Category Archives: Awanouta

Toyouke Ōkami

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Toyoke-sama.  Our beloved Toyoke-sama is also known as Toyoke Kami and Toyouke Ōkami 豊受大神. Toyoke-sama was arguably the greatest kami of Hotsuma. He is remembered as the father of Isanami and grandfather of Amateru. Amateru came to study with him when he was sixteen. Toyoke-sama imparted to the future Amakami of Yamato the wisdom of the ancestors known as the To-no-Wosite teachings of the Ame-naru Michi, the Way of Universe. 

The teaching is for all, and especially for leaders of society, to embody high principles of human behavior: honesty, integrity, and caring for the welfare of others.

Hutakami.  Toyoke’s daughter Isako became Isanami, spouse of Isanagi. The couple are known as Hutakami (Futakami), the kami couple of myth and legend. The Hutakami went throughout the land of Hinomoto teaching the Awa no Uta, the Song of Universe, containing all 48 of the syllables of Wosite language, promoting speech for improved communication and cooperation as well as for promoting good health and vitality.

Takamimusubi.  Toyoke was descended from Ta-no-Kunisatsuchi. Toyoke’s imina birth name was Tamakine. This means he was a man of tama spirit. We notice the many local words beginning with Ta. Tamakine became the fifth Takamimusubi in Hitakami which we now call Tohoku. Hi-taka-mi means to see the sun high in the sky. A remnant of Hitakami remains in the name of the major Tohoku river, Kitakami-gawa, whose old name was indeed Hitakami-gawa.

Taga.  The center of Hitakami was at Tagajo (Taka-jo), east of current Sendai. You can get there after a short train ride. You will be shown the remains of a former government center. There is still a large stone inscribed in more recent times, called the Keta-tsubo. On this rise may have been located the Yamate-miya of Toyoke. Nearby are several shrines named Taga Jinja. One of these, we believe, is the original shrine of Toyoke. This shrine spun off the Taga Taisha in Ōmi (now Shiga-ken). Why Ōmi? Ōmi was the center of Yamato under the care of Isanami and Isanagi.

We visited Taga Taisha. It is a large shrine that hosts a million devotees on New Year’s Hatsumode. By looking for the oldest part of the keidai precincts, we found Toyoke’s hokora next to Amateru’s.

Tanba.  Toyoke lived to a ripe age. When he was quite along in years, there was a disturbance in the region we call Kyotango in Kyoto-fu near the Japan Sea. Amateru asked Toyoke-sama to manage the situation from a base in Miyazu. Toyoke-sama transferred from Hitakami to Tanba and all went well and the people prospered. Toyoke-sama taught how to raise the five grains such as rice, wheat, and beans, and also how to raise silkworms for weaving.

When Toyoke-sama felt his lifeforce dwindling, he called for a tomb to be dug in the mountain of Kujigatake. He would prepare for his last breath. When Amateru heard about his grandfather, he rushed to his side. He entered Toyoke’s tomb and received the final teaching. Thus Amateru was initiated into the high level of wisdom. Then Amateru was sent out and the tomb sealed. The people were in such grief that Amateru stayed for a while to comfort them.

Toyoke’s tomb is said to be on Mt. Kujigatake (Kushi-gatake, also called Manai-gatake) where there is a manai spring. At the foot of Kujigatake is a shrine called Hinumanai Jinja. Toyoke Ōkami is the revered deity. The monument shown above mentions Five Grains. It is said that half-way up the mountain is an altar rock for the offering of five grains and other foods.

When Amateru himself came to the end of his life, he had a tomb built nearby. Amateru’s trusted friend, Sarutahiko, was the last to see Amateru in his tomb.

Futomani.  Toyoke-sama is the author of the Futomani Motoake chart which was employed as an aid for teaching cosmology and as a guide for decision-making. Amateru complemented the Futomani by selecting its 128 waka. We wouldn’t be surprised if Toyoke-sama also organized the Wosite syllabary into the neat, logical system that it is.

