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和歌ブログ [Japanese Waka]

国文系大学院生がひたすら和歌への愛を語る記録

Japanese Waka-Sakura : Put Sakura in my hand – Naoorite minikosoyukame hananoiroka chirinannochiwa naninikawasen.

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Naoorite minikosoyukame hananoiroka chirinannochiwa naninikawasen. 
(Mitune-collection・Byobu (a holding screen), Ōshikōchi no Mitsune (male), 420, 9C)

 

Japanese(日本語)

 

Translation into modern Japanese

Well, let have a piece (of the sakura brunch) with me.  (How much ever beautifully bloomed), the colour and fragrance of Sakura flowers would have no value after flowers scattered, wouldn't it? (No, definitely worthless).

 

 

Detailed explanation of the contents

Here goes the second waka from  Mitsune (following the previous one), I might select another one after this.  I found this poem when I was reading the previous one by Mitsune, I didn't expect his collection (on Sakura) was this much good. I think he   The person who demanded (Sakura) flowers this much straightforward (rings my heart), well, maybe my tastes have got old.  The attraction of the glitz of Japanese Medieval Period is as you know. It is plain , so it is simple and clear waka in the imperial era of Heian. 

 

¨Naho” means ¨yahari”, souwaittemo (well, having said that)” in modern Japanese. So this part can be translated (into the modern Japanese): (I'm busy, a lot of thing to do, etc..,) well, having said that, let go to see the (sakura) flower.  There maybe a lot of reasons, such as: his job was busy, bad wether, he was tired, etc... But, having said that, the flower season is short and only this period (in each year). On second thought, he must go to see Sakura against whatever reasons (which told him he should not go).  Sakura blooms in this year, in the next year, and every year. However, this year's sakura is only once, as my life travels only once this moment.  My time passes year after  year. Everytime sakura blooms and scatters, the life which is never repeated, also goes by. 

Feeling a transitoriness in falling sakura flowers – this we can see, but ¨chirinamu notchi” means that the sakura-flowers hadn't scattered yet, they had just fully bloomed.  In front of the full bloomed sakura, feeling in advance of the scattered sakura-flower which would never return, he said he wanted to be there for the sakura-flower in their peak moment and wanted to see them in his hand.   

Almost all beauties are beautiful as they have ¨chirinamu notchi,” as we know time goes moment by moment, as if an hourglass in which the sand is falling, whether we like it or not,

 

¨Iroka (in hanano iroka)”  is not any special sugggested meaning, but it just means: (flower's) colour and  fragrance.  The word is normally used to express a beauty.  ¨Miru (in orite mini...)”, this word could mean either: to see (by eyes) the piece of sakuar brunch, or to try to snatch the sakura brunch.  It is not clear which meaning, but the key word is ¨inorite.”   in the previous Waka poem, the auther said ¨yukamukagiriwa naoyukitemin.”  But here, he says he wants the flower to be in his hand not just looking, in order to feel the momentarily living flower as a symbol of the irreversible time.

 

All this were achieved by the poem as it was a ¨Byobu poem (a poem composed by watching a picture (sakura-flower) on byobu (a screen)).”  this poem was not about actually go or not to go to see the sakura flower, but it's to express his love feeling for sakura flower beyond the reality using his poem technique. 

 

Finally, in relation of “snatch a brunch”, I'd like to quote the paragraph from the famous A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare's play).

 

Thrice-blessed they that master so their blood,

To undergo such maiden pilgrimage;

But earthlier happy is the rose distill'd.

Than that which withering on the virgin thorn

Grows, lives and dies in single blessedness

A Midsummer Night's Dream (1.1) Speach lines by Theseus.

 

If you wish to use the English translated text from this site at elsewhere, please quote the name of this site and put the link.  (English translation by BCat.)

 

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