31shortyones24) how to deal with amorous torture ― Sayaka plays a counselor of love


24)(題しらず)

こひてしねこひてしねとやわぎもこがわがやのかどをすぎてゆくらむ

「恋ひて死ね恋ひて死ねとや吾妹子が我が家の門を過ぎて行くらむ」

柿本人麻呂(かきのもとのひとまろ)

♪(SING)♪

★how to deal with amorous torture ― Sayaka plays a counselor of love★

Jaugo: Here comes a straightforward TANKA by our favorite poet 柿本人麻呂(Kakinomoto-no-Hitomaro). Quite straight, nothing complicated unlike the last one, so, you may feel free to think and say anything. What do you say, Sayaka-san?

Sayaka: Is he on “the other side” of love, or on “the reverse side” of love?

Jaugo: I don’t know. Maybe it’s still one-sided love, before she even knows that he is in love with her.

Sayaka: In that case, it will be simple: he just has to make confession to her before he actually “恋ひて死ぬ(koite shinu = dies of love)”.

Jaugo: Your advice is correct and to the point, although it may be his weakest point.

Sayaka: What do you mean?

Jaugo: I mean there are cases where a man just can’t make confession to the woman he loves.

Sayaka: Like what?

Jaugo: Like a male teacher falling in love with his female student.

Sayaka: Are you referring to you and me?

Jaugo: You are free to imagine so, while I’m free to evade answers.

Sayaka: OK. I’ll keep that in mind, Jaugo-san.

Jaugo: Well, whichever side he is now on, one thing is clear ― she doesn’t come to visit him; she is going to someone else in her cart, which happens to be an ox-driven cart called “牛車(gissha)”, quite slow and loud, making its presence felt in the neighborhood by the sound of the rattling wheels, which tortures his heart because it seems to be saying “Now, I am on my way to my lover, that’s not you, of course”. That’s quite a torture to him, don’t you think?

Sayaka: (…) I don’t think so.

Jaugo: Oh… you don’t think it tortures you to see the man you love going on a date with another woman?

Sayaka: I think not. It simply means that he is in love with another woman, not me, that’s all. I hope he becomes happy with her. I’ll be busy myself with something else, maybe with someone else.

Jaugo: Mm…

Sayaka: Is there anything wrong with what I said? I put myself in all three possible situations and came to the conclusion that it’s totally OK with me. First, if it happens even before I make my confession to him, it’s OK. If he is going steady with someone else, I’ll just give him up or wait until he parts from her, or maybe until I fall in love with some other man. Second, if it happens after I fell in love and parted from him, it’s also OK. I’ll be glad to know that he has recovered from his heartbreak and is now starting on a new life: congratulations on his restart! The third case ― the reverse side of a love reborn ― is simply unthinkable for me because I’ll have been satisfied with my memory of him in my heart; I think I’ll never want to rekindle the extinguished torch of love, although I don’t know how I’ll respond to such pleas from him.

Jaugo: Phew…

Sayaka: I know I’m in no position to say this with any degree of certainty, since I’ve never been in love, let alone lost in love; but in any case, I think it doesn’t hurt me so to see him go to some other woman’s house. What do you think? Do I sound ridiculous? ― Over to you, Jaugo-san.

Jaugo: I’m curious who named you さやか(Sayaka).

Sayaka: My parents. Why?

Jaugo: Your name is a perfect pointer to your character ― sharp and clear, like lightning on the edge of the Samurai sword. You are really 冴やか-san worthy of the name. Hurray for the providence of your parents!

Sayaka: Are you praising me, or teasing me?

Jaugo: I’m just impressed with the clarity of your logic, even about something you can only imagine.

Sayaka: Are you insinuating my logic is a castle in the air?

Jaugo: It may turn out to have been so, when you actually find yourself in love or out of love. But for all that, it’s good, nothing bad, to fortify yourself in advance for “the shock of 牛車(gissha)”… if, then, your sober logic works fine on you, congratulations! ― you have rationalized the wild irrational part of your emotion ― it’s no mean feat for a woman, let alone for a man. If, on the other hand, you find yourself out of control by the cool logical part of your intellect, congratulations again! ― you have now shared in the oldest, simplest and strangest human emotion with the rest of humanity ― welcome to the party!… it’s nothing for pride or shame, but there’ll be some comfort in knowing “there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy”… do you remember?

