Tag Archives: waka

Kototama of Wosite and Hotsuma


Kototama, which is written in kanji as 言霊, is the study and practice of the energy/power in words and speech. Kototama can be translated as “the spirit of words,” and as “the language of Spirit.” Kototama refers to the power of human words to create, to create things. Okunomichi has several posts on this topic and they can be found by using the Search box to the right and entering “Kototama”.

Wosite Language

The Wosite language used in writing the Hotsuma Tsutae, the Futomani, and the Mikasafumi documents is a Kototama language. Wosite studies are posted at https://woshiteworld.wordpress.com/. Recently, WoshiteWorld has published posts on the Kototama of Hotsuma and Wosite. They are: “The Kototama of Wosite,” and ““Process of Kototama”. In addition, there is a discussion of the waka poetry of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken.



Ten 蓮月 Rengetsu Waka

Peach blossoms pale

Courtesy of the Robyn Buntin Gallery, we have the pleasure to bring you ten more of Rengetsu’s waka. They have been translated by none other than Sensei John Stevens, Rengetsu expert. Please visit their beautiful website for Rengetsu and other Asian art at   



も々の花  Peach Blossoms for Hinasama Dolls

このとのに けふ咲く花は


はじめ なるん

As an offering today

To this lord and lady

Freshly opened peach blossoms.

The joy of countless springs

Is once again ours.

かかし(kakashi)  Scarecrow

oyamada no

kiri no nakamichi

fumi wakete

hito ku to mi shi wa

kakashi narikeri

Making my way

To Oyamada

Through the foggy fields

The only person I saw

Turned out to be a scarecrow.

かわかぜ (kawakaze)  River Wind 

kawakaze ni

chiru ka to mireba

katsu kie to

me ni mo tamara nu

mizu no awayuki

As a river wind blows

I see flakes fall

But they disappear

From view in an instant

As frothy snow in the water.

ほたる (hotaru)  Fireflies

kagaribi no

kage no kudakuru

kokochi shite

ukawa no sue ni

tobu hotaru kana

Flitting all around

In the shadows cast by

Bonfires hanging from

The cormorant fishing boats

Fireflies want to be part of the spectacle.

あきのひかず (aki no hikazu)  Counting the Days of Autumn 

yamazato no

noki no hitoki no

hatsushio ni

aki no hikazu zo

kazoe rare keru

In this mountain village

A single maple tree by my eaves—

From the first blush of the leaves

I can count the remaining

Days of autumn.

春の末 (haru no sue) Last of Spring 


okuyama no

hana no shirayuki

nagare kite

haru no suekumu

kawazura no sato

From deep in the mountains

Petals like white snow

Fall on the surface of the river

Flowing through the village,

Carrying away the last of spring.

かね の おと (kane no oto)  Temple Bell of Kitashiragawa Village

Yoshida yama

matsu no kozue ni

tsuki ochite

Kitashiragawa no

kane no oto kana

On Mount Yoshida

Beyond the tips of pines

The moon has fallen—

In Kitashiragawa

A temple bell sounds.

岡さきのさと (Okazaki no sato)  Okazaki Village  

山畑の 大根のくき二 霜さえて 

朝戸出寒し 岡さきのさと

In the mountain fields

Frost settles down to

The daikon stalks

This freezing morning as I walk

To Okazaki Village.

つき の さす (Tsuki no sasu)  Halo of the Moon

Tsuki no sasu

Kasa no shizuka ya


Yoruyuki sode ni

Kakaru shira tsuyu

Wearing the halo

Of the moon as my hat;

Moonbeams drip down

As white dew gradually

Soaks the sleeves of my robe.

ちょう の ゆめ (chou no yume)   Butterfly’s Dream


chou no yume min

nanohana no

mukura ni kaoru

haru no yamazato

I take a nap and

Dream of being a butterfly,

As the fragrance of nanohana perfume my pillow–

Late spring now in this mountain village.


ちょう (Butterfly) by Rengetsu


Notes from Hotsuma Tsutae and Mikasafumi


Subjects of aya 28 include:

Koyomi calendar, Isanagi-Isanami, Twelve wives plus one, Seoritsu is Okisaki, Governing Ohiyamato, Hatare, 3 sons, Hohodemi, Taga no miya. [Note: Aya 28 is not available on HT by JTC.]

