The Book of Tea: 17

selective focus photography of white flowering tree
Photo by Abby Chung on Pexels.com

The Art of Floriculture in the East

Why were flowers born so beautiful and yet so hapless? Insects can sting, and even the meekest of beasts will fight when brought to bay. The birds whose plumage is sought to deck some bonnet can fly from its pursuer, the furred animal whose coat you covet for your own may hide at your approach. Alas! The only flower known to have wings is the butterfly; all others stand helpless before the destroyer. If they shriek in their death agony their cry never reaches our hardened ears. We are ever brutal to those who love and serve us in silence, but the time may come when, for our cruelty, we shall be deserted by these best friends of ours. Have you not noticed that the wild flowers are becoming scarcer every year? It may be that their wise men have told them to depart till man becomes more human. Perhaps they have migrated to heaven.

 なぜ花はこうも美しいのに、不遇なのであろうか.昆虫は刺すことができ、そして最も従順な動物も窮地では戦おうとする.帽子を飾るための羽毛として狙われる鳥は逃げることができるし、あなたがたがやたらと欲しがる毛皮の動物も近づけば隠れるのだ.悲しいことよ.翼を持つことが知られる花は蝶だけである.他は為す術もなく破壊者の前で立ち尽くすのだ.断末魔を挙げれば、その声は我々の耳には届くことはない.我々は静寂の中我々を愛し、奉仕するものに対して残忍であるが、その残忍さのために、最大の友に見放されてしまうときがくるかもしれない.野草が年々少なくなってきているのに気づいているだろうか.彼らの賢人が人々がより人情にあふれるまで地上から去れといったのかもしれない.おそらく彼らは天国へ移ったのだろう.

Much may be said in favour of him who cultivates plants. The man of the pot is far more humane than he of the scissors. We watch with delight his concern about water and sunshine, his feuds with parasites, his horror of frosts, his anxiety when the buds comes slowly, his rapture when the leaves attain their lustre. In the East the art of floriculture is a very ancient one, and the loves of a poet and his favourite plant have often been recorded in story and song. With the development of ceramics during the Tang and Sung dynasties we hear of wonderful receptacles made to hold plants, not pots, but jewelled palaces. A special attendant was detailed to wait upon each flower and to wash its leaves with soft brushes made of rabbit hair. It has been written8 that the peony should be bathed by a handsome maiden in full costume, that a winter-plum should be watered by a pale, slender monk. In Japan, one of the most popular of the Nodances, the Hachinoki, composed during the Ashikaga period, is based upon the story of an impoverished knight, who, on a freezing night, in lack of fuel for a fire, cuts his cherished plants in order to entertain a wandering friar. The friar is in reality no other than Hojo-Tokiyori, the Haroun-Al-Raschid of our tales, and the sacrifice is not without its reward. This opera never fails to draw tears from a Tokio audience even to-day.

 植物を育てる人について、彼らは大いに結構なことである.植木鉢を使うものは鋏を使うものよりも人道的である.水と日光に気を配り、寄生虫と反目し、霜を恐れ、蕾が膨らむのが遅いときの不安、葉が輝くときの歓びを見て我々は嬉しく思う.東洋では草花栽培の技術はとても古いもので、詩人の植物に対する愛情と愛好するそれは、しばしば物語に記録されたものである.磁器の発達とともに唐と宋王朝の間、我々は素晴らしい容器が作られたようだ.それは植木鉢ではなく、宝石を散りばめた御殿であった.特別な従者がそれぞれの花に派遣され、花ごとに仕え、兎の毛でできた柔らかい刷毛で葉を洗うのであった.牡丹は正装した侍女が水をやるべきと書かれていて、寒梅は蒼白の、痩せた僧侶が水をやるべきともある.日本では最も有名な能楽の一つに、足利時代の間に書かれた「鉢の木」があり、貧窮の武士が、凍える夜に、火を起こす燃料がなく、旅の托鉢僧をもてなすため、自分の大事にしていた植木を切った話に基づいている.その托鉢僧は実際には他でもない北条時頼であり、いわばハールーン・アッラシードである.その犠牲は報われることはない.この劇は今日でさえも東京の聴衆の涙を誘わずにはいられないのである.

