Okunomichi has posted a list of plants of the Jomon period and some information on the cultivation of crops and rice in particular. Click on this link.
Wakauta no Aya
We continue reading the aya that we introduced earlier.
Amateru and Hiruko
The 8th Amakami Amateru learned the meaning of the Motoake from his grandfather Toyoke-kami who designed the Motoake chart to teach cosmology. In the verse, Amateru and his sister Hiruko appear. They speak of their parents, the Hutakami Isanagi and Isanami, who taught the Awauta song and thus performed kuni-umi. The word umi means to give birth to. The word kuni can mean land or nation. In post-Wosite days, kuni-umi became the myth of how the islands of Nihon were created by the Hutakami. This aya shows that Hiruko is confused because she is thinking of kuni-umi as giving birth to land. Amateru explains what kuni-umi really means — giving birth to a nation — and how it was done.
This fragment contains a profound teaching called Nekoye. Nekoye is the process of transforming ordinary sound ne into speech koye. It lies at the basis of the Wosite language and is closely connected to the cosmology of Motoake. We will give an explanation of the verse. Line numbers are given in parentheses; ff indicates following lines.
Nekoye. Hiruko listens to Amateru’s talk about Nekoye. She wants to know more about the beginning of Nekoye (Nekoye no u-i no). Here is Amateru’s explanation (63ff). Amateru teaches the A no Osite as follows. Ame and Tuti separate to make human form (68). At first, humans only made sounds (ne). When they stopped up their breath by closing the mouth, air blows out the nose (71). According to the A no Osite, this air-breath divides into three: clear u, light tirin, middle nu (74). This relates to the three-part creation of things: in Cosmos, of human life, and sound/speech.
Then the discussion turns to the process of hatsuon (pronunciation). Note that the shape of the mouth, as it pronounces the vowels, is similar to the shape of the glyphs. The sound of A is made. Moon-making Earth is wrapped tightly (musuhu) by strings (fusa) (76). The tamanowo cord births the Wa of u-A (77). The character of A separates into A-wa with A on outside and Wa on inside (78). The teaching also says that A breaks up into i, then e (80). “Breaks up” refers to the shapes of the glyphs of the five vowels, i.e., the shapes break up or change, in this order: A I Wa. It also refers to the shape of the mouth when saying those sounds. Then Wa becomes o sound. The 5 sounds, the 5 energies are: A is utuho, i is kase, u is ho, e is mitu, and o is hani (83). From the human in-breath, the 5 sounds differentiate into the 48 sounds (85). Thus the Law of Nekoye is revealed (Nekoye no miti akite) (86). Then we can say that Awa (Awa-kuni, the Biwako area) is the placenta (yena) of the kuni (Yamato), giving birth to the eight islands of Yamato (Yamato Yasima) (88).
Nekoye and Kuni-umi
Birthing kuni (89-106). Hiruko says to her brother: In the past, our parents the Hutakami gave birth to three sons and a daughter. How could they give birth to a kuni? (92). Amateru answers: From the start, the people were tasked to spread the Awauta. All went well in organizing the kuni and transforming kuni land into kuni nation. Having kotoba language and being able to communicate with each other, people are able to cooperate and coordinate their activities such as for making rice fields. Auwa is the yena of koye (96), the aya states. Awauta makes the eight shapes of human body (katati) (98). The explanation of how to make ne into koye was taught by Amateru to Hiruko. Hiruko understood and, as Wakahime, continued the work of the Hutakami as she spread the Awanouta and the teaching of Nekoye.
Discussion. The Motoake creation chart was designed by the sage Toyoke-kami, father of Isanami and grandfather of Amateru and Hiruko. Toyoke-kami taught the meaning of Motoake to Amateru. The Amoto center of the Motoake creation chart contains the Auwa (A-U-Wa). The first ring of 8 Akuta-kami protects Amoto and the throat. The second ring of 8 Anami-kami produce and protect sound. The two outer rings of 32 Misohu-kami create and protect the human body. All kami together make and protect everything, and everything protects the kami.