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Motoake chart from Julian-Way

The son of Toyoke-sama also attended the lessons with Amateru, and he became the sixth Takamimusubi.

ukesuteme     ne no kuni ni kite     tamakine ni …

Ukesuteme came to Ne no kuni to see Tamakine …   from Hotsuma Tsutae Aya 15

Another Kunisatsuchi, Ta’s brother, Ka-no-Kunisatsuchi, had gone to China, and he had a descendant named Ukesuteme. Ukesuteme came to Hitakami to study with Toyoke accompanied by the sister of Isanagi from the land of Ne. Shirayama-hime (Kokori-hime) and Ukesuteme both excelled in acquiring the wisdom of To.

ukesuteme korohin kimi to      tinami ai

After Ukesuteme returned to the Korohin mountains and married the ruler of Akagata, they had a son. Consequently, admired for her wisdom as for her nurturing, she became known as Nishi no Haha, Mother of the West. In China, the Mother of the West has the name Xi Wangmu. She is one of the Seven Immortals. In Taoist paintings she holds the Peach of Immortality in her hand. In the Wosite literature, it is written that she received peach branches from Toyoke-sama to plant in Korohin.

Alternate identities.  Another name for the kami of food is Ukanomitama. And Toyouke’s most popular identity is Inari, the kami of the rice fields. The Inari shrines are the most plentiful in Japan, grounded in folk religion. Inari devotees may not realize the connection with the sage of Hitakami.

Toyouke at Ise and Moto-Ise Shrines:  Probably due to Toyouke’s reknown as provider of Five Grains and foodstuffs, his name has morphed into the female Toyouke-hime no kami at the Geku Outer Shrine of Ise Jingu. And yet, the chigi of the honden is cut vertically in male sotosogi fashion! As it is at the Moto-Ise shrines Hinumanai Jinja and Manai Jinja Okumiya of Kono Jinja (below).

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Remembering Toyoke-sama

Let us remember Toyoke-sama who served the people of Hinomoto during their critical developmental period. Toyoke-sama, the great sage, set society’s tone of compassion based on a deep connection with Universe.  And, in remembering Tamakine Toyoke-sama, we do not forget our own tama nature.

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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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Hotsuma Tsutae, Aya One. 1. Customs and Festivals

Aya One: Mihata no Hatsu, Beginning of the Loom.  

ohinasama

This is part one of Aya One, the first chapter of Hotsuma Tsutae. It starts with the childhood of the talented woman known as Wakahime. It’s packed full of anecdotes about festivals and customs.

Aya One also introduces Awa no Uta (Awanouta), in bold italics below. The earlier Wosite lesson on Awanouta was posted here,  https://woshiteworld.wordpress.com/2016/08/02/wosite-fundamentals-4-awanouta/.

This is our interpretation of Aya One starting with the transliteration from Wosite to Japanese of http://www.k3.dion.ne.jp/~yamas/kodaiy2k/hotumika/hotu01.htm.  We first prepared this in 2013, long before we met Woshite teacher Sakata Sensei and started the Woshite blogsite. Although this text has not yet been checked by her, we thought that we would revise to the best of our ability in light of her teachings and re-post this for those who are waiting for more material to study.

Wakahime no kami

Sore waka wa        wakahime no kami         That waka of Wakahime Kami,

suterarete       hirota to sotatsu        Given away and taken up to raise

kanasaki no        tsuma no chi wo ete        Kanasaki’s wife gave her milk

awa-u-wa ya        te uchi shio no me        Baby clapping awa-u-wa with the gentle wife.

ume-re-hi wa        kashimi-ke sonae        On her birthday, he made an offering of cooked food.

