Aya One: Beginning of the Loom

Aya One: Mihata no Hatsu, Beginning of the Loom.  Part One: Kitsu no Na, Name of East-West

This is part of Aya One, the first chapter of Hotsuma Tsutae. It starts with the childhood of the talented woman known as Wakahime. It’s packed full of anecdotes about festivals and customs. Then, Wakahime’s foster father Kanasaki, now known in shrines as Sumiyoshi Kami, explains the meaning of the five direction system, ki-tsu-o-sa-ne (E-W-Center-S-N). He connects it with diurnal and seasonal processes and implies a philosophical framework for society with a cyclical orientation. Ki-tsu-o-sa-ne in a profound way relates space and time.

This is our interpretation starting with the transliteration of http://www.k3.dion.ne.jp/~yamas/kodaiy2k/hotumika/hotu01.htm.  We first prepared this in 2013, long before we started the WoshiteWorld blogsite https://woshiteworld.wordpress.com/ . We revised in light of those teachings. We are posting this here because the source is the third party listed above. We recommend that students of Wosite study the blogs of WoshiteWorld. There are many other wonderful stories from actual Wosite verses of Hotsuma Tsutae presented there. One such is the story of the Peach Festival. Another is the origin of sake-making.

Aya One is important for imparting important information from Wosite times.

  • Cardinal directions
  • Wakahime’s early years
  • Mochi on New Year’s Day
  • Peach festival on the third day of the third month (Hinamatsuri, Girl’s Day)
  • Iris festival on the fifth day of the fifth month (now Boy’s Day)
  • Tanahata (now Tanabata) festival on seventh day of the seventh month
  • Awanouta for fixing speech
  • Awanouta 48 syllables for good health
  • Good health and longevity
  • Seasons of nature

It may be startling to see that the Tanahata festival was being celebrated three thousand years ago. Some may have assumed that it came from China in the fifth century. However, note that even the name Tanahata is an ancient Wosite word for a type of loom for weaving. And weaving was done by the ladies in the miya of Wosite.

As for mention of having mochi on New Year’s Day, it was not the rice mochi we have today. Instead of rice, different grains were raised, including Japanese millet.

KITSUOSANE CHART

Sore waka wa        wakahime no kami      That waka of Wakahime Kami,

suterarete               hirota to sotatsu        Given away and taken up to raise

kanasaki no             tsuma no chi wo ete         Kanasaki’s wife gave her milk

awa-u-wa ya            te uchi shio no me            Baby clapping awa-u-wa with the gentle wife.

ume-re-hi wa          kashimi-ke sonae         On her birthday, minister made an offering of cooked food.

tachi maiya            mifuyu kami oki            Standing up; when 3 years old hair-cutting ceremony

hatsuhi-mochi            Awa no uya ma hi            New Year’s day mochi, gave respect to Awa (heaven-earth)

momo ni hina            ayame ni chi maki            peach for Girls’ Day (3/3), iris and mochi in leaf (Boys’ Day 5/5)

tanahata ya            kikukuri iwahi.               Tanabata (7/7), chrysanthemum-chestnut festival (9/9)

itoshi fuyu            o wa hakama kiru            Fifth year winter, boys wear hakama

me wa kashiki.     kotoba wo naosu            girls wear kazuki.  To fix speech:

a ka ha na ma              i ki hi ni mi u ku                 [This is AWA no UTA]

hu nu mu e ke             he ne me o ko ho no

mo to ro so yo             wo te re se ye tu ru

su yu wu ti ri              si yi ta ra sa ya wa

 

a wa no uta            kadagaki uchite           Awa-no-uta, striking the lute,

hiki utau       wo no tsu to koe mo            playing and singing, in natural voice

akirakani            ikura mu wata wo            clear voice goes into the 5 organs and the 6 wata (body)

ne koe wake          fusoyo ni kayohi            voice spreads in 24 directions

yosoya koe            kore mi no uchi no       48 voices, in the body

mekuri yoku          yamahi araneba           circulates well, not getting sick, living long.

Nakararute            Sumie no okina             Sumiyoshi kami (Kanasaki) …

Kore wo shiru        Wakahime satoku         Clever Wakahime asked him

Kanasaki ni            kitsusane no na no       Kanasaki, why the names of East-West

Yue wo kofu            okina no iwaku            He replies:

Hi no itsuru            kashira wa Higashi            Sun’s head rises in higashi

Take nohoru            minamiru Minami            Sun is up, everyone looks minami

Hi no wotsuru          Nishi ha nishi tsumu       sun sets, sinks in nishi.                   

yone to mizu           kama ni kashigu wa   Rice and water, cook in pot

hikashira ya            niebana minami         the fire is high, cook medium

niru shizumu            eka hi to tabi no       lower down; a good day

mike wa kore            furutoshifu yori       food, two meals

tsuwo mi (3) ke no   hito wa moyoro ni   month, 3 meals, million years

tsuwo mu (6) ke no   hito wa fusoyoro    month, 6 meals, two million years

ima no yo wa      tada fuyoro toshi        The present world, only 20,000 years.

iki naruru            mike ga sanareba        To live we must have food

yo-wa-i nashi      yue ni onkami              to not weaken, Kanasaki says,

tsuki ni mike      nigaki ahona ya            month of three meals, bitter ahona.

minami muki      asaki wo ukete       South facing, fresh air

nagaiki no        miya no ushiro wo       living long,      stand with your back to the house

kita to ifu            yoru wa neru yoru       North, night for sleeping

kiku wa ne zo     moshi hito kitari          don’t sleep to the north.  If someone comes

koto wa ken       awane ha kita yo          don’t meet person from north

afu wa hide       minami ni koto wo       Meet someone in east,      south for understanding things

wakimaete     wochitsuku wa nishi         matters settle down in the west.

kaeru kita       ne yori kitari te         Returning from north, go back

Ne ni kaeru.     Ki wa haruwakaba      go back north. Spring’s young leaves

Natsu awoba     aki ni e momiji        summer green leaves, autumn maples

Fuyu wochiba.   Kore mo onajiku        winter fallen leaves.     This is the same

Ne wa kita ni       kizasu higashi ya    Roots in the north, sprouts in the east

Sa ni sakaru            tsu wa nishi tsukuru            south blooms, west ripens.

O wa kimi no        kuni osamure wa           The center lord pacifies the land

Ki-tsu-o-sa-ne      yomo to naka nari     E-W-center-S-N, four directions and center

Ki wa hitashi      hana-ha mo minami    tree in east, flower-leaves in south

Ko no mi nishi       mi wo wakewo furu            nuts in west, seeds in south

Ki no mi yuru.  Kimi wa ome kami   fruits of tree. Lord is male-female kami.

Shikaru nochi            isawa no miya ni            after a while, to Isawa Hall

—  [End of this excerpt]

Updated 2017.01.16

*