Category Archives: Kototama

Agō Kiyohiko on Kototama

Agō Kiyohiko on Kototama

“Kototama no michi is explained in super-ancient history of Biwako’s esoteric doctrine. Dr. Agō accomplished this momentous research in a lifetime career as pioneering director of the Biwako Research Center. “ 

These statements were retrieved in November 2013 from the website of the Biwako Research Center. The website is no longer online. Biwako, largest lake in Japan, lies in the center of Shiga Prefecture. It is of particular interest to students of Wosite as the Naka-Kuni Central Land of Isanami and Isanagi. Biwako is also of historical interest to geologists, biologists, archaeologists, and anthropologists as a region rich in human and natural activity from ancient times.

Agō Kiyohiko, former electrical engineer who spent his long retirement years studying ancient matters such as Wosite, made the following remarks about Kototama on this website.

“Kototama is the recognized spiritual function of Japan’s ancient language.”

“Kototama is a language inseparable from sending the supernatural…”

“Kototama is the sound coming from kami, as distinct from the sound made by ordinary people.”

“When ordinary people speak a language of understanding, then it is kototama. ‘That person has kototama’ we often hear, meaning that he/she has grasped spiritual phenomena.”

“In today’s scientific, materialistic civilization, there are those who deride it mistakenly. But wise people find a deep recognition.”

Brief Biography of 吾郷清彦  Agō Kiyohiko (1909-2003)

Agō Kiyohiko is best known for his research into Old Shinto and ancient literature of Japan. He went to school in Shimane-ken. He had a degree in electrical engineering from the Manchuria Institute of Electrical Engineering. He worked as a power engineer at Manchu Electric Industry in a thermal power plant. After returning to Japan, he played a central role in the construction and operation of a hydroelectric power plant in Shimane.

After his retirement, he devoted himself to research in ancient Japan and leadership of the Biwako Research Center. He published fifteen or more books on topics such as Old Shinto, Takamahara, Uetsufumi, Kuki Shinden, Kamiyo-moji, ultra-ancient history, Takeuchi documents, Hotsuma Tsutaye, and Kototama. Introduction to Old Shinto (Koshinto Nyumon ), a book of three-person dialogues on many of the above subjects, was published in 2000 when Dr. Agō was 90 years old. He died three years later.   

Koshinto Nyumon by Agō Kiyohiko et al.

“In today’s scientific, materialistic civilization, there are those who deride it [Kototama] mistakenly. But wise people find a deep recognition.”   — Agō Kiyohiko

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Space-Time Haiku of Buson

Buson, self-portrait

Buson  1716-1784

Buson was born in the Taniguchi family in Settsu Province, and later changed to the surname of Yosa, for the town in Tango Province. He advocated a return to the style of Bashō. He left many haiku and paintings. His vision sweeps over vast realms of space and time. The material here was again inspired by Nakano Koji, translated by Julia Winters Carpenter, in the book, Words to Live By, 2018.

Haiku of Space

Buson’s poetic imagination evokes the expansiveness of space. After a boat trip down the Yodo River in the freezing night, Buson wrote the following, highlighting the moon and the frost and himself in a small boat.

shimo hyakuri

shūchū ni ware

tsuki o ryosu

Frost for a hundred leagues —

alone in my boat

I rule the moon.    

The peony, too, appears in a poem of a hundred leagues of space.

hōhyakuri

amagumo yosenu

botamu kana

For a hundred leagues square

holding rainclouds at bay —

the peony.

As Mr. Nakano states: “The peony has the power to hold rainclouds at bay for a hundred leages in all directions.” This haiku requires us to translate the word, yosenu. Dictionary meanings for the verb 寄(よせる) are many. They vary from “to bring near” to “to push away.” Here, Nakano takes the latter meaning. Again, Buson uses the imagery of a hundred leagues of space and a small peony flower. 

Another simple, yet dramatic, scene is this haiku tagged “Spring scenery”.

na no hana ya

tsuki wa higashi ni

hi wa nishi ni

Rape flowers—

the moon in the east,

the sun in the west.

Haiku of Time

Nakano aptly calls these haiku “Layers of Time.” He points out that, in addition to his view of space, Buson expresses an ability to see the passage of time. Let us consider some of the seasonal poems.

