Note: there are three parts (A, B and C) in this short story. The Waka (B part) was read within and a part of the story.
Waka: Omoiizuya omoizoizuru harusameni namidatorisoe nureshisugatawo.
(“The Tales of Ima”, ep29 / source: Sumito Miki “Imamonogatari translation with notes”, Kodansha 1998. 10)
Translation into modern Japanese
A female servant, who used to pay regular devotional visits to the Kamo shrine (*see Note below) but stopped to do so (these days), saw a dream. The dream was about she received a piece of cotton cloth, on which something was written, from a formally dressed high class man. The writing was a Waka poem.
Do you remember me? I remember you well. You came to my shrine in a drizzle of spring rain and your face was covered with tear as well as the rain. (I miss you, so come to visit me again.)
She read the poem in her dream and woke up. She was deeply moved and noticed something in her hand. When she looked at, it was the piece of cotton cloth (just like the one which she saw in her dream) with thirty one ink (dots) marks on it. She could not hold her tears as it was so holly and significant.
(*) Note: Kamo shirine (Jinja) was built at Ohmihachiman-shi (Shiga province) in Nara era by Emperor Shomu. Details: http://kamo-jinjya.or.jp/publics/index/8/
Detailed explanation of the contents
She would have served at the Imperial Court or at a nobleman's house. She used to go to Kamo shrine (it doesn't say it was either Kami-gamo or Shimo-gamo shrine) in tears as she had some hardship or sadness to cry and wanted to pray to the Japanese god for help. Then her wish came true to be happy and then she hardly needed to go to pray – that is the background scenario. Well, this could happen as people usually turn to God only in trouble.
The god was the one who missed her (in the old time). However, the god does not say something like: ¨ Wasn't it me who made you happy? What the return? Why don't you thank me?” instead, he appears in her dream and handed her the piece of cotton on which ¨do you remember the old time when you used to come to my shrine? I remember you well and am still thinking about you” was written. When the woman woke up by the dream, it was a real she hold something, which was just like the one in her dream, in her hand. There was no Japanese characters on it but there were 31 ink dots on it – Waka is formed with 31 Japanese characters. In the dream, the god, maybe it was a servant of the god, appeared and send her the poem. It was not just a dream but for the proof of his appearance, he gave her the cotton cloth. She could not stop her tears falling as she was so moved by this phenomenon (memory) which was enforced by the cotton cloth in her hand.
Now what she actually was moved by? I think she was moved by this paranormal but holly phenomenon (actual cotton cloth given by the god in her hand), but also she was moved by the kindness of the god who made the crying woman to be happy as she wished, and he says ¨I miss you” without any blame on her not visiting him. I also like you to pay attention on the god only remarked her crying and wet appearance in the spring rain was graceful, referring to the woman's past when she was in some kind of trouble which was not very pleasant to remember,
Not all (Japanese) gods are kind like this case, but there are some gods who punish people for bad acts. Within those gods, the god at Kamo shrine's words: ¨come to show your happy appearance” must have left unforgettable impression in her mind.
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