31shortyones29) when we prefer dreams to reality ― Sayaka remembers how she missed her grandparents and what held her back into reality


29)(子におくれて侍りける頃、夢にみてよみ侍りける)

うたたねのこのよのゆめのはかなきにさめぬやがてのいのちともがな

「うたた寝のこのよの夢の儚きに醒めぬ頓ての命ともがな」

藤原実方(ふぢはらのさねかた)

♪(SING)♪

★when we prefer dreams to reality ― Sayaka remembers how she missed her grandparents and what held her back into reality★

Jaugo: Another piece of TANKA centering around “子(ko = a child)”… does it sound too sad to you, Sayaka-san?

Sayaka: Yes, in a reverse way ― I remember myself as a child dreaming about my grandparents. I often dreamed about them, woke up to find they were no more, sticking to the bed and tried hard to fall asleep, wishing I could meet them again in my dream.

Jaugo: Did you succeed?

Sayaka: No. Mom would always come to wake me up. She thought I had become a dull child, even suspected me of some disease in the brains.

Jaugo: Because you slept too much?

Sayaka: Yes. She was really worried until she took me to a hospital and I confided in the doctor.

Jaugo: You hadn’t told your parents the reason why?

Sayaka: No. I felt they were trying to draw me away from Grandma and Grandpa. If I told them the reason, they would never let me fall asleep… A silly child.

Jaugo: A lovely granddaughter… Do they still come to visit you in your dreams?

Sayaka: Occasionally. They ceased to appear quite so often ever since the camping experience.

Jaugo: Camping experience?

Sayaka: After we came back from hospital, we ― Mom, Dad, and me ― slept together for several nights as if we were camping. One night, I fell asleep and dreamt about Grandma and Grandpa, smiling, hand in hand, going away, away into sunshine, it seemed to me. I got dazzled, woke up with a start, crying “Grandma! Grandpa! Don’t leave me…” so Mom and Dad told me. It was already morning. I tried to sleep again to get them back in my dream, when Mom embraced me and said “Don’t leave me, Sayaka ― we’ll miss you if you go”, on hearing that, Dad also held us tight together… So tight that I knew I was not alone. Since then, my grandparents didn’t appear so often as before… perhaps they felt relieved and assured that they could trust me to Mom and Dad.

Jaugo: A moving story, much more moving than this particular TANKA.

Sayaka: I wish I could say so… I think I should start dreaming about them again and worry my parents by never waking up from my bed… a silly girl?

Jaugo: A lovely daughter ― I would think so.

Sayaka: And would you embrace me to hold me back? Hold Mom back? Hold tight our family ties?

Jaugo: Honestly, I don’t know. The first time is always the best, repetition or imitation can never exceed the original; there is something that can only exist once, never twice… do you remember?

Sayaka: I wish they had forgotten the first time.

Jaugo: Or, hope they remember the first time.

Sayaka: Or hope that Grandma and Grandpa appear in our dreams at the same time and hold us back together.

Jaugo: It would be nice… I hope things will change for the better for your family.

Sayaka: Thank you. I think I’ll go home and sleep, to beg Grandma and Grandpa to come draw us back together… Good night, Jaugo-san.

Jaugo: Good night, Sayaka-san. Have a pleasant dream.


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29)(子におくれて侍りける頃、夢にみてよみ侍りける)

うたたねのこのよのゆめのはかなきにさめぬやがてのいのちともがな

「うたた寝のこのよの夢の儚きに醒めぬ頓ての命ともがな」

『後拾遺集』哀傷・五六四・藤原実方(ふぢはらのさねかた)(?-999:男性)

(我が子に先立たれてしまった頃、その子が夢に出てきた時に詠んだ歌)

『ふっと眠りに落ちたその夢の中で、今は亡き我が子に出会った・・・けれども目覚めてみればそれは夢・・・考えてみれば、目覚めて戻ったこっちの現実だって、まるで夢のごとく儚いもの・・・どうせなら、こんな夢みたいに頼りない現実なんていらないから、さっきのあの夢の中でずっと、そのまま醒めずに一生を過ごすことができたなら、どんなにかいいだろうに。』

(when seeing the child in a dream that died only recently)

My child I surely had in a dream that instantly passed.