Spring

osoki hi no

tsumorite tōki

mukashi kana

Lazy spring days

piling up — so far away,

the past. 

In the lazy days of spring, the past seems far away. And yet —

kinō kure

kyō mata kurete

yuku haru ya

Yesterday ended,

today is also ending —

so goes the spring.

Summer

natsukawa o

kosu ureshisa yo

te ni zōri

The joy of wading

across a summer stream

sandals in hand.

Buson thus wrote of the pleasure of wading in a cool stream in the hot summer of Tamba.

Autumn

去年より又さびしひぞ秋の暮
kyonen yori mata sabishii zo aki no kure

kyonen yori

mata sabishii zo

aki no kure

Lonelier

than last year —

the end of autumn.

This haiku evokes memory of Bashō’s kono michi ya / yuku hito nashi ni / aki no kure.

Winter

こがらしや岩に裂行水の聲
kogarashi ya iwa ni sake yuku mizu no koe

Cold wintry wind —
Breaking over rocks
The voice of water.

—– Takafumi Saito and William R. Nelson,
trans., 1020 Haiku in Translation (2006)
956, 249; from Upaya.org.

初雪の底を叩ば竹の月
hatsuyuki no soko wo tatakeba take no tsuki

Ed. Note: This is such a magnificent haiku that we leave it to you to interpret for yourself. Hatsuyuki means first snow; soko is bottom; tataku is to beat; take is bamboo; tsuki is moon.

Drama

Buson’s range of haiku includes this exciting scene.

Tobadono e

gorokki isogu

nowaki kana

To Toba Palace

race five or six horsemen —

autumn tempest.

These horsemen are riding furiously through the storm to the villa of the retired emperor Shirakawa near Kyoto. This historical scenario would have taken place during Shirakawa’s lifetime, 1053-1129, six hundred years earlier.

Paintings

Buson left many paints from simple sketches to grand vistas in the Chinese style. Here is a painting commemorating Basho’s journey to Michinoku.

Okunohosomichi by Buson
(public domain image)

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Heartfelt Waka of Saigyō

Saigyō
(public domain image)

Preface

As we were thinking about kototama, we came across the chapters on Saigyō in the book, Words to Live By, by Nakano Kōji, 2018, translated by Julia Winters Carpenter. For a fuller discussion of Saigyō the monk and his works, we refer you to this book.

Saigyō , 1118-1190

The monk Saigyō  lived during the turbulent times of the Genpei War between the Genji and the Heike, and the Kamakura shogunate was established. He is beloved for the honest feelings expressed in his waka, waka that reflect the kototama of Wosite and Yamato Kotoba.

Saigyō  was born Satō Norikiyo (佐藤 義清) in a samurai family; the Satō clan originated from the Northern Fujiwara, whose founder was Fujiwara no Fusasaki. The very first Fujiwara was Fujiwara no Kamatari, 614-669, of the Nakatomi clan, who received the Fujiwara name from Emperor Tenji. The Nakatomi were descended from the Mononobe of the Wosite period, who were in turn descended from Kasuga no Kami, of the Amanokoyane lineage. Saigyō was actually related to Fujiwara no Hidehira who ruled Mutsu Province and who sheltered Minamoto no Yoshitsune from his warlord brother Yoritomo during the Genpei War.

Cherry blossoms and heart

Saigyō was entranced by sakura, cherry blossoms, which are referred to as hana in waka. Here is one of his cherry blossom waka.

Yoshinoyama

kozue no hana o

mishi hi yori

kokoro wa mi ni mo

sowazu nariniki

Since the day I saw

cherry blossoms in treetops 

on Mt. Yoshino,

my heart is no longer 

here inside me.

Saigyō wrote a lot about his heart.

ukareizuru

kokoro wa mi ni mo

kanawaneba

ika nari totemo

ika ni ka wa semu

My heart, I find,

wanders off in ecstasy

quite out of myself;

I neither know where this may lead

nor what to do about it.