Childhood and Festivals

tachi maiya         mifuyu kami oki        Standing up;  when 3 years old hair-cutting ceremony

hatsuhi-mochi         Awa no uya ma hi        New Year’s day mochi, gave respect to Awa

momo ni hina         ayame ni chi maki         peach for Hinamatsuri (3/3), iris and mochi for Boys’ Day (5/5)

momo no hayasi

tanahata ya          kikukuri iwahi.         Tanabata (7/7),  chrysanthemum-chestnut festival (9/9)

itoshi fuyu          o wa hakama kiru          me wa kashiki.              

Fifth year winter, boys wear hakama,  girls wear kazuki.

Akishinonomiya Fumihiti Sinnou 1970           Uha-katuki

Awa no Uta 

kotoba wo naosu       To fix speech:

a ka ha na ma              i ki hi ni mi u ku                 

hu nu mu e ke             he ne me o ko ho no

mo to ro so yo             wo te re se ye tu ru

su yu wu ti ri              si yi ta ra sa ya wa.

a wa no uta            kadagaki uchite        Awa-no-uta, striking the lute,

hiki utau       wo no tsu to koe mo         playing and singing, in natural voice.

akirakani            ikura mu wata wo         Clear voice goes into the five organs and the six wata (body)

ne koe wake          fusoyo ni kayohi         voice spreads in 24 directions

yosoya koe         kore mi no uchi no        48 voices, in the body

mekuri yoku          yamahi araneba         circulates well, not getting sick, living long.

[To be continued in Part 2]

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Wosite Fundamentals 4. Awanouta

Awanouta analysis 2 copyAwanouta in box copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wosite Syllabary

The chart on the left is the Wosite syllabary of 48 syllables. Ignoring the arrows and colors for now, read it from upper right to lower left, going down column by column. We start with  A  and end with  WO. The columns read:

Wosite syllabary.001

Allographs

There are two allographs in the syllabary chart: the cosmic  A  and the cosmic  WA, to indicate Cosmos and Earth, respectively. This syllabary contains the processes of creation of the world from Space to solid matter. The chart on the right contains other allographs — A,  HU,  and  HE — which serve a different purpose.

Awanouta

This is the Awanouta, the Song of A and Wa, the song of creation. It is a re-arrangement of the glyphs of the syllabary. The arrows point out the order. The blue arrow indicates the syllables from  A  to  NO. The red arrow continues with  MO  to the end, WA.The blue section was sung by Isanagi (male) and the red by Isanami (female). Again, male before female. Here is Awanouta.

Wosite Awanouta.001

Kototama 

Awanouta is the kototama song of Wosite. It contains all 48 processes of creation from Cosmos to Earth. When we sound it slowly and clearly with intention, we connect with cosmic energies and Universe.

 

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Basics of Wosite

Ametuti Passage H.TWosite Literature

There are three extant documents written in Wosite script. They are called the Hotsuma Tsutae, the Futomani, and the Misakafumi. Here we show an excerpt from the Hotsuma Tsutae, lines 2576-2583. Wosite literature is read from top to bottom and right to left, the same as in traditional Nihongo. The Wosite documents have been composed and written as poetry with a five-seven rhythm, said to be the rhythm of earth and cosmos.

Each character is read as a syllable, consonant first and vowel second. There are only two sounds, a consonant and a vowel in each syllable. For pure vowels, of course, there is no consonant at all. There are 48 such syllables.

We will show how the syllables are written, starting with their vowel sounds. We will find that the Wosite written language is full of meaning, especially having to do with the energies of creation of Universe. As for spoken Wosite, it may be considered kototama, that is, spoken Wosite carries the power of sound energy. Therefore, one speaks in a responsible manner.

Vowels

There are five vowels.  The vowels are  a,  i,  u,  e,  o.  They are always given in this order because the order represents cosmological process.

