31shortyones12) one-on-one vs. one-of-many ― Sayaka understands the difference of being herself before Jaugo and alienated in a crowd


12)(題しらず)

なくむしのひとつこゑにもきこえぬはこころごころにものやかなしき

「鳴く虫の一つ声にも聞こえぬは心々に物や悲しき」

和泉式部(いづみしきぶ)

♪(SING)♪

★one-on-one vs. one-of-many ― Sayaka understands the difference of being herself before Jaugo and alienated in a crowd★

Jaugo: I’m rather curious what you would feel about this TANKA, Sayaka-san.

Sayaka: Honestly, I feel nothing in particular.

Jaugo: Mm… it’s not very often that I hear from you that type of reaction. Do you feel this poem is tiresome?

Sayaka: No, that’s not what I mean. It just sounds too natural for me to mention.

Jaugo: Too natural for you to mention? Do you mean to say the voice of each and every insect in Autumn sounds respectively different to your ears, too?

Sayaka: Actually, it’s not insects but birds that sound different to my ears.

Jaugo: Aha… I seem to understand ― you are a keen bird-watcher who can distinguish between subtle differences in their voices, right?

Sayaka: Not quite so good as yet, but I hope I can some day distinguish between each and every one of them.

Jaugo: You are a die-hard bird lover, as well as a die-hard martial arts lover, I remember.

Sayaka: I’m glad you remember that about me. Well, now it’s your turn, Jaugo-san: since you chose this particular TANKA for exhibition, there must be something special about it… would you mind telling me?

Jaugo: All right, then, let’s start by asking you ― do you have many bird-loving friends?

Sayaka: Actually none: I’m simply fond of birds, not necessarily fond of mingling among bird-lovers. Although there seem to be many bird-lovers’ associations around, I have no particular wish to join any, not for now at least. I love watching birds and listening to their chirps ― I don’t want to talk about birds with humans: human voice or even human presence is just a nuisance for me when I enjoy communicating with birds… do I sound weird, Jaugo-san?

Jaugo: No, not at all weird to me, although it certainly will seem so to most others. Now, I seem to grasp the picture… you are not a very sociable type of woman, I’d guess.

Sayaka: I think so myself… I know it’s one of my defects, but when I really love something, I want to love it to the full, without having to tell someone else how much I love it… you know what I mean?

Jaugo: As someone quite like you, I do.

Sayaka: That’s what I felt about you ― you are just like me; much more than me ― you are a perfect lone-wolf, aren’t you, Jaugo-san?

Jaugo: A “perfect” lone-wolf is too much to say, I’d guess, in view of the fact that I do have a friend in you here, Sayaka-san.

Sayaka: You are quite right about that.

Jaugo: Anyway, you’ve hit the target right on again ― “a sociable type of man” is the last thing I am; and “a sociable type of woman” would not be a suitable expression for you.

Sayaka: Lone-wolf to lone-wolf ― we are quite a company, to come to think of it.

Jaugo: One-on-one, not one-of-many ― that’s the only way in which essentially unsociable type of persons like you and me can really live… a tough truth to face and admit, but unless we accept it, we can’t live to the full; until then, we are only half of us, or part of us, sometimes even none of us.

Sayaka: I’ve always been wondering about that ― why I’m “not myself” when I’m in the middle of crowds… and then, I met you: I felt it very strange at first why I could “be myself” when I was talking with you. But now, I’m convinced ― I can be myself with you because you are the same type of person that I am… am I being correct? Correct me if I’m wrong, please.

Jaugo: Mm… depends.

Sayaka: Depends…? On what, in particular?

Jaugo: Whether what you said is correct or not depends upon what is meant by “the same type” you mentioned. If it referred to “two persons who have exactly the same kind of likes and dislikes”, you are definitely wrong. You and I both love ― vehemently love ― Bruce Lee, all right, but I think I do not love birds so keenly as you do, don’t you think?

Sayaka: You are perhaps right.

Jaugo: And in case you still don’t know, I’m crazy about cats.

Sayaka: I thought so.

Jaugo: The way I see it, you do not like cats, do you?

Sayaka: Oh… I’m not sure; I have no particular hatred of cats, though.