Great precautions were taken for the preservation of delicate blossoms. Emperor Huensung, of the Tang dynasty, hung tiny golden bells on the branches in his garden to keep off the birds. He it was who went off in the springtime with his court musicians to gladden the flowers with soft music. A quaint tablet, which tradition ascribes to Yoshitsune, the hero of our Arthurian legends, is still extant in one of the Japanese monasteries.9 It is a notice put up for the protection of a certain wonderful plum-tree, and  appeals to us with the grim humour of warlike age. After referring to the beauty of the blossoms, the inscription says: “Whoever cuts a single branch of this tree shall forfeit a finger therefor.” Would that such laws could be enforced nowadays against those who want only destroy flowers and mutilate objects of art!

 繊細な花の保全のため、大変な用心が行われた.唐王朝の皇帝、玄宗は小さな金の鐘を庭の木の枝につけて鳥を寄せ付けなかった.春に宮廷楽団とともに優しい音楽で花を喜ばせたのは彼であった.我が国のアーサー王伝説の英雄である源義経が書いたとする奇妙な札が日本の寺院の一つにいまだ残っている.ある見事な梅の木の守護のためにかけられており、戦時の不気味なユーモアともに我々の心を打つ.花の美しさに言及した後、銘には「この木の枝一つでも切ったものはみな指を失う(一枝を伐らば、一指を剪るべし)」と書かれている.今日、花を滅ぼし芸術を破壊する人々に対してこうした法律ができないものだろうか!

Yet even in the case of pot flowers we are inclined to suspect the selfishness of man. Why take the plants from their homes and ask them to bloom mid strange surroundings? It is not like asking the birds to sing and mate cooped up in cages? Who knows but that the orchids feel stifled by the artificial heat in your conservatories and hopelessly long for a glimpse of their own Southern skies?

 しかし、鉢植えの場合でさえ、我々は人の身勝手を訝しむのである.なぜ植物を植えてあるところから抜き取り、見知らぬ場所の中で開花するようにさせるのだろうか.籠の中の鳥に歌い、仲間と一緒になるよう頼むのと違うのか.蘭があなた方の家の温室の中の人工的な熱によって抑圧され、南方の空をひと目見たいと切なく希望していると誰が知ろうか.

The ideal lover of flowers is he who visits them in their native haunts, like Taoyuenming,10 who sat before a broken bamboo fence in converse with the wild chrysanthemum, or Linwosing, losing himself amid mysterious fragrance as he wandered in the twilight among the plum-blossoms of the Western Lake. ’Tis said that Chowmushih slept in a boat so that his dreams might mingle with those of the lotus. It was this same spirit which moved the Empress Komio, one of our most renowned Nara sovereigns, as she sang: “If I pluck thee, my hand will defile thee, O Flower! Standing in the meadows as thou art, I offer thee to the Buddhas of the past, of the present, of the future.”

 理想的な花の愛好家とは、花の自生する場所に訪れ、破れた竹垣に座り、野生の菊と会話する陶淵明のような人物か、西湖のほとりの梅花の中を黄昏時に逍遥しながら、不思議な香りの中、我を忘れた林和靖である.周茂叔は夢が蓮と混ざり合うように、舟の中で眠りについたと言われている.

 この精神こそ、光明皇后、奈良朝で最も名高い人物の心を動かしたもので、彼女は次のように詠んだ.「もし我が汝をむしれば、我が手は汝を汚してしまう、花よ!草原に立つ汝のように、我も汝を過去の、現の、未来の仏に捧げよう」

わがために 花は手折らじ されどただ 三世の諸仏の 前に捧げん

However, let us not be too sentimental. Let us be less luxurious but more magnificent. `said Laotse: “Heaven and earth are pitiless.” Said Kobodaishi: “Flow, flow, flow, flow, the current of life is ever onward. Die, die, die, die, death comes to all.” Destruction below and above, destruction behind and before. Change is the only Eternal, –why not as welcome Death as Life? They are but counterparts one of the other, –the Night and Day of Brahma. Through the disintegration of the old, re-creation becomes possible. We have worshipped Death, the relentless goddess of mercy, under many different names. It was the shadow of the All devouring that the Gheburs greeted in the fire. It is the icy purism of the sword-soul before which Shinto-Japan prostrates herself even to-day. The mystic fire consumes our weakness, the sacred sword cleaves the bondage of desire. From our ashes springs the phoenix of celestial hope, out of the freedom comes a higher realisation of manhood.

