31shortyones13) one of too many to say which is which ― Sayaka’s first victory over Jaugo


13)(河原院にてよみ侍りける)

すだきけむむかしのひともなきやどにただかげするはあきのよのつき

「集きけむ昔の人も無き宿にただ影するは秋の夜の月」

恵慶法師(えぎゃうほふし)

♪(SING)♪

★one of too many to say which is which ― Sayaka’s first victory over Jaugo★

Jaugo: Well, don’t you have any “deja vu” inspired by this TANKA, Sayaka-san?

Sayaka: I was just about to say that. In fact, I have so many similar images in my memory that I can’t say which is which.

Jaugo: OK, please give them to me at random. What’s the first one?

Sayaka: It’s definitely “荒城の月(koujou no tsuki = the moon shining on an old forlorn castle)”, although I can’t remember the lyrics, the ambient feel of that song is quite similar to this TANKA.

Jaugo: That particular melody should make a suitable BGM to this poem, I think. What’s next?

Sayaka: Well, that’s the problem… I know I have met some, quite similar TANKA, but I just can’t remember them.

Jaugo: On the tip of your tongue?

Sayaka: Uh… not quite; all over my tongue, here and there in my mouth.

Jaugo: The same single TANKA scattered into pieces? Or several TANKA in the same mood looming and hiding here and there in your memory?

Sayaka: The latter… well, I give up. Perhaps you know the definite answer, Jaugo-san?

Jaugo: In fact, I have picked out some TANKA produced by the same mold of emotion. Are you curious to know?

Sayaka: Um… honestly, I’m not quite interested in anything typical and predictable.

Jaugo: Aha, it’s quite typical of you to say that, Sayaka-san. You love the unpredictable, don’t you?

Sayaka: Something unpredictable and totally new. That’s why I love talking with you, Jaugo-san. Let’s forget about this TANKA and all its cousins and start talking about something new and unpredictable!

Jaugo: All right, then, how about something old but not quite predictable for you?

Sayaka: What’s that?

Jaugo: It’s a quiz: of all the four seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, what season has been most talked about in Heianese TANKA?

Sayaka: (…) Since you mention it here, I’d guess it’s Autumn.

Jaugo: Impressive! How did you know?

Sayaka: The answer lies here and there in what you said ― “the same mold”, “typical” ― you repeated such stereotyped images more than once, you opened up today’s conversation with the word “deja vu”, and you say you have picked out several TANKA similar to this one beforehand… which leads me to the conclusion that Autumn is teeming with such similar TANKA poems molded out of the same typical formula… Am I correct?

Jaugo: You took words right out of my mouth, Sherlock Sayaka Holmes!

Sayaka: You were too predictable in this particular case, Mr. Jaugo Watson.

Jaugo: Touché! You’ve got me there.

Sayaka: Gotcha! Toast to my first victory over you!

Jaugo: Correction: not the first.

Sayaka: Really? When did I knock you down first?

Jaugo: The first time I met you ― when you made a striptease of the first TANKA poem by 紀貫之(Ki-no-Tsurayuki)… remember that?

Sayaka: 《そでひぢてむすびしみづのこほれるを はるたつけふのかぜやとくらむ:sode hijite musubishi mizu no kooreru wo haru tatsu kyou no kaze ya toku ramu?》… Yes, of course, how could I forget, that’s the poem that made us meet each other: it’s my favorite now. But I don’t remember beating you in that first episode. In fact, I was torn down to tatters until you helped me out of confusion.

Jaugo: Yes, you were simply puzzling yourself and bombarded me with quiz after funny quiz of your own making ― that’s where you got me: I was convinced “She is the one! She will never stop asking questions, she will never rest contented while unconvinced. She will make a perfect student, perfect guest, and a perfect hostess…”

Sayaka: A perfect hostess?… No sexual meaning involved, of course?

Jaugo: “A perfect hostess” of a series of intellectually enticing conversation meant as an educational program to all those interested in Japanese TANKA, not those thirsty for chatting with a cute girl in her teens.

Sayaka: So, you are not thirsty, Jaugo-san?

Jaugo: I’ve got you here, Sayaka-san, thank you very much.

