Buson's haiku

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Vieillard-Baron Michel

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Nov 21, 2009, 9:06:45 AM11/21/09
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Dear PMJS members,


Can anyone send me a good English translation of Buson's famous haiku:

ikken no / chamise no yanagi / oinikeri

Since it is to be published in a book, I would very much appreciate if you could send me the precise references of where the translation is taken from.

All the best from Paris

Michel Vieillard-Baron

Jos Vos

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Nov 21, 2009, 12:31:49 PM11/21/09
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the willow tree
by the lone teahouse -
it has grown old
 
translated by Makoto UEDA in The Path of Flowering Thorn: The Life and Poetry of Yosa Buson (Stanford University Press 1998), p. 101
 
The willow
by the lone teahouse
older now
 
translated by Chris DRAKE in Early Modern Japanese Literature, an Anthology (1600-1900), edited by Haruo Shirane (Columbia University Press 2002), p. 550
 
For what it's worth, here is my own Dutch version:
 
De wilgenboom
bij dat ene theehuis
is oud geworden.
 
(included in Eeuwige Reizigers, een bloemlezing van de klassieke Japanse literatuur, published by Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam in 2008), p. 642
 
Best wishes,
Jos Vos

From: mviei...@inalco.fr
To: pm...@googlegroups.com
Date: Sat, 21 Nov 2009 15:06:45 +0100
Subject: [PMJS] Buson's haiku
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Richard Bowring

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Nov 21, 2009, 12:54:53 PM11/21/09
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At the risk of starting an endless series of comments, I'm not sure
these are 'good'. Two reasons.
1. The order of images has been altered. All three translations have
the eye moving from the willow to the teahouse for no apparent reason.
2. The surprise effect inherent in 'keri' is missing.
Discuss!
Richard Bowring
Cambridge


On 21 Nov 2009, at 17:31, Jos Vos wrote:

> the willow tree
> by the lone teahouse -
> it has grown old
>
> translated by Makoto UEDA in The Path of Flowering Thorn: The Life
> and Poetry of Yosa Buson (Stanford University Press 1998), p. 101
>
> The willow
> by the lone teahouse
> older now
>
> translated by Chris DRAKE in Early Modern Japanese Literature, an
> Anthology (1600-1900), edited by Haruo Shirane (Columbia University
> Press 2002), p. 550
>
> For what it's worth, here is my own Dutch version:
>
> De wilgenboom
> bij dat ene theehuis
> is oud geworden.
>
> (included in Eeuwige Reizigers, een bloemlezing van de klassieke
> Japanse literatuur, published by Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam in 2008),
> p. 642
>
> Best wishes,
> Jos Vos
> From: mviei...@inalco.fr
> To: pm...@googlegroups.com
> Date: Sat, 21 Nov 2009 15:06:45 +0100
> Subject: [PMJS] Buson's haiku
>
> Dear PMJS members,
>
>
> Can anyone send me a good English translation of Buson's famous haiku:
>
> ikken no / chamise no yanagi / oinikeri
>
> Since it is to be published in a book, I would very much appreciate
> if you could send me the precise references of where the
> translation is taken from.
>
> All the best from Paris
>
> Michel Vieillard-Baron
> --
> You are subscribed to PMJS: Premodern Japanese Studies.
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> access both.

Jos Vos

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Nov 21, 2009, 1:34:33 PM11/21/09
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Begging your pardon, but even if the willow pops up before the teahouse in translation (a consequence of the syntax of Germanic languages), this does not mean the reader's eye actually wanders from one to the other. To my feeling, the willow-tree remains very much in the foreground of the poem, even in the three translations. Still, I'd very much like to hear some alternatives!

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Lewis Cook

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Nov 21, 2009, 4:29:47 PM11/21/09
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One teahouse
a willow tree
older both

Teahouse
willow
aged

One teashop
one willow tree
older than

Ye olde teashop!
eyebeams glanced thence
to an ageing willow tree

'But I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now'
re: teashop, willow tree

Michael Pye

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Nov 21, 2009, 4:47:06 PM11/21/09
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just the one
teahouse - its willow
grown older



Michael Pye
Professor of the Study of Religions
University of Marburg, Germany (retired)
Visiting Professor, Otani University, Kyoto, Japan
(currently Cambridge / SOAS)


Vieillard-Baron Michel

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Nov 21, 2009, 6:58:14 PM11/21/09
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Thank you very much to Jos Vos and the other persons who answered my message.
It is perfect.

Michel Vieillard-Baron

----- Message d'origine -----
De: Jos Vos <josm...@hotmail.com>
Date: Samedi, 21 Novembre 2009, 18:31
Objet: RE: [PMJS] Buson's haiku
À: pm...@googlegroups.com

> the willow tree
> by the lone teahouse -
> it has grown old
>  
> translated by Makoto UEDA in The Path of Flowering Thorn: The Life and Poetry of Yosa Buson (Stanford University Press 1998), p. 101
>  
> The willow
> by the lone teahouse
> older now
>  
> translated by Chris DRAKE in Early Modern Japanese Literature, an Anthology (1600-1900), edited by Haruo Shirane (Columbia University Press 2002), p. 550
>  
> For what it's worth, here is my own Dutch version:
>  
> De wilgenboom
> bij dat ene theehuis
> is oud geworden.
>  
> (included in Eeuwige Reizigers, een bloemlezing van de klassieke Japanse literatuur, published by Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam in 2008), p. 642
>  
> Best wishes,
> Jos Vos

> From: mviei...@inalco.fr
> To: pm...@googlegroups.com
> Date: Sat, 21 Nov 2009 15:06:45 +0100
> Subject: [PMJS] Buson's haiku
>

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robin d. gill

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Nov 22, 2009, 1:05:37 AM11/22/09
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Just on line for the first time in a couple days, hope this is not late.
 
That willow
by the lone teahouse
sure has aged!
 
The willow is, indeed, the subject. Though the Japanese does not use a "that,"
 I feel it brings out the specific willow better in English to "that" it.
 
But what makes the poem "famous?"
I can think of a score of better known Buson ku!
 
robin
--
"Rise, Ye Sea Slugs!"

William Wetherall

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Nov 22, 2009, 3:32:21 AM11/22/09
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I, too, am coming on-line very late in this thread.

