on Christmas Eve morning, and must pass it on:

“Sad news.
Nanao Sakaki passed away in Japan on Monday.
Such a soul will not soon be seen again.
‘Congratulations!’ to Nanao, as he says should be given to all who move on; and condolences to those of us who remain.
Please pass the word....”


December 25, 2008 at 9:01 am
(1) Dan Frank Kuehn says:

Ah Nanao –

My time with Nanao was in the 70′s, near Taos NM, up El Salto Road, where he lived in an immobile school bus and I lived in my canvas yurt. We’d meet at Bird and Non’s tipi for coffee and breakfast in the cold winter mornings, then Nanao would go off to write, or hike into the mountains. Even though even then he was an old man, we never worried about him in the deep snow, or in the spring, nibbling on the landscape, including amanita mushrooms. It always seemed he was doing exactly the right thing.

Is it true that as a Japanese air force pilot he saw the mushroom cloud over Nagasaki? That’s what he told me, and it would certainly explain his dedication to a counter-culture lifestyle. When straight-laced Japanese fans would occasionally seek him out on the mountain, he would recommend they take LSD.

His very existence has inspired my life – the importance of poetry and free expression, and the danger of selling out. Any who met him won’t forget him.

From his A Love Letter:

“Now within a circle ten billion light years large
All thoughts of time, space are burnt away
And there again you sit, prat and sing
You sit, pray and sing.”

December 31, 2008 at 11:14 pm
(2) Pecoe takahashi says:

Hi Dan,

I’m writing from Tokyo,Japan.
I heard nanao joined navy not air force, but I never know the truth in his reality.
bless you all.

January 11, 2009 at 9:54 am
(3) Richard Kollmar says:

awakened by the light
I go outside
naked under the first full moon of winter
ah Nanao there you are
shining down on us

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