Utsuho tai    A           Utuho     “space”          Originating energy/process

Kase tai     I            Kase          “wind”        Vibrating energy/process

Ho tai     U            Ho             “fire”           Burning energy/process

Mitu tai       E             Mitu         “water”       Flowing energy/process

Hani tai       O            Hani         “earth”        Solidifying energy/process

Vowel sounds are similar to Hawaiian and Spanish. There are no diphthongs.

Each vowel represents a cosmic energy or process. Although their names seem to be “things” or “elements,” they are really “actions” or “movements.” Universe creates through movement.

Exercise: Pronounce the vowels out loud. Imagine the type of process each vowel represents.

Consonants

There are ten consonants if we count the null sound as a consonant. The consonant order is important for cosmological reasons.

The first five consonant glyphs read (top to bottom):

                                              –         K          H        N        M                                                                     Ten consonants

                                              T          R          S        Y        W

Ten consonants copy

In Nihongo, since there are no consonants per se, one would say, “a  ka  ha  na  ma  ta  ra  sa  ya  wa.”

Exercise:  Learn the order of the ten consonants, reciting “a  ka  ha  na  ma  ta  ra  sa  ya  wa.”

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Awanouta. Part 4.  Amemiwoya and The Nine Stars of Motoake

kohosi big

The Motoake chart is shown once again here. It represents hidden laws and the history of Universe. This time we emphasize its aspect of Kohosi, the Nine Stars. The Nine Stars refers to  Amemiwoya, the Origin, in the center surrounded by a circle of eight Akuta celestial bodies. Creative energy works through sound and establishes people’s bodies. Although Amemiwoya is not concerned with individual people, nevertheless action always takes place for creation of life. And Awanouta is its song of creation.

Creation of Islands

The Motoake chart represents the birth of life (a baby) as well as the birth of a country (kuni). Kuni today usually means country or nation. In olden days it meant area or land as well as country. This has led to some confusion. The kuni-umi of mythology in the Kojiki has it that Isanagi and Isanami created solid land, more specifically the eight islands of Japan, while standing on the “Bridge of Heaven”. 

Ōyasima is a beautiful old name for the Japanese archipelago. It means the eight great islands, In traditional Japanese culture, the number eight represents all. Thus Ōyasima means all the islands of Japan. Yatami (ya-tami, eight peoples) means all the people of Japan.

One of the country’s sacred treasures is the mirror Yata no Kagami. It is commonly believed that it is an eight-sided mirror. However, in our interpretation, its deeper meaning is the mirror for all the people, the mirror that sees all and discerns ka and ga, the good and the bad.

Awanouta

To summarize, the Awanouta is a song of creation. As such, it contains all the sounds of the Motoake creation kami. Just as Amemiwoya gives birth to Universe and all that’s in it, the Awanouta gives birth to a country (kuni-umi) and unifies the people. Singing and reciting Awanouta is a way for everyone to connect with the kami of creation.

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Awanouta. Part 3. Awa no Kuni

Verse 660 Wosiyure ha

Verse 660 is shown here in Wosite and in romaji in this chart by S. Sakata. It tells how the Awanouta clarified the speech of the people and the area was named Awa no Kuni.

wosiyure ha 630- (1) NEW

Glossary:

wosiyu /  teach.  nekoye /  vocal sound.  totonoyi te / correct and clear (words).

Interpretation of Verse 660

The verse is saying:

Teaching     the vocal sound of the song

opens the way.     The speech of the people

clears.     The name of the area

becomes Awa no kuni.

This verse stresses that singing together is important and it unifies the minds of the people. This was key to the community method of growing rice. The Awanouta, with its long and distinct syllables, clarifies speech and language. It therefore helps people of the area to communicate better with each other. In such a way, a country is born.

The two kami went throughout the land and sang together the Awanouta, a song of the cosmos. Theirs was a ceremony in which Isanagi the male went to the left, and Isanami the female went to the right. In this way, Isanagi and Isanami unified the people and gave birth to their country (kuni-umi), and named it Awa no Kuni, Land of Awa.

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