The teaching is that sound ne is produced, and by the action of the 48 kami, sound becomes human speech koye and language kotoha. We may imagine the concept as follows. Ne is like invisible koye. Ne becomes koye when Auwa serves as the yena or tamanowo, the placenta or the spirit cord, and the Misohu-kami make koye in the physical world. In a sense, Auwa is changing into ne, and ne is changing into koye. Therefore, Auwa is changing into koye, and koye is originally Auwa. This profound teaching is describing how human beings in the physical world are created, and how the Original Presence of Auwa breathes spirit into the ne of humans to convert it into koye of language.
The Hutakami performed kuni-umi, gave birth to kuni, by teaching the people how to convert ne into koye. The result is that the people could speak a common language with which they could communicate with each other. Then they could join together in their work such as raising crops and constructing houses. The unification of people is the creation of kuni.
This, then, is the story of how kuni land became kuni nation through the Awauta of the Hutakami. In the process of kuni-umi, they taught Nekoye. Nekoye is the power of speech for humans to communicate and collaborate. Amateru and Hiruko Wakahime continued the work of teaching Motoake and Nekoye. Amateru in addition applied the Motoake chart to the process of Hutaomani.
The photo shows the Koshikiiwa shrine to Wakahime in the Rokko mountains of Kobe. Credit: Okunomichi.
Wakauta no Aya is the name of a part of the Mikasahumi document, and it was discovered in 2013. The main topic is the Awanouta which is, in a way, the theme song of the Wosite literature. In a mere 148 lines, the aya covers such topics as Motoake cosmology, Nekoye power of speech, and Kuni-umi birth of a nation. It is really charming, with its story of Amateru and his sister Hiruko Wakahime discussing Kuni-umi. By studying this aya, we gain a better understanding of how Awanouta is connected with Motoake.
The aya gives a description of Motoake. However, the opening lines appear to be missing, since it takes up the Anami-kami in the second ring without first explaining the Amoto center and the Akuta-kami in the first ring. Let us fill in some of the details for the sake of completeness. Then we shall proceed to take up the lines by line number.
In the center of the circular Motoake chart of creation (see above image) is the Amoto, where the Great Origin Auwa is found. Auwa is written with the three characters A-U-Wa,. The A is the cosmic A, the U is the cosmic U, and the Wa is the cosmic Wa. Wa means Earth and Moon; A is the cosmos. U represents birthing. A-U-Wa represents the action of the Original Presence, the source of creation, Amemiwoya. The eight Akuta-kami are To, Ho, Ka, Mi, Ye, Hi, Ta, Me. They protect the Amoto center and are responsible for the human throat. The eight Anami-kami (A, I, Hu, He, Mo, Wo, Su, Si) produce and protect sound and Nekoye (4). The 32 Misohu-kami produce and protect the human body (mi-katati) (6). Then everything (yoromono) is produced, not a thing is not produced this way (10). The Hutakami went throughout Onokoro-sima, spreading the song of Awauta, the song of this cosmological process.
Wosite Text of Wakauta no Aya
The text is given below in its entirety. The analysis of the aya continues in the next post.
This is a continuation of Julian Way’s post about Kunitokotati (Kunitokotachi).
The climate of the Japanese archipelago 15,000 BCE switched from continental type to oceanic type. In the archipelago, centered at 40 degrees north latitude with lots of snow, buna (beech) and oak type deciduous broad-leaved forests expanded. In the midst of the forests of the temperate zone, the oldest doki earthenware of the initial Jomon culture began. Excavation at Fukui-ken Torihama kaizuka 鳥浜貝塚 showed that Jomon resided there 14,500 years ago.
13,500 years ago, 7,000 people came from Baikal due to climate change on the continent. This map shows Lake Baikal in the upper left corner. The arrow indicates the movement of those Altaic people to East Asia and northern Japan. Hokkaido was still connected to the continent. They migrated to East Nihon where there were only 1500 people, so that 4 out of 5 people were from Baikal.
Those who solved the difficulty of changing climate and population were those who were later called “Kunitokotachi.” The time was ten thousand years ago. It corresponds to the end of the early Jomon period.
In the days of Toyoke, Isanagi, and Amateru-kimi, around 3,000 years ago, it was getting colder and colder. See chart above by Yasuda Yoshinori, author of Rice-Cultivation Fishing Culture. Note the temperature rise 10,000 years ago, and the warm temperatures between 6,000 to 5,000 years ago, and the cool climate of 3,000 to 2,000 years ago.