Jaugo: I thought you’d say that. Practically all girls that look like cats themselves either in looks or behavior do not like cats.

Sayaka: Is that so?

Jaugo: Yes. Do you want to know why?

Sayaka: Yes. Why?

Jaugo: OK, then, let me ask you a question: two small kids about the same age in the same family do not love each other, though they do not particularly hate each other either: do you know why?

Sayaka: I don’t know. I have no brothers or sisters.

Jaugo: In that case, you had no one else in your family that might take away from you the precious love and attention from your parents.

Sayaka: Do you mean to say, rivalry and jealousy between brothers and sisters are to blame?

Jaugo: That’s it. In the case of cute girls like you who look somewhat cat-like, cats are potential rivals that can be the target of their jealousy.

Sayaka: No kidding! I’ve never felt any jealousy against cats!

Jaugo: Of course, not. You don’t want to be with cats, so that you don’t have to feel jealous of the love they so naturally and easily acquire from men.

Sayaka: Impossible! That’s the most ridiculous story I’ve ever heard from you, Jaugo-san. I couldn’t agree with you less!

Jaugo: I’m very glad to hear you say that. Let’s see if you could say the same thing again, say… five years from now. When girls get mature enough to deal adequately with men, their jealousy against cats naturally goes away, possibly because they find how much more severe rivalry or jealousy can be among human females… Anyway, it’ll take some more years for you and me to know the correct answer. Isn’t that an interesting investment in our future, don’t you think?

Sayaka: I don’t think time will change anything ― a stupid theory is always stupid, no matter how old I may grow.

Jaugo: OK, stick to your girlish belief until you can’t… Well, do you find this conversation of ours tiresome?

Sayaka: No. This conversation is fun; but its contents are just stupid.

Jaugo: Great. Now, you see, although you and I are quite different in our opinions, we share the same delight in this stupid conversation. For joyful communication, differences of opinions are no problem. We could be different, we don’t have to be “the same type” of persons to enjoy being together, to “be ourselves” before each other.

Sayaka: I see your message… So, you only played a fool before me with such a stupid theory just to make me disagree to your opinion?

Jaugo: No. I’m seriously sure that girls as cute as cats are natural cat-haters, until they grow up to be attractive women who know how to deal with men in a different kind of way than cats. Does that make this conversation still more interesting?

Sayaka: (…) You said “five years from now”?

Jaugo: I did, why?

Sayaka: Then you are sure I’ll have grown up to be an attractive woman who knows how to deal with men much better than cats… in five years, when I’m 22?

Jaugo: Um… I don’t know. Maybe at 20, or maybe not for ever.

Sayaka: Jaugo-san!

Jaugo: You look really like a cat when you put on an angry face!

Sayaka: Stop kidding me…

Jaugo: Stop “kittying” you?

Sayaka: Oh yeah, that’s a good one ― please stop “KITTYING ME”; I’m no cat, I’m a human girl who loves birds, who has no particular jealousy against cats, thank you very much.

Jaugo: Thank YOU very much, Sayaka-san, it’s been nice disagreeing with you. Well, now, let’s get back to the original question ― your conversation with me is delightful, you can “be yourself” before me, all because we are “the same type” of persons… is that correct?

Sayaka: Not correct. We could be different.

Jaugo: In opinions, yes, we could be different. But in something else, we MUST NEVER be different ― we must share the same direction, same vector of attention with each other in order for us to “be ourselves” in communicating with each other.

Sayaka: The same vector of attention?

Jaugo: Does that ring a bell? We talked about it before.

Sayaka: Really? Um… how about some hint?

Jaugo: You said this poem sounds too natural for you to mention. Walking up to birds ― or for that matter, insects ― and listening to their voices to discern which is which… that is quite a natural thing for you to do, you say. But is that kind of attitude also natural to others? Walking up to such non-human beings as birds, insects, dogs or cats ― trying to identify yourself with such creatures, without trying to simply use them as a metaphor, an icon, a subjective reflection of your own feeling ― an attitude to look at Nature as it is, to feel for the feelings of non-human beings as if they were our real friends, trying to communicate with birds, instead of talking about birds with humans ― is that kind of attitude as natural for others as it is for you? Especially for Heianese poets?

