31shortyones22) one-way tickets from friends to lovers ― Sayaka interrogates Jaugo about his past lost love


22)(題しらず)

かたみこそいまはあだなれこれなくばわするるときもあらましものを

「形見こそ今は仇なれこれ無くば忘るる時もあらましものを」

よみ人しらず

♪(SING)♪

★one-way tickets from friends to lovers ― Sayaka interrogates Jaugo about his past lost love★

Jaugo: Hello, Sayaka-san, welcome to the other side of love!

Sayaka: The other side of love… now I know what you meant as we parted last time ― lonely poems by those lost in love?

Jaugo: Yes. What else did you imagine?

Sayaka: I thought you were going to draw me deeper into love with you ― into some other dimension beyond the wildest imagination of a 17-year-old girl.

Jaugo: That would be enticing, but that would surely be the end of our journey into poetical delight together.

Sayaka: Would it?

Jaugo: Yeah, I think so. Too much joy in the flesh often deadens the joy in the head… oh-oh, I almost forgot: caution is advised when talking about “love” with women.

Sayaka: With a high-school girl, you said earlier. What if I was twenty? Can you afford to be less cautious and more open?

Jaugo: Ask me again when you are actually 20.

Sayaka: OK, I will. Please take responsibility for what you said today, Jaugo-san.

Jaugo: Don’t you remember I can’t answer for what I said in a dream?

Sayaka: We are talking with each other, not talking in a dream.

Jaugo: I feel as if in a dream.

Sayaka: Is our talk so much wonderful to you?

Jaugo: Our talk is as much wonderful as you are so intelligent and beautiful. It’s beyond the wildest dream of any ordinary men, I’d guess.

Sayaka: You ain’t no ordinary man, Jaugo-san. Besides, have you already forgotten my declaration? ― I’m determined to draw you near me not by my girlish charms but by my inner core that will ever grow up within me and never cease to lose its charm even when I’m no longer young.

Jaugo: Oh yes, I remember; and I vowed to co-operate with you in the development of that ever-green core within you.

Sayaka: I’m glad you remember. So, let’s start talking about “the other side of love”, shall we?

Jaugo: OK, although I doubt you know the true bitterness of this TANKA.

Sayaka: What makes you say that?

Jaugo: You’ve never lost in love, perhaps.

Sayaka: I never have. Have you?

Jaugo: How long do you think I’ve ever lived?

Sayaka: For more than you can remember, perhaps. And have you also been lost in love for how many times you can’t remember, Jaugo-san?

Jaugo: There are some things in this world in which once is more than enough. Although the faces on the other side were all different, what still remains here is all about the same.

Sayaka: What is it like?

Jaugo: I wish I could tell you.

Sayaka: Are you being cautious again?

Jaugo: No, I’m just at a loss for words.

Sayaka: I can’t believe you’re at a loss for words. You always use words as your minions.

Jaugo: Millions of words will fail to express how hurt ― how much and in what way ― I feel at heart when lost in love.

Sayaka: Then, this conversation about “the other side of love” is over right now… is that what you want?

Jaugo: Um… OK, I’ll try to put it into words ― I wish I could forget; but how could I forget?

Sayaka: What’s that?

Jaugo: What a man would say when lost in love.

Sayaka: Why would you want to forget?

Jaugo: Because it hurts to remember.

Sayaka: But if you forget, what becomes of your past?

Jaugo: My past spent with her?

Sayaka: Yes. Can you just erase it from your memory?

Jaugo: No, though I wish I could.

Sayaka: Why do you wish to erase your past with her? Do you regret being with her?

Jaugo: No. Yes, there were some scenes that I regret and would rather erase from my life forever, but I don’t regret being with her, on the whole. I wouldn’t allow any woman to be part of my life if I didn’t really love her… other than business, of course.

Sayaka: (…) Are you talking with me on business now?

Jaugo: No. Why do you ask?

Sayaka: Nothing… Let’s go on talking.

Jaugo: Of course… what were we talking about?

Sayaka: That you don’t regret being with her, but that you’d rather erase your memory with her. Why?

Jaugo: Because it hurts to remember.

Sayaka: I heard you say that for the second time. It seems it really hurts for you to remember her.

Jaugo: It always does.

Sayaka: Even after a very long time? Even when you are in love with another woman?

Jaugo: When in love with some other woman, maybe I can forget about my past love… but whenever I remember her, it’ll always hurt… not so severely as a day or two after my heartbreak, but it always does, more or less.

Sayaka: Do you want to erase her?

Jaugo: Yes, if I could.

