You are on page 1of 17

Southern Japan Seminar 2014

Issues in Translation and Interpretation
"Translations of the Heian Masterpiece, The Tale o/Genii"
by S. Yumiko Hulvey
Univers ity of Florida
Murasak i Shikibu, a woman of the mid- He ian period, is the author of Genji

monogafari (The Tale o/Genii, ca. II ttl c., hereafter the Genii), the masterpiece of the
Japanese literary canon that has been translated several times in both Japanese and
Eng lish. All four translations in Japanese were produced by famous literary figure s:
Yosano Akiko ( 1878-1942), Tanizaki Jun'ichiro (1886-1965), Enchi Fum iko (19051986), and Setouc hi Jakucho (1922-). Of trans lations in to Engli sh, the first was by
Suematsu Kencho (1855- 1920), a Japanese diplomat who graduated from the University
of Cambridge in 1884 with a Law degree and who produced a partia l translation of the

Genii (the first seventeen chapters) while in Cambrid ge, England. In addition to the
partial trans lat ion by Helen Craig McCullough (19 18-1998) published in 1994 (Genji and

Heike), three complete Engli sh translations belong to Arthur Waley (18 89-1966), Edward
G. Seidensticker ( 1921-2007), and Royall Ty ler (1936-), academics in England, the
Un ited States, and Australia. Let me present a brief survey of translations of the Heian
literary masterpiece.
The earliest modern Japanese translation was prod uced by Yosano Akiko, a
female poet famous for the collection Midaregami (Tangled Hair. 190 1), whose abrid ged
version Shin )'Clkll Genii lIIonagalari (A New Translation of The Tale a/Genii, 1912-13),
was followe d two decades later by the complete translation , Shin Shin 'yaku Genii

mOl1ogatari (A New, New Translation of The Tale o/Genii, 1938-39}.1 Both the

I Gayle Ro.... lcy. YOJano A/ako and The Tall' aiGe,'.!i Ann Arbor. r>oll Ce mer for Jol,ancsc Stud,es. 2000

1

since she was an avid lover of the classical maste rpiece like Yosano Akiko.J. I have endeavored to be both scrupulous and bold. and thus only resent for their needless nicety. My principal aim has been to bring forth as directly as possible the spi rit of the original through the instrument of the modern language.>njl and wanted her husband 10 produce hiS own translation. and professor at Tokyo University. in the 19305. In the Grand Old Man and thc GICa! TradlilOn. I did not always translate literally. p 30. Ibuki and Rowley 's art icl e -'The Tani zaki Genji" suggests that hi s role in the translation was more akin to that of a supervisi ng editor rather than a translator? Matsllko was obsessed with the abridged version of the Yosano Genji and wanted her husband to produce a complete translation that would be useful for well-bred yo ung ladi es like she and her sisters to read. It seems that some women translators treat the Genji with more affection. famous philologist. and 19705. the third translator of the Genji devoted six years of her literary career to the Genji. Gayle Rowley translates Yosano 's ideas on translating the Genji: I eli minated those detail s which being far removed from modern li fe we can neither identify nor sympathi ze with. 19505. ROIllc)" "The Tani7. Thc Un. p 41-42 • Ibukl and ROI\ley stHlC Ihat Morita Matsuko was obsessed by YosaRo Aklko's IrnnslallOIl oflhe G. With access to her 1 Ibuki Kru:uko and G G. . Essays on TaJllzakl Jun'lchlr~ In Ii onor of Adnana Boscaro Edi ted by LUisa Sienati WId l1ouna\'entura Rupertl Center for Japanese Studies. Enchi was the daughter o f Ueda Kazutoshi ( 1867-1 937). I then ventured a free lranslati on. 4 Even though Tani zaki produced three versions of hi s Genji tran slations.::i GenJ" In cepuon. editor of Dai NiholJ kokugojilen. Enchi Fumiko. and Allerthoughs " With translations by lbomas Harpel o f Tanmdl Jun'ichlr~'s "On Translating tne Tale afGttnJl into Modem Japanese" (1938) and "Some MaliCIOUS Remarks" ( 1965). Process. 2 . 2009 22-52. Ibukl and Ro\\ ley. I did not always adhere to the expressions of the original author.abridged and complete versions of the Yosano Genji are in print today.vcrslly of Michlgwl. to the end remarks disparaging the Genji escaped his lips. I-laving made the spirit of the original my own.2 Yosano worked independently on her tran slation because she felt a kindred spirit to the pioneering work of Murasaki Shikibu of the J-Ieian period (794-118 5). Tani zaki JlIn'ichiro 's third wife Matsuko asked him to translate the Genji even though he was not a fan.

