Intro-4 A dramatic TANKA with ENGO(縁語)

■Introduction of real TANKA(短歌):PART-IV■★A dramatic TANKA with ENGO(縁語)

(AUDIO/VISUAL TUTORIAL)★A dramatic TANKA with ENGO(縁語) as strangely resounding background… an example of Japanese TANKA(短歌) with redundant association defying English translation

=====SCRIPT=====

■Introduction of real TANKA(短歌) : Part IV■

★A dramatic TANKA with ENGO(縁語) as strangely resounding background… an example of Japanese TANKA(短歌) with redundant association defying English translation

(in 5-7-5-7-7 Japanese syllables)

《Kuru made mo sazo ya hashiramu waga mune no koji no omoi ni kaku kogaru ramu》

くるまでもさぞやはしらむわがむねのこじのおもひにかくこがるらむ

<来るまでも然ぞや走らむ我が胸の来じの思ひに斯く焦がるらむ>

『「これから君に会いに行くよ」とあの人に言われてその来訪を待つ間だって、こんな激しい胸騒ぎを覚えることはないでしょうに・・・「あの人はきっと会いに来てくれない」と思うとこんなにも胸が焼け焦げるような気持ちになるのは、なぜなのかしら?』

―掛詞(KAKE-KOTOBA):start―

(A)

く【来】〔自カ変〕(くる=連体形)<VERB:come, visit>

まで【まで】〔副助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(TIME SPAN):until>

も【も】〔係助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(EMPHATIC):even>

…Even while I was waiting [for my lover to come]

(B)

くるま【車】〔名〕<NOUN:a vehicle, an ox-driven cart in HEIANESE Japan>

でも【でも】〔副助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(EMPHATIC):even>

…Even a vehicle [driven by powerful ox]

―掛詞(KAKE-KOTOBA):end―

さ【然】〔副〕<ADVERB:so much, this much>

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

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

はしる【走る】〔自ラ四〕(はしら=未然形)<VERB:(re: a vehice) run, (re: a heart) throb>

む【む】〔助動マ四型〕推量<AUXILIARY VERB(SUPPOSITION):will>

…Would it run ever so wild? (Would a cart run so wild? / Would my heart throb so wild?)

―-縁語(ENGO):start―-

from くるまでも【来るまでも】Even while I was waiting

through くるまでも【車でも】Even a vehicle

…associated to はしらむ【走らむ】Would it run

―-縁語(ENGO):end―-

わ【我】〔代名〕<PRONOUN:I, myself>

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

胸【胸】〔名〕<NOUN:a breast, heart>

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

…My heart

―掛詞(KAKE-KOTOBA):start―

(A)

く【来】〔自カ変〕(こ=未然形)<VERB:come, visit>

じ【じ】〔助動特殊型〕打消推量(じ=終止形)<AUXILIARY VERB(NEGATIVE SUPPOSITION):will not>

の【の】〔格助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(APPOSITIVE):of>

おもひ【思ひ】〔名〕<NOUN:thought, notion>

に【に】〔格助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(CAUSE):due to, because of>

…At the notion of [my lover] never coming [to my room to make love with me]

(B)

く【来】〔自カ変〕(こ=未然形)<VERB:come, visit>

じ【じ】〔助動特殊型〕打消推量(じ=終止形)<AUXILIARY VERB(NEGATIVE SUPPOSITION):will not>

の【の】〔格助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(APPOSITIVE):of>

[おも]ひ【火】〔名〕<NOUN:fire, flame>

に【に】〔格助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(CAUSE):due to, because of>

…Due to the fire [burning up within me without him]

―掛詞(KAKE-KOTOBA):end―

かく【斯く】〔副〕<ADVERB:like this, so much>

こがる【焦がる】〔自ラ下二〕(こがる=連体形)<VERB:burn up, pine away>

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

…Why does [my heart] burn so wild and pine away like this?

―-縁語(ENGO):start―-

from おもひ【思ひ】thought, notion

through [おも]ひ【火】fire, flame

…associated to こがる【焦がる】burn up

―-縁語(ENGO):end―-



(in 7-8-5-6, not 5-7-5-7-7 English words)

Even in waiting for him to come

My heart didn’t throb so wild as this

In wailing at the thought

That he won’t come any more



●ENGO(縁語) = mental association conjured up by similar-sounding yet semantically different homonyms

 The example poem above starts with a strangely redundant phrase of “くるまでも(kuru made mo = even while waiting for him to come / kuruma demo = even an ox-driven cart)”, of which the former (even while waiting for him to come) is the contextually correct interpretation, with the latter (even an ox-driven cart) apparently unrelated to the poetic circumstances. But this irrelevant interpretation suddenly resounds again in the reader’s imagination when it comes into contact with the second phrase “さぞやはしらむ(sazo ya hashiramu = would it run ever so wild?)” because “くるま(kuruma = a cart)” naturally “はしる(hashiru = runs)” just as “わがむね(waga mune = my heart)” runs(=throbs). (nb. in ancient Japan, “むねはしる(mune hashiru… meaning ‘the breast runs’)” was an expression for “a heart throbbing wild”, although the same meaning is expressed in modern Japanese by “むねがさわぐ(mune ga sawagu… meaning ‘the breast buzzez with anticipation, expection, excitement, etc.’)”)



