A working space for my notes on Ogura Hyakunin Isshu - a classical Japanese anthology of 100 poems by 100 poets. My thanks to Jane Reichhold and fellow members of the AHApoetry Forum for their encouragement, advice and participation; and also to my fellow fellow members of Eratosphere for their comments and suggestions.

Monday, 4 June 2012

#015 君がため

君がため
春の野に出でて
若菜つむ
わが衣手に
雪はふりつつ

kimi ga tame haru no no ni idete wakana tsumu waga koromode ni yuki wa furi tsutsu

Emperor Kōkō 

it is for you
I am out in the fields
picking spring herbs
while the snow still falls
and covers my sleeves

(trans. Köy Deli )
only for you
would I go into spring fields
to pick young greens
all the while snow
falls on my sleeves 

(trans. Jane Reichhold)

Parsing

kimi ga tame

you | is | for
haru no no ni idete
spring | of | field | at/in | go out
waka na tsumu
young | greens | to pluck
waga koromode ni
my | sleeves |on
yuki wa furi tsutsu
snow | falling | while


Crib

On your behalf I went out in the spring fields to pluck wild herbs while the snow was descending on my sleeves.

Notes

A little sense of achievement with this one in that I was able to recognize some words/phrases and able to translate bits of it without instant recourse to the dictionary. The green herbs and the marked sleeves remind me of the ferns in the previous waka and the marking of cloth; and also of the first waka and the Emperor's sleeves wet with dew which also ends with the particle of continuing and repetitive action -tsutsu.

君 kimi [you] here refers to the recipient of the gift of wakana.

Wakana is a general term for edible and medicinal herbs, roots and shoots, such as the seven herbs of spring that eaten at New Year are said to drive away disease and bless one with longevity.

Gabi Greve (World Kigo Database) notes:

wakana tsumu ... a custom for the (lunar calendar) New Year

obsersvance kigo for the New Year

wakana o kuusu, offering fresh greens 若菜を供す
similar to nanakusa, seven herbs of spring
..... wakano no sechi-e 若菜の節会(わかなのせちえ)
..... picking fresh greens, wakana tsumi 若菜摘 わかなつみ
fresh greens, "young greens", wakana 若菜(わかな)
first fresh greens, hatsu wakana 初若菜(はつわかな)
field with fresh greens, wakana no 若菜野(わかなの)
boat transporting fresh greens, wakana bune 若菜舟(わかなぶね)、
day of fresh greens, wakana no hi 若菜の日(わかなのひ)
..... selling fresh greens, 若菜売(わかなうり)

Natsumigawa no shinji 菜摘川の神事 (なつみがわのしんじ)
ritual of picking herbs at Natsumi river

In Yoshino seven herbs were offered at the shrine
Katte Myojin 吉野の勝手明神.

Natsumigawa is the rital name here for the river Yoshinogawa 吉野川.
It used to be a court ritual, already celebrated in poems of the Manyo-Shu collection.

more is here
http://worldkigo2005.blogspot.jp/2005/06/fern-shida.html
 

kimi
1.you; buddy; pal
2. master, young master
3. (classical) prince, lord


ga
case particle: subject marker; designation; modifier of a word with following word; ‘is’ ‘
tame
ため 
because, since, for, for the sake of, on behalf of, for the benefit of,
conjunction

haru
 
spring


no
 
genitive particle
no
plain, field


ni
locative particle
ide-te
出で
exit, go out, leave, put out, come out


waka
young, immature


na
vegetable, side dish, greens


tsumu
つむ 
to pluck, to pick, to trim


waga
わが
my, our, one’s own


koromode
衣手
sleeve(s)


yuki
 
snow


wa ... tsutsu
 -- つつ 
conjunctive particle of continuing action, ‘while’
furi
ふり
to fall on, to pour down, to cover


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