Sayaka: Hamlet talking to Horatio… or Jaugo preaching to Sayaka?

Jaugo: You really make me proud of you, Sayaka-san, you remember well, think sharp, speak fine ― so perfectly bright a woman as you may still be stupidly blind in love, capable of unthinkably irrational thought, feeling and action. You are now in a perfect position to know the disparity ― between sober logic before love and insane passion in love, and possibly, intractable heartache after lost love. You are capable of all that… I’m only capable of two, or one… and soon, none… Oh-ho, too much soliloquy spoils it all. Over to you, Sayaka-san.

Sayaka: Um… what am I supposed to say after you said it all, Jaugo-san?

Jaugo: How about talking about how to avoid “恋ひ死に(koi-jini = dying of love)”? What advice will you give a man who is madly and deadly in love?

Sayaka: Confess if you can.

Jaugo: And if he can’t?

Sayaka: If you can’t, maybe you’re in love with a wrong woman. Turn your eyes elsewhere, and maybe you’ll find a right woman for you to fall in love with.

Jaugo: What if he can’t find one?

Sayaka: Find something, not particularly someone, that you can rightly and deeply love, be it studying, sport, hobby, work, anything.

Jaugo: Mm… sensible advice.

Sayaka: But not too much fun, it must seem to all the others… from the mouth of a girl who has never been in love or lost in love.

Jaugo: Maybe, but it must seem quite interesting to you in future.

Sayaka: To me?

Jaugo: Yes. Just remember what you said today, when you find yourself in or out of love with someone. Look into your heart through the mirror of time and say “Oh, how mature you already were at 17!” or “Mm… how immature you were in those days. Look, how mature I have grown!”… Wonderful investment in your future, don’t you think?

Sayaka: Yes… thank you, Jaugo-san.

Jaugo: Thank YOU, Sayaka-san, for being so earnestly imaginative. Thanks to you, this otherwise savorless talk about a lonely man’s blues came to mean something, at least for you in future.

Sayaka: I’ll remember what I said today… and what you said today.

Jaugo: Just forget about my boring soliloquy; it’s nothing compared to your illuminative speech.

Sayaka: OK. But I’ll keep in mind the “male teacher falling in love with his female student” part, because you can’t make your own confession, and I’m free to imagine.

Jaugo: All right, you are free to flirt with any romantic notion, if it adds to the delight of our conversation. But, sad to say, our talk about “love” is going to expire with just one more episode.

Sayaka: Don’t worry, Jaugo-san, even after love is over, life still goes on, and so will our relationship.

Jaugo: You sound more and more like a teacher or philosopher as we advance in our poetical adventure.

Sayaka: You can hardly imagine what I’ll be at the end of our journey.

Jaugo: Yes, you’re right. Please keep delighting me with such wonderful “change” of yours, Sayaka-san.

Sayaka: I will. Thank you for today. See you.

Jaugo: So long.


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24)(題しらず)

こひてしねこひてしねとやわぎもこがわがやのかどをすぎてゆくらむ

「恋ひて死ね恋ひて死ねとや吾妹子が我が家の門を過ぎて行くらむ」

『拾遺集』恋・九三六・(『万葉集』巻十一)柿本人麻呂(かきのもとのひとまろ)(ca.660-c.720:男性)

『つれないあの人を乗せた牛車が、ぎっし・ぎっしと音を立てて、私の家の前を素通りして行く・・・「私に焦がれて死になさい、恋煩いで死になさい」と言わんばかりの残酷な足音だけを残して・・・』

‘I wanna see you die, I wanna see you die…’

I hear the cart singing past my front door

With my past lover in I’m dying to see in vain.

こふ【恋ふ】〔他ハ上二〕(こひ=連用形)<VERB:love, yearn for, crave after>

て【て】〔接助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(SIMULTANEITY):and, while>

しぬ【死ぬ】〔自ナ変〕(しね=命令形)<VERB:die, perish>

…die of too much love of me

こふ【恋ふ】〔他ハ上二〕(こひ=連用形)<VERB:love, yearn for, crave after>

て【て】〔接助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(SIMULTANEITY):and, while>

しぬ【死ぬ】〔自ナ変〕(しね=命令形)<VERB:die, perish>

…love me so desperately as to despair of your life [without me]

と【と】〔格助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(OBJECT)>

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

…is that what you are trying to tell me?

