Saturday, January 19, 2013

陽明文庫源氏物語 (Yomei bunko Genji), intro and part 1

This is the first post in another series that I hope to do on this blog, about the Genji text (what fascinating topics!) 

The earliest textual fragments of the Genji come from several sources in the 12th century -- the Genji monogatari emaki (picture scroll), the Genji shaku (the first commentary), and the kokeizu (old family tree).  The fragments from all three of these sources represent probably 2-3% of the total text, but there are existing manuscripts that are closer to these textual sources than the other manuscripts that became standard later.

The usual explanation for this is that the text had become corrupt by this time and that Fujiwara no Teika and Minamoto no Mitsuyuki (and his son Chikayuki) independently set out to restore it; Teika's work represents the better scholarship and is closer to Murasaki Shikibu's original.  Since only half a chapter survives in Teika's hand, we have to find the manuscripts that are closest to Teika's original.

A number of articles and books since the 1980's have shown that there's virtually no proof for any of the preceding paragraph, and that it's no longer acceptable to name a particular manuscript or manuscript family as being the "closest" to a hypothetical "original".  However, the tradition is still strong and all new editions are still based on the supposed Teika line.

For the "Kiritsubo" chapter, the Genji shaku is the only source of textual fragments.  I've looked at them all and the closest manuscript to the fragments is known as the 陽明文庫源氏物語 because of where it's housed today.  The manuscript is a hybrid, with some of the chapters being Teika texts.  A list of authors associated with the manuscript says that the scribe of the "Kiritsubo" chapter is Emperor Go-Fukukusa.  I find this a little hard to accept; there's no definitive proof either way but the scribe list also includes people like Emperor Gotoba, Abutsuni, Fujiwara no Tameie, Kujo Yoshitsune, and other prominent waka poets of the era.

Anyway, I thought that as I go through the Hyoshaku, every so often I'll look at the text of the Yomei bunko Genji for comparison.  Here's the text of the three sentences I've covered so far; first from Eiichi Shibuya's web site (which is the standard modern text), and then from the Yomei bunko.  I did the usual orthographic cleanup and underlined the parts that are different.

First, the standard text:
 はじめより我はと思ひ上がりたまへる御方がた、めざましきものにおとしめ嫉みたまふ。同じほど、それより下臈の更衣たちは、ましてやすからず。朝夕の宮 仕へにつけても、人の心をのみ動かし、恨みを負ふ積もりにやありけむ、いと篤しくなりゆき、もの心細げに里がちなるを、いよいよあかずあはれなるものに思 ほして、人のそしりをも憚らせたまはず、世のためしにもなりぬべき御もてなしなり。

And then the Yomei bunko text:

It's the same story and characters, but there are a lot of differences in the style and diction.  Some of the more notable points:
1. The use of the honorific ohasu instead of ari for the Kiritsubo Intimate (a common feature for the whole chapter).
2. The omission of the Intimates at the same level
3. The extra use of けり at the end of the second sentence.


  1. Nice! I think you have a typo in the last sentence of the Yomei text: "…ともまりぬべき" for "ともなりぬべき" (unless this is an un-highlighted variation).

    Some of those differences, like honorifics, dropping the え before 憚らせたまはず, etc. look like they could in theory be amenable to statistical analysis and possibly even help with dating. Have any interesting findings or hypotheses emerged from that sort of research?

    1. That's a typo, thanks.

      As far as I know there haven't been any studies on that; I don't know about the viability of such research.