Sayaka: Am I quenching your thirst?

Jaugo: Intellectually… do you expect me to say more?

Sayaka: No; I’m satisfied to know that I am… making myself useful to you.

Jaugo: You are much more than useful to this show. Anyway, I’m sorry I couldn’t make you intellectually or emotionally satisfied with this poem which was too typical to move your heart. Please forgive me in exchange for your proud victory as a sharp intellectual detective, 冴やか-san. Hope for a better one next time. So long.

Sayaka: Thank you. See you soon.


----------

13)(河原院にてよみ侍りける)

すだきけむむかしのひともなきやどにただかげするはあきのよのつき

「集きけむ昔の人も無き宿にただ影するは秋の夜の月」

『後拾遺集』秋・二五三・恵慶法師(えぎゃうほふし)(986に行幸参加記録あり:男性)

(かつて栄華を誇った源融(みなもとのとおる)の別荘だった河原院での詠歌)

『昔は大勢そこに集まっていた人々もいたろうに、今は誰一人宿すこともない野辺の寂しい古い家を、秋の夜の月だけが今も変わらず訪れては、優しい光に包んでいる・・・行き交う人々はみな仮の世の旅人、月日もまた百代の過客なれど、変わらぬものは夜の空の月・・・』

(at Kawara-no-in)

A large vacant house with old inhabitants gone

Stands out in silent embrace of the gentle autumnal moon.

すだく【集く】〔自カ四〕(すだき=連用形)<VERB:gather, flock together>

けむ【けむ】〔助動マ四型〕過去推量(けむ=連体形)<AUXILIARY VERB(IMAGINED PAST):perhaps there used to>

むかし【昔】〔名〕<NOUN:the past, old days>

の【の】〔格助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(POSSESSIVE):’s, of, belonging to>

ひと【人】〔名〕<NOUN:people, folks>

…people of olden times that must have flocked together there

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

なし【無し】〔形ク〕(なき=連体形)<ADJECTIVE:be absent, nonexistent, not to be found>

やど【宿】〔名〕<NOUN:the residence, house>

に【に】〔格助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(PLACE):on>

…they’ve all gone leaving this residence empty and lonely

ただ【唯】〔副〕<ADVERB:only, solely>

かげ【影】〔名〕<NOUN:moonlight, the lunar beam>

す【為】〔他サ変〕(する=連体形)<PRO-VERB:do(=cast moonlight on)>

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

あき【秋】〔名〕<NOUN:Autumn>

の【の】〔格助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(POSSESSIVE):’s, of, belonging to>

よ【夜】〔名〕<NOUN:the night>

の【の】〔格助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(POSSESSIVE):’s, of, belonging to>

つき【月】〔名〕<NOUN:the moon>

…the moon is the only one that embraces it in radiant beam

《sudaki kemu mukashi no hito mo naki yado ni tada kage suru wa aki no yo no tsuki》


■men will only come and go, only Nature is here to stay ― a time-honored theme of Heianese TANKA■

 As a supplement to the conversation above, here is the statistical data about 4 seasons appearing in 八代集(hachidaishuu = eight great Imperial TANKA anthologies):

秋(aki = Autumn section:1,300 poems)… the term “秋” appears 1,003 times

春(haru = Spring section:1,095 poems)… the term “春” appears 767 times

夏(natsu = Summer section:542 poems)… the term “夏” appears 153 times

冬(fuyu = Winter section:522 poems)… the term “冬” appears 101 times

 Autumn beats all the other seasons possibly because it was a perfect season for indoor gatherings at some mansions of Heianese nobles, where exchanging TANKA poems played a major role. Perhaps owing to such sociable circumstances, however, the world of Autumnal TANKA is teeming with beautifully stereotyped stale poems, well-designed for party adulation, yet generally not so genuinely moving as Spring poems motivated by the revitalizing feel of the season of new beginning.