the United Stales.father's extensive library.. not seducti on. even though her translation reflects an Edokko sensibility of one born and raised in the Kanto.. Hlslory and Culture in Ihe Asian COn/ex t..'. rote.html 3 . lakucho lives the life of a superstar featured constantly in various popular media such as magazines and television although she is now ninety-one years old. protestin g Ihe co nditi ons ofwomell at the time" and argues that ·'the key figures" in the talc are "the women \\ hom [G enji) uscs and di sc ards." " Wh ile GenJ i's liaisons arc l1 orm~lly described as seducti ons. Seidensticker.org. For the sake of time I will . s For all her stated devotion 10 The Tale o/Genji. Royall Tyler. Rank. " Ms.pdf • For Genj i'S defense. lss uc 7. Unlike Heian women who became nuns. ..aulissuc7Ityler..6 Let us now turn our attention to English translations of the Genji that make the Heian masterpiece accessible to students in the United States. 9 : "According to the aniclc.ge nji -lcct-english..' IIIIUll!Clions: Gender. However when the Tyler translation was published in 2001 I made the transition. "Some Viells o f Tlte Tale ofGl! nji. which was primcd by newspapers acros~ America. No wonder the Enchi Genji (1967-72) feels as if it were one of Enchi's own creations since she breathed life into the translation. Setouch i scoffs at thaI. the fourth translation by Setouchi lakucho (I-Iarumi) was pub li shed in 1997 by an I-novelist (warakllshi-sh6selslI) with a torrid past. and Rape in The Tale o/Genji. hllp . Rank. the intervicwer . Enchi developed an avocation as a scholar of the classics from an early age and produced an oeuvre replete with multiple allusions to the Heian period masterpieces by women.ffinterscctions.. and Ty ler. The Waley Genji was replaced by the time I entered graduate school so the Seidensticker Genji was the staple for most of my academic career. Milrch 2002. she has accused Genji of rape. just as women did in the Heian period in which the Genji is set. who renounced the world in 1973 and became a nun. These are all translations by male scho lars of England. Enchi too felt a kindred spirit with Murasaki Shikibu's Genji. Finally. Setouchi "sees in the novel a strong feminist l oice. whi le Royall Ty ler has come to Genji's defense in "Marriage..edu.anu. see Royall Tyler's " Marriage.jpf. ' she says . ' It was all Tilpe." p." htlp:flww .. aulonlineaMlclcsfprofilelroyalltylcr. and Australia: Waley. and Rape in The rulf' ofGenji.

1 (1980): 15-47. An editor may suggest additions and deletions and improve by these devices. "the most difficult stage in a literary translation is that of seeking to put the translat ion into acceptable language. since I have more than enough territory to cover with the complete translations. It is a highly ornate piece of work.. the minor ladies of the Wardrobe. putting it into a literal draft. but it is a literal rendition of an expression whose sense had departed rather far from those literal origins. Already we have in it. Again the trans lation is marked by an ingenious and not unpleasant and yet misleading sort of literalness. 4 . instances of the sort of thing he does so frequently.not be discuss ing the partial translations. j-IO\y a translator justifies his new translation offers a chance to glimpse both motivation and method behind the theory of translation. however."7 citing that there is no such thing as a "perfect translation" before he proceeds to declare that it is easier to translate prose rather than poetry and modern rather than old languages. content to see her raised so far above them. and annotating" (16). JOllmal ofJapaneS<! Studies 6." says Waley' s second sentence. Seidensticker begins with an apology of sorts in his article. Seidensticker continues by examining the opening paragraph of the Waley Genji: There are more than twice as many words in the Wa ley translation of the samc passage . but his Genji translation does not support the statement. " This is very ingenious and not at all displeasing. "Still less were her former companions. adding much that may seem very nice but represents elaboration upon the original. but they probably lie beyond the realm of translation (23). Seidensticker stated about the Waley Genji: It is often said that Waley was a lover of simp licity. including ascertaining what the original means. by which is meant language that con veys in some measure the literary aptness of the original" (16). When justifying the new translation. He continues that "the process of beating a literal translation into what seems acceptable Engl ish has generally taken as long as all other stages combined. then he should not replace sparseness of detail by a rich profusion. . "Chiefly on Translating the Genji. Mezamashiki mono is rendered as "the upstart who had dispelled their dreams.. Seidensticker declares that. I f it is the translator's duty to imitate.