 It should also be pointed out that the last phrase of the poem “かくこがるらむ(kaku kogaru ramu = why burns so much?)” backfires to the preceding phrase “こじのおもひに(koji no omoi ni = at the notion of him never visiting me)”, re-igniting part of its phrase “おもひ(思ひ:omoi = notion)” as “ひ(火:hi = fire)” to flare up in imaginative readers’ mental association: although the “おもひ(思ひ = notion)” in question is read as “o-mo-i” (not as “o-mo-hi”), its written form of “お(o)も(mo)’ひ'(hi)” sets off the mental association with “こがる(焦がる = burn up)” to fan the flame of uniquely Japanese poetic tradition “縁語(ENGO)” ― semantically unrelated homonymous redundant association.



 Complicated?… yes, it certainly is: a poetic ENGO(縁語) is structurally evasive, because it never connects with its tie-word in contextually relevant linkage, but only through indirect mental association conjured up in the reader’s imagination in the form of a homonym, a term with the same sound and different meaning. When this different and contextually irrelevant meaning echoes with another apparently unrelated term in the poem, this unexpected pair of semantically meaningless words redounds as a strange redundant mental imagery that is called ENGO(縁語), meaning “tied word[s]”.



 I think I should remind you once again that the ‘tie’ in ENGO(縁語) must be contextually meaningless; if a word is linked with another word in a chain of semantically meaningful context, that is not ENGO(縁語) but a simple collocation(連語). To take an example, the following poem, though quite similar in its wording to the poem above, has no ENGO(縁語) in it:



(in 5-7-5-7-7 Japanese syllables)

《Kuruma de wa sazo wa hashiraji jitensha no juutai nukeru kono kokochiyosa》

くるまではさぞははしらじじてんしゃのじゅうたいぬけるこのここちよさ

<車では然ぞは走らじ自転車の渋滞抜けるこの心地良さ>

『自動車ではこうスイスイとは走れまい・・・渋滞した道路を自在に駆け抜ける自転車の、この心地良さはどうだい!』

くるま【車】〔名〕<NOUN:a vehicle, automobile>

で【で】〔格助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(MEDIUM):by>

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

…In the case of an automobile

さ【然】〔副〕<ADVERB:so, like this>

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

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

はしる【走る】〔自ラ四〕(はしら=未然形)<VERB:run>

じ【じ】〔助動特殊型〕打消推量(じ=連体形)<AUXILIARY VERB(NEGATIVE SUPPOSITION):will not>

…It could never run like this

じてんしゃ【自転車】〔名〕<NOUN:a bicycle>

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

じゅうたい【渋滞】〔名〕<NOUN:traffic congestion, jam>

ぬける【抜ける】〔他カ下一〕<VERB:go through>

…A bicycle running freely through traffic jam

こ【此・是】〔代名〕<PRONOUN:this, it>

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

ここちよさ【心地良さ】〔名〕<NOUN:comfort, pleasure>

…How comfortable it is!



 In this second poem, the relationship of the term “くるま(車:kuruma = an automobile)” with “はしる(走る:hashiru = runs)” is contextually straightforward, requiring no mediation by irrelevant homonymous association as in the case of the first poem, so that there is no ENGO(縁語) relationship (only collocation) in this second poem.



 As you can see in these example poems of mine, poetic ENGO(縁語) is a rather complicated term which evades all but the few imaginative readers with sufficient vocabulary to find relations between apparently unrelated words in semantically meaningless yet poetically impressive mental association. An ordinary reader may well do without such complicated appreciation of ENGO(縁語); it’s a hidden treasure waiting to be dug out… even without digging it out, you’ll lose nothing semantically, but when you do dig it out, I’ll bet you dig the poem all the more for rediscovering and remodeling it after your own imagery.


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●Redundant tie is tiringly abundant in the prosaic world

 I believe ENGO(縁語) ― contextually meaningless mental association resounding between apparently irrelevant things ― can be a more generic term than a minor poetic terminology. Imagine a case of actors or actresses who became famous as some hugely popular characters in films or TVs; anyone strikingly impressive in one role will often carry over the impression of that particular role even when playing another: the roles are different, but the reverb of preceding and predominant role still resounds in the viewers’ imagination to make a redundant tie between the two, ending up in forming a mental halation, with the powerful remnant of preceding impression overshadowing any succeeding role as phantom radiation. Such can also be deemed as prosaic ENGO(縁語) ― redundant tie between contextually irrelevant entities ― although there is another term for the same phenomenon in the world of psychology, suitably called ‘halo effect’.