 There do exist wonderful TANKA poems of Autumn, of course, but most of them have too many “cousins” to feel freshly moving… perhaps this is a feeling peculiar to a modern poet who attempts desperately to refrain from the temptation of rehashing ― those who casually enjoy poetry by reading (not making) sophisticated representation of nostalgia should take their delight in any given poem they happen to encounter… to help them find their personal favorite, I will give a list of candidates below:

1)the same poet (恵慶法師:Egyou-houshi) rhymes out the same feeling of Autumn at the same place (河原院:Kawara-no-in):

《やへむぐらしげれるやどのさびしきに ひとこそみえねあきはきにけり:yaemugura sigereru yado no sabishiki ni hito koso miene aki wa kinikeri》『拾遺集(Shuui-shuu)』秋(Autumn) No.140 八重葎茂れる宿の寂しきに(to a lonely residence hosting weeds alone)人こそ見えね(no one ever comes but)秋は来にけり(Autumn didn’t forget to come)

2)the same poet (恵慶法師:Egyou-houshi) rhymes out on cherry flowers blooming in the garden of a deserted house:

《あさぢはらぬしなきやどのさくらばな こころやすくやかぜにちるらむ:asaji-hara nushi naki yado no sakura-bana kokoroyasuku ya kaze ni chiru ramu?》『拾遺集(Shuui-shuu)』春(Spring) No.62 浅茅原(on a field where even grass is sparse)主無き宿の(in the garden of a lonely house deserted by its host)桜花(flowers of cherry trees)心安くや(are you feeling at ease?)風に散るらむ(falling down and whirling in the wind alone)

3)the same poet (恵慶法師:Egyou-houshi) rhymes out about tinged leaves of Autumn:

《きのふよりけふはまされるもみぢばの あすのいろをばみでややみなむ:kinou yori kyou wa masareru momiji-ba no asu no iro wo ba mide ya yaminamu?》『拾遺集(Shuui-shuu)』秋(Autumn) No.199 昨日より(more than yesterday)今日は(today)勝れるもみぢ葉(the tints of leaves are apparently growing)の明日の色をば(their colors of tomorrow)見でや止みなむ(I can only imagine, because I’ll be here no more)

4)the same poet (恵慶法師:Egyou-houshi) rhymes out on chrysanthemum blooming in the garden of a house whose host has passed away:

《うゑおきしあるじはなくてきくのはな おのれひとりぞつゆけかりける:ue-okishi aruji wa nakute kiku no hana onore hitori zo tsuyukekarikeru》『後拾遺集(Go-Shuui-shuu)』秋(Autumn) No.347 植ゑ置きし主はなくて(without the host who planted it here)菊の花(a flower of chrysanthemum)己れ独りぞ露けかりける(standing alone wet in tears of Autumnal dew)

5)the same poet (恵慶法師:Egyou-houshi) rhymes out on the same old theme of “a hostless house”:

《いにしへをおもひやりてぞこひわたる あれたるやどのこけのいははし:inishie wo omoiyarite zo koi-wataru aretaru yado no koke no iwa-hashi》『新古今集(Shin-Kokin-shuu)』雑(Miscellany) No.1685 古へを思ひ遣りてぞ(brooding on the past)恋ひ渡る(longing for you still)荒れたる宿の(in a house with no host, no guest)苔の岩橋(stands a stony bridge of love untrodden gathering moss alone)

extra-1) just another “deja vu” ― an older one ― by 紀貫之(Ki-no-Tsurayuki:866-945)

《とふひともなきやどなれどくるはるは やへむぐらにもさはらざりけり:tou hito mo naki yado naredo kuru haru wa yaemugura nimo sawarazarikeri》『新勅撰集(Shin-chokusen-shuu:A.D.1235)』春(Spring) No.8 訪ふ人もなき宿なれど(even to a house no one ever visits)来る春は(Spring never fails to come)八重葎にも障らざりけり(with all those weeds in the garden)

・・・This one, though older than a series of 恵慶法師(Egyou-houshi)’s, is not included in 八代集(hachidaishuu = eight great Imperial TANKA anthologies) ― perhaps they felt they’d had more than enough… only 藤原定家(Fujiwara-no-Teika) paid this tribute to this great Founding Father by choosing it as one of the poems in 『新勅撰集(Shin-chokusen-shuu)』, the first Imperial TANKA anthology (edited by TEIKA alone) after the so-called 八代集(hachidaishuu = eight great Imperial TANKA anthologies).