Sayaka: I don’t think so… wait, now I remember ― the wild geese song… 見遣り(miyari = walking up to others and feeling for their emotions), right?

Jaugo: I’m glad you remember. This TANKA by 和泉式部(Izumi-shikibu) is a black sheep among Heianese TANKA in that it is a 見遣り(miyari) song feeling for insects ― something hardly anyone sincerely listens to… their real voices are only audible to those who are capable of sincerest 見遣り(miyari)… such persons are really hard to find among Heianese poets. Izumi was certainly one of such rare 見遣り(miyari)-capable women… so are you, Sayaka-san.

Sayaka: And you too, Jaugo-san.

Jaugo: Now, we’ve got to the answer: you and I really enjoy talking with each other because we are both trying to walk up to each other in the attitude of 見遣り(miyari). You can “be yourself” before me because I’m trying to draw out from you what you are thinking, what you are trying to say, and what you are capable of doing. I enjoy making you out and I help developing you into something bigger than you were before engaging in that conversation. And the same goes for me, Sayaka-san, you help me bring out something really interesting or even unthinkable to myself before our conversation. We are both “見遣り(miyari)” type of humans, walking up to each other ― in that sense, we are “the same type”; if we were different in this respect, we wouldn’t have been attracted to each other and this series of conversation would have been totally impossible.

Sayaka: (…) Enlightenment! This is what is called enlightenment!

Jaugo: Or illumination. I’m glad you became bigger again.

Sayaka: I’m growing bigger and bigger… thanks to you, Jaugo-san!

Jaugo: Thank YOU, Sayaka-san… should we finish for today?

Sayaka: Uh… can I be a little more persistent?

Jaugo: OK, go ahead.

Sayaka: You have shown it so clearly that I can “be myself” and enjoy this conversation with you so much because you and I both have the same “見遣り(miyari)” attitude… but, why can’t I be myself when I’m among other people? Because they have no “見遣り(miyari)”? Are they all acting in the attitude of… what was it, Jaugo-san?

Jaugo: “見遣し(miokoshi)” ― Hey, listen, behold, I’m here, pay attention to me!… that type of attitude.

Sayaka: Yes, that’s it ― “見遣し(miokoshi)”… Are other people all incapable of “見遣り(miyari)” and stick to “見遣し(miokoshi)”?

Jaugo: I don’t think so. If that was the case, mankind would have been extinct by now.

Sayaka: Then, why can’t I “be myself” among others? Is it impossible to act in the attitude of “見遣り(miyari)” among crowds?

Jaugo: I think you have already mentioned the answer to that question yourself.

Sayaka: Did I? When? Today?

Jaugo: Yes, when you told me you just wanted to communicate with birds… in the attitude of “見遣り(miyari)”, not that you wanted to talk about birds with humans in a bird-lovers’ association… when “talking about birds” in the middle of bird-loving friends, are you walking up to birds?

Sayaka: No, the birds are not there, there are only bird-loving humans.

Jaugo: Then, are you walking up to those human bird-lovers in the attitude of “見遣り(みやり)”, so that they may understand what kind of birds you are talking about?

Sayaka: I think so… only, my attitude may not be so seriously honest as when I’m trying to walk up to birds.

Jaugo: Are you really sure you are walking up to bird-loving friends? Aren’t you rather trying to draw attention of those bird-lovers to “the birds in your own image” in the attitude of “見遣し(miokoshi)” ― “Hey, folks, listen to me and imagine what kind of birds I’m talking about”?

Sayaka: Mm… now that you say so… yes, it’s not 見遣り(miyari), it’s 見遣し(miokoshi).

Jaugo: Now, just think a little more: when you are trying to draw attention of other bird-lovers to the birds in your own image, you expect those others to walk up to… who? You?

Sayaka: To me, yes… that’s the meaning of “見遣し(miokoshi)”, isn’t it?

Jaugo: The vector is certainly not “to them”; but then again, is the vector really “to you”? I don’t think so: the vector of attention is “to the imaginary birds in your head”, not “to you”… do you agree?

Sayaka: Now that you mention it, yes, I agree, you’re right: they are walking up not “to me”, but “to the imaginary birds in my head”.