 しかしながら、感傷的になりすぎるのはよそう.奢侈になりすぎずも、壮大になろう.老子はこういった、「天地は無慈悲である(天地不仁)」と.弘法大師は「流れ、流れ、流れ、流れる、生命はとどまることはない.死ぬ、死ぬ、死ぬ、死ぬ、死は皆に訪れる(生生生生暗生始、死死死死冥死終)」と言った.死はどこへいっても訪れる.上下、前後も破滅である.変化こそ永遠である.なぜ生と同じく死を歓迎しないのか.彼らは他方の片割れに過ぎない.梵天の「夜」と「昼」である.古きものの崩壊を通じて、再生が可能になる.我々は死、それは多くの異なる名のもと、容赦ない慈悲の女神を崇めてきた.拝火教徒が崇めたのはすべてを貪るものの影であった.今日の神道日本がひれ伏すのは剣魂の凍てつくような純粋であった.神秘的な炎は我々の弱さを燃やし、神聖な剣は欲望の奴隷を断ち切る.灰の中から天空の希望である鳳凰が生まれ、欲望より解かれた自由から、人類のさらなる自覚が生まれる.

Why not destroy flowers if thereby we can evolve new forms ennobling the world idea? We only ask them to join in our sacrifice to the beautiful. We shall atone for the deed by consecrating ourselves to Purity and Simplicity. Thus reasoned the tea-masters when they established the Cult of Flowers.

 世界の思想を高尚にする新たな形へ進化させることができるならば、なぜ花を滅ぼさないのか.我々は、花に求めるのは、美に対して自身を犠牲にすることだけである.我々は「純粋」と「簡素」に対して自分を捧げることによって行為の償いをしよう.こうして茶の宗匠が生花の法を定めたのである.

Anyone acquainted with the ways of our tea-and flower-masters must have noticed the religious veneration with which they regard flower. They do not cull at random, but carefully select each branch or spray with an eye to the artistic composition they have in mind. They would be ashamed should they chance to cut more than were absolutely necessary. It may be remarked in this connection that they always associate the leaves, if there be any, with the flower, for their object is to present the whole beauty of plant life. In this respect, as in many others, their method differs from that pursued in Western  countries, as it were, without body, stuck promiscuously into a vase.

 茶の宗匠と花の宗匠の流儀を知るものは誰しも花への宗教的崇拝に気づいたに違いない.彼らはむやみに収集するのではなく、各々の枝を注意深く選び、心の中にある芸術的構成を目的として目を凝らすのである.絶対に必要以上に切ってしまおうとする人は恥を知るがよい.この関係において、一つ言っておくと、もし葉があれば彼らは花と一緒に、常にそれを添えるのである.というのは彼らの目的とは植物の生命の全体の美しさを呈示することであるからだ.この観点において、他のものとおなじように、西洋諸国家において追い求めるものと方法が異なり、西洋では花梗だけが体裁なく花瓶に無造作に突っ込まれているのである.

When a tea-master has arranged a flower to his satisfaction he will place it on the tokonoma, the place of honour in a Japanese room. Nothing else will be placed near it which might interfere with its effect, not even a painting, unless there be some special aesthetic reason for the combination. It rests there like an enthroned prince, and the guests or disciples on entering the room will salute it with a profound bow before making their address to the host. Drawings from masterpieces are made and published for the edification of amateurs. The amount of literature on the subject is quite voluminous. When the flower fades, the master tenderly consigns it to the river or carefully buries it in the ground. Monuments even are sometimes erected to their memory.

 茶の宗匠が自身の得心のために花を活けるとき、花を床の間、日本の部屋の上座に配置する.その花の効果に干渉するかもしれないからその近くには何も置かれない.組み合わせに対するなんらかの特別な唯美的理由が無い限り、絵画でさえも配置しないのである.花は玉座に座る王子のように鎮座し、客人や子弟が入室すると、主人へ挨拶をする前に深く礼をして花を称える.傑作の絵画は素人の教化のために出版されている.主題における文献の量は大変豊富なものである.

 花がしおれると宗匠はやさしくそれを河に流すか土に埋めるのである.墓碑はその記憶に対して建てられることがある.

8 “Pingtse,” by Yuenchulung.

9 Sumadera, near Kobe. 神戸近郊の須磨寺のこと.

10 All celebrated Chinese poets and philosophers. 皆中国の有名な詩人、哲学者.

西洋のフラワーアレンジメントも素敵ですよね.きっと天心はそれを知っているはずです.ですが、なぜ彼がここまで東洋の文化を礼賛するのか.彼の文を追いかけた我々ならばもうわかりますね.

