Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Translation Diary: Ishikawa Jun's 『江戸人の発想法について』


Here are the remaining problem areas.
ところで、江戸狂歌の歴史の上で、天明狂歌とは、前代の未得卜養らの狂歌あるひは上方の貞柳行風らの狂歌の、自然の発展と見るべきだらうか。

In considering the history of Edo kyōka we are confronted with the problem of whether to regard Tenmei kyōka as a natural development of the Kamigata style of Teiryū Yukikaze and his coterie, or of Mitoku Bokuyō and others of the previous generation.

Is Teiryū Yukikaze another name for Nagata Teiryū 永田貞柳 (1654-1734), aka Yuensai 油煙斉, the “early Edo kyōka poet [who was] born into an Osaka confectioner’s household, [and who] in 1729 [published] Kyōka Iezuto (Mad Poems as Gifts for Home),” and who is known for a sense humor that “specialized in the juxtaposition of the elegant with the vulgar”(PCCJL, 207)? And what about this Mitoku Bokuyō? Is this another name for Nakarai Bokuyō 半井卜養 (1607-1678), that “Early Edo kyōka, haikai poet, physician [who …] played a part in the redefinition of haikai, having 171 stanzas included in Matsue Shigeyori’s collection, Enoko shū [… and who…] also acquired a name for himself in prose. [… and whose…] haikai collection, Yakko Haikai (Haikai in Slave Language, 1667) preceded his kyōka collection, Bokuyō Kyoukashū 卜養狂歌集, which apparently came out within a few years of his death” (Princeton Companion, 208)? Or are these two people, Mitoku and Bokuyō? Again, why didn’t Professor Chiba include footnotes in his 『日本近代文学評論選』!?

Next, we have this sentence:
文政以後狂歌と狂歌師との相場ががつたり下落したことの佣を作つたものだらう。

Perhaps it was this that sent the kyōka market into a sudden crash after the Bunka era.

What’s this business about 「佣を作つた」? I think 佣 itself is a kind of ancient figurine or doll, but I’m not sure how it relates to the sentence.

And in the following sentence there is the problematic phrase, 放昿自在の世界:
作者みづから狂歌の必ずかくあるべきことを規定し、狂名の中におのれの貧弱な全存在を露出するや、たちまち放昿自在の世界は消え失せて、あとにはただ安っぽい人間と劣等な品物だけが居残ることになったとは、天明狂歌の微妙な性質につき消息の一端をつたへている。

It bespeaks the exquisite temperament of Tenmei kyōka that when these authors, having defined the parameters of their art, finally emerged from their aliases to reveal their naked selves, their freely illuminating world suddenly disappeared, leaving in its trace only sordid people and second-rate goods.

This next sentence has a rather abstruse line from A Treatise of Ten Rules embedded in it, which I’m not sure how to translate:
今狂詩の源流を探つて、十訓抄、閉口後来客、含陰先達儒あたりを引合に出すに及ぶまい。

It makes little sense at this point to start quoting from A Treatise of Ten Rules (“Visitors show up after hours, Pioneer of the shadows, Confucius . . . ”) in an effort to trace kyōshi to its source.

In the sentence that follows there is a reference to the “Ominaeshi,” which is either a kind of plant of the title of a Noh play (again, Professor Chiba, not known for his footnotes).
もし詩意の狂風に似るものを求めるとすれば、たとへば倭漢朗詠集、上巻秋、源順の女郎花のごときをもかぞへることができるかも知れない。

If your goal is to seek the essence of this “poetic madness,” you could probably also count among your findings the autumn poems from volume one of the Ikanrōeishū or the Noh play Ominaeshi.

Next, here’s a poem in the Chinese style called “On Parting with Courtesan Kasen of the Gomeirō Brothel,”by Ōta Nanpo. Having only the vaguest idea of what it means, I’ve turned it into mush:
五明楼贈雛妓
花扇連襟夜入床
五明送客大門傍
楽遊雛妓如相問
一片執心在玉
At night he is led by her sleeve into the bedroom
And the next morning she sees him as far as the entrance gate.
Answer, if one of the young courtesans-in-training asks how the night went:
“One-hearted as a lukewarm love letter.”

I should point out that Ōta Nanpo’s poem alludes to the following Tang dynasty poem by Wang Changling (698-795), called “At Hibiscus Inn (Parting with Hsin Chien),” which has thankfully already been translated by Witter Bynner in his Three Hundred Poems of the Tang Dynasty.
芙蓉楼送辛漸、
寒雨連江夜入呉、
平明送客楚山孤、
洛陽親友如相問、
一片氷心在玉壺

With this cold night-rain hiding the river, you have come into Wu.
In the level dawn, all alone, you will be starting for the mountain of Ch’u.
Answer, if they ask of me at Lo-yang:
“One-hearted as ice in a crystal vase.”