わぎもこ【吾妹子】〔名〕<NOUN:the woman that I love>

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

わ【我】〔代名〕<PRONOUN:I, me, myself>

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

や【家】〔名〕<NOUN:the house, residence>

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

かど【門】〔名〕<NOUN:the gate, front-door>

を【を】〔格助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(PLACE):through, before>

すぐ【過ぐ】〔自ガ上二〕(すぎ=連用形)<VERB:pass, go away>

て【て】〔接助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(SIMULTANEITY):and>

ゆく【行く】〔自カ四〕(ゆく=終止形)<VERB:go, travel>

らむ【らむ】〔助動ラ四型〕現在推量(らむ=連体形係り結び)<AUXILIARY VERB(QUESTION):I wonder>

…I can hear the woman I’m dying to meet [in vain] passing my front door in her ox-driven cart

《koite shine koite shine toya wagimoko ga waga ya no kado wo sugi te yuku ramu》


■a man simply can’t stand the notion “The show still goes on without me”… how about a woman?■

 I have always wondered at sex differences after love (not their respective behavior immediately after their physical exercise in bed together) ― Why do men (most men I know) droop and brood on their loss, while women (more women than men as far as I know) busy themselves with their new affairs (personal or otherwise)?

 I had no doubt in my early adolescence that women, as well as men, would equally droop and brood after love, because that’s what all the melodramas around told me. Things began to assume a different shape around me after I was mature enough to fall in and out of love, and came to know the reality was stranger than fiction, and that most fiction (melodramas included) were written by men (or by women structurally influenced by the dramatic methodologies established by men) who had no doubt that “women would also droop and brood after their love is over”.

 I’m the last man to deny that women droop and brood ― and cry out loud ― IMMEDIATELY after their lost love: their cry is so loud that I’d be a dull man indeed to fail to see that they’ve just lost their love. But their cry will soon subside, as they find themselves a new lover or something quite freshly interesting enough to help them out of their solely painful loss. Women’s loss will be recovered with something new or somebody new; men, on the other hand, will simply droop and brood ― without crying out loud ― over their loss for a long, long time… alone. Some men are lucky enough to be soon helped out of their lonely self-torture, wrapped around in the gentle embrace of a new woman, but they would be less than a man to cry out loud wistfully for such a lovely rescue in front of potential rescuers: only women and small kids are justified in crying out for help, not MEN!… It’s such a suicidally foolish logic, to be sure, but I’m sure this is the MALE logic; although my definition of male may need rewriting, as more and more men are becoming womanish as more and more women aspire to be mannish, while they still stick to their old privilege as women (don’t shout out “How unfair!”, my male friend, just sigh murmuring to yourself “How womanlike…” if you’d hate to have yourself hated by women). Anyway, sexual equality seems to be steadily under way dragging men down from their old, lofty and often stupidly precarious throne of “manliness”.

 The TANKA cited above and below are all written by male poets, too “manly” to know what to do except sighing to themselves in rhymes. The pathos found in common among them can be summed up as “the blues of an actor beside the stage who has ceased to play any role on it”. A man can hardly be satisfied with ― cannot even stand the notion of ― anything less than the leading role in his relationship with any given woman… hence comes the long-run of his lonely tragicomedy; while a woman is much more adept at transforming herself ― from a heroine of one play to another, contented to sit beside an old stage as a viewer watching her old partner play with a new heroine beside him (it doesn’t matter so long as she is watching it with a new lover beside her). Well, let me prove myself correct by showing you such lonely men’s blues:

《あふことのたえてしなくばなかなかに ひとをもみをもうらみざらまし:au koto no taete shi nakuwa nakanakani hito wo mo mi wo mo uramizaramashi》『拾遺集(Shuui-shuu)』恋(Love) No.678 by 藤原朝忠(Fujiwara-no-Asatada)逢ふ事の絶えてし無くば(if I were never allowed to see her again)なかなかに(would it be a reason for me to hold a grudge against her? NO!)人をも身をも恨みざらまし(my opportunity to see her even after I ceased to meet her in her room is all the more reason for me to hold a grudge against her, and a scourge on me who can see her there still, yet cannot touch her any more)

・・・A somewhat similar poem to the preceding TANKA by 道命法師(Doumyou-houshi) ― 《ai-mishi wo ureshiki koto to omoishi wa kaerite nochi no nageki narikeri》逢ひ見しを嬉しき事と思ひし(I used to feel glad to have carnal knowledge of you; and I was still glad to see you again the other day)は(but now I found out)却りて後の嘆きなりけり(it was all the more reason for grief for me after I parted from you) ― the only difference being that this is purely a lamentation “on the other side of love”, while 道命(Doumyou)’s TANKA could be interpreted as a plea for a re-birth of love “on the reverse side”.

