Saturday, January 26, 2013

Kiritsubo, 1.4a

This is another sentence that will have to be split up into multiple posts; there are only a few of these but unfortunately a lot of them are right at the beginning.

Also those such as the senior nobles and privy gentlemen turned their eyes away helplessly, saying “His love towards this person is embarrassing. In China, too, it was just for this reason that the world was thrown into chaos and became bad.” Gradually in the world at large, as well, this became a bitter seed of worry for people. It was becoming such that the example of Yang Guifei would have to be mentioned, and there were many disgraceful occurrences, but she served, relying on the peerlessness of [the Emperor's] gracious care.


Shinshaku (1758): This describes looking at something bad that you don't like. This also seems to be a reference to the Chōgonka-den: The officials of the palace averted their eyes because of this.


Hyou: The love between the Emperor and the Kiritsubo Intimate is mostly drawn from the Song of Neverending Sorrow, so for that reason, here the first small taste of that den appears. However, the story in the Tale contains new, very good, things that are not found at all in the original poem. I will say more about this later.


Hagiwara has more to say about the Song and the den (a prose version of the legend) in the supplemental notes so I'll put that off until part C.


Hyou: Here already we see the first hints of the Yang Guifei story, and much later it says "they brought up the example of other Emperors, and lamented quietly." This should be kept in mind.


Tama no ogushi (1796): This means that the people of the world are also taking this to be an unfortunate thing. A certain commentary says, First the jealousy of the women is mentioned, then the noblemen, and now the wider world.


Hyou:  It is definitely true that this "certain commentary" has understood things well.  The things that the author has done become apparent later[??].  I will mention it there.


This "certain commentary" is from a work called the 首書源氏物語, an early woodblock edition that was never as popular as the Kogetsusho.  The author of this work did not identify the "certain commentary" and it may be the author's own theories.  I'm not entirely sure of the meaning of Hagiwara's comment.


Tama no ogushi (1796): These are things being suffered by the Kiritsubo Intimate.

1 comment:

  1. That "作者の心ありしこと、末にて知られたり" is pretty mysterious, isn't it? I would translate it as "What the author had in mind [or: that the author had something in mind], we know/learn at the end", but if the 或抄 is correct, then we are already at the end of the sequence, so what does Hagiwara mean by "そこにいふべし"?

    Re the final comment, I think that what Norinaga means is "This is said from the perspective of the Kiritsubo Intimate", i.e. that the こと were いとはしたなき to her specifically (as opposed to, say, the rest of the court, for whom they were concerning, jealousy-inducing, etc. but not いとはしたなき). I take special notice of comments like these because they make me feel better about my own Genji-handling skills: See, even in the Edo period they often needed help to figure out the subject/focus of a given sentence! I'm no worse than Norinaga's intended audience!