Let us explain the word mi which has been translated as “I” or “me”. According to Mr. Nakano, mi refers “to the whole person without the division into body and heart/mind that is typical in the west.” Saigyō often wrote about mi and kokoro, heart/mind or simply heart. 

iza kokoro

hana o tazunu to

iinashite

Yoshino no oku e

fukaku irinamu

Come away, my heart!

I’m going to search for blossoms,

I will say,

then be off to Yoshino

to enter mountain depths.

Don’t you just love the first line, iza kokoro, Come away, my heart!

Michinoku

If you are a lover of Bashō’s haiku, you know about his journey to Michinoku, following the footsteps of Saigyō. Saigyō wrote this at the Shirakawa border gatehouse.

Shirakawa no

sekiya o tsuki no

moru kage wa

hito no kokoro o 

tomuru narikeri

At Shirakawa

filtering into

the old gatehouse

moonlight beams arrest

the human heart.

Saigyō in his old age made another arduous journey to Michinoku. On the way, he saw the smoke of Mt. Fuji.

kaze ni nabiku

Fuji no kemuri no

sora ni kiete

yukue mo shiranu

waga moi kana

Trailing on the wind,

smoke from Mt. Fuji

fades into the sky,

drifting toward an unknown end

just like my own thoughts.

When the blossoms fall…

Saigyō wrote several waka about dying when the blossoms fall.

morotomo ni

ware o mo gushite

chirine hana

ukiyo o itou

kokoro aru mi zo

Blossoms,

when you scatter,

take me with you too!

My heart is oh so weary

of this cruel world.


Saigyō died on the sixteenth day of the second month, as the cherry blossoms fell.

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Kototama and “Now” — An Izumo Taisha Shinto Perspective

KOTOTAMA

Okunomichi and WoshiteWorld are deeply interested in the study and practice of Kototama. This is another in the Kototama series of expository articles. Here, we share a Shinto view of Kototama. We received the statements below from a representative of Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine. 

Introduction

Izumo Taisha (Izumo Ōyashiro) is one of the oldest and largest Shinto shrines in Japan. The taisha enshrines Ōkuninushi no Ōkami, kami of earth and spiritual world.

Shinto is the native Japanese religion which is based on traditional nature worship and animism. It does not have a particular founder, doctrine, or scripture. This is similar to old Hawaiian and Native American religions.


Nakaima, The “Now”

The word Nakaima comes from a national history book, Shoku Nihongi, Sequel to Chronicle of Japan, 797 CE [sequel to Nihon Shoki, 720 CE]. Nakaima is made up of two words, naka and ima, where the former means middle and the latter means now, the present time.

As Shinto does not have concepts about heaven and hell in the hereafter, “this world” is considered the most valuable and important time for all lives. It is the “middle” between the past and the future. “Now” is the precious time to reflect the past and expect the future.

Kototama of Norito

Shinto prayers, norito, are based on Kototama, the worship to words and language itself. From ancient times, it is said that, “The words can move the heaven and the earth” especially in the Japanese poems (waka, tanka). Traditionally, people use and choose words very carefully when they compose the poems because of Kototama, especially yamato kotoba (ancient Japanese classical words). This is why norito is composed only from yamato kotoba. When the words are pronounced, Kototama is involved — with its vibration toward the world.

Kototama and Nakaima

In Shinto cosmology, Kototama is the basic tool to affect Nakaima.  

Experience Kototama and Nakaima

To experience Kototama in Nakaima, recite Ōharae no Kotoba, the prayer for Great Purification, one of the most famous norito. 

HARAE NO KOTOBA, PRAYER FOR PURIFICATION AND BLESSING

The Harae no Kotoba below is an invocation often recited at Izumo Taisha asking Ōkuninushi no Ōkami, and all the myriads of Kami to join in the ceremony. There are three basic types of harae purification and blessing:

  • the body (to maintain health and well-being, to heal or avoid illness;
  • the soul or spirit of the living and the dead;
  • our surroundings and natural environment.

The last three lines can be recited as a short prayer for purification and blessing.