as the words suggests. html 5 . Il may be that what did operate was rather more the matter of what "sounded good"-and what interested him (25). if we may assume that the ingenious embellishment was for purposes of imitating the rhythm of the original . Another problem Seidensticker mentions is the lack of names in the original that he solved by referring to characters by stable names throughout the Genji. have had to do with the royal wardrobe. The Tyler Genii certainly has a languid feel in terms of pace that Seidensticker mentioned above about the WaIey Genii. and the rapid-paced feel of the Seidensticker Genii might be due to its spate of short sentcnces. and a marvelous nuanced translation with copious exp lanatory notes. Furthermore. see "Translat in g Th e Talc of Genj i:' hllp:l/wwW. s Students complain that the lack of constant names make them re-read passages a number of times before they understand exactly who's who and who did what to whom. In hi s first sentence Waley seems to render k6i as "gentlewomen of the Chamber.Jf-j\\blt)lcrlcct urc.cdu . Whether or not that was his intention is by no mcans clear." which indeed they were . but by the period of the Genji they were lesser concubines. and his willingness to make radical deletions may suggest that no consistent principle was operative. and the higher-ranking ny6go seem to be called "women of the Wardrobe. However the Tyler Genji has produced lovely translations of poetry. Royall Tylcr used the lack of names in the origina l Genii as one of his justifications for undertaking the new translation. Seidensticker states: Perhaps Waley was right . ironically becomes the source of confusion for readers and thereby a source of criticism." which they were not (24-25).ut. These ideas might provide some insight into what translators arc faced with when deciding what path a translation is to follow. ladies not of sufficiently good family to be major consorts. Yct the raison d'etre for the Tyler Genii. the intention to follow the original in choosing to forgo names for the continua ll y changing titles.rn onas h.C5sc.K6i may originally. He even provides interpretation in The Disasler of Ihe Third Princess that is an invaluable • For details on Tyler 's ideas on tran slat ion. a languorous pace that more approximates the original.

and culture to make the translation meaningful and sign ificant. Yumiko Hulvey University of Florida INTRODUCTION A translator is one who acts as a bridge from one language to another. such as Indo-European languages. and now I would like to lum our attention to translating narratives with multiple allusions. Thus interpretation becomes another tantamount effort. one that allows time to consult dictionaries and research sources to flesh out an accurate and hopefully literary result. And I strive to teach students how to manage reading texts published and disseminated for native speakers of Japanese. the topic of my talk today focuses on a modern Japanese text that makes heavy use of intertextual allus ions to the classical literary canon of the past. Many female writers have been inspired by hi storical masterpieces and continue to allude to works written by women in earlier times. 6 . However. Although my speciali zation is classical Japanese literalure. "Translat ing and Interpreting Allusions in Kurahashi Yumiko's Yume no kayoiji (Path of Dreams. usually from one more obsc ure into one more familiar. when one attempts to translate a language that is no longer spoken or used today into another language that does not even belong to the same group of languages. Kurahashi Yumiko (19352005) is one who found inspiration from writers of the past. linguistics. I will limit myself to discussing translat ions that arc text-centered. 1989)" by S. Then we might infer that a translator's job is to convey as closely as possible the meaning of the original into another language. the process is made all the more compli cated because one must span huge chasms of time.teaching tool.