I am inclined, however, to vote for Michael Pye's version as the best so far.

just the one
teahouse - its willow
grown older

Michael's phrasing best reflects the unfolding of the drama in Japanese -- and arguably does so most simply and elegantly. It very nicely keeps to the flow of information presented in Japanese -- when hearing いっけんのちゃみせのやなぎ / おいにけり -- or even when reading 一軒の茶見世の柳老にけり.

If I were continuing in this vein of commentary with a class, I would ask how Michael's version could possibly be improved by a bit more by informational minimalization -- and possibly some changes that would slightly alter the images that form.

Play with it.

just the one
teahouse - its willow
grown old

OR

just one
teahouse - its willow
grown old

OR EVEN

just one
teahouse -- its willows
grown old

AND EVEN

just one
teahouse and its willows
grown old

Just as 一軒 does not necessarily constrain 柳 to a single tree, the の between 茶見世 and 柳 does not necessarily exclude the teahouse from the world of the willow(s). It would seem that, as another version put it, "both" have aged -- though I would avoid the explanatory "both" if the image could be "shown" rather than "told".

Then discuss exactly what (and who) has grown old.

Bill Wetherall

Mrobin d. gill さんは書きました:
> Just on line for the first time in a couple days, hope this is not late.
>
> That willow
> by the lone teahouse
> sure has aged!
>
> The willow is, indeed, the subject. Though the Japanese does not use a
> "that,"
> I feel it brings out the specific willow better in English to "that" it.
>
> But what makes the poem "famous?"
> I can think of a score of better known Buson ku!
>
> robin
>
>
>
>
> On Sat, Nov 21, 2009 at 6:58 PM, Vieillard-Baron Michel <
> mviei...@inalco.fr> wrote:
>
>> Thank you very much to Jos Vos and the other persons who answered my
>> message.
>> It is perfect.
>>
>> Michel Vieillard-Baron
>>
>> ----- Message d'origine -----
>> De: Jos Vos <josm...@hotmail.com>
>> Date: Samedi, 21 Novembre 2009, 18:31
>> Objet: RE: [PMJS] Buson's haiku
>> À: pm...@googlegroups.com
>>
>> > the willow tree
>>> by the lone teahouse -
>>> it has grown old
>>>
>>> translated by Makoto UEDA in *The Path of Flowering Thorn: The Life and
>> Poetry of Yosa Buson *(Stanford University Press 1998), p. 101
>>> The willow
>>> by the lone teahouse
>>> older now
>>>
>>> translated by Chris DRAKE in *Early Modern Japanese Literature, an
>> Anthology (1600-1900)*, edited by Haruo Shirane (Columbia University Press
>> 2002), p. 550
>>> For what it's worth, here is my own Dutch version:
>>>
>>> De wilgenboom
>>> bij dat ene theehuis
>>> is oud geworden.
>>>
>>> (included in *Eeuwige Reizigers, een bloemlezing van de klassieke
>> Japanse literatuur*, published by Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam in 2008), p.
>> 642
>>> Best wishes,
>>> Jos Vos
>> ------------------------------
>>> From: mviei...@inalco.fr
>>> To: pm...@googlegroups.com
>>> Date: Sat, 21 Nov 2009 15:06:45 +0100
>>> Subject: [PMJS] Buson's haiku
>>>
>> > Dear PMJS members,
>>>
>>> Can anyone send me a good English translation of Buson's famous haiku:
>>>
>>> ikken no / chamise no yanagi / oinikeri
>>>
>>> Since it is to be published in a book, I would very much appreciate if
>> you could send me the precise references of where the translation is taken
>> from.
>>> All the best from Paris
>>>
>>> Michel Vieillard-Baron
>>> --
>>> You are subscribed to PMJS: Premodern Japanese Studies.
>>> To post to the list, send email to pm...@googlegroups.com
>>> To unsubscribe, send email to pmjs-uns...@googlegroups.com
>>> Visit the PMJS web site at www.pmjs.org
>>> Contact the group administrator at edi...@pmjs.org
>> ------------------------------

ss2...@columbia.edu

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Nov 22, 2009, 11:37:08 AM11/22/09
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The willow by the lone
teahouse
was old long ago.

----------
Since I am working on my dissertation on 12th century poetry
treatises, my life revolves around translating waka from the Manyoshu
thorough that period.

What intrigued me (viewed from a traditional "waka" eye) in this haiku
is the first and the third "ku."

1) What does this "ikken" (lone, one, just the one) mean?
--Why does this need to be specified in this manner?
--Were there any teahouses which were not "ikken?"
--How does the reference to "ikken" relate to the position/location of
the viewer/speaker?

2) What does it mean that a willow tree becomes/became old?
--When did it become old?
--Is there any fixed imagery of an "old willow," as a young and
exuberant willow often appears in traditional waka in association with
spring?

3) What is the context of this poem? Any kotobagaki?

Saeko Shibayama
Tokyo, Japan

Michael Pye

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Nov 22, 2009, 12:00:48 PM11/22/09
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lone?
This word has occurred a few times, but it seems to me to be rather a
strong expression for ikken... The translation must be lighter,
methinks.

Teahouses don't usually stand in rows, so it's little more than "a" teahouse.

Also, with due respect to specialists who have to agonise over such
things, perhaps one should not press too many questions. A haiku is
just a haiku (isn't it).

mp


Michael Pye
Professor of the Study of Religions
University of Marburg, Germany (retired)
Visiting Professor, Otani University, Kyoto, Japan


Zitat von ss2...@columbia.edu:

Jos Vos

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Nov 22, 2009, 12:21:58 PM11/22/09
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あらたうと! The many new translations sound so exciting I briefly considered fashioning another Dutch version – but I don’t want to saddle you all with throat disease!

 

Buson incorporated ‘Ikken no chamise’ into a much longer, experimental work entitled ‘Spring Breeze on the Kema Embankment’ (春風馬堤曲). As far as I know, he even wrote the hokku especially for this purpose. ‘Spring Breeze’ is a narrative poem which relates how a young girl returns to her native village (Kema) after an absence of many months. The girl now works in the entertainment district of Naniwa (south Ōsaka), where there must be many of the most glamorous teahouses. Hence, she is moved and surprised when she rediscovers the single old ‘chamise’ in her native village.