Sarutahiko makes a tomb for Amateru at Manai near Asahimiya. Amateru says his kamuri headdress connected him to kami in heaven, his robes and sashes connected him to people and land.

Isawa no miya, Amateru’s palace, is inland from Ise Naigu. Now called Izougu. Ikeda’s book describes his visit. ‘Amateru decided that the new capital would be at Isawa (now the Isomiya Shrine in Isobe, Shiki-gun, Mie Prefecture)’ [aya 6, HT by JTC].


The very first wedding, that of Ubichini-Subichini, took place at Hi no Jinja in Fukui ken. It was 3 years after Ubichini planted a momo tree and it flowered. Momo no sekku is 3-3 girls day. Here is Hino Jinja 福井県越前市日野神社拝殿 [http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hino_Takefu_City_Shrine_in_Japan.jpg]

MIKASAFUMI by Ikeda Mitsuru

Ikeda’s Jomon Book, Ch. 2 is about Mikasafumi ayas. Omotaru and Kashikone gave to Isanami-Isanagi  two kantakara treasures: To no woshite (constitution), hoko (police power), for governing people. Omotaru and Kashikone were the first rulers to go around the country of Yamato. Later, Isanami-Isanagi  went around the country (Hitakami, Kyushu, etc.) to make it better using waka and Awa no uta,

The first miki (sake). Subichini lived in Shiga before she married. I-no-kuchi omiya, an unknown place. In the bamboo forest, she saw a sparrow eating rice in water inside a bamboo stalk. It tasted sweet and good. It was called sasake, sasa bamboo and keji foodstuff. Now we call it sake.

The Eight ayas of Mikasafumi:

1   Kitsuyoji no aya;  2  Sakanori, making sake;  3  Koe, 12 wives;  4             Harumiya, Oshihomimi’s Koutaigu shrine, Harumi meaning East;  5             Takamanaru aya;   6  Namekoto nenchu gyoji almanac;   7   Hani (earth) matsuri no aya;   8  Toshi uchi ni nasu koto (matters to do before year’s end).

1st aya Kitsuyoji.  Kitsu (east-west) yoji (4 threads). A teaching, using a weaving analogy, about Michi given by Amanokoyane (Lord Kasuga) at different places to nobles and people. Kitsu is blessing from sun and moon, coming and going. The country enjoys well-being when administrators and people follow the Michi.

Kunitokotachi’s era was beginning of moji. Then the 48 sounds.

Awa-no-uta was sung by Izanagi-Izanami. A-no-uta is Izanagi’s half, Wa-no-uta is Isanami’s half. They gave birth to the country and went around singing this song that clears up language.


Wakahime, Hiruko, Amateru’s sister, was born on Tsukubayama. It was yakudoshi for Isanagi and Isanami who were 42 and 33, respectively. She was fostered by Lord Kanasaki and his wife Oshinazu. Both were waka poets and they ruled Kinki from Nishinomiya. 廣田神社兵庫県西宮市   Hirota Shrine (Hirota-jinja was the original name for Nishinomiya) in NishinomiyaHyogo prefectureJapan.

From http://www.hirotahonsya.or.jp/english.html:    Japan’s oldest national historical document “NIHONSYOKI” states that tha Hirota Shrine was established in the HIrota region in Muko country when Empress Jinguu came back from Korea in 201AD. Since then, many historical documents have mentioned the Hirota Shrine, saying that the great deity of Hirota protects its country, controls nature, and provides prosperity… The name Nishinomiya appeared in history as the shrine grew.  [NOTE:  This region of Hirota is in MUKO country. Muko is Mukatsuhime’s name.]

Oshinazu played awa, a child’s play with Hiruko. As we know Hiruko/Wakahime became a waka master. In her fifth winter she started studying akahanama, singing with instruments. She grew up healthy due to these vibrations.

Ikura, five houses of the soul. People are made up of the seen and unseen. We have ikura, five kura, in our kokoro. We receive 3 kura from heaven/universe, called the tama; 2 kura from our parents, called shi. We are connected to our tama by the tama-no-wo cord. When we die, the wo is undone and returns the tama to heaven and shi to earth. Baby receives tama in the 5th month; it already has shi which becomes the organs.

Tama consists of Miyabi (compassion, empathy for other people), Kokoroba, and Tama.

Shi consists of Shi (ne, shizumaru, going down), and Ha (hiraku, widening).

Editor’s Note: The above information comes from various of the books by Ikeda Mitsuru, in Japanese.