Jaugo: Don’t you think it rather strange? When you talk about birds among bird-loving humans, those humans are expected to walk up to “the imaginary birds in your head”; you are also expected to walk up to “the imaginary birds in your head”; but “the imaginary birds in your head” are not present there, either… everyone in the room is expected to “walk up” to something that is not really there at all… don’t you think it rather an empty kind of experience?

Sayaka: It really is… nobody really walks up to anybody in the room!

Jaugo: To put it differently, in psychological terms, everyone in the room is “alienated from the conversation”. There’s no one really involved in the communication, everyone is just being taken out, not quite walking up or being walked up to, actually. Although the talker may be personally involved in talking, trying desperately to make it sound interesting, it is just physical exercise making him or her just a little too hot, that’s all. Compared with this conversation going on between you and me here, it’s essentially empty: it is destined to be structurally empty.

Sayaka: You are quite right, it’s empty…

Jaugo: Say, Sayaka-san, do you remember the stupid talk of ours about cats, girls and adult women?

Sayaka: How should I forget?

Jaugo: It was really interesting, wasn’t it?

Sayaka: It sure was.

Jaugo: Now, just imagine: you think it was so interesting a story that you can’t resist talking about it in front of many other people… OK?

Sayaka: Mm… although I’ll keep it to myself, for the sake of our conversation, yes, OK.

Jaugo: Good. It’s such an interesting story; and you talk about it so well that everyone in the room gets so amused and applauds… now, how do you feel?

Sayaka: I feel… good, of course, not bad.

Jaugo: Not bad, yeah, feeling good, that’s how you feel… but what is it that is really good about the experience? That the whole company was delighted by your good story-telling?

Sayaka: I’d guess so.

Jaugo: OK, then, let’s get a little more precise ― what exactly is it that is really good? Is it the way you talked about the story, or the funny content of the story itself? Which do you think should take credit for it, you as the great talker, or the good story itself?

Sayaka: Uh… I don’t know unless I’m actually there.

Jaugo: Yes, correct, you don’t know because you are not there. But there are some things we do know even now… shall we enumerate?

Sayaka: Yes.

Jaugo: First, the story itself is guaranteed to be a good one, right?

Sayaka: Right.

Jaugo: Then, if the audience doesn’t get excited over the good story, it’s your fault, because you didn’t recount it very well, the way you talked was to blame… do you agree?

Sayaka: Yes, I agree. It will be my fault if I fail to excite the audience by a good story.

Jaugo: Um… or is it? Don’t you think that the audience itself is to blame? What if those people were all too dull to enjoy the story, however well you might talk? Isn’t it their fault, not yours?

Sayaka: If the audience were too dull, yes, they’d be to blame, not me.

Jaugo: Or, to come to think of it, the story itself may not be so interesting as you thought. However well you may narrate, however responsive the audience, if the story is no good, the talk will fail flat. In that case, you are not to blame, the audience is not to blame, it’s solely the story itself that is to blame… right?

Sayaka: Right… although I’m getting confused.

Jaugo: Now you see, just how much responsibility hinges on how many parties involved in a “crowd talk”… the story has to be good, the talker has to be good, the audience has to be good… if any one of them is no-good, that will ruin everything… The air just has to grow tense, don’t you think?

Sayaka: Yes, I can’t help being nervous in the middle of a crowd.

Jaugo: And, remember ― in a crowd talk, everyone in the room is “alienated from the story”… even if it succeeds in making the audience laugh, do you feel it is really amusing to you? As amusing or even more amusing than the original story you and I enjoyed in our stupid conversation here today?

Sayaka: Never! Ours is definitely the best.

Jaugo: The feeling is mutual, Sayaka-san. And when we were engaged in that conversation, did we ever think about any responsibilities? Were we nervous about the quality of the audience? Quality about the way we talked? Quality about the story itself?

Sayaka: No, we were just talking and enjoying it.

Jaugo: Was the story already there, or did we make up the story as our conversation went on?

Sayaka: It was not there at first, it took shape as our conversation went on… according to your scheme, probably.

Jaugo: Yes, I admit I had my own plans in my head, but actually, we both made it up ourselves together, didn’t we?

Sayaka: Yes, we certainly did.