Harae no Kotoba

kakemaku mo kashikoki Izanagi no Ōkami

Tsukushi no Himuka no Tachibana no Odo no

Ahagihara ni misogi harai tamaishi toki ni

narimaseru haraido no Ōkami tachi

kamunagaranaru Ōmichi no naka ni umarete

arinagara sono mikage woshi fukaku omowazute

sumekamitachi no mimegumi wo oroka ni omi

tarishitoki ni ayamachi okaseru wa saranari

ima mo tsumi-kegare aramu woba harai tamai

kiyome tamae to mousu kotowo yaoyorozu no

kamitachi tomoni kikoshimese to

kashikomi kashikomi mo mousu



harai tamai kiyome tamae

harai tamai kiyome tamae

harai tamai kiyome tamae

References

Izumo Taisha, Izumo Ōyashiro, website:  http://www.izumooyashiro.or.jp/’

Izumo Taisha: https://yamanomiya.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/eleven-shrines-in-izumo-izumo-taisha/

Norito and Oharae:  [https://japanshrinestemples.blogspot.com/2015/09/norito-incantations.html]

Kototama on Okunomichi and WoshiteWorld: Type the word “Kototama” in the Search box.

This post also appears on Okunomichi.

 

 

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Process of Kototama

How does Kototama “work”?

Kototama is the power of human speech to create. Wosite and Nekoye give an explanation of how Kototama functions creatively. The starting point is the Wosite description of the continuous creation of the world.

Amemiwoya in center of creaton

Creation Process

There is an Original Presence behind all that’s created. We give it the name, Amemiwoya, Exalted Sacred Parent. It corresponds to the Quantum Void, the Great Emptiness that has potential for everything. Amemiwoya, by reverberating the seed sound u, begins to umu (give birth to) Ame a and Tuti wa.  See the Motoake chart above.

In Ame-tuti, the word Ame represents an unseen dimensionless dimension of subtle, light, pure energy. The word Tuti refers to dense, heavy energy forms, that are seen and manifested as matter and physical energy of the phenomenal universe; it includes our Planet Earth and our Moon and humans and other beings.

Creation of Earth

The step-down process from Amemiwoya to light energy of Ame to dense matter of Tuti proceeds through five stages of vibration of the vowel sounds.

a Holding and anticipating 

i Breathing and flowing

u Running and activating

e Rushing and changing

o Balancing and stabilizing

The phenomenal world is thus created.

Creation of Humans

  • Amemiwoya initiates creation.
  • Akuta Kami protect Amemiwoya, and establish seasons of the year and directions of space.
  • Anami Kami protect Awanouta song of universe and language, and bring down vibrations to form the human body.
  • Misohu Kami produce the human body, and reverberate the human voice.

Human Voice: Nekoye and Kototama

The human voice has two aspects which we may refer to as Nekoye and Kototama. Nekoye is the forming of koye human speech and language out of ne throat sounds. When Misohu Kami reverberate in the human voice, the ne throat sounds become koye, words with meaning, and speech and language. Language enables humans to communicate and this, in turn, allows for cooperation and the building of society.

Kototama is a general term refering to the power/Spirit of language. The Spirit of language has the power to make koto things from koto words. We have above presented the Wosite view of how this is done. Conversely, Kototama is the language of Spirit. Spirit with a capital S is energy of Universe from Amemiwoya. Amemiwoya speaks through Kototama. In other words, not all human speech contains the same amount of energy or power. The closer to the will of Amemiwoya, the more energy and power will be carried in the Kototama of that speech.

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Kototama Secrets of Michi (Tao) in Kojiki Myths – 2

Preface

This is the second lecture in the Yamakoshi Kototama Okagami series. In this lecture, he explains the vibration of the universe as kototama, and the movement of kototama is the energy we call kami. We hope that the student of Wosite will work out for herself/himself what Yamakoshi’s kototama theory says about the kototama and energy kami of Wosite, the Wosite cosmology, the role of Awanouta, the meaning of nekoye, and other lessons we have presented on this blog site.