 

Perhaps I should have pointed out both Chris Drake’s and Makoto Ueda’s versions are part of their complete translations of 春風馬堤曲. The same is true of my original go in Dutch. I wrote bij ‘dat’ ene theehuis implying the girl had seen the place many times before.

 

 

> Date: Sun, 22 Nov 2009 11:37:08 -0500
> From: ss2...@columbia.edu
> To: pm...@googlegroups.com

> Subject: Re: [PMJS] Buson's haiku
>

Morgan Pitelka

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Nov 22, 2009, 12:28:59 PM11/22/09
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I think this is a wonderful exchange, one that students who are struggling with translations would benefit from reading. Do any of you use literal, word for word translations as a starting point? And doesn't the end product depend on your philosophy regarding readability vs. fidelity? It might be fun, as an exercise, to bring together as many translations of this poem as possible and put them alongside the discussion.

Morgan

*****************
Morgan Pitelka
Associate Professor and Chair
Asian Studies Department
Occidental College

Swan Hall S115, M8
1600 Campus Road
Los Angeles, CA 90041
mpit...@oxy.edu
*****************

Jos Vos

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Nov 22, 2009, 1:04:38 PM11/22/09
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By the way, there can be no doubt that 锟斤拷Spring Breeze on the Kema Embankment锟斤拷 (锟斤拷锟絃锟絉锟斤拷锟斤拷 Shunp锟斤拷 batei no kyoku), as a whole, is one of Buson锟斤拷s most moving masterpieces. A fascinating analysis of the text (by Cheryl Crowley) can be found here (p.7 锟紺 9):

 

http://coombs.anu.edu.au/SpecialProj/ASAA/biennial-conference/2006/Crowley-Cheryl-ASAA2006.pdf

 

Unfortunately, professor Crowley锟斤拷s explanation does not contain the hokku we are discussing. The easiest place to find a complete English translation (fully annotated) of 锟斤拷Spring Breeze锟斤拷 is still Haruo Shirane锟斤拷s Early Modern Japanese Literature.


 
> Subject: Re: [PMJS] Buson's haiku
> From: mpit...@oxy.edu
> Date: Sun, 22 Nov 2009 09:28:59 -0800
> To: pm...@googlegroups.com

Crowley, Cheryl

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Nov 22, 2009, 2:52:16 PM11/22/09
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Thanks for the mention, Dr. Vos. I've been following this discussion with great interest.

My translation probably doesn't shed much light on the questions that have been raised here. But it might help to consider the context in which the verse appears -- an exceptional one, even for Buson. As a part of _Shunpū batei no kyoku_, it is unlike the typical _hokku_ which either stand alone as independent verses or serve as the "starting verse" of a longer sequence. _Shunpū batei no kyoku_ is a narrative. The viewpoint is that of a serving girl, on her way home for _yabuiri_. The prose introduction describes a speaker, also on his way back to his birthplace, who meets this girl and is so charmed by her that he's moved to write a poem in her voice. The poem is a mixture of kanshi-like stanzas and _hokku_, powerfully expressive of nostalgia, longing for childhood and family, and regret. As part of this larger story, the teahouse is the setting for some of the drama of the piece. The _hokku_ sets the location and mood for the scene that follows it -- that is, the speaker comes upon it, and noticing how it's changed since she's seen it last, it adds to the mood of wistfulness and sorrow over the passing of time.

I hope that helps a bit.

the teahouse's
willow tree
—it has grown so old!

CAC
.....................................................
C A Crowley, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Japanese
Director of Undergraduate Studies, REALC/East Asian Studies
Modern Languages 209
Emory University
Atlanta, GA 30322
404-727-5087
________________________________________
From: Jos Vos [josm...@hotmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, November 22, 2009 1:04 PM
To: pm...@googlegroups.com
Subject: RE: [PMJS] Buson's haiku

By the way, there can be no doubt that ‘Spring Breeze on the Kema Embankment’ (春風馬堤曲 Shunpū batei no kyoku), as a whole, is one of Buson’s most moving masterpieces. A fascinating analysis of the text (by Cheryl Crowley) can be found here (p.7 – 9):

http://coombs.anu.edu.au/SpecialProj/ASAA/biennial-conference/2006/Crowley-Cheryl-ASAA2006.pdf

Unfortunately, professor Crowley’s explanation does not contain the hokku we are discussing. The easiest place to find a complete English translation (fully annotated) of ‘Spring Breeze’ is still Haruo Shirane’s Early Modern Japanese Literature.
New! Receive and respond to mail from other email accounts from within Hotmail Find out how.<http://clk.atdmt.com/UKM/go/186394593/direct/01/>

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William Wetherall

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Nov 22, 2009, 8:10:52 PM11/22/09
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Good question, Morgan, about what is done as a starting point.

I have, in my translation classes, put students through a process that begins with what I call "informational phrasing". The Japanese is both the starting point and, continuously, the reference point. Every decision made to facilitate an English version has to be consciously linked with questions of meaning raised from the "earpoint" and "eyepoint" of the Japanese.

The poem is part of a larger story.
Can it be lifted out of the story?
Can it be understood without the story?
Can it be translated in such a way that both fits the story, yet leaves it readable apart from the story? Without spoiling the story? Without cutting the listener or reader out of participating in the story?

Some chapters in novels can be read with a sense of completion without reading the foregoing and following chapters. Some can't. But even those which can be read independently may read differently when read serially with the surrounding chapters.

There may be severe limitations on the "precision" of understandability. In fact, there may be "vignette" effects in the poem that intentionally leave it fuzzy in ways that work in Japanese -- but which cannot be left as fuzzy in English, because of English constraints, such as number and specificity of nouns.

As for the Buson poem under consideration:

1. There appears to be some sort of building.
[ There eye appears to see just one. ]
[ We don't yet know if it should be qualified as "a" or "the" or otherwise. ]

2a. The building qualified by 1. is a teahouse.
2b. One or more willow trees are associated with the teahouse.
[ What kind of "teahouse"? ]
[ How many teahouses are there? Were there? ]
[ Why should there be any willow trees? ]
[ How many trees are there? ]
[ What is the geographical lay of the land and/or town/village? ]

3. Something is old as the result of having become old.
[ The willow(s)? The teahouse and the willow(s)? The storyteller?]
[ What is the relationship between the storyteller and the story? ]
[ Between the storyteller as an observer and the objects observed? ]
[ Why should the storyteller comment on the perceived aging of the object(s)? ]

The combinations and permutations of choices to be made when formulating an English version are numerous.