Sayaka: Not simply from your memory, do you want to terminate her, get her killed and wiped out of this world?

Jaugo: Of course not… no sane person would ever feel like that, although there do exist such crazy men and women in this world.

Sayaka: So, you want her to live?

Jaugo: Yes, of course.

Sayaka: You want her to live ― without you? With some other man?

Jaugo: Uh-uh…

Sayaka: Do you want her to be happy or unhappy?

Jaugo: I hope she will live a happy life.

Sayaka: Do you want her to be happy with another man? Not with you?

Jaugo: Uh… I want her to be happy, with or without me.

Sayaka: Which do you prefer, that she lives happily with you, or that she lives happily with another man?

Jaugo: I’d prefer the former, of course.

Sayaka: Of course… but her life is now destined to be lived without you, now that you and she have parted from each other, right?

Jaugo: That’s right.

Sayaka: Though you still want her to be happy, now you have lost your right to make her happy, right?

Jaugo: Right.

Sayaka: If you can’t make her happy, there’s no reason for you to be with her, even in your memories, right?

Jaugo: Mm… possibly right.

Sayaka: Have you ever loved and lost a woman, with whom you shared the time and space together even after you were lost in love with her, as a classmate or a business colleague?

Jaugo: Possibly.

Sayaka: Yes or No?

Jaugo: Yes.

Sayaka: Did you feel awkward to share the time and space together with her, even when you were both sure you couldn’t share your lives together any more?

Jaugo: Yes, it was kind of embarrassing for me.

Sayaka: How did she look? As much embarrassed as you?

Jaugo: She seemed to behave rather naturally, I’d guess, although I don’t know how she felt at heart.

Sayaka: Did she already have a new sweetheart then?

Jaugo: Which “she”?

Sayaka: Oh… whichever. Do you think you are quicker in recovering from a lost love than your past sweethearts?

Jaugo: Definitely not. I’m a very slow recoverer, much as a rather slow starter.

Sayaka: I’d guess so… You want to remain her sweetheart for ever, even when you should rebuild your own image as her good friend.

Jaugo: Her good friend?

Sayaka: Yes, a good friend with fond memories of the same old days. Is it impossible for you to change from “her lover” to “her good friend”?

Jaugo: Um… it’s difficult, I’d guess.

Sayaka: Do you still retain your friendship with your past sweethearts? Do you still occasionally meet or exchange e-mail with them?

Jaugo: I’d rather refrain from answering that question… please just imagine.

Sayaka: OK. Forgive me for being too embarrassingly inquisitive, Jaugo-san.

Jaugo: No problem. Did it satisfy your curiosity?

Sayaka: Yes, thank you. Now, I seem to be slowly understanding you… or could I say understanding “men”?… I have an impression that for you, I mean for men in general, friendship and love are simply incompatible. You can retain your friendship with a woman so long as you remain just a friend, but once you become her lover, there’s no turning back to the status of a friend again after you are lost in love with her. It seems rather strange to me.

Jaugo: Can you imagine yourself becoming a good friend of your past lover, Sayaka-san?

Sayaka: Of course. I would hate to lose a single person that I loved in my life, both in my memories and in real life.

Jaugo: Could you attend the wedding of your past lover as one of those guests, not as the bride?

Sayaka: Mm… that’s a difficult question to answer, but, yes, I would. I’d hate to embarrass the bride, but since he and she sent me the invitation to their wedding ceremony, they would like me to celebrate their happiness, which I would do from the bottom of my heart. I’d hope to be good friends with his wife if she allowed me to. I’d love very much to meet and cuddle their children, as a member of the same family linked through some common association. I would really love to cherish each and every one of them as precious treasures of my life. Do you, and men in general, feel otherwise, Jaugo-san?

Jaugo: I’d guess so. And I doubt if all women other than you, Sayaka-san, would feel the same way as you do.

Sayaka: Perhaps I’m too greedy as regards friendship.

Jaugo: Or perhaps too ignorant of the selfishness of love.

Sayaka: Maybe. But I would never try to erase all our happy conversation even after I parted from you, Jaugo-san, that much I can tell you with assurance ― never would I forget about you.

Jaugo: Of course ― this is our intellectual journey together, no love affair.

Sayaka: That’s how YOU feel, Jaugo-san.

Jaugo: Do you feel otherwise?

Sayaka: I’d rather refrain from answering that question… please just imagine.

Jaugo: OK, I will imagine, with discreet caution. After all, this particular TANKA seems to be meant for men, not for women.

Sayaka: Not for me at least. But I enjoyed talking with you about it; or rather, interrogating you about your past, Jaugo-san.