In life I don’t any more… in the past, did I?… I’m not sure.

Life is as fleeting as a dream… o that I’d never wake again!

うたたね【仮寝】〔名〕<NOUN:a nap, shallow sleep>

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

…in a vision in my nap

―掛詞(KAKE-KOTOBA):start―

(A)

こ【子】〔名〕<NOUN:my child>

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

よ【夜】〔名〕<NOUN:the night>

…I saw the child [I’ve lost only recently]

(B)

こ【此】〔代名〕<PRONOUN:this, here>

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

よ【世】〔名〕<NOUN:the world, life>

…I saw the flashback of my life

―掛詞(KAKE-KOTOBA):end―

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

ゆめ【夢】〔名〕<NOUN:a dream, illusion>

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

はかなし【儚し】〔形ク〕(はかなき=連体形)<ADJECTIVE:fleeting, transient, evanescent>

に【に】〔接助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(REASON):because, and so>

…how fleeting is this dreamy illusion [my child, my life, everything in it]

さむ【醒む】〔自マ下二〕(さめ=未然形)<VERB:wake up, get out of a dream>

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

やがて【頓て】〔副〕<ADVERB:without being awaken, the way it is, be left as it is, untouched>

の【の】〔格助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(MANNER):the way, how>

いのち【命】〔名〕<NOUN:my life>

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

もがな【もがな】〔終助〕<INTERJECTION(PRAYER):how I wish>

…I wish I had not woke up [and could spend the rest of my life in another, less less piteous reality in my dream]

《utatane no ko no yo no yume no hakanaki ni same nu yagate no inochi to mogana》


■not quite so real as a life story ― 藤原実方(Fujiwara-no-Sanekata) ― a frivolous playboy with a flair for theatricals■

 I am a dogged believer in my faith that a piece of art MUST be independent of its author and vice versa. I pointed out the unique characteristics of the works of 和泉式部(Izumi-shikibu) and 太宰治(Dazai-Osamu) being inseparably associated with their actual life stories, but I do not love their masterpieces because of such life-art inseparability, nor do I like to delve into their personal lives more deeply than is necessary for artistic appreciation, let alone would I desire to be a personal friend of 太宰(Dazai)’s (… “a lover of 和泉(Izumi)” might be a different story, though). I’m totally scornful of the convention of the current Japanese “文芸界(bungei-kai = literature)” which shamelessly tries to sell the face & name of “the author” persistently enough to raise its commercial value so much that “the author” will automatically sell with little regard to the quality of “the works”. “Selling the author more and more” may be a serious business only for those who want money; my business is “creating ever more excellent works” ― anything other than that is none of my business; anyone else than those who know the difference is a stranger to my world, personally or artistically.