LECTURE 2  Time, Space, and Weaving the Universe

Vowels map out space, while consonants map out time. All together they form the universe, uchuu, where u represents vowels and space, and chuu represents consonants and time. This is expressed in one of the most dramatic waka written by Empress Shoken:

Shikishima no
Yamato kotoba wo
tate-nuki ni
orushizu-hata no
oto no saya kesa

Shikishima is the name for Nihon in traditional waka poetry. Orushizu hata is doing the weaving with the hata-ori weaving machine, and oto no saya is the beautiful sound of weaving. The empress is exclaiming that time and space are being created in harmony, and all is well in the country of Yamato. The vowels are like the woof of the weaving and they represent space. The warp threads represent the flow of time. When warp and woof are balanced, the world is in harmony. This brings to mind the Tanabata matsuri of weaving space and time.

One hundred sounds of kototama

There are one hundred sounds when fifty sounds are reflected in the sacred mirror. There are folktales about kototama. For example, the folk hero Momotaro has a name that refers to the one hundred (momo) sounds coming out. His grandparents are Isanagi and Isanami [says Yamakoshi]. In another tale, Urashimataro tells about the Chinese visitor who came seeking the elixir of immortality. When he opened the treasure box, only smoke appeared – because he did not understand kototama. [Doesn’t this imply that kototama is the secret of immortality?]

Yama symbol of eight spaces

The yama symbol is the square containing four intersecting lines, one pair forming a ‘+’ and the other pair an ‘x’. These lines divide the square into eight parts, each an isosceles right triangle. The name ‘ya ma’ comes from ya meaning eight and ma meaning spaces. It is equivalent to kume: ku, nine; me, eyes; these ‘eyes’ are the points at the eight ends of line segments plus the point in the center. Yama can also be represented as a square divided into nine equal smaller squares.

[It is said that kume sennin immortals rode clouds around the universe. Sennin is written 仙人 and means immortal mountain wizard. The adjective kume may refer to wizards who understood kototama.]

The two lines that cross the yama square like a + is the symbol of the kami Kamimusubi. The other two lines that cross in an x form is the symbol of Takamimusubi. Both kami are needed to make sound and all things.

The 9 father sounds plus 5 mother sounds together make 14 which is toyo: to = 10 and yo = 4. [Toyo, as in Toyoke, means excellent, bountiful. So the father and mother sounds together are excellent and denote prosperity.]

The joining of Kamimusubi and Takamimusubi is represented by the crossbeam of a torii as well as the twisted rope shimenawa on the torii. The shimenawa is a kuchinawa, a snake rope. These days it reminds us of the DNA helix.

The Sound Chart: Amenominakanushi, Takamimusubi and Kamimusubi

The Amanoiwato [the sacred iwa rock-cave] is the human mind. To understand this, just listening won’t do. You must open your mind. The word iwa is i no ha (where ‘i’ means 5 or 50, and ‘ha’ means breath). The 50 sounds are fundamental (hado no moto). ‘Hado’ means vibration, and ‘moto’ means base. All vibrations from the universe enter the brain, and the hundred kami appear. A kami is power; for example the kami of water is the power of water. When we have musubi, the kami are connecting.

The sound U is the kami Amenominakanushi, which gives rise to the two kami Takamimusubi and Kamimusubi. Consider how U divides into A and WA.  A is akarui, light, Takamimusubi. WA is shadow, Kamimusubi. A is clear like fire, and positive; WA is hidden like water, and negative. So the single sound of U separates into WA-A, mizu-ho, water-fire. Recall that A U WA appear in the center of the Motoake circle chart of Wosite, where A is the heavens and WA is the earth. A is very light and WA is very heavy.

Takamimusubi makes things come out – recall that the T sound is a coming out sound. Kamimusubi makes things by connecting. Both kami are needed! They are dual (opposite) energies of U. When U divides into WA and A, the properties of WA and A are these.

WA  –  A

Kamimusubi  –  Takamimusubi

water  –  fire

female  –  male

negative  –  positive

right  –  left

down  –  up

unseen  –  physical

black  –  white

heat  –  light

Futomani meaning

Recalling the pairs: T Y, K M, S R, and H N, let us now discuss what happens when we put our hands together when we pray or clap. A is the thumb of the left hand, WA is that of the right hand. The digits of the left hand represent the sounds A TA KA SA HA; the right hand represents WA YA MA RA NA. When we put our hands together we have the pairs A-WA, TA-YA, etc. One clap is ten sounds; two claps are twenty = futo, where fu = two, to = ten, and represents the kototama of futomani, the twenty mana. Futomani is the joining of Takamimusubi and Kamimusubi.