However. late I i h cent ury) as inspiration fo r some of hi s short narrati ves in Rashomon and later Enchi Fumiko whose avocation as a classical scholar led her to set some o f her narratives in the Heian period. Somehow whil e browsing the shelves of lhe library. I have come to appreciate the genius of thi s writer who captured the interest of my students and inspired their curiosity in the classical Japanese literary canon and the historical past of Japan . or texts from the I-Ieian and Kamakura periods.o translated by Sakaki Atsuko in J997. 1989) that contained multiple intertextual allusions to literary texts and hi storical fi gures from the classical canon. I came across Kurahashi Yum iko's Ylime no kayoiji (Path of Dreams. ca. such as A Tale of False Oracles (Na mamiko monogalari).My fie ld is classical Japanese literature written fro m the tenth to the fourteenth centuries . During the course of reading thi s co ll ection with my student s. At first I chose writers like Akutagawa RyGnosuke who used Konjakll monogatari (Tales of Times Now Past. but I can only teach the canon in English translat ion _My love for the classical canon led me to search for modern literary texts that contain echoes of the past that I could introduce to students in 4. 7 . but there were others in the co ll ection Path of Dreams that were virgi n territory. I decided to give Path of Dream!)· a try for the 4th year Japanese class. a colleague stated that Akutagawa's works were too easy while Enc hi 's texts were dense and difficult. The reaction of the last class was most gratifyi ng and I am happy to have fo und a fin al topic to research before J leave UF and my students behind. I contin ued my search for narrati ves that might capture the imaginati on of my student s and satisfy my need for the classical canon.h year Japanese al the Unive rsity of Florida. Some of Kurahashi's short narratives had been publi shed in The Woman with the Flying Head and other Stories by Kurahashi YIIII/ik.

wri ters. In this series of narratives. to cavort with Keiko in racy adventures. The tit le of the vol ume. forg ing into the present wit h progressive feminist agendas. These briefseven·page narratives by Kurahashi remind mc of poetry collections li ke the Shinkokinshfi (The New Collection of Ancient and Modern Japanese Poetry. Keiko. Kurahashi Yumiko. to explore uncharted territories. Further fue led by scientific images of dark holes. reaches back into history.orld inhabited by people that have gone to Hades (or Yomi in Japanese). expand the boundaries of these short narratives onto the world stage. Flowing throughout all the narratives are Oagrant displays of sex uality and forays into taboo topics such as bestiality. Path a/Dreams. In addi tion. and celestial bodies noating in space. and glancing into the future with cosmologica l physics. resuscitates people. dark matter. Western cult ure. such as emperors. hi nts at how visits to the other world occur but Keiko is not a part this narrative. and the like. seventeen of whic h is connected by the appearance of the female protagonist. It is writing in the fan tastic mode at its best with escapades designed to engage our attention by even play ing wit h the concept of time: dipping into the past for historical characters. or the spirit '". these intertextual all usions to classical Japanese poetry. incest. the 8 . and so on. and the like. pocts.PAnl OF DREAMS Path 0/ Dreams is a collection of twenty·one short narratives. Another unifier of this collection is communion with the "other" world. placed last in the co ll ection. 1205) that link short 31·syll able poems by assoc iat ion and progression and honkadori (allusions to poetry from earlier anthologies) into sequences that expand the limit of individual poems into something greater than the sum of its parts. vampirism . No plays.

My talk today will be restricted to di scussi ng just the first of seventeen Keiko-centered narratives in the Path of Dreams so I will have time to trace allusions embedded in --Beneath Cherry Blossoms" (I-lana no slli/a). characters. defying both time and space. correct them. I make vocabulary li sts to distribute to students. (As the instructor. For example. they would consult dictionaries and chose which of the various definitions fit the particular needs of the sentence in question.) Next. the task fall s on the translator not only to provide a translati on of the poem for its meaning. and later collect their translations. APPLIED TRANSLATION What are the steps to begin translati ng a text? In my classes. translators must provide interpretat ion and infonnation for any cu ltural or literary allusions readers might require to fully comprehend the writer's intention for its inclusion. themes. These lists provide pronunciations of characters (SinoJapanese or ol1-yomi. They submit corrected versions as final subm issions for each text. (If stude nts were reading these on their own. and situations from the past that resonate in the present and prognosticate the future.venue expands into the universe. so that we arc literally on the same page. and/or native Japanese or kun-yomi) and their meaning in context selected on my understanding of the text. comprehension of the grammatical structures is essential to arrive at the correct translation of the meaning of the original. in the casc of Kurahashi Yumiko. and return them so they can either accept or reject revisions in MSWord.) Second. I guide students' reading and interpretation in class. but also to provide hi storical informati on about the poet and his place in literary hi story to which the 9 . the first step is to provide lexical knowledge. These stories carry echoes of topics. when she cites a poem written in class ical Japanese by Saigyo who lived during the I-feian period (794-1185).