Next, will someone please tell me who this Hanka Sanjin 半可山人 character is, and also what his Myō 妙 is— is it the title of a work, or a particularly quality that his works possess? I think he’s the author/compiler of the Hanka Sanjin Shishō 半可山人詩鈔, a collection of comic poems written in Chinese, but I’m not even sure about this. Also, did he even write a version of Chūshingura: The Storehouse of Loyal Retainers, as Ishikawa implies? Here are the two problematic sentences:
狂詩作者でその技巧のあるひは蜀山を凌ぐものは少くないだらう。たとへば半可山人の妙はこれを称する。なるほど半可山人の忠臣蔵十一段は斯道の眉目ではあらう。

Indeed, there are many kyōshi poets who excel Nanpo in craftsmanship. Hanka Sanjin’s Myō, for example, has received acclaim from the world. And doubtless it is true that the eleventh chapter of his Chūshingura: The Storehouse of Loyal Retainers displays certain features of Confucianism.

And finally, quoting Santō Kyōden quoting Tang-dynasty poet Cui Guofu, Ishikawa mentions these lines from the fifth book of the Selection of Tang Poems (poem 119). Unfortunately, no English translation exists, and I have therefore turned this poem too into mush.
長信宮中草
年年愁処生
時侵球履跡
不使玉階行

The grass within Ever-Faithful Palace
Each year the places of sorrow
Trespassing on the footprints of bejeweled boots
Not letting [him] ascend the jeweled stairs.

5 comments:

Matt said...

I'm not going to touch that Chinese (there's gotta be someone on campus who specializes and can help you out), but I think 佣 is a typo/alternate spelling of 俑. 俑 is also a kind of figurine, specifically the kind that got buried with rulers, and 俑を作る means "put a bad process in motion" (because eventually that practice led to people being killed as well).

閉口後来客、含陰先達儒-- this is actually a I Ching scholar/Confucianist exchange. The full quote from is (taken from this online edition of the kiyushoran):

『十訓抄』に、「漏剋博士季親は周易博士にて、其道に覚ありけれど、風月の方にうとかりけり。或文亭の連句の座にのぞみ、沈思しけるを、其中に宗徒の儒者有けるが、是をあなどりけるにや、閉口後来客といひたりける。言下に季親、含陰先達儒とぞ付たりける。にがりていふことなかりけり」。

Oh snap!

Ryan said...

O snap, indeed! And you figured it out despite my typo! I didn't even think to look up the whole phrase 「俑をつくる」-- which, unless the fairy of denshijishos added it to my 広辞苑 last night while I was sleeping, was in there all along.

And thanks for pointing out the Kiyushoran. I'll send this along with the other two kanshi to my kanbun instructor.

Snap.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ryan,

I'll keep as far away as possible from those Chinese verses too, but I may have a suggestion or two as to your title.
I was thinking, couldn't 発想法 perhaps be translated as "inventiveness"? Or would that be taking it one step too far?
And if you'd change "the people of Edo" into "the Edoites", you'd also save yourself one "of".

By the way, have you decided to write a full-scale thesis after all? (Looking at the fervor with which you are grappling with this translation, I am inclined to think you are...)

Kiliman

Ryan said...

Kiliman,

I've decided to go with the credit track, so I can focus on the Todai application. No time for a major thesis.

And I think I'll go with "Edoites." Thx.

We still have to get together soon with Tom to discuss the future.

Also, if you ever need help with Chinese translations, ask Takahashi-sensei. She actually went to the 国文学資料館 and spent hours looking into the poems I asked her about. Brought me a ton of useful info.

robin d gill said...

Some of your questions will be cleared up in my book-to-be Mad In Translation, but in a word, Tenmei kyouka came from many places including yomonoakara/ shokusanjin's head. Yukikaze is not another of Teiryuu's many names but Kofu who edited the 1666 Kokin Ikyoku shuu, the first really great kyouka collection. He had a fine light touch like Bokuyo (yes the good doctor from osaka who was sent to edo) --- i have dozens maybe scores of both of their poems translated for said book. Kofu has not received the attention he deserves. Mitoku, his contemporary, has received perhaps more attention than he deserves -- he is a bit smoother than Kofu or even Bokuyo but, maybe is a bit too smooth (as Teiryuu could be). Yomo no akara appreciated a rough edge, raw conceptual play and raw, feel-the-grain word play, so i think you can say he / they, the tenmei crowd tended to look back -- they also learned from teitoku and yuchourou,both of whom had much very good work few people know about because critics chose their bad work to introduce. Why that is so would make a good column in itself. Ah, you lost the flow/connections in the large paragraph where you got hung up on that phrase -- but i must get back to work, sorry. 敬愚 robin d gill