Category Archives: Awanouta

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

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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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 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 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 gave 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) NEWGlossary:

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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Awanouta. Part 2. Awanouta and Wosite Syllabary

 

Awanouta analysis 2We show how the ideograms/syllables of the Awanouta (in the box above) were derived from the Wosite syllabary. This figure is by S. Sakata.

Wosite Syllabary

Shown in the box is a chart of the Wosite syllabary. It begins with the blue ideogram for  a. Follow the blue arrow to the left for the upper half of the song which Isanagi sings. The red ideogram for  mo  begins Isanami’s lower half. Follow the red arrows to the right to the end of the song at  wa.

You can see why Isanagi’s half is called “upper” and Isanami’s is called “lower”. When the ideograms are written and sung in the given order in 5 – 7 rhythm, the Awanouta of Part 1 is produced.

Verse 402 Hutakami ha

The verse reads:

huta kami ha     arata ni mekuri

wo ha hitari     me ha miki mekuri

ahi utahu     ame no awa uta

Glossary:

hutakami /  two kami.  aratani / newly.  mekuri / to revolve.  hitari / left.  miki / right.  ahi (ai) / together.

Interpretation

The two kami     newly went around

male to the left     female to the right

sang together     song of Cosmos.

This is the famous story of how Isanagi goes around to the left and Isanami to the right. Isanagi sings first and Isanami sings second. That is the proper way. The reason is: Isanagi’s song comes from the upper five lines of the syllabary, minus the last syllable, mo. Isanami starts with mo and goes through the rest of the chart to the end, wa. His lines are regular: 5, 5, 5, 5, 5-1. Hers are irregular: 1+5, 4, 5, 4, 5 and begins with mo. Thus it can be said that it was not proper for her to sing first, as the well-known legend relates. When they realized this, then he sang first and all was well.

The singing and movements of Isanami and Isanagi may be considered to be a ceremony for giving birth to a good country. This insight of theirs came from much praying with their whole hearts.

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Awanouta. Part 1. Song of Creation


Awanouta in box

Part 1.  Awanouta, Song of Creation

Awanouta (Awa no Uta) is a powerful song. See it in the box above. All figures provided by S. Sakata. It is comprised of all 48 of the creation kami as taught by the great sage, Toyoke-sama. Toyoke-sama designed the Motoake chart to teach the creation of Universe by Amemiwoya, Great Origin, and the 48 kami. The Wosite syllabary itself is powerful since it contains all 48 of the kami. Indeed, one can say that the Wosite language is powerful. Wosite contains the power of sound, the power of human voice.

Isanagi and Isanami, and the Motoake

The Awanouta was composed by Isanagi and Isanami, the futakami (two kami, the kami pair) who served as the 7th Amakami in Wosite era. When they first came to live in the capital, there was something they noticed. Although the two of them spoke proper Japanese, the people of the land found it difficult to understand each other because of their strong regional dialects. The two Amakami thought that it is important to clear the speech of the people to proper language. They would base the teaching on Motoake. When people sang the Awanouta, their speech would become beautiful and they would naturally acquire a unified sense of being Japanese. Further, the Awanouta contains the hidden laws and history of Universe. Creative energy works through sound, and sound energy establishes the message of Awanouta in people’s mind and body.

Verse 111  Akahanama and Awanouta

The Awanouta is given in lines 111 – 114 of Hotuma Tutae. It  goes like this:

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

The song begins with  a  and ends with  wa. As we know,  a  represents Cosmos, and  wa  represents earth. The song contains hidden energy of the creation of Universe. It applies to the birth of a baby as well as of a kuni, country/land/area.

The figure above shows the Awanouta in the box. Isanagi sings the first two columns and Isanami sings the next two columns. Note the eight ideograms shown in green. They are: a, i, hu, he, mo, wo, su, si. Did you realize that they are the eight Anami-kami in the Motoake chart? They were discussed in a previous post, Hutomani Part 1. These eight appear in the second ring (pink) of eight kami in the Motoake chart.

Motoake En.

Verse 654 Kuniume to and the law of 5 and 7

Verse 654 on the left side of the first figure reads:

kuni ume to     tami no kotoha no

hutu kumori     kore naosan to

kankayete     yine nana miti no

awa uta o     kami husoyo koye

isanagi to     simo husoyo koye

isanami to     utai turanete

Observe that there are three colors of ideograms in the poem:  Green indicates the phrase, yine nana miti. In blue, kami husoyo koye isanagi. In red:  simo husoyo koye isanami. We will explain them shortly.

Glossary:

kuni ume (umi) / birth of a country.  tami / people.  kotoha / language, speech.  hutu / very.  kumori / dim.  naosu / to fix.  kankayete / thinking.  yi ne / 5 root.  nana (ne) / 7 (root).   

miti / law (in this case).  kami / upper or first (in this case).  simo / lower or second (in this case).

hu-so-yo / 20 plus 4, or 24.  utai / sing.  turane / to continue.

Interpretation

The birth of the country     the speech of the people

was very dim.     To fix this

they thought of     law of 5 and 7 roots.

Awa Uta      upper 24 sung

by Isanagi;     lower 24 sung

by Isanami     who continued the song.

Isanagi and Isanami give birth to the country.

This verse is telling the story of the time when the speech of the diverse people was “dim”, that is, not clear, and they had difficulty communicating with each other due to their distinct dialects. Isanagi and Isanami thought of a remedy. Based on the intonation of the language, they felt that they would focus on a backbone of five and seven syllables (yine nana miti, the green ideograms in the poem). Five and seven are the base of syllables and grammar, the unique rhythm and intonation of the Japanese language. They composed a song of 48 syllables, and Isanagi sang the first half (kami husoyo koye isanagi, it says in blue) and Isanami sang the second half (simo husoyo koye isanami, in red). The reason they are called the kami upper and the simo lower will soon become clear in Part 2.

To protect the pronunciation, rhythm, and syllables of the five and seven, the eight Anami-Kami were placed at the beginning of each phrase in the Uta. These are shown as the green ideograms in the Awanouta.

From the age of Woshite to the present day, for more than three thousand years, the rhythm of five and seven is in the Japanese poetry, language and mind. Haiku and tanka poems employ 5 and 7 syllables.

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