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与謝野晶子
Yosano Akiko
(1878-1942)


与謝野晶子〔鳳(ほう)〕の生家は堺の菓子商「駿河屋」である。 その店ののれんを継いだ弟の籌三郎(ちゅうざぶろう)が、日露戦争に出兵。 これは旅順(りょじゅん)の激戦地のさなかにいる弟の安否を気づかって詠まれた長詩。

Yosano Akiko (maiden name Hō) was born to a candy merchant called Surugaya. Her younger brother Chûzaburo, who inherited the family business fought in the Russo-Japanese War. This poem "Kimi shini tamau koto nakare(Prithee Do not Die)" is about her worries when he was in Lüshun(Port Arthur) which became a fierce battleground.
()

君死にたまふことなかれ

旅順口包囲軍の中にある弟を歎きて
   与謝野晶子


あゝをとうとよ君を泣く
君死にたまふことなかれ
末に生れし君なれば
親のなさけはまさりしも
親は刃(やいば)をにぎらせて
人を殺せとをしへしや
人を殺して死ねよとて
二十四までをそだてしや

堺の街のあきびと1
旧家をほこるあるじにて
親の名を継ぐ君なれば
君死にたまふことなかれ
旅順2の城はほろぶとも
ほろびずとても何事か
君知るべきやあきびとの
家のおきてに無かりけり

君死にたまふことなかれ
すめらみこと
3は戦ひに
おほみづからは出でまさね
かたみ4に人の血を流し
獣の道に死ねよとは
死ぬるを人のほまれとは
大みこゝろ5の深ければ
もとよりいかで思(おぼ)されむ

あゝをとうとよ戦ひに
君死にたまふことなかれ
すぎにし秋を父ぎみに
おくれたまへる母ぎみは
なげきの中にいたましく
わが子を召され家を守()り
安しと聞ける大御代も
母のしら髪はまさりぬる

暖簾(のれん)のかげに伏して泣く
あえかに
6わかき新妻を
君わするるや思へるや
十月(とつき)も添はでわかれたる
少女(おとめ)ごころを思ひみよ
この世ひとりの君ならで
あゝまた誰をたのむべき
君死にたまふことなかれ

−1904年『明星』9月号に掲載

注釈:

1 あきびと=商人
2 旅順=遼東半島南端にある軍港。 ロシアの東洋艦隊の基地で要塞が築かれていた。
3 すめらみこと=天皇
4 かたみに=たがいに
5 大みこゝろ=天皇のこころ
6 あえかに=かよわく

Prithee Do Not Die

Lamenting my younger brother in combat as one
of the troops besieged at Lüshun(Port Arthur)
   Yosano Akiko

Oh, younger brother mine, for thee I weep,
Prithee do not die,
For you were born the very last,
And our parents loved you all the more,
Yet they made thee grasp a blade in hand,
Taught thee kill a man you shall,
Kill a man, and die you too,
groomed you thus to age twenty-four.

Master now of the proud old house,
The merchant-house of Sakai1, our town,
You must now carry on our name,
So I prithee, do not die,
Though Lüshun's2 fortress should perish,
Should it be saved, what of that?
Thou ought know, it nowhere commands
On the familial codes3 of our merchant house.

()
I prithee do not die,
The Heavenly-Prince does not himself
Lead by his own august presence his troop to battle.
For to command that men shed blood of men,
And die following the beastly path4,
And tell us death be the glory of men,
If his Highness' heart be compassionate,
How could he truly think it so?

Oh young brother mine in battle,
I prithee you mustn't die.
Our mother who has lagged behind father
In the passing of the autumn years of life,
It sores me to watch her lament,
Deprived of son to guard the home,
And though she hears our Highness hale and safe,
Our mother's gray hair grows.

()
Stooping in the shade of the noren5 she weeps,
The frail young wife of yours,
Or have you forgotten? Or do you think of her?
Think on her maidenly feeling,
Together ere ten months, then parted,
And there's none another the likes of you,
Oh once again I ask,
Prithee do not die.

— pub. in Myōjō Sept. 1904.

Notes:

1 Sakai is a merchant town with a rich history, which prospered by foreign trade in the age of Warring-States, and its merchants were proud and independent-minded. The famous tea ceremony master Sen-no-Rikyū (1522-1591) who committed harakiri was a Sakai merchant.
2 Lüshun(Port Arthur), pronounced "Ryojun" in Japanese, was a naval port for Russia's Eastern Fleet.
3 An "old family" often has something called kakun or lessons — do's and don'ts that are passed down generation to generation. The poetess is saying that since they are merchant family, dying to defend a castle is certainly not one of those lessons.
4 beastly path is a reference to a course of conduct without morality or discipline; In Buddhism, if your conduct in this life is poor, you are said to be relegated to chikushōdō "way of beasts" in the next life.
5 noren is the shop curtain, the drape of cloth hanging at the shop entrance. There is also such a curtain between the storefront and the back area.


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