Together with distant hopes
Toson soon wrote the lyrics that we have sung so often.
At the dawn of young lives in our earthly domain
When the school bell resounds, stirring our hearts
See the memorial tree standing firm on the hill of Shirokane
Its green leaves so fragrant, telling of the hopes of youth
Take heart, friends in learning, a new age awaits
Together with distant hopes, we each pave the way
With a spirit eternal as the heavens and earth
Live your life valiantly
Awaken, stand forth, and do not fear a thing
The words are skillfully chosen. While none are of a kind likely to be shouted at the top of one’s voice, they are beautiful and powerful, calling upon the students to stand together with distant hopes and pave the way to the future at this school where the ringing of the bell stirs people’s hearts and the fragrant leaves of the tree tell of the hopes of youth. As with The Broken Commandment, Toson consistently turned his gaze on himself in his subsequent literary endeavors. Society denounced some of his actions as disgraceful. However, honest to a fault, Toson remained rooted in reality and grappled with it with integrity. For Toson, the Meiji Restoration perhaps meant learning this kind of mental attitude from Western Europe. Just as the Meiji Restoration was showing signs of superficiality after Japan’s victories in its wars with China and Russia, Toson left a message for the young people following in his footsteps at his alma mater, exhorting them to reflect deeply within and improve themselves, as it is this that will open the way to a new age. This is a message that lives on in our hearts, transcending time itself.