In the first narrati ve by Kurahashi titled " Hana no shita" (Beneath Cherry Blossoms. so that the example of the first may set procedures for the rest to follow.) At times I wonder how many nati ve Japanese readers understand these literary allusions since not eve ryone in the reading audience is as erudite as Sei Shonagon of Pillow Book fame or as eager to flaunt their knowledge before the world. so it was easy enough to translate. (Students need most guidance on intertextual allusions since they have limited knowledge of the classical Japanese literary canon to which the author makes frequent reference . But in order to do justice to the poem and poet. it happens to be one ofSaigyo's most famous poems about cherry blossoms. there are three allusions to Saigyo. one needs to find the collection in which the poem was memorialized. quite an accomplishment in holding to a speci fied length for seventeen linked narratives. SOLVING THE MYSTERY OF INTERTEXTUAL ALLUS IONS To trace sources of intertextual allusions seem a bit like so lving a mystery. So let us see where this will lead us. Thus my lexicon also must contain relevant information about other texts to which Kurahashi' s narratives allude. I must admit I am game to trace the literary sources that inspired our author to include these references. One is a poem by Saigyo with the first line negawaku wa. In this case. So I began the investigation by going to the library to consult volumes of the Kokka taikan (~!lik* tiJl Compendium of National Poetry) and look for Saigyo's poem in the vo lumes of the 10 . 1989). each narrative in the original is set at seve n pages each. I will concentrate on unraveling the sources for the first of seventeen Keiko-centcred narratives in the Path of Dreams.author must have been hinting by featuring this particular poem in the narrative. In class we read the first seven narratives in the collection.

Someti mes it is possible to adhere to a line.*m shikashii). Biographical information on Saigyo begins with re vea li ng hi s name before he renounced the world and took on the name by which he is known today. Here I adhe red to a Ji ne·by·Jine correspondence between the transliterat ion and the Engli sh translat ion by which I mean: negawaku 1\10 is translated as "would that I could" and so forth. not among the volumes of imperi al poetry co ll ections (WJJm4t chokllsenshli) because I was looking for a named poet. Here is my translation: negawaku wa hana no shita nite haru shi namu sono kisaragi no mochizuki no koro Would that I cou ld beneath cherry blossoms die in spring around the second month under a full moon. 77 in Saigy6's personal poetry collection ca lled Sankasllli (Poems of a Mountain Home).personal poetry collections (.by.line correspondence between trans literat ion and translation throughout the entire poem as I was abl e to do here. the translator must explai n who the poet Saigyo is to readers who have never studied class ica l Japanese literary hi story and speculate why Kurahashi might have felt inclined to incl ude hi s poem in her modern narrative. I-Ie was born Salo Norikiyo ( 111 8. but other times it is impossible since Engli sh demands a verb earli er than is provided in Japanese because ve rbs are located in sentence fina l pos ition.) for Retired Empc rorToba (r.1190). 1107- 11 . Now that the poem has been properly identified and translated for meaning. I learned it was located in Book 1 No. an ari stocratic samurai who served as one of the elite private guards known as the North Face (/lokumen no bush. By following leads such as the first line index in Kokka Taikal1.fL.

sometimes only the situation or conception of a well-known earlier poem in such a way that recognizable elements are incorporated into a new meaning.9 While still only twenty-two in 1140. I can't think ora more wonderful way to pay tribute to the past than by bringing a twelfth century poem into a twentieth century text except perhaps by bringing the poet back to life and have him interact with the protagonist of her narrative. but specifically refers to "cherry blossoms" is (l. hana ({~) usually defined as flowers. Kurahashi's initial narrative in Path of Dreams is "Beneath Cherry Blossoms" (Hana no shita). in a manner distinguished from mere borrowing and use of similar materials and expressions" (506). In classical Japanese poetry Ciolfi: waka or jjilfl: tanka). Thus by referring back to Saigyo's poem. ' llurtOt1 WatsOt1.77 poem. but suffice it to say that he thereafter concentrated on poetry and travelled extensively around the country even though the Genpei Civil War (1180-1185) restricted hi s journeys for a while toward the end of hi s life. Saigyo suddenly renounced the world and retired from soc iety to pursue otherworldly activities. but one in which the meaning of the earlier poem also enter. By borrowing a line from Saigyo's poem and using the line as the title of her literary creation. 1103-1156). Various reasons have been suggested why such an affluent you ng aristocrat would renounce the world. Honkadori or an allusive variation was a wok" technique Llsed to expand the original co nfines ofa 3 I-syllable poem. So now that we know who the poet is we have to continue the investigation to find Ollt why this particular poem by thi s poet might have been included in this particular narrative. Nc\\ York Co lumbia Ul1iversll y Press. Kurahashi is utilizi ng a centuries-old technique from the waka literary tradition in the twentieth century. Brower and Miner in Japanese Court Poetry provide a definition: "Echoing of the words. negawaku wa. SlIIg). the title of Kurahashi's first narrative is revealed to be an allusive variation (honkadori) 10 the Sankashu 1.Poem! 0/ a !>IOIm/amllollle.. 1991 2 12 .O.1123.k sakllra).