 The playboy super-spy image of James Bond, aka 007, became a legend in the silver screen along with the actor impersonating him ― Sean Connery ― so much so that any other role that Connery played was tinged with something of a 007, super-confident lone-wolf who would eventually get over any predicament… with a wry joke, in alliance with some beautiful woman. Connery afterwards went on to play many other impressive roles and made a name for himself as a great actor; still, the latent image of James Bond is here to stay for ever with Sean Connery, although his magnanimous fame and charm is not subordinate to 007.



 Subordinate or coordinate, anyone/anything once popular as one thing will be destined for cohabitation with that popular image ever after. For actors and actresses, the conquest of such latent predominant image of a past role is a big challenge, which often turns out to be Quixotic tilting at windmills, ending up in obedient submission to the tame beaten path as a one-patterned character. When it comes to commercial usefulness, however, the redundant tie between contextually irrelevant entities (‘halo effect’ in psychological terms) means everything good and nothing bad ― it’s an exhaustless, indeed self-propagating gold mine that goes a long way to promoting and selling goods.



 A world champion in formula car racing, on the strength of his fastest-one-on-earth image, will contribute to the sales of a wrist-watch featuring the champion as its promotional focus of attention, although the champion may not in fact wear the watch while racing and just wearing it reduces no split second from actual lap time. An actor who plays the role of a lady-killer in a popular TV program is a perfect candidate for promoting the merchandise meant for women who would love to be seduced by him.



 This type of commercial ENGO(縁語) or ‘halo effect’ resounds and radiates every time such ‘tie-something’ presents itself on several occasions. Whenever the wrist-watch-promoting racer above wins a race, his triumphant figure on the podium will shine brilliantly along with the wrist-watch associated with the racer, not actually on his wrist but in consumers’ imagination. And a TV celebrity who promotes a certain piece of merchandise will keep on promoting it in consumers’ imaginative association every time he or she appears on screen playing just about any role… even while he/she appears on TV as an image-character for some other merchandise! That is why TV commercials of different merchandise tend to feature the same old faces already well-known (often to the point of weariness!) to the public in the promotion of something else. By making themselves well-known through ever-increasing number of appearance on TV, these celebrities raise the potential selling power of each and every goods they promote along with their own commercial value, which raises the amount of money they can get from a single appearance on TV advertisement.



 In fact, in such commercially-competent but culturally-impotent countries as today’s Japan, the so-called cultural activity (drama, stage performance, authorship, commentary, anything, you name it) seems to exist only as a plausible occasion for making a name for oneself to get a chance of acquiring lucrative positions as merchandise-promoters in TV advertising; just in order to raise their own commercial value and employment opportunity in various TV ads, these kinds of creatures simply keep appearing on TV ― the more obtrusive, the better for them and their client advertisers… if not for the public mental health and for serious pursuit of creative culture.



●Japan as a heaven for famous wrappings around no-good contents

 ENGO(縁語) in such prosaic context ― call it ‘halo effect’ if you like ― is shockingly profuse in the prosaic world of current Japan, far more than in verse and in any other countries. The world of Japanese TV is infested with sons or daughters or relatives of some famous personage, and nightmarishly immemorable line-ups of foolishly similar names intentionally confusing with someone else that’s hit the jackpot; prestigious positions in most Japanese companies give precedence to graduates of some prestigious universities (from which senior officers of such companies understandably graduated); practically everyone on the street of Japan turns deaf ears to anyone/anything unfamiliar, while paying blind obedience to anyone/anything well-known to the public, no matter what they are known for, be it infamy or empty echoes of someone else’s name.



 The Japanese have traditionally made too much of names and too little of contents, but their blind obedience to mindless halo effect seems to be getting worse and worse these days. Anyone/anything in today’s Japan is evaluated not for what they are but merely for what they are associated with, be it well-known something irrelevant to their actual value or the number of TWITTER followers (who have no idea and won’t give a damn to whom they are following for what, actually). The Japanese never say “Hello HALO… but where the Hell is YOURSELF?”; instead they ask “Hello stranger… where are you from and whom are you acquainted with?” Unless you are associated with someone/something already well-known, you have no chance of making ordinary Japanese know what you are capable of, no matter how great your potential is. Japan is a heaven for the shallow halo, and a bottomless hell for truly unique talents that have nothing else to compare or associate themselves with…



 …Does all this sound irrelevant to literary context of ENGO(縁語)?… maybe, but I can tell you one more thing: an authentic master of poetic ENGO(縁語) will never fall an easy slave to redundant ties between contextually irrelevant entities in this ever-increasingly commercial prosaic world of Japan or elsewhere… do you remember what I said?… an authentic ENGO(縁語) is never straightforward and obtrusive. To guard against blatantly pushy halo effects in the world of prose, you might as well acquaint yourself with the subtle joy of discovering and rejoicing in the phosphorescent glow of poetic ENGO(縁語).