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.
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.