Thus uchuurei the Universal Spirit enters the human head. Kami is the principle of movement of kototama.

Summary

  • Uchuurei means Universal Spirit.
  • Uchuu means space-time.
  • Vowels represent space; consonants represent time.
  • The mythical Amanoiwato represents the human mind.
  • Fifty fundamental vibrations enter the brain.
  • They are reflected in the sacred mirror and 100 kami appear.
  • Kami are power.
  • The seed sound U divides into A and WA.
  • When we pray or clap our hands, we join A and WA.
  • When we clap twice, we produce futomani, the twenty mana energies.
  • Kototama is the vibration of Universe.

Editor’s Note

At the end of this lecture, Yamakoshi is describing the vibration of the universe as kototama. Vibration is movement, as in the above final statement. Or, more precisely, the movement of kototama is the vibration of energy which we call by the name kami. Here, Yamakoshi is explaining his opening statements about Amanoiwato as the cave in the human brain, and opening the cave with kototama. He stated that kototama is the principle of every wisdom teaching. Do we see how he arrives at this conclusion?

Kototama Futomani. The formal name of kototama is kototama futomani. The word futomani appears in other contexts. The basic meaning of futomani as the twenty energies is part of the kototama teaching. The use of futomani to mean divination is an application of kototama knowledge to analyzing a situation and determining an optimal outcome in harmony with the universe. The word futomani comes from the Wosite hutomani.

Hawaiian kototama. The deconstruction of words into their component syllables which have kototama meanings is strikingly similar to the practice when teaching the deeper meaning of words in the Hawaiian language. Don’t forget that the spiritual energy called Mana or Manna, worldwide, is exactly the same in the Hawaiian language. For Hawaiian kototama, please see the 1969 Quest book, Children of the Rainbow, by Leinani Melville.

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Kototama Secrets of Michi (Tao) in Kojiki Myths – 1

Preface

Yamakoshi Meisho (Akimasa) was the son of Yamakoshi Koudo (Hiromichi) who studied the kototama of the Kojiki with Emperor Meiji. The Kojiki is a book of eighth century Japan; in its myths are hidden secrets of Michi, or Tao, which are the teachings of kototama. Kototama is Universal Spirit, and humans are made of kototama. Indeed, everything is made of kototama. Yamakoshi gave a series of lectures entitled Kototama Okagami in 1940. In this article, we present Lecture 1. There will be another post, on Lecture 2.

LECTURE 1  Introduction, Kojiki, and Three Sacred Treasures

The eighth century Kojiki and Nihon Shoki are considered the classical books of Japan. Yamakoshi believes that the Nihon Shoki is a history book, while the Kojiki is about Michi, which is also known as the Tao. The Kojiki has, concealed within it, secrets of the Michi which are the teachings of kototama, as Yamakoshi reveals to us.

As we know from reading the Kojiki, there is a cave called the Amanoiwato. When Amaterasu Omikami hid herself in the cave, all the world went dark. Light was restored when she was enticed to open the door of the cave. According to Yamakoshi, Amanoiwato is the human brain itself, and it is kototama that opens it. What is kototama?

Kototama is uchuu-rei, Spirit of Universe, or Universal Spirit. The human is made of kototama and indeed kototama is the spirit of everything. All things koto have sound koto, too. Koto is the sound vibration that solidifies into things. It may require all your senses to understand this.

Kototama is the origin of the universe; it is the principle of every teaching.

However, it is not written about in other countries, only in Nihon. Where is it written in Nihon? In Ise Jingu’s Naiku and Geku, in the form of the shrine building in the shinmei-zukuri style. Adjacent to Ise Naiku, the river Isuzugawa flows. This is physical and symbolic, as well as spiritual.

Emperor Meiji referred to the Kojiki by its classical (kototama) name of Furukotobumi, where furu=kokoto=jifumi=ki. The seemingly ordinary two to three pages at the beginning of Furukotobumi are about kototama, but they are hard to decipher. Truly, kototama is Nihon’s treasure. It was in Nihon that it was discovered and formulated.