Having delimited the informational choices, a translator then has to decide which of three standards to follow.

1. Represent the poem in English as the dramatic experience it was intended to be in Japanese, suppressing all temptation to "interpret" or "explain" the experience.

2. Impose a specific "interpretation" on the English, by way of making choices that are not required by Japanese.

3. Include "explanations" in the English version.

I lean toward a mixture of 1. and 2. in that I try to maximize the "fidelity" to the surface of the Japanese, while minimizing the effects of English choices (such as number and specificity).

As Michael says, it would appears that it is not just "a" teahouse. But does this oblige the use of "the"?

A teahouse (among several)
The (only) teahouse (I am interested among several)
The only teahouse (that has ever been there)
The only teahouse (that remains among several that had been there)

Just (the) one [teahouse is there, as before]
Just (the) one [teahouse interests me]
Just (the) one [teahouse remains]

Among many other choices.

Ditto for the "willow(s)".

Why keep it simple? "One" instead of "lone" or "sole"?

Arguably because you opt for the English metaphor that is closet to the Japanese metaphor. Rendering "one" as "lone" or "sole" is like tinting a black-and-white photograph, or increasing the dimensionality of an object. If the original is black-and-white, then the translation should be black-and-white. If the original is one or two dimensions, then the translation should not be two or three dimensions. You leave the coloring and dimensioning to the reader. This forces the reader to participate in the drama, to impart the depth, the emotions. Hence the imperative of metaphorical similarity. If the Japanese is simple, the English should be simple. If the Japanese is fuzzy (flexible), then the English should be fuzzy (flexible).

If this is what is meant by "literal" or "word for word" translation" -- then, yes, I would not only always begin with such translations, but would strive to end with such translations. The problem is, when making English choices, there are many possible "literal" or "word for word" versions for any given poem.

Making choices between several possible "literal" (or what I prefer to call "structural") translations, especially in the case of poetry, is sort of like playing with a linguistic kaleidescope. But you build the kaleidescope to suit the poem. You determine the shapes and colors of the shards of glass, and the number of prisms. Then, having paids your money, you takes your choice.

Bill Wetherall

Morgan Pitelka さんは書きました:

ss2...@columbia.edu

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Nov 22, 2009, 9:38:15 PM11/22/09
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[a new version]

The willow by this
teahouse
was old long ago.

[a slightly more literal version]

The willow by this single
teahouse
was already old long ago.

---------------------
Dear Professor Vos and Professor Crowley,

Thank you so much for providing this fascinating background!

Sincerely,

Saeko Shibayama


jonah salz

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Nov 22, 2009, 9:51:58 PM11/22/09
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my 2 yen:

lone teahouse willow grown old

Lewis Cook

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Nov 22, 2009, 10:13:31 PM11/22/09
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How, as it appears in several versions, is "lone" justified?
(vaguely recalls "Teahouse of the August Moon" ambience)


On Nov 22, 2009, at 9:51 PM, jonah salz wrote:

> my 2 yen:
>
> lone teahouse willow grown old
>

Lewis Cook

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Nov 22, 2009, 10:33:19 PM11/22/09
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As long as we're having this discussion, I'm very curious to learn
how you derive "was already old long ago" from "oinikeri"? (Sorry for
redundancies in previous query. Slow mail.)

L Cook

Adrian Pinnington

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Nov 22, 2009, 11:44:06 PM11/22/09
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The willow tree
by the single teahouse --
how old it has grown!
 
I was interested in Richard Bowring's original assumption that we should 'follow the eye' i.e. preserve the order of images in our translations. Of course, in Japanese we do not have to choose, but in English we are often forced to choose between preserving the original order of the images and translating what the original, in terms of grammar, clearly says. (In this connection, the notion that 'oinikeri' could refer to the teahouse as well as the willow seems to me a very odd one.)The idea that the haiku should be seen as primarily a series of images is very deeply entrenched in Western reception of the form; but it leads translators frequently to ignore another aspect of their originals which in Japanese discussions is often very important - what we might call the 'prosody' of the poems. Everybody in the world knows that haiku fall into 5/7/5 (and of course this leads to the preference for a three-line translation), but in terms of the actual effect of the originals, this can be very misleading. In fact, very few haiku (or hokku) fall straightforwardly into a three-phrase pattern, and indeed haiku poets tend to dislike this pattern. This is related to the fact that, because Japanese is not a stress language, a 5/7/5 pattern cannot actually cut across or be independent of the syntax in the way that, say, a iambic rhythm can in English. (If it could, any piece of Japanese could be analysed as 5/7/5 plus.) In Japanese poetry, therefore, the flow of the syntax plays a different and much more dominant role in determining the rhythm of the verse. In this hokku, as so often, what we actually have within the 5/7/5 pattern is a 12/5 pattern, and a moment's reflection will show that many famous haiku are either 12/5 or 5/12. For me this creates that special sense of simultaneous balance and opening out I associate with many classical hokku, as the first 5/7 -- 'ikken no chamise no yanagi' -- runs, as it were, in one straight line before we can take a breath and answer it, completing the overall statement, with the last 5 -- 'oinikeri'. (Other hokku, of course, show this break even more clearly with an internal 'ya' or 'keri' etc. e.g. 'furuike ya'). I feel that hokku particularly aim to create this combination of movement and balance in order to leave us with a delicate sense of something that is both a self-enclosed moment and an opening out into the world (in this case, for example,  'Oh, how much time has passed since I was last here; how much older I am too' etc.). As Richard Bowring also remarked, the 'keri' of 'oinikeri' is vital here as the cutting word of the hokku in giving the sense of completion, although I would think that the feeling is not so much one of 'surprise' as of the 'deep emotion,' 'exclamation' or the like, so beloved of Japanese haiku critics (and which leads to all those exclamation marks in English). The lack of anything like that in many English versions also perhaps suggests that the pared down minimalism so beloved of translators and English-language haiku poets is only very partially or dubiously related to the qualities of Japanese haiku themselves. 
 