 That said, I can feel free to introduce you readers to the actual life story of the author of this particular TANKA ― 藤原実方(Fujiwara-no-Sanekata:??-999). Conclusion first ― 実方(Sanekata) is the very image of a Heianese noble who is elegant, arrogant, fickle, irresponsible, yet more than sophisticated in his behavior in public and adept at manipulating words to rhyme out beautiful poems suitable for wooing women though not so powerful in their appeal to the heart of authentic connoisseurs of TANKA. He was romantically involved in countless numbers of women. He is known to have been the father of 5 boys, rumored to have fathered another 2 boys and 1 girl ― to which of those numerous children the “子(ko = child)” in this TANKA points to is anybody’s guess. It is even possible to guess that it points to no child at all… why? Because “さめぬやがての<いのちともがな>(samenu yagate no <inochi to mogana> = I wish my life would come to its end while I’m in the dream)” was too fashionable a phrase of the day to sound uniquely real. Besides, the equivocal expression “うたた寝のこのよの夢(utatane no ko no yo no yume)” ― when written as “うたた寝の此の世の夢(the dream of this world in my nap)” ― can refer to the famous fable “邯鄲の枕(Kantan no makura = the pillow at Kantan)” in which the dreamer experiences all the joys and sorrows of the secular world only to wake up and find that he was just taking a nap for a few minutes. The phrase should, of course, be interpreted here as “うたた寝の子の夜の夢(the dream of my child at night… in my nap)” but, here’s my question of you readers ― why does 実方(Sanekata) dream of his dead child “in his nap(うたた寝:utatane)” when he asserts he is dreaming at “夜(yo = night)”? Does he have trouble sleeping at night because of too much worries over his dead child? Is he burning the midnight oil doing his official duty at home? Impossible! 実方(Sanekata) is notorious for his inability and negligence as the Imperial officer. He was demoted and expelled from 京都(Kyoto) to 陸奥国(Mutsu-no-kuni) where he was supposed to gather gold dust needed for doing business with China(more specifically, 宋:Song dynasty), which duty he was totally unable to perform, only to put the blame for his negligence on his successors (among whom was 橘道貞:Tachibana-no-Michisada ― the first husband of 和泉式部(Izumi-shikibu)). My conclusion as a poet is this ― 実方(Sanekata) is merely playing on words, buttering both sides of his bread by flirting gorgeously with the dual concepts of “邯鄲の枕(the pillow of Kantan)” and “a sad reminiscence of a dead child”, possibly manipulating the 詞書(kotoba-gaki = annotation) so as to fit the particular poetic circumstances of this TANKA. His child might actually have died before the father, but the father’s cry never sounds so real as the mother’s cry by 和泉式部(Izumi-shikibu) in the previous episode… OK, OK, I know how cynical I sound by asserting so. I don’t mean to convince you readers of the “fake” beauty of this TANKA; on the contrary ― a poem possibly so impure in its motive could sound very real, and when it does sound real to your heart, the poem is truly wonderful, if not factually truthful. This is such a poem.

 Though I’d really hate even to exchange words with 藤原実方(Fujiwara-no-Sanekata) in real life, I find this piece of TANKA worth introducing to you readers, despite its possible lack of authenticity. Do not be afraid of being taken in by “fake” circumstances. Feel free to imaginarily create any “fake” circumstances of your own, if it goes some way to making it sound “true” to you. That’s what this very, very beautifully sad poem teaches us.

 For your information, the following three poems are the proof of the popularity of the phrase “命ともがな(inochi to mogana)” around the year A.D.1000.

《わすれじのゆくすゑまではかたければ けふをかぎりのいのちともがな:wasureji no yuku sue made wa tookereba kyou wo kagiri no inochi to mogana》『新古今集(Shin-Kokin-shuu)』恋(Love) No.1149 by 高階貴子(Takashina-no-Kishi:mother of 中宮定子:Empress Teishi of 一条天皇:Emperor Ichijou)忘れじの(you vowed to me that you’d never forget me)行く末までは難ければ(I’d guess that vow would not last forever)今日を限りの命ともがな(so, I wish my life would end today, at the height of my delight, embraced in your love)

《こよひさへあらばかくこそおもほえめ けふくれぬまのいのちともがな:koyoi sae araba kaku koso omooeme kyou kurenu ma no inochi to mogana》『後拾遺集(Go-Shuui-shuu)』恋(Love) No.711 by 和泉式部(Izumi-shikibu)今宵さへあらば斯くこそ思ほえめ(tonight, this one-night stand with you would be enough for me to feel like this)今日暮れぬ間の命ともがな(I wish my life would come to an end before that happy day comes to its end)

《あすならばわすらるるみになりぬべし けふをすごさぬいのちともがな:asu naraba wasuraruru mi ni narinubeshi kyou wo sugosanu inochi to mogana》『後拾遺集(Go-Shuui-shuu)』恋(Love) No.712 by 赤染衛門(Aakazome-emon)明日ならば(if tomorrow comes)忘らるる身になりぬべし(I shall have been forgotten by you)今日を過さぬ命ともがな(I wish my life would come to an end today)

 Just for your future reference, Sayaka-san (and all the girls who are new to love), here comes the line-up of romantically empty poems by a playboy… Beware of superficial beauty if you don’t want to cry afterwards:

1)《ときのまもこころはそらになるものを いかですぐししむかしなるらむ:toki no ma mo kokoro wa sora ni naru monowo ikade sugushishi mukasi naruramu?》『拾遺集(Shuui-shuu)』恋(Love)No.850 時の間も心は空になるものを 如何で過ぐしし昔なるらむ([清原]元輔が婿になりて朝に:[Kiyohara-no-]Motosuke ga muko ni narite ashita ni = when Sanekata became the son-in-law of Motosuke, he sent this poem to his daughter, the woman he had slept with on the previous night)

・・・Who is 清原元輔(Kiyohara-no-Motosuke)? He is a famous TANKA poet, whose daughter is also famous as an essayist whose name is 清少納言(Sei-shounagon), the author of 『枕草子(Makura-no-soushi)』. Was this poem, then, a 後朝の文(kinu-ginu no fumi = the morning after letter) 実方(Sanekata) sent to 清少納言(Sei-shounagon) after they had carnal knowledge of each other for the first time? Possibly. But if it was the case, it seems 実方(Sanekata) didn’t think much of 清少納言(Sei-shounagon)… you know why, Sayaka-san, unless you forget the very first of our memorable talks about “love” which ran as follows:

《あはざりしときいかなりしものとてかただいまのまもみねばこひしき:awazarishi toki ikanarishi mono toteka tada ima no ma mo mineba koishiki》『後撰集(Gosen-shuu)』恋(Love) No.564 よみ人しらず(anonymous)逢はざりし時如何なりしものとてか(I can’t imagine my life alone before I fell in love)只今の間も見ねば恋しき(now a moment without you near is too painful for me to bear)

・・・A carbon copy of such a famous love poem ― it seems to be saying “my love of you is only that much”… or is he asking her “are you acquainted with this famous poem?”… poor 清少納言(Sei-shounagon) anyway.

2)《なにせむにいのちをかけてちかひけむ いかばやとおもふをりもありけり:nani semu ni inochi wo kakete chikari kemu ikabaya to omou ori mo arikeri》『拾遺集(Shuui-shuu)』恋(Love)No.871 何せむに命を賭けて誓ひけむ(why should I have sworn on my life never to meet you again)行かばやと思ふ折りもありけり(there were moments that I felt inclined to come to you, at the same time wanting to live, so as to love you)

・・・The 詞書(kotoba-gaki = annotation) says (女を恨みて「さらに詣で来じ」と誓ひて後に遣はしける:onna wo uramite “sara ni moude koji” to chikaite nochi ni tsukawashikeru) ― 実方(Sanekata) at first holds a grudge against the woman, so much so that he swears before her “I would never meet you again!” After that, he sends her this TANKA, taking advantage of his “swear on his life”… but did he really swear “on his life”? I doubt it: he must have sworn just in order that he could send her this TANKA afterwards. Shamelessly shallow theatricals typical of 実方(Sanekata)… do you want to play on his stage, Sayaka-san?

3)《ちぎりこしことのたがふぞたのもしき つらさもかくやかはるとおもへば:chigiri koshi koto no tagau zo tanomoshiki tsurasa mo kaku ya kawaru to omoeba》『千載集(Senzai-shuu)』恋(Love) No.780 契り来し(you and I made many vows)言の違ふ(you broke many of such vows)ぞ頼もしき(such betrayals from you makes me hopeful)辛さも斯くや変はると思へば(your attitude toward me, currently so cold, might by any chance change as if by magic)

・・・Yeah, typical of a would-be dandy, so positive, shamelessly resilient, self-centered optimism, he would never take “NO!” for an answer from you. Imagine, Sayaka-san, being stalked by such a man who firmly believes himself so attractive that no woman is immune to his charms… No wonder 一条天皇(Emperor Ichijou) demoted this creature and sent it off to 陸奥(Michinoku), where this arrogantly elegant dandy was crushed to death under the horse he was riding on, when 実方(Sanekata) exhibited his defiance against 笠島道祖神(Kasajima no dousojin) by refusing to come down from the horse to show his respect for the humble god in such a remote area of Japan… that’s the end of “或る貴公子の一生:a life of a noble dandy”… tough luck.

・・・Such being the case, girls, never take a man for his beautiful words.

・・・Be that as it may, readers, never mind what the author was like when you appreciate a poem: if you like the poem, good; otherwise, too bad.


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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