《いでていにしあとだにいまだかはらぬに たがかよひぢといまはなるらむ:idete inishi ato dani imada kawaranu ni ta ga kayoiji to ima wa naru ramu?》『新古今集(Kokin-shuu)』恋(Love) No.1409 by 在原業平(Ariwara-no-Narihira)出でて往にし跡だに未だ変はらぬに(it seems as if my footsteps were still fresh upon the old familiar path to your room)誰が通ひ路と今はなるらむ(who treads it now, I wonder, to replace my old footsteps?)

・・・It seems that a man should never come near the old familiar place that he used to frequent with his past love; reversely put, a man should avoid dating with any given woman on a spot which he is sure to frequent ever afterwards, with or without her.

《きみこふとかつはきえつつほどふるを かくてもいけるみとやみるらむ:kimi kou to katsu wa kie tsutsu hodo furu wo kakutemo ikeru mi to ya miru ramu?》『後拾遺集(Go-Shuui-shuu)』恋(Love) No.807 by 藤原元真(Fujiwara-no-Motozane)君恋ふと(I used to love you so much; so much so that I felt I would die if I failed to be in mutual love with you; I begged you to love me to save me from dying of love)且つは消えつつ(you refused to love me, to save me from dying of love; what could I do but live alone this lifeless life without you?)程経るを(it’s been a long time since I lost you, even before I had you)斯くても生ける身とや見るらむ(how do I look in your eyes?… a living dead surviving ridiculously too long?… a foolish man dying as many times as he falls in and out of love?)

・・・This TANKA is impossible to interpret unless you are well aware of the logic of Heianese “dying of love” detailed in our episode about 《きのふまであふにしかへばとおもひしを けふはいのちのをしくもあるかな:kinou made au ni shi kaeba to omoishi wo kyou wa inochi no oshiku mo arukana》昨日まで逢ふにし替へばと思ひし(until yesterday, I felt I could give up my life in exchange for having a date with you)を今日は(now, today, however, I find)命の惜しくもあるかな(my life is too precious to give up, now that I’m mutually in love with you).

・・・Blues of men beside the stage where he is no more are all too powerless, lifeless and savorless… finishing this article with such sissy soliloquys of men would be a bore for our readers, so, I’d have to rely upon a woman ― the most love-adept woman I could ever think of ― to finish this story (or should I say, “continue with her story”?):

《すてはてむとおもふさへこそかなしけれ きみになれにしわがみとおもへば:sute-hatemu to omou sae koso kanashikere kimi ni narenishi wa ga mi to omoeba》『後拾遺集(Go-Shuui-shuu)』哀傷(Lamentation) No.574 by 和泉式部(Izumi-shikibu)捨て果てむと思ふさへこそ(the very notion of completely deserting my life as a woman to become a nun)悲しけれ(it would be too much for me to bear)君に馴れにし我が身(my life, my body, is too deeply tinged with memories of you, my dear)と思へば(how could I desert my secularity, my flesh that you loved so much, along with my fondest memory of you?)

・・・This was a lamentation by 和泉(Izumi:ca.978-??) when her lover 敦道親王(Atsumichi-shin-ou:981-1007) died on her and left her alone (along with a baby boy). For your information, 和泉(Izumi) had been a love of 敦道(Atsumichi)’s elder brother 為尊親王(Tametaka-shin-ou:977-1002) until his death, with whom she fell in love while she was still married to (yet practically fallen out of love with) her first husband 橘道貞(Tachibana-no-Michisada:?-1016); 和泉(Izumi)’s second married life began in 1013 with 藤原保昌(Fujiwara-no-Yasumasa:958-1036), prior to which time her ceaseless love stories just went on with several male players coming and going from the scene.

・・・While men die of love many times prior and posterior to each love, women never cease to live and love, along with fond memories of their lovers.


Having an English-speaking self within you is just like having a conversation partner like Sayaka-san/Jaugo-san beside you.
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