This quote comes from a mondo (PIl9~ dialogue) Saigyo delivers when visitors from the capital intrude on his sol itary enjoyment of the lone cherry tree in bloom at his hut on the western outski rts of the capital.Saigyo is resuscitated in "Beneath Cherry Blossoms" because he so loved cherry blossoms that he expressed a desire to pass away beneath cherry blossoms in full bloo m and then did exactl y that. Royall Tyler's trans lat ion of these approximate lines from Saigyo 's Cherry Blossoms in Japanese 13 No Dramas follows: . is incorporated in the text by havin g the resuscitated character of Saigyo chan t the lines to Keiko : anshitsu no hana wa hana ippon waga hitori nagamuru mono rno nagameraruru 1110110 waga to hana to yori hoka ni wa nashi to omoishi ni 1110 Cherry blossoms at the herm itage. 1363-144 3) of the Muromac hi peri od (1337-15 73). only one tree for me alonethe one who looks. By passi ng away just as he stated in hi s poem. In addition to the famous poem by Saigyo. his already considerable reputat ion as a poet was enhanced into prophetic proportions after his demi se. there are further references to Saigyo that continue to expand the boundaries of this shon seven-page narrati ve. Translati ng a Muromachi period text is no picni c. I was able to arrive at the essence ofa linc-by-line translation. entitled Saigyozakllra (Saigyo's Cherry Blossoms). just me and the blossoms thinking there was no one else but me. First some li nes from a No play written by Motokiyo Zeami (ca. but based on the grammar and modificat ion system of classical Japanese. Kurahashi takes this aspect ofSaigyo's claim to fa me and brings him back to life so her femal e protagonist Keiko can interact with the poet-priest in her creative narrative. the one loo ked at.

I prefer to provide the transliteration of the original in poetry and libretti since their aural quality was important to audiences of poetry gatherings and theatre. 1992: 219-220. Docs it make a difference when the libretti are translated in a prose paragraph? Probably not.nagamllrll mono mol nagamerarurll mono mo-that I translated are not found in the published translation. (Kurahashi writes often of cherry blossoms in various narratives in other collections as well. which I alone live here to enjoy. New York: Penguin Classks. Saigyo and Keiko keep an assignation determined long ago and might suggest the Buddhist notion of reincarnation. then I had to tran slate each line I transliterated wi th an equivalent translation beside it.ysoms becomes the space for the consummation of their love spanning centuries. The overall meaning of the two translations is approximately the same. 14 . Next. And finally the dream motif circles back to the idea expressed in Saigyo's famous poem about drawing final breath beneath cherry blossoms on a night with a full moon shining overhead in the Second lunar month.lO First for instance. First Saigyo. when the publisher does not object. the hollow tree in bloom.) The next allusion was much more of a mystery than the quoted text above. the hollow tree in bl oo m in Saigyo 's Cheny Blo. It was much harder to trace si nce it was embedded in a conversat ion just seven lines after the cited text [rom Saigyo 's Cheny Blossoms. I found several clements appropriated by Kurahashi for her narrative: the spirit of the cherry blossoms. then Keiko speaks these lines 10 Ro)'all Tyler."But my hermitage boasts only this one tree. and the topic of dreams. but a couple of lines in the original. Furthermore. but if the goal is to achieve a line-by-line translation alongside the transliteration. When I tracked down Tyler 's translation of Saigy6 Cherty Blossoms and read its contents. and I confess myself somewhat distressed that its Oowcrs should have advertised the place to one and all" (2 19). Smgyo-:llkura in JapwK'se N6 DrwIIIIS.