All of which suggests to me that translating haiku is even more difficult than many translators recognise,
 
Adrian Pinnington         

 
 

 
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> Subject: Re: [PMJS] Buson's haiku

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美しい日本の私老にけり

Japan the beautiful and myself have grown old

Adrian Pinnington さんは書きました:
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Richard Bowring

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Nov 23, 2009, 3:53:37 AM11/23/09
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Agreed that 'surprise' is the wrong word; something has been
discovered, perhaps, whether it be the ageing of the willow, the
ageing of the seer, or simply the passage of time itself.
I also agree that we have in essence 12/5 here and that this hokku,
like so many others, works on the basis of this slightly 'off-centre'
pivot. But I am not sure I agree that this automatically leads to a
phrase such as 'ikken no chamise no yanagi' being an indivisible
whole, the order of images of which we can simply ignore because it
is in a different language. Difficult.
Richard Bowring

Michael Pye

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Nov 23, 2009, 4:25:28 AM11/23/09
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Dear colleagues,

I think we had enough examples to show that a translation which
retains the main sequence of terms/ideas as in the original is quite
feasible. So we should simply take Richard Bowring's point and not
change it around.

I admit that when I learned translation we were taught that changing
the order of a sentence around often can often lead to a better
version in the target language. But it depends what is being
translated. And in a case such as this the brief sequence of
terms/ideas is surely part of the character of the original.

mp

Michael Pye
Professor of the Study of Religions
University of Marburg, Germany (retired)
Visiting Professor, Otani University, Kyoto, Japan


Zitat von Richard Bowring <rb...@cam.ac.uk>:

Jos Vos

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Nov 23, 2009, 5:37:52 AM11/23/09
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Dear professor Pye,
 
I'll happily agree many examples here have shown that it is indeed possible to retain the same sequence of terms/ideas as in the original. But I also believe that, as translators, we "should" not do anything. Every translation is a creative response to a given original. What you choose to translate one way on Monday, you may well translate differently the Friday after. Among all the translators of haiku and waka I've come across, I don't think there is anyone who systematically sticks to the sequence of terms/ideas you find in in the original poem. Remaining faithful to your source is important, yes, but each translator will always be guided by what 'feels' right at any given moment.
 
Best wishes,
Jos
 
> Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 10:25:28 +0100
> From: p...@staff.uni-marburg.de
> To: pm...@googlegroups.com

> Subject: Re: [PMJS] Buson's haiku
>

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firebi...@gmail.com

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Nov 23, 2009, 7:33:33 AM11/23/09
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the single tea shop
with its willow tree
now so old!

Thinking about the girl's sadness/surprise/whatever at how the willow
tree she remembers by that tea shop has gotten so old since she was
away, I came up with the above. "Teahouse" could be some rich man's
tea ceremony hut, but "chamise" I think is a place where you go to
drink tea and hang out with your friends, sort of a green tea version
of Starbucks. And it seems to be, in context, a tea shop that she knew
from before she went away, so "the," which suggests a specific tea
shop, rather than "a", which suggests just any old one seems to be
more accurate.

I think that the English "and" or "with" sometimes does what the
possessive particle "no" does in Japanese.

And yes, I plead guilty to the fact that this version almost suggests
that both the shop and the tree have grown old, and the original only
says the tree has, but when you think about it, they must have both
aged, so it's not totally false to the original. That additonal nuance
is is just a little extra something to reward the patient reader, a
kind of "omake" if you will.

Buson says so much in this poem --a tea shop standing there, all
alone, in more or less the middle of nowhere, and what is probably a
beautiful willow tree next to it, a sort of companion, but one that
has aged since she last saw it. The returning servant girl who I am
imagining as the speaker, has aged, too, but she can't see herself
except in the willow. In a way, that is how she measures time. And the
tree is still beautiful--older, but still beautiful. One has a good
sense of the cycle of life, how youth is beautiful, and old age is
too, for the willow must be in fact much older than the girl. So it
is about time, as I think Adrian and Richard said, but time in a very
specific way.

And if haiku may be said to always have a comparison in them
somewhere, then here it would be between the girl and the tree--much
as in Shiki's poem about the coxcombs, "Keito no/juushigohon mo/arinu
beshi" which I translated as "Coxcombs--/there must be/14 or 15 now,"
it is between the dying Shiki and the red flowers so full of life.




"






On Nov 21, 11:06 pm, Vieillard-Baron Michel <mvieill...@inalco.fr>
wrote:
>the Dear PMJS members,

ss2...@columbia.edu

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Nov 23, 2009, 8:00:16 AM11/23/09
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?????

Simply, I made a mistake in understanding "keri" as "(denbun) kako"
(???????????????as opposed to "eitan"??????????????. My experiment
based on the former was too convoluted, as Professor Cook kindly
pointed out.

Obviously, this is a case of "eitan," or something like a fresh
discovery or a mild surprise.

It will be very nice if translators of waka, renga and haiku could
gather and discuss these fascinating issues someday.

Thank you,

Saeko Shibayama
Ph.D Candidate
East Asian Languages and Cultures
Columbia University

ss2...@columbia.edu

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Nov 23, 2009, 8:07:55 AM11/23/09
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I am very sorry for the mojibake in my previous post.
-----------

老ひにけり

Simply, I made a mistake in understanding "keri" as "(denbun) kako"
(〜たそうだ、前から〜であった)as opposed to "eitan"(〜だったのだ、〜ことだよ). My experiment
based on the former was too convoluted, as Professor Cook kindly
pointed out.

Obviously, this is a case of "eitan," or something like a fresh
discovery or a mild surprise.

It will be very nice if translators of waka, renga and haiku could
gather and discuss these fascinating issues someday.

Thank you,

Saeko Shibayama
Ph.D Candidate
East Asian Languages and Cultures
Columbia University

Quoting Lewis Cook <lc...@earthlink.net>:

Noel Pinnington

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Nov 23, 2009, 11:09:00 AM11/23/09
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The order of images means means something different in Japanese from what it
does in English (as I believe Richard B. was the first to point out to me).
There is a kind of forward movement in Japanese which does not have an
equivalent in English. If you think of the waka tradition, the order is very
often jo, kakekotoba and, last, the central phrase. The earlier parts
decorate (or modify) the later part. Similarly in a string of "a" の "b" の
"c", the weight of meaning falls on "c," but in English, often, there is a
tendency for the weight to come with the first image. I would invert the
whole thing:

How they've aged!
The willows by the teahouse.

