Hotsuma Tsutae, Aya One. 2. The Four Cardinal Directions

Ed. Note:   This is a continuation of Aya One. Wakahime’s foster father Kanasaki, now known in shrines as Sumiyoshi Kami, explains to her the meaning of the five direction system, KI-TSU-O-SA-NE (E-W-Center-S-N). [On the map below, traditionally the north direction is toward the bottom of the page.] He connects it with diurnal and seasonal processes and implies a philosophical framework for society. As a cycle, it is to be regarded as clockwise. In Japanese convention, clockwise is called left-turning circular motion. Kitsu-o-sa-ne relates space and time. And suggests how to live well. 

Why the Names of East and West

Nakararute            Sumie no okina             Sumiyoshi kami (Kanasaki) …

Kore wo shiru        Wakahime satoku         Clever Wakahime asked him

Kanasaki ni            kitsusane no na no       Kanasaki, why the names of East-West

Yue wo kofu            okina no iwaku            He replies:

Hi no itsuru            kashira wa Higashi            Sun’s head rises in east

Take nohoru            minamiru Minami            Sun rises, everyone looks south

Hi no wotsuru          Nishi ha nishi tsumu           Sun sets, sinks in west.        

Cooking Rice          

yone to mizu           kama ni kashigu wa            Rice and water, cook in pot

hikashira ya            niebana minami             the fire is high, cook medium

niru shizumu            eka hi to tabi no           lower down; a good day

mike wa kore            furutoshifu yori          food, two meals

tsuwo mi (3) ke no   hito wa moyoro ni          month, 3 meals, million years

tsuwo mu (6) ke no   hito wa fusoyoro         month, 6 meals, two million years

ima no yo wa      tada fuyoro toshi           The present world, only 20,000 years.

Food and Long Life

iki naruru            mike ga sanareba           To live we must have food

yo-wa-i nashi      yue ni onkami              to not weaken, Kanasaki says,

tsuki ni mike      nigaki ahona ya            month of three meals, bitter ahona.

The Cardinal Directions

minami muki      asaki wo ukete            South facing, fresh air

nagaiki no        miya no ushiro wo            to live long, stand with your back to the house

kita to ifu            yoru wa neru yoru            North, night for sleeping

kiku wa ne zo     moshi hito kitari            don’t sleep to the north.  If someone comes

koto wa ken       awane ha kita yo            don’t meet person from north

afu wa hide       minami ni koto wo           Meet someone in east, south for understanding things

wakimaete     wochitsuku wa nishi           matters settle down in the west.

kaeru kita       ne yori kitari te            Returning from north, go back north

Ne ni kaeru.  

The Seasons and Directions

Ki wa haruwakaba            Spring’s young leaves

Natsu awoba     aki ni e momiji           summer green leaves, autumn maples

Fuyu wochiba.   Kore mo onajiku           winter fallen leaves.     This is the same

Ne wa kita ni       kizasu higashi ya          Roots in the north, sprouts in the east

Sa ni sakaru        tsu wa nishi tsukuru               south blooms, west ripens.

O wa kimi no        kuni osamure wa            The center kimi pacifies the land

Ki-tsu-o-sa-ne      yomo to naka nari         E-W-center-S-N, four directions and center

Ki wa higashi         hana-ha mo minami        tree in east, flower-leaves in south

Ko no mi nishi          mi wo wakewo furu            nuts in west, seeds in south,

Ki no mi yuru.        Kimi wa o-me kami             fruits of tree.     Kimi is male-female kami.

Shikaru nochi          isawa no miya ni            after a while, to Isawa Hall.

Map of Kaminoyo

 

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