Jaugo: Were we alienated from the story?

Sayaka: No, we were totally involved in the story.

Jaugo: You disagreed with me, saying “I’ve never heard anything like that before!”, do you remember?

Sayaka: Actually, I said “That’s the most ridiculous story I’ve ever heard from you!”

Jaugo: Thanks for the correction, Sayaka-san. And if I remember correctly, you also said, “I couldn’t agree with you less!”

Sayaka: Yes, and if you ask me, I still think so.

Jaugo: So, we were in disagreement, totally persistent disagreement… but did we blame each other for that?

Sayaka: No, you actually seemed to enjoy seeing me disagree with you.

Jaugo: You are right in saying so… do you think that kind of pleasant disagreement is possible in a crowd talk? Will they agree to disagree? Don’t they try desperately to come to total agreement? Is there any room for disagreement? Is there any room for a bad story? Is there any room for a poor story-telling? Is there any room for poor response from the audience? Is there any room for anything but PERFECT in the tense atmosphere of the crowd talk? I don’t think so. Everyone in the room is on tiptoe, walking on a tight rope, as it were.

Sayaka: Exactly! That’s how I feel! That’s what makes me so tense that I feel I can’t be myself among crowds of people.

Jaugo: So, I said, there is only one way to really live for persons like you and me ― one-on-one: that’s the way for Jaugo and Sayaka to go… they just can’t live in the atmosphere of “one-of-many”… because they have already known too well how much better our one-on-one talk can be!

Sayaka: I couldn’t agree with you more!… To come to think of it, it makes me scared, Jaugo-san ― what should I do without you?

Jaugo: I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you: you are sure to find someone else with whom you can be on “one-on-one” terms with each other and “be yourself”.

Sayaka: What makes you so sure?

Jaugo: In actual fact, people do not live in a crowd alone. People all have ― or try to find ― some one-on-one relationship with someone special, with whom they can “walk up and listen to real birds” instead of “recounting and listening to imaginary birds” actually alienating everyone present… and by finding such special friends, they can be themselves… unless they are content to be bees in a hive. A really cute cat that really loves birds cannot fail to be found and walked up to by gentle humans… or some gentle man… you are sure to be found out and loved, even after you lose me.

Sayaka: Don’t make me sad…

Jaugo: I won’t, for at least another 19 episodes… we still have a long way to go, Sayaka-san… Well, it’s been quite a long talk today, so… so much for today, OK?

Sayaka: Yes. Thank you ever so much, Jaugo-san. It was a real eye-opener for me. I’m really grateful.

Jaugo: My pleasure. See you.


----------

12)(題しらず)

なくむしのひとつこゑにもきこえぬはこころごころにものやかなしき

「鳴く虫の一つ声にも聞こえぬは心々に物や悲しき」

『詞花集』秋・一二〇・和泉式部(いづみしきぶ)(978-?:女性)

『秋の野原を埋め尽くす虫たちの鳴き声はそれはもう賑やかだけれど、よくよく聞けば、どれもこれもみなそれぞれ違う声に聞こえるのは、みな思い思いに何か特別な悲しみを訴えながら泣いているから・・・なのかな?』

The sounds of autumnal insects chirp out as many sorrow.

Behind the loud harmony, their cries must all be unique.

なく【泣く】〔自カ四〕(なく=連体形)<VERB:chirp, cry>

むし【虫】〔名〕<NOUN:insects>

の【の】〔格助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(SUBJECT)>

…insects giving out cries

ひとつ【一つ】〔名〕<ADJECTIVE:the same, similar, a single, just one>

こゑ【声】〔名〕<NOUN:the voice, tone>

に【に】〔格助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(COMPLEMENT)>

も【も】〔格助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(INTONATION)>

きこゆ【聞こゆ】〔自ヤ下二〕(きこえ=未然形)<VERB:sound like>

ず【ず】〔助動特殊型〕打消(ぬ=連体形)<AUXILIARY VERB(NEGATION):not>

…their voices sound different from insect to insect

は【は】〔係助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(SUBJECT)>

…is it because

こころごころ【心々】〔名〕<ADVERB:each one with something personal in mind>

に【に】〔格助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(MANNER):in such a way as>