Jaugo: I’m glad you enjoyed it. Let’s hope our next one will be more enjoyable for both of us. So long, Sayaka-san.

Sayaka: See you soon, Jaugo-san.


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22)(題しらず)

かたみこそいまはあだなれこれなくばわするるときもあらましものを

「形見こそ今は仇なれこれ無くば忘るる時もあらましものを」

『古今集』恋・七四六・よみ人しらず

『今となっては、あなたが残して行った形見の品が、私にとっては仇敵のようなものです。これさえなければ、あなたのことを忘れる時もあるでしょうに、これがあるばかりにどうしてもあなたのことが忘れられないのです・・・それなのに、捨てられないのです、この形見も、あなたとの切ない思い出の数々も・・・』

The memento of broken love that she left behind

Has turned out to be the archenemy of my heart.

Forget her I could without it…

But how could I ever desert it?

かたみ【形見・記念】〔名〕<NOUN:a memento, token, keepsake, memory of love>

こそ【こそ】〔係助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(EMPHATIC)>

いま【今】〔名〕<ADVERB:now, at present>

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

あた【仇】〔名〕<NOUN:the enemy, adversary>

なり【なり】〔助動ナリ型〕断定(なれ=已然形係り結び)<AUXILIARY VERB(ASSERTION):certainly is>

…now [that I’ve parted from you] the souvenir [of the past love] has become my archenemy

これ【此】〔代名〕<PRONOUN:it, this>

なし【無し】〔形ク〕(なく=已然形)<VERB(NEGATIVE):be absent, nonexistent>

ば【ば】〔接助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(CONDITION):if, when>

…if it were not for this [reminder of my past loving memories]

わする【忘る】〔他ラ下二〕(わするる=連体形)<VERB:forget, get someone out of one’s mind>

とき【時】〔名〕<NOUN:the time, occasion>

も【も】〔係助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(POSSIBILITY):may possibly>

あり【有り】〔自ラ変〕(あら=未然形)<VERB:be>

まし【まし】〔助動特殊型〕推量(まし=連体形)<AUXILIARY VERB(SUBJUNCTIVE)>

ものを【ものを】〔終助〕<INTERJECTION>

…there would be moments I could spend without remembering [the good old days I shared with you]

《katami koso ima wa ata nare kore naku ba wasururu toki mo ara mashi mono wo》


■a souvenir of love is a favorite toy for men■

 Though not quite provable by statistical evidence, there seems to be a gender-generated disparity in Heianese TANKA about love ― talking about love that’s about to end is women’s business; talking about love that’s already ended is men’s business. Women are future/posterity-oriented; men are past/trophy-oriented.

 Even today, women’s talk about love seems to be heavily concentrated upon the present, talking mostly about the men with whom some members of the group are currently in love or being at odds with. Men, on the other hand, are much less heard talking fondly or speaking ill of their current sweethearts or wives than remembering and regretting their past affairs.

 The following TANKA were both understandably made by male poets.

《つれもなくなりぬるひとのたまづさを うきおもひでのかたみともせじ:tsuremonaku narinuru hito no tamazusa wo uki omoide no katami to mo seji》『千載集(Senzai-shuu)』恋(Love) No.782 by 藤原長能(Fujiwara-no-Nagayoshi)つれもなくなりぬる人(the woman who has now turned so cold upon me)の玉章(love letters I received from her)を憂き思ひ出の(reminders of my sad old days)形見ともせじ(shall I keep them as souvenirs ― NO!)

・・・In the end, he determines not to dwell upon his past; in other words, it takes men such decisive declarations to detach themselves from the past… who knows this author may still keep those letters and may occasionally take them out to sigh over his sad past.

《わかれてはかたみなりけるたまづさを なぐさむばかりかきもおかせで:wakarete wa katami narikeru tamazusa wo nagusamu bakari kaki mo okasede》『千載集(Senzai-shuu)』恋(Love) No.854 by 久我通基(Koga-no-Michimoto)別れては(now that we are parted)形見なりける玉章(these letters are the sole souvenir of our relationship)を慰むばかり(I’d like to console my soul with them)書きも置かせで(but her letters are too few for my consolation, I now realize)

・・・Lack of affection is a serious problem for women in love, but when the love is over, it ceases to be any problem at all for them. See how different men’s attitude toward past love is… he should have tried to console her more seriously than lament the small number of letters he received from her as a deserved consequence of his past-oriented affection… that’s what women should say about this rhyme, I know ― though I know, a man just can’t help looking back and lament over his past vain trophies.


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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