Noel

Lewis Cook

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Nov 23, 2009, 11:37:45 AM11/23/09
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I like this latest translation best of all thus far (in spite of the
perhaps inevitable exclamation point). And agree with the 12/5
parsing noted here and before. But given that the willow trees (or
tree) are vegetal beings bound to age, I suspect that the element of
wonder or even of mild disappointment marked by "-keri" attaches at
least as much if not more to the teashop, a thing which has no such
obvious reason to grow old. (Either that or I've been reading this
verse too many times. FWIW, my personal experience is that willow
trees acquire nothing but grandeur with the passage of years. Though
"oi-" does not exclude that. In which case, might even want "how well
they've aged" - then again, no.)

Lewis

Michael Pye

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Nov 23, 2009, 12:10:55 PM11/23/09
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@Noel Pinnington,

Very interesting, and convincing in itself. Thank you for this
instruction. But I'm not sure that the consequence drawn is one I
would draw.
After all the point is to translate, into English, a Japanese verse.
(Not to write an English verse.)

best wishes,
mp

Michael Pye
Professor of the Study of Religions
University of Marburg, Germany (retired)
Visiting Professor, Otani University, Kyoto, Japan


Zitat von Noel Pinnington <no...@email.arizona.edu>:

Noel Pinnington

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Nov 23, 2009, 1:30:25 PM11/23/09
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Well I agree, one would not want to go to far. As Richard says it is
difficult. Like Lewis, the more you look at it the more you see. And we have
to be informed by the practice of the time.

Renga left things open for radical changes of direction, so that earlier "oi
ni keri" would have been happily indeterminate. That presumably survives
here in the sense that it can refer to the author. We then need to get round
the fact that "they have aged" and "I have aged" are distinguished in
English - so we might try saying:

My how time has passed, look at the willows by the tea shop.

Another practice seems to have been hokku as riddle, ie as in variations on
"sabishisa wa." Then we might want to hold back the "how time passes":

The willow by the tea-shop.
How time has passed.

Then there is the pictorial thing with Buson, so that we have to imagine a
kind of Chinese style painting with a juxtaposition in space: an isolated
little elegant tea shop set against the willows:

An isolated tea shop set against the willows - grandly aged.

Or you could set it near Marble Arch in wartime London:

In the distance the flickering gunnery rumbles
The plane trees, by Lyons Corner shop, worn by war
But nothing happens.

Just kidding,
Noel

Adrian Pinnington

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Nov 23, 2009, 8:00:11 PM11/23/09
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I resisted the idea that Buson is saying or noticing that the teashop had grown old because my sense of 'oinikeri' (backed up by a glance at a kogo jiten) is that it does not so much mean 'get older' as something like 'lose one's vital energy as one gets older'; thus it is applied to (1) people or (2) to trees and plants; but not usually to things like buildings. Thus to me the sentence is like 'tonari no ie no neko (wa) kebukai' -- it would be hard to read this as implying the house next door is furry. But I realise that I may be wrong about this.
 
The suggestion that the order of images meaning something different is exactly my point -- we should also be interested in the meaning (as well as the rhythm / structure.) This haiku is one of those, though, that is close to a normal Japanese sentence - many haiku, of course, are not and that complicates things. Both waka and haiku often employ what is clearly something like an inversion. So whereas ordinary Japanese sentences end with a verb, many waka and haiku end with nouns or noun phrases - something you do not do often in ordinary speech in Japanese. It is interesting that Noel uses an inversion in English to express the significance of a lack of an inversion in Japanese.
 
Adrian Pinnington

 
> From: lc...@earthlink.net
> Subject: Re: [PMJS] Buson's haiku

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firebi...@gmail.com

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Nov 24, 2009, 7:15:10 AM11/24/09
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I'm resending this message of mine because I see it's unsigned. I
thought my signature would automatically append, as it does when I
send a usual message, but apparently it does not.

Janine Beichman
Dept. of Japanese Literature
Daito Bunka University, Tokyo, Japan

lmarceau

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Nov 26, 2009, 10:36:03 PM11/26/09
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No one has mentioned Eri Yasuhara's 1982 PhD thesis, "Buson and
'Haishi': A Study of Free-form 'Haikai' Poetry in Eighteenth-Century
Japan. She translates

〽Ikken no / chamise no yanagi / oi ni keri

as follows (p. 51):

The willow tree
by the solitary teahouse--
how it has aged!

In her analysis of the sequence on page 74 Yasuhara states the
following:

"The noticeable aging of the willow tree awakens, for the first time
in this poem, an awareness of the passage of time--an essential
element of nostalgia. It was not so old when last I saw it, she seems
to be saying. The old woman of verse 6 (the "Ikken no" verse is
number 5) is another figure out of her past, as well as being an
obvious mother figure. Thus in the familiar landmark of the teahouse
with its aging willow tree and old priprietress, the first stirrings
of homesickness are felt."

The thesis as a whole is a joy to read, and I urge Prof. Yasuhara to
get it published (perhaps through PMJS?)...

Lawrence M.

On 11月25日, 午前1:15, "firebird1...@gmail.com" <firebird1...@gmail.com>
wrote:

robin d. gill

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Nov 27, 2009, 10:25:25 AM11/27/09
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Eri Yasuhara via Lawrence Marceau and information in an earlier letter mentioned a woman,
and that bears upon the number/s of tree/s. Even if the supplemental information
were not available, the comparison of woman to willow was so common at the time that
it would seem safest to choose a single tree to allow for a possible metaphor,
would it not?
 
Because Buson was an artist, Japanese with whom I have discussed various poems
of his tended to tell me, they imagined such and such must be so because
he was a graphic artist. Unfortunately, their vision did not necessarily agree with his
or each other. I once did a survey of 100 students at Todai (Komaba) to find out
how they imagined Buson saw things, or to place him in the landscape described.
 
