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Dedicated to Narihira:

ありふれた草に置たる白露で

arifureta kusa ni okitaru shiratsuyu de

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If you’ve been following this, we’ve got two of Yamato-takeru’s songs under our belts: song 23 and song 25. We’ve come this far, so let’s keep barreling along.

What follows is perhaps my favorite exchange in all of Japanese literature. But before we get to that, let’s walk a mile in Yamato-takeru’s shoes. Picture this: you are Yamato-takeru, a strong and brave warrior (pretend) who finds a fetching “bride,” lets call her Princess Miyazu. But before you manage to “marry” her, you have to go off and pacify some unruly deities and barbarians. So off you go, but promise to return and tie the nuptial knot, so to speak. You’re away for a long time, but finally make your triumphant homecoming. You hurry off to keep your promise to the nubile lady who waited for you all this time. She brings you wine, things are looking good. But there’s one problem. There’s something on her dress…

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Moving along now on our short trip through Kojiki. In the previous post we saw really a mean-spirited little song from Yamato-takeru. A little smug of him. The story preceding the following song is very brief, essentially Yamato-takeru is travelling. Continue reading for the full analysis:

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As promised in the earlier “Agenda” post, I will be working on classical Japanese poetry this semester. So, I’m kicking it off with a song from the Kojiki. This song is attributed to Yamato-takeru. Continue reading for the full analysis.

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