t. " As soon as I read the word ifslIzoya fla (when mi ght it have been). iM U 'im-z'1t/i to h rfl. Kurahashi hi ghli ghts the historical context for the assignation that Saigyo and Keiko conduct that ni ght (si nce she might be the reincarnation of the woman who lived in Eguchi in the play reborn to ex perience the assignation with Saigyo in the twentieth century) as they traverse both time and space to arrive in Sagano in western Kyoto...iIf:tcO)[itn' 2< Iv <: :to r"'JtIi~O)~ ? -z' l.j' '!!:.below. Eguchi III JQ{X/flese 11'6 Dr/lm(ls.=. 12 Thus it became clear that Kurahashi Yumiko was a fan of the No Theatre.t~ t::n'? <: -r l.11 ·'It was because yo u mi stakenl y thought I was some harlot. making me wonder what source might have contained such a conversation between Saigyo and a wo man that might ha ve been a prostitute: r ~ '''='-'(:' ~f.: n' to J " . I knew the text was most likely a quote from cl assica l Japanese. -r ~ .*. (She uses No plays and No masks in various narratives in thi s collection and others.t..guchi when SaigyO Is refused lodging on a rainy night at the home o f a harlot.'. I found one by the title of Eguchi that I knew was the geographical location where asohi (talented entertainers who sang popular songs.. New York: I'cnguin Class1cs. 1992 : 72 II 15 .. II Ro)·al1 T) Icr. It occurred to me that another No play mi ght be the source and searched for titles with like ly correspondents. or imayo) and yahochi (prostitutes) congregated during the Heian period from readings I had encountered teaching The Tale o/ fhe Heike.. 1992: 72.( l.. especially Zeami the most illustri ous writer and theorist.. t.Japanese N6 Dramas.:71' J l.'!!:.) So by alluding 10 this play. The ramifications of the hi storical story of the past overlaps with the new interpretation in the narrat ive present to create the same layered effec t that Kurahashi Alludes to Zeami Motokiyo's No play I:. London: Penguin.. I learned that Eguchi was another play that was written in the Muromachi period by Zeami . When was it that you coldly refused to give me lodging one rain y ni ght?.: to... one of the greatest masters of the No Theatre..j:ffi 0) UJE 1-: 1. See Royall Tyler.

However. cherries.). Or it might refer to the " ideal of the eremitic life . late 13 th c. shiny haze. finding pleasure in so lving enigmas. and then is followed by an enigmatic phrase: rivers.describes when Saigyo's figure is layered onlO cherry blossoms in full bl oom since Ihe earlier play Saig)'o 's Cheny Blossoms had implanted in our brain the fact that Saigyo is the spirit of the cherry tree. I feci it is rather like probing into the mind 16 ... All thi s seemed to be layered on the figure of Mr. I am faced with a dilemma: which of the two titles am I goi ng to follow when I seek the source of the phrase? There is also the possibility that it might not be rel ated to either. there are still others I have yet to solve. The phrase might refer to a line from a famous Chinese poem written by someone on the continent o r by so meone in Japan leamed in the art of Chinese composition si nce Kurahashi quoted a phrase by Bo Chui (J.eight volume history. thi s old cherry tree spread its branches with countless delicate blossoms and leaves. or The Confessions of Lad)1Nij6. In this way I follow the clues embedded in the text.Ji J 14th c. with a "keen sensiti vi ty to the beauties of nature" that Burton Watson states was the inspiration for Saigyo' s renouncement of the world (4) that might offer the best fit in thi s context. The titl e of the forty. 'J J rtlJJ II {t. (mountains. Translating such narrati ves replete with intertextal allusions is exhi larating when a solution is found and fru strating when they prove elusive. there was strange gentleness and magnificence.:.) is mentioned along with the author's name [Go-Fukakusa'i n] Nij o who mimicked Saigyo' s travel s a couple of centuries later even though she was a woman. My translation: In just thi s way. (The Unso licited Tale. moon). late is mentioned. In seeki ng the source of the phrase. Genpeijosuiki (ib~PP:JM:~~ Chronicle of the Genpei War. Bai Juyi 772-846) toward the end of this narrative. and in the figure wearing a flowery mantle like glossily. But it is all a part of the task o f the translator. no. A few lines later r ~ t t i"nS t. the venerable priest Saigyo. Sato.

When one is lucky enough to find a text that engages the pleasure of solving conundrums and having students learn about the literary treasure store the past canon otTers then one can truly say one is blessed. Let me end here and leave time enough to entertain questions.of the creative force behind the text and trying to discern what motivations might have compelled the inclusion of so many other texts into the one being newly crafted. 17 .