もの【物】〔名〕<NOUN:various things>

や【や】〔係助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(INTERROGATIVE):?>

かなし【悲し】〔形シク〕(かなしき=連体形係り結び)<VERB:be sorry for, melancholic about>

…they are radiating respective sorrow unique to each and every one

《naku mushi no hitotsu koe ni mo kikoe nu wa kokorogokoro ni mono ya kanashiki》


■a heart that offers compassion(=見遣り:miyari) and that which demands attention(=見遣し:miokoshi)■

 Of all TANKA poets in Heian period, 和泉式部(Izumi-shikibu:ca.978-after 1027) ― along with 西行法師(Saigyou-houshi:1118-1190) ― has the greatest appeal to modern readers because her (and his) TANKA was essentially different from the rest of Heianese poems in its basic attitude to its objects: subjective identification with the object to such an extent that the reader, along with the poet, gets totally involved and becomes one with the object, as opposed to subjective reflection of personal emotion or interest, with its object being merely used as a kind of excuse for the poet’s personal representation.

 In order for the reader to feel the difference, I’ll cite a piece of somewhat similar yet essentially different TANKA by 藤原敏行(Fujiwara-no-Toshiyuki), one of the most notable TANKA poets in its earliest 『古今集(Kokin-shuu:A.D.905)』 years, which refers to “insects” just like 和泉(Izumi)’s poem, in quite a different way:

《あきのよのあくるもしらずなくむしは わがごとものやかなしかるらむ:aki no yo no akuru mo shirazu naku mushi wa wa ga goto mono ya kanashikaru ramu?》『古今集(Kokin-shuu)』秋(Autumn) No.197 秋の夜の明くるも知らず(without realizing that the night in Autumn has been gone and it’s already dawn)鳴く虫は(insects keep crying)我が如物や悲しかるらむ(are they just as sad as me?)

・・・Insects sound sad to 敏行(Toshiyuki)’s ears because HE is sad, not that THEIR voices actually feel sad to him… Do you doubt me? OK, then, talk back to me after you’ve seen the next one by the same poet:

《わがごとくものやかなしきほととぎす ときぞともなくよただなくらむ:wa ga gotoku mono ya kanashiki hototogisu toki zo tomonaku yo tada naku ramu?》『古今集(Kokin-shuu)』恋(Love) No.578 我が如く物や悲しき郭公(is the small cuckoo as sad as me?)時ぞともなく夜只鳴くらむ(I hear it crying all through the night)

・・・A cuckoo’s echo in the same voice as the insects’… they sound exactly the same and no different simply because they are mere reflections of 敏行(Toshiyuki)’s own personal emotion, not at all as real as 和泉(Izumi)’s insects, never sounding “心々に(kokoro-gokoro ni = respectively different and unique)” to our ears.

 Simply put, for Heianese poets, the only thing in Nature that has any heart and emotion is the human being; all other living things ― animals, birds, insects or plants ― were simply something devoid of their own feelings ― “心無き(kokoro-naki = heartless)” beings in their vocabulary ― unworthy of mention except as a target for subjective reflection of the poet’s own emotion as a kind of natural “mirror”, just like the moon which was often personified yet totally devoid of its own individual feelings.

 That’s the essential reason why 和泉式部(Izumi-shikibu) ― herself as well as her poems ― is still loved by many today, while few will be found to refer to 藤原敏行(Fujiwara-no-Toshiyuki)as a person, in spite of the fabulous popularity of his TANKA 《あききぬとめにはさやかにみえねども かぜのおとにぞおどろかれぬる:秋来ぬと(Autumns has come?)目にはさやかに見えねども(it’s not quite plain to see to my eyes, but)風の音にぞ驚かれぬる(the sound in the wind has taken me by surprise)》… this poem, sophisticated as it is, could have been said by anybody other than 敏行(Toshiyuki) ― we just refer to his TANKA as proof of our own poetic sophistication; we simply don’t care about the sound of HIS particular voice, just as he cared nothing about the real voices of his insects or cuckoos. That’s the traditional Japanese way: they are excited over some “reflection” in an indirect way, not directly attracted or related to the “object” itself; they see and hear things as some “icon”, not as something uniquely meaningful as they are trying to speak and relate directly to them; their real voices or true feelings are simply ignored and never reach the eyes or ears or hearts of the Japanese. Individual uniqueness is no fit topic for their TANKA; it becomes worthy of mention only when the individuality is replaced by some generalized image. The voices of insects are mere “raw materials” waiting to be intellectually processed to practically all Heianese poets, while they had unique individual value to 和泉式部(Izumi-shikibu)’s “見遣り(miyari)” mentality.