Mikusa no Kantakara, the Three Sacred Treasures 

The traditional three sacred treasures of Nihon are: the kagami mirror, magatama jewel necklace, and tsurugi ceremonial sword. Here are their true meanings.

Kagami. Kagami is not merely a mirror. It is something written. Amaterasu said it is a book of rules, a book which contains her spirit. The rules have eight seishitsu characteristics, and they are made of kototama.

Magatama. Yasaka no magatama, or tama, represents the spirit of the jewel, and you have to know how to use it.

Tsurugi. Tsurugi, the sword, is the action, the way of properly using the tama. Tama means both jewel and spirit in Nihongo.

Sound Characteristics, Mother and Father Sounds

[Ed:  The three sound orders of kototama theory are Amatsu Sugaso, Amatsu Kanagi, and Amatsu Futonorito. We are discussing the kototama of Amatsu Sugaso sound order of a previous age. The vowels and consonants are named in an order which differs from the Amatsu Kanagi sound order of our times. The current-day set of mother sounds, vowels, goes in this order (the Kanagi order):  A I U E O. The current-day set of father sounds, consonants, have the order: K S T N H M Y R W. However this is not the “correct” order. For details, see Nakazono’s Source of the Present Civilization.]

The vowels, A O U E I, are mother sounds. The qualities of the vowels are as follows.

A,  manifesting

O,  reacting to seeing light

U,  moving

E,  understanding

I,  concluding

Mother sounds need energy to bring out child sounds. This energy is called nuboko. It makes A into KA, I into KI, etc. We call these energies consonants.

The consonants are given in this order: T K S H Y M R N W. Their meanings are as follows (with Nihongo keywords in parentheses).

  • T,  swiftly coming out (Tsuku)
  • K,  gathering energy (Kaku)
  • S,  spearing energy (Sasu)
  • H,  developing power (Happa)
  • Y,  makes the vowels stronger (Ya, arrow, see below)
  • M,  rotating (Marui, round)
  • R,  spiraling (Rasen ryoku)
  • N,  absorbing (Nyuushu)
  • W,  unifying (Wa, circle)

Each sound has a shape, and the shape is kotoba (speech). There are fifty sounds, and isuzu = fifty sounds. The Isuzugawa river adjacent to the Ise Naiku flows with the fifty sounds. [Since there are five vowels and 9 father sounds, there are 5 x 10 = 50 sounds, although we might call them syllables.]

Oto no dekata, How the sound comes out

The way the sound comes out of the mouth, goes from front to back.

  • A,  mouth opens wide
  • O,  lips
  • U,  teeth
  • E,  tongue
  • I,  back of tongue
  • T,  push out from top of tongue
  • K,  upper jaw is scratching
  • S,  bring out the lower jaw
  • H,  breath comes out
  • Y,  upper lip area
  • M,  lower lip area
  • R,  back of tongue
  • N,  nasal

Each sound is a kami. The consonants pair with their opposites, as confirmed by sound wave studies. The consonant pairs are:

T   Y
K   M
S   R  
H   N

In-yo sounds. We translate the Nihongo in and yo as yin and yang.The clear, yang, sounds are the gyo (the five in the set of vowels) of A, namely A O U E I; the five in the set of T syllables (TA TO TU TE TI); the K syllables, the S syllables, the H syllables. The minor yin sounds come from further down in the throat: Y syllables, M syllables, R syllables, N syllables.

The consonant Y (as in ya, arrow) makes the vowels stronger. Thus, YA is really IA, and it makes A stronger.

The mother vowels A O U E I are brighter compared with the syllables WA WO WU WE WI which are ‘under the azalea,’ meaning in the shade. Of the vowels, not all of them have the same brightness. A and O are darker; U is middle; E and I are brighter. The bright sounds are the sound of fire and are positive; the dark sounds are the sound of water and are negative.

Summary

Kototama is:

  • Universal Spirit
  • the spirit of everything
  • the origin of the universe
  • the principle of every teaching

All sounds, vowels and consonants alike, have meanings. There are yang and yin sounds. Each sound is a kami.

There are fifty sounds. When the fifty are reflected in the sacred mirror, there are one hundred sounds, one hundred kami.

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