They accompanied an old article in my occasional column at Simply Haiku
 
Some pictures are up at the following address
 
 
I think it best to click on the cache choice at google search,
then to do a refresh if the pictures don't load on the page.
 
I was not skillful enough to downsize the dpi on the pictures
so they may take time to load on a slow connection.
 
Hopefully, someone at a university -- in a position to do surveys
(i suggest not using only your classes but the cafeteria)
will do more such an various haiku.
 
robin

 
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Jacob Raz

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Nov 27, 2009, 10:52:12 AM11/27/09
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one solitary
teahouse - its willow tree
has aged so
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Prof. Jacob Raz
Dept. East Asian Studies
Tel Aviv University
Ramat Aviv
Tel Aviv 69978
Israel





William Wetherall

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Nov 27, 2009, 5:56:09 PM11/27/09
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Interesting method, Robin. I wish I had used it. I merely surveyed students orally regarding how many frogs, semi, blossoms, whatever. There are always a variety of responses. A number of years ago there was an NHK zadankai of Basho furuike ya experts, who discussed the pond that is thought to have been the setting of the poem. There is, it seems, a small number of "experts" who do not discount the possibility of more than one frog, given the activity of frogs at the pond at certain times. In any event, upon hearing or reading a poem, in the context of a story or standing alone, people will form different images of the setting, characters, movements, and consequences. Experts, too, "interpret" or "project" differently.

Images and interpretations will vary like responses to a picture in the Thematic Apperception Test. People see the same elements in a picture but impute different meanings, actions, and motives to the objects and people in the pictures.

Now imagine a bunch of psychologists getting together and reviewing the numerous responses they have obtained from subjects in some kind of joint study of Basho or Buson. After considerable and heated discussion they arrive at a consensus regarding a scheme for classifying the responses. There appear to be two dominant patterns among several others. They begin to argue over which of the two patterns should be regarded as normal. One psychologist, who had remained quiet, peers at all his peers, and asks -- "Apart from what kind of response might be normal, which do you feel is correct?" -- and records each psychologist's response.

Bill Wetherall

robin d. gill さんは書きました:
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K M

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From: Jos Vos <josm...@hotmail.com>
To: pm...@googlegroups.com
Sent: Sat, November 21, 2009 11:34:33 AM

Subject: RE: [PMJS] Buson's haiku

Begging your pardon, but even if the willow pops up before the teahouse in translation (a consequence of the syntax of Germanic languages), this does not mean the reader's eye actually wanders from one to the other. To my feeling, the willow-tree remains very much in the foreground of the poem, even in the three translations. Still, I'd very much like to hear some alternatives!

 
> From: rb...@cam.ac.uk
> Subject: Re: [PMJS] Buson's haiku
> Date: Sat, 21 Nov 2009 17:54:53 +0000
> To: pm...@googlegroups.com
>
> At the risk of starting an endless series of comments, I'm not sure
> these are 'good'. Two reasons.
> 1. The order of images has been altered. All three translations have
> the eye moving from the willow to the teahouse for no apparent reason.
> 2. The surprise effect inherent in 'keri' is missing.
> Discuss!
> Richard Bowring
> Cambridge
>
>
> On 21 Nov 2009, at 17:31, Jos Vos wrote:
>
> > the willow tree
> > by the lone teahouse -
> > it has grown old
> >
> > translated by Makoto UEDA in The Path of Flowering Thorn: The Life
> > and Poetry of Yosa Buson (Stanford University Press 1998), p. 101

> >
> > The willow
> > by the lone teahouse
> > older now
> >
> > translated by Chris DRAKE in Early Modern Japanese Literature, an
> > Anthology (1600-1900), edited by Haruo Shirane (Columbia University
> > Press 2002), p. 550
> >
> > For what it's worth, here is my own Dutch version:
> >
> > De wilgenboom
> > bij dat ene theehuis
> > is oud geworden.
> >
> > (included in Eeuwige Reizigers, een bloemlezing van de klassieke
> > Japanse literatuur, published by Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam in 2008),
> > p. 642
> >
> > Best wishes,
> > Jos Vos
> > From: mviei...@inalco.fr
> > To: pm...@googlegroups.com
> > Date: Sat, 21 Nov 2009 15:06:45 +0100
> > Subject: [PMJS] Buson's haiku

> >
> > Dear PMJS members,
> >
> >
> > Can anyone send me a good English translation of Buson's famous haiku:
> >
> > ikken no / chamise no yanagi / oinikeri
> >
> > Since it is to be published in a book, I would very much appreciate
> > if you could send me the precise references of where the
> > translation is taken from.
> >
> > All the best from Paris
> >
> > Michel Vieillard-Baron
> > --
> > You are subscribed to PMJS: Premodern Japanese Studies.
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> > Contact the group administrator at edi...@pmjs.org
> > Have more than one Hotmail account? Link them together to easily
> > access both.

> > --
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>
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Peter MacMillan

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Colleagues,

Would anyone be able to tell me where I could find an explanation of the  marks on the right hand side of the No texts that indicate how the text should be read.


Thank you.

Peter MacMillan 

Michael Watson (gmail)

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Dec 2, 2009, 5:47:16 PM12/2/09
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Peter,

I seem to remember that you will find a limited introduction in The
Noh Theater: Principles and Perspectives Book by Kunio Komparu
(Weatherhill/Tankosha, 1983). I am away from my library at the moment,
so cannot check other English texts. To my knowledge you will not find
any that will give you more than a broad outline. When I started out
taking lessons with a Kanze school performer, I went to Hinoki shoten
in Jimbocho and bought Japanese guide books ("Utaibon no yomikata" and
the like.) They were next to useless at first, although they make more
sense as you progress in singing. Trust your ear!

The markings in utaibon differ in form and function depending on the
noh school. I assume that you are taking lessons in singing. The best
way is to listen to your noh teacher and relate the change in pitch
etc. to the marks. For revision, it helps to have cassettes or CD's
which you will also find in Hinoki shoten or in the specialist
bookshops for other schools. (Just be sure to get recordings of
whatever ryuha you are learning.)

