Some eight hundred years ago, the Mongolian haan Hubilai had the idea of sailing from his country to Japan. He thought to bring eight thousand boats across Korea, which was then under his juridiction, that he might on the boats transport his cavalry over to the islands of Japan. It was a very romantic and earnest desire, and it was never realised.

However, I have made a boat with poetry’s divine purity and fulfilled this thirteenth century desire, and made a link between the peaceful wishes of the people of Mongolia and Japan. Poetry cannot be grasped in the hand, it iss a magic rainbow. And so I have named this book of mine The Rainbow Vessel.

During the mid-twentieth century, Mongolian writers began to translate Japanese poetry. The greatest of these poets, B Yavuuhulan, translated eleven haiku by the Japanese poet Basho, and himself wrote haiku in the traditional style. Fifty years ago, Yavuuhulan had already planned out our rainbow vessel.

Having led the way in the swift development of technology, from the Mongolian point of view Japan seems like another planet. Our interest in exploring the world of poetry and literature makes manifest to us that melody which opens up the understanding of this most highly developed society. The poetry of this people then is all the more interesting since, by protecting the natural world and by planting trees and flowers, by preserving their customs and traditions and culture, they have made for themselves a paradise.

The poets of Japan and Mongolia are very dear to one another and we are now, at the end of thee current decade, publishing a book of poetry in Japanese, Mongolian and English. This initial anthology has been put together through the selfless assistance and support of poets from our own country and abroad, and thus it is that I am launching this boat of our two countries’ friendship. We cannot in the present volume bring together all forms of poetry, nor has that been our intention. Nonetheless many different expressions of friendship will thrive in this vessel, such as competitions, festivals and conferences. It is always hard to initiate that which has significance. When it has been initiated, then it will develop and thrive.

The initiative to publish this volume came from both sides. I would particularly like to thank the Japanese poets Kae Mori, Mita Yo and the great Shikawa Kazue, and to acknowledge the work of the translators Kae Mori and M Mönhzaya.

This rainbow vessel unites us in the voices and images of a new century of poetry. I entrust this vessel to the hard years to come.

May the magical power of poetry shine an ever brighter light upon the shadow side of the human world.

G Mend-Ooyo
November 2009