extra-2) yet another “deja vu” ― an ancient one ― by 奈良帝(Nara-no-mikado = Emperor Heizei:平城天皇:774-824):

《ふるさととなりにしならのみやこにも いろはかはらずはなはさきけり:furusato to narinishi Nara no miyako ni mo iro wa kawarazu hana wa sakikeri》『古今集(Kokin-shuu)』春(Spring) No.90 古里と成りにし奈良の都にも(even to the town of Nara that is no longer the capital of this country)色は変はらず花は咲きけり(flowers have bloomed in their same old colors)

・・・This, perhaps, is the great granddaddy of all those followers.

extra-3) the same old dream again early in the morning as opposed to late at night deep in Autumn:

《すだきけむむかしのひとはかげたえて やどもるものはありあけのつき:sudaki kemu mukashi no hito wa kage taete yado moru mono wa ariake no tsuki》『新古今集(Shin-Kokin-shuu)』雑(Miscellany) No.1552 by 平忠盛(Taira-no-Tadamori:1096-1153)すだきけむ昔の人は影絶えて宿守るものは有明の月(after all those who gathered here were totally gone, the moon at dawn is the only guard of this old deserted mansion)

・・・The author of this audacious “rebroadcast” is the father of that famous 平清盛(Taira-no-Kiyomori:1118-1181) and was the very first 侍(samurai) warrior to be allowed to ascend to 清涼殿(Seiryou-den), the most prestigious stage in the Imperial Court in 京都(Kyoto). As such, 忠盛(Tadamori) was the target of vehement hatred and ridicule of Heianese nobles… that may be the reason for this plain plagiarism to be included in 『新古今集(Shin-Kokin-shuu)』 as the typical example of “侍の雅(samurai no miyabi = as far as warriors could go in their imitation of noble beauty)”.

 Too much of the same thing is better than nothing… (or worse?)

 Let us close this article with the old familiar lyrics of that nostalgic song “荒城月(kou-jou no tsuki)”:

<荒城月>

作詞:土井晩翠 作曲:滝廉太郎/編曲:山田耕筰

春高楼の花の宴

巡る盃影さして

千代の松が枝分け出でし

昔の光今いづこ

秋陣営の霜の色

鳴きゆく雁の数見せて

植うる剣に照り沿ひし

昔の光今いづこ

今荒城の夜半の月

変はらぬ光誰がためぞ

垣に残るはただ葛

松に歌ふはただ嵐

天上影は変はらねど

栄枯は移る世の姿

映さむとてか今も尚

ああ荒城の夜半の月

<kou-jou no tsuki>

lyrics by Doi Bansui composed by Taki Rentarou arranged by Yamada Kousaku

haru kou-rou no hana no en

meguru sakazuki kage sashite

chiyo no matsu ga e wake-ideshi

mukashi no hikari ima izuko

aki jin-ei no shimo no iro

naki-yuku kari no kazu misete

uuru turugi ni teri-soishi

mukashi no hikari ima izuko

ima kou-jou no yowa no tsuki

kawaranu hikari ta ga tame zo

kaki ni nokoru wa tada kazura

matsu ni utau wa tada arashi

tenjou kage wa kawaranedo

eiko wa utsuru yo no sugata

utsusamu tote ka ima mo nao

aa kou-jou no yowa no tsuki

<moonlight on a forlorn castle>

There used to be a Spring when high up in the tower

Gleeful cups went around in banquets at night

Forever green and thriving as pine trees below

Their hopes were gone along with ancient moon

They went on campaign in Fall camping on dewy fields

Moonlight so bright in the sky wild geese had nowhere to hide

Reflected on the swords below victoriously standing on battlefield

Their glorious time has gone along with ancient moon

Now the castle is forlorn ― no one but the moon is here

As bright as ever you shine ― for whom when everyone has gone?

Vines thrive on hedge in vain

Pines cry alone in whirling wind

Up above shines changeless moon

Below is our mutable world

To show how fleeting it is

The moon shines on this forlorn castle


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?)
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