Michael Watson
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jonah salz

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Dec 2, 2009, 6:24:46 PM12/2/09
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p. 175-177, Komparu Kunio's THE NOH THEATRE, PRINCIPLES AND
PERSPECTIVES, reprinted but unavailable except used, tells you how to
read the "sesame seeds"
http://www.amazon.com/Noh-Theater-Perspectives-Kunio-Komparu/dp/1891640178/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1259796193&sr=8-1

Noel Pinnington

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Dec 2, 2009, 6:01:14 PM12/2/09
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This is not something I know much about, but I recall from my MA student days some accounts in English.
 
The most thorough was a puzzling section of Akira Tamba’s “The Musical Structure of No” (Tokai University Press) (which of course is a translation of his French original), called “Signs in the No score”, pp. 105-134).

And I also vaguely recall accounts appearing in:
Malm’s “Japanese Music and Musical Instruments,” and
Eta Harich-Schneider’s “History of Japanese Music.”

Noel Pinnington

Diego Pellecchia

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Dec 2, 2009, 8:01:05 PM12/2/09
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As already stated, the best places where to look are Konparu and Tamba:
Malm has information on various kusari of the hayashi but lacks
information on how to read the fushi etc.

Another excellent English language source is Frank Hoff & Willi Flindt
'The Life Structure of the Noh'. Concerned theatre Japan, 1973.,
translation of Yokomichi Mario's analysis of the structure of Noh. It
includes tables and detailed breakdown of the different sections of the
text with description of actual utaibon.

--
Diego Pellecchia, PhD candidate
------------------------------------------------
Royal Holloway University of London
Department of Drama & Theatre Studies
D.Pell...@rhul.ac.uk

http://japanesenohtheatre.blogspot.com/
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Peter MacMillan

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Dec 3, 2009, 7:50:01 PM12/3/09
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Dear All

Thank you very much for your kind and informative responses to my query.

Peter

-

Ross Bender

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Dec 4, 2009, 2:32:39 PM12/4/09
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I just came across a delightful essay by Royall Tyler titled "There is No Such Thing as No!" in Japan Review, 10 (1998) 255-257. In this piece, Dr. Tyler has evidently had it up to here with "Big, lump-it-all together rubrics". For example, "Despite understanding why practically every introduction to No repeats the proposition that the waki is a wandering monk and the shite a suffering spirit, I hope I never hear, see, or (much harder) say this again myself, because it is not true!!!!"

Seems a little harsh, but it does make you put down your fork and reflect a bit.

--
Ross Bender
http://rossbender.org

Diego Pellecchia

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Dec 4, 2009, 7:56:52 PM12/4/09
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Nice article, indeed.

Reminds me of my experience at the Kyoto Takigi Noh this past summer. As
other performances in shrines, Takigi Noh is one of the few chances to
see a good number of plays performed on the same day. This year's
programme featured Okina, Ema, Kakitsubata and Shouzon on the first day.
The variety was so great and the difference was not just in the script
but so much in the staging! After Shouzon was over I had the clear
feeling of having witnessed a number of different performing art genres
- it was very hard to label them all as 'noh'. Noh possesses such
powerful staging tools to constitute a theatrical universe where
sub-genres (as 3-4 out of the 5 categories could be) are actually
genres.

--
Diego Pellecchia, PhD candidate
------------------------------------------------
Royal Holloway University of London
Department of Drama & Theatre Studies
D.Pell...@rhul.ac.uk

http://japanesenohtheatre.blogspot.com/


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Richard Emmert

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Jan 15, 2010, 6:52:28 PM1/15/10
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Dear List Members,

Please feel free to pass on and/or post the following information about this summer's annual Noh Training Project. Please note that college credit is again available this year. My apologies for cross postings.

Rick Emmert

====================================

Noh Training Project 2010

July 19-August 7

Bloomsburg, Pa

The Noh Training Project will hold its 16th Annual Summer Intensive Noh workshop from July 19-August 7 in Bloomsburg, Pa in association with the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble and Bloomsburg University. NTP is a performance-based training workshop in the dance, chant, music and performance background of Japanese classical Noh drama. It offers the most intensive and extensive Noh training available outside Japan.

One of the oldest continually performed theatre forms in the world, noh combines dance, chant, music, and mask in a powerful and stately performance experience requiring intense inner concentration and physical discipline. Actors, directors, dancers, musicians, and academics interested in a non-Western performance experience are encouraged to apply.

This year the workshop will be lead for the entire three weeks by Kinue Oshima, the sole professional female performer in the Kita school of noh. Ms. Oshima recently completed a tour of Europe as the lead in the new English noh play Pagoda with members of Theatre Nohgaku, many of whom are past participants in NTP. Ms Oshima has previously taught for one week each in the 2006 and 2009 NTP workshops. Mitsuo Kama will again lead the hayashi music instruction for the workshop. NTP is directed by Richard Emmert and the producing director is Elizabeth Dowd. Mr. Emmert will be on sabbatical for this year’s workshop. Instructors assisting Ms Oshima and Mr. Kama will be Ms. Dowd, John Oglevee, Jubilith Moore and James Ferner.

For further information and photos from last year’s NTP, see: www.nohtrainingproject.org.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE:

Applicants must send a resume and written narrative describing why they wish to study Noh, previous artistic influences, and what the applicant hopes to gain from this experience. Please include a photo with your application.

NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE WITH NOH IS REQUIRED.

Upon acceptance, a non-refundable deposit will be needed to secure your position.

Regarding College Credit:
This rigorous program is geared particularly to those with performance training in theater, dance and/or music, but it is open to all interested persons. No previous experience with Noh is required.

University credit is available through Bloomsburg University. Please follow the credit application procedures on the Noh Training Project webpage.

Send applications to:

Noh Training Project 2010
c/o BTE 226 Center Street 
Bloomsburg, PA 17815 
Phone: (570) 784-5530 
Fax: (570) 784-4912

Address questions to Elizabeth Dowd at: ed...@bte.org or phone (570) 784-5530.

For tuition fees including early registration discounts and application deadlines, as well as information on housing, see www.nohtrainingproject.org.


Richard Emmert

Hon-cho 2-27-10 Nakano-ku, Tokyo 164-0012 Japan
tel: 03-3373-0553 fax: 03-3373-4509

Professor, Asian Theatre and Music,Musashino University
Artistic Director, Theatre Nohgaku <www.theatrenohgaku.org>
Director, Noh Training Project <www.nohtrainingproject.org>

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