Nanao Sakaki

was a Japanese poet who dedicated his life and writings to human and non-human things (frogs, mountains, galaxies and flowers).

After a defining experience serving Japan in World War II, he became a wanderer in full swing, expanding around the world the trails opened by ancient poets like Bashō and Issa – but updating them with the on the road fever that shaped counterculture in the 50's and 60's.

He participated in the bohemian life of Shinjuku, in Tokyo, founded the Bum Academy and the Buzoku (The Tribes), a collective that invented alternative lifestyles in remote places in Japan – including the island of Suwanose, where Nanao and his friends lived in the company of an active volcano.

At the 60’s, Nanao met the zen-beatnik poet Gary Snyder, with whom he became close, as well as Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, among many others. He went to the United States several times, where he walked hundreds of kilometers, lived in caves and abandoned buses and, writing in Japanese and English, participated in the literary scene that gravitated around the beat generation. His wandering poetry also took him to Mexico, England, Ireland, Italy, Czech Republic, Iceland, Mongolia, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Indonesia, Australia, etc.

Nanao was a passionate eco-freak, an activist of unique tactics and a no-nuke pioneer.

His poetry is full of images, stories, unexpected inversions, shufflings of time and space, changes of scale, enlightened insights and outsights, and difficult yet beautiful reflections that become increasingly urgent in the contemporary world.

In 2023, the year of his centenary, Nanao Sakaki started to climb Mount Olympus, a volcano that is the highest peak in the solar system, on planet Mars. The Nanao Global website celebrates his legacy throughout the world, as a way of accompanying him on this journey.

If I Have Tomorrow
(Nanao Sakaki)

Nov. 3rd, 1990 
Pinacate Desert, Mexico.
Celebrate the full moon
Overlooking Elegante Crater.

Jan. 1st, 1993 – my 70th birthday.
With donkey, horse and camel
Start walking across Eurasia,
Korea to England.

Sometime in 1999
Organize the tribal gathering of “Earth B”.
Jan. 1st, 2023 – my 100th birthday.
Climb the highest peak in the solar system
... Mt. Olympus, 25.000 meter volcano on Mars.

Jan. 1st, 2923 – my 1000th birthday.
Visit Miranda... a moon of Uranus
For a rendezvous with Miss Miranda,
The fairy of Shakespeare’s Tempest.

Jan. 1st, 11.923 – my 10.000th birthday.
Work hard for a new solar system
As a grain of stardust in the Milky Way.

October 5th, 1990, Santa Fe, S. Rockies