The chart below covers a period of 18,000 years. Although the ice age was ending, there was a cooling period called the Younger-Dryas around 11,000 years ago. The warm period is called the Holocene maximum.
Warming began about 15,000 years ago, interrupted about 4,000 years later by the Younger Dryas, a time when colder conditions returned for about 1,000 years. 10,000 years ago another period of abrupt warming began bringing climate into the present interglacial.
Who was Kunitokotati? Kunitokotati is considered the founder of the land. He is the first identified person in the Amakami family tree. His eight sons, called the Kunisatsuchi, spread civilization throughout the islands.
What kind of person was the first Amakami Kunitokotati (Kunitokotachi)? Julian Way’s blog reveals much about him.
Kunitokotati. Kunitokotati’s character emerges out of the Wosite literature. He sensitively observed and studied everything. He was clearly a creative person who excelled in all things. Moreover, he was a leader that people depended on. He was completely selfless. He generously taught skills to people. He rejoiced at the happiness of others as his own. Furthermore, he was a great person who had the power to see the future.
All was not so simple, though. There were climate changes and immigration from the Continent. See the next post. But Kunitokotati-sama dealt with these problems. Kunitokotati’s era was around 10,000 years ago, long before the time the Wosite Documents were written. Time flowed and flowed until it was around 4,000 years ago. The climate that had been stable suddenly changed.
Toyoke-kami. Then, from the time when Toyoke-kami was young, society started going downhill. There was a decline in agricultural production, a rise in the difference between rich and poor. People were behaving badly. Toyoke-sama wanted to correct the situation, to create a new, bright, kuni of peace based on ideals. It was imperative to retrieve what was needed, to look back at the transmission from the past, and to deeply consider and question the foundation of the kuni.
That foundation is To-no-Wosite.
Also called To-no-Wosiye.
To-no-Wosite. In Wosite, the character TO (see above image) is written with the square of hani and the glyph of two arms spreading open to the sky. The character represents someone who receives the blessings of Nature and shares them freely with others. People shared the blessings they received and were grateful. They understood that each person’s happiness is connected with that of others. Expressed as To-no-Wosiye, this is the Teaching of To.
Kunitokotati-kami built a nation on the foundation of To-no-Wosite, and so did Toyoke-kami and the Hutakami Isanami and Isanagi.
According to Mark J. Hudson, in Ruins of Identity, University of Hawaii Press, 1999, the Japanese islands were settled by populations from Southeast Asia and/or South China during the Pleistocene (epoch before the Holocene). They were the ancestors of the Jomon who occupied the islands from the beginning of the Holocene (approximately 11,500 years before present) until the end of the Jomon period. The Yayoi period began in 300 BCE. with the influx of Northeast Asian people who spread through the islands from Kyushu to Tohoku during the next six hundred years until the Kofun period began in 300 CE.
There was a single parent Jomon language, Proto-Japanese, which existed before the texts of the 8th century (Kojiki and Nihon Shoki) . Hudson reserves the term Japanese to refer to the population beginning in the Yayoi period that was the admixture of the indigenous Jomon with the Continental immigrants.
He points out that “the most noticeable things… is the comparative lack of linguistic variation in Ainu, Japanese, and Ryukyuan. Many Japanese linguists assume that Japanese has a long history stretching back into the Jomon period for 10,000 years or more, e.g., Sakiyama 1969, 169.” This quote is from Hudson, p 92, and the italics are Hudson’s.
The Northern Kyushu dialect should be the oldest, based on the movement of the immigrating people. However, there is the lack of variations as mentioned above. There is a “relative uniformity of dialects,” p 96, considering the 10,000 years of history.
Commentary by WositeWorld
WoshiteWorld has been providing information about the Wosite language of the Jomon period. Wosite corresponds to Hudson’s “Proto-Japanese.” Hudson has emphasized the uniformity of dialects through the Japanese islands. That phenomenon may be due, whether in part or in large measure, to the efforts of the Hutakami who unified the Wosite language and the population as they created the kuni called Yamato. See Awanouta and other posts about kuni-umi.