 Was 和泉(Izumi) totally unique in her attitude of walking up to the object and personally identifying herself with it? You can safely assert so, with the single exception of another “見遣り(miyari)” poet at the end of 平安(Heian)/the beginning of 鎌倉(Kamakura) period ― 西行法師(Saigyou-houshi:1118-1190):

《きりぎりすよざむにあきのなるままに よわるかこゑのとほざかりゆく:kirigirisu yo-zamu ni aki no naru mamani yowaru ka koe no toozakari yuku》『新古今集(Shin-Kokin-shuu)』秋(Autumn) No.472 蟋蟀(o, crickets)夜寒に秋のなるままに(as the nights get colder as Autumn becomes deeper)弱るか(are you getting weaker?)声の遠ざかり行く(I hear you cry further and further away)

 西行(Saigyou) and 和泉(Izumi) were of course not the only humans in Heian era Japan capable of “見遣り(miyari = walking up to others to feel for their emotions)”, but they were definitely unique in expressing their heart-felt empathy with objects that were simply ignored or expended away as mere metaphor, symbol, icon or excuse for self-expression at the hands of non-empathic Heianese poets.

 Have the present-day Japanese got over their traditional lack of “見遣り(miyari)”?… I will refrain from answering in definite “Yes” or “No” in my own voice; instead, I’ll present you with a piece of HAIKU(俳句) somewhat similar to the TANKA above by 和泉(Izumi) and 西行(Saigyou):

《あかとんぼ じっとしたまま あすどうする:aka-tombo jitto shita mama asu dousuru?》by 風天(ふうてん:fuuten)赤とんぼ(a small red dragonfly)じっとしたまま(resting motionless before me)明日どうする(what are you going to do tomorrow?)

・・・Well, what do you think, Japanese folks? Does this HAIKU sound too natural for you even to mention? Or does it sound uniquely empathic and strike you as moving?… I believe it stands out, setting itself away from the rest of modern Japanese HAIKU that demand supernatural attention to and superhuman patience with the authors’ self-centered representation of their purely personal circumstances. This particular piece of HAIKU is one of very rare exceptions of “見遣り(miyari)” in the midst of hordes of “見遣し(miokoshi)” behavior of the modern Japanese that have no more discerning ears to the cries of crickets or sympathetic eyes to the plight of a dragonfly than their sophisticated yet non-empathic Heianese ancestors 1,000 years ago.

 In case you are curious who this author calling himself “風天(ふうてん:fuuten)” was, his real name is 田所康雄(Tadokoro Yasuo:1928-1996) who acted on stage with the name of “渥美清(Atsumi Kiyoshi)”, more popularly known as “フーテンの寅(fuuten no Tora = Tora the vagabond)” in a very, very long series of (48) movies entitled 『男はつらいよ:1969-1995』, playing the role of 車寅次郎(Kuruma Torajirou) ― a wandering mountebank always falling in love with some beautiful woman, only to end up broken-hearted and break away from his personal sadness by starting on another travel as a wayward vagabond… perhaps the most beloved vagabond that stays in the memory of many Japanese as a symbol of “good old days(…?…)” when people were capable of feeling for each other without caring much about decency in the eyes of others… This HAIKU by 風天(ふうてん:fuuten) is as unique and lonely as フーテンの寅(Tora the vagabond): he walks up to so many and is loved by so many, but how many people are there in this country who can really walk up to and listen to his voice, or look into the heart of a small dragonfly?


Having an English-speaking self within you is just like having a conversation partner like Sayaka-san/Jaugo-san beside you.
We provide you not with actual conversation partners, but we enable you to engage in intellectually enticing conversation with Sayaka-san/Jaugo-san(…no mean feat, isn’t it?)
===!CAUTION!===
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