 次回で第六章は完結です.残るは第七章.お楽しみに!

The Book of Tea: 16

Chapter VI

sunflowers
Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

 第六章、花が始まります.この翻訳も終盤ですね.花への天心の気持ち、多くの人が共感できるのではないでしょうか.最初は詩的な美しい散文から始まりますが、四段落から始まる花目線の痛烈な描写といったら.

Flowers

IN the trembling grey of a spring dawn, when the birds were whispering in mysterious cadence among the trees, have you not felt the they were talking to their mates about the flowers? Surely with mankind the appreciation of flowers must have been coeval with the poetry of love. Where better than in a flower, sweet in its unconsciousness, fragrant because of its silence, can we image the unfolding of a virgin soul? The primeval man in offering the first garland to his maiden thereby transcended the brute. He became human in thus rising above the crude necessities of nature. He entered the realm of art when he perceived the subtle use of the useless.

 春の曙の薄明に、林の中で鳥たちが神秘的な調子でさえずるとき、彼らが仲間と花について会話をしているような気持ちになったことはないだろうか.確かに花の鑑賞は人類にとって愛の詩を唄った時と同時期であろう.花において優れているところは、その無自覚なゆえに美しく、その静寂ゆえの芳しさなくして、どうして我々は顕になっていない純潔の精神を想起できるだろうか.太古の男性が彼の恋人に初めて花飾りを贈ることで、彼は蛮人から超越したのである.彼は自然の粗雑な本能を脱してこうして人間となったのだ.彼は無用のものを巧妙に使うことを知覚したときに芸術の世界へ入ったのであった.

In the joy or sadness, flowers are our constant friends. We eat, drink, sing, dance, and flirt with them. We wed and christen with flowers. We dare not die without them. We have worshipped with the lily, we have meditated with he lotus, we have charged in battle array with the rose and the chrysanthemum. We have even attempted to speak in the language of flowers. How could we live without them? It frightens one to conceive of a world bereft of their presence. What solace do they not bring to the bedside of the sick, what a light of bliss to the darkness of weary spirits? Their serene tenderness restores to us our waning confidence in the universe even as the intent gaze of a beautiful child recalls our lost hopes. When we are laid low in the dust it is they who linger in sorrow over our graves.

 楽しいときや悲しいとき、花は我々の永遠の友人である.我々は食べ、飲み、踊り、そして彼らとうつつを抜かす.我々は花とともに婚礼を挙げ、洗礼する.花なくして死ぬことはできない.我らは百合とともに敬い、蓮とともに瞑想し、薔薇と菊とともに戦陣に集ってきた.我々は花言葉で話そうとさえした.彼らなしに生きていけるだろうか.花の存在のない世界を考えるだけで恐ろしい.病床に花がないとしたらどんなに悲しいだろうか、疲れ果てた魂の闇に祝福の光を与えるのは何だろうか.可愛らしい子供をじっと見つめることでさえ我々の失われた希望を呼び戻すように、花の透き通った優しさは宇宙における我々の衰えつつある信頼を取り戻してくれる.我々が土に還るときに墓の上で悲しみに寄り添ってくれるのは花である.

Sad as it is, we cannot conceal the fact that in spite of our companionship with flowers we have not risen very far above the brute. Scratch the sheepskin and the wolf within us will soon show his teeth. It has been said that man at ten is an animal, at twenty a lunatic, at thirty a failure, at forty a fraud, and at fifty a criminal. Perhaps he becomes a criminal because he has never ceased to be an animal. Nothing is real to us but hunger, nothing sacred except our own desires. Shrine after shrine has crumbled before our eyes; but one altar forever is preserved, that whereon we burn incense to the supreme idol, –ourselves. Our god is great, and money is his Prophet! We devastate nature in order to make sacrifice to him. We boast that we have conquered Matter and forget that it is Matter that has enslaved us. What atrocities do we not perpetrate in the name of culture and refinement!

 悲しいことに、我々は花との友情にもかかわらず、あまり獣性を脱していないことを隠せずにいる.羊の皮を剥げばたちまち我々の中の狼が牙をむく.人は十代になると獣になり、二十代で狂人になり、三十代で失意にくれ、四十代で詐欺師となり、五十代で罪人となるといわれてきた.おそらく動物であることを辞めたことがないゆえに罪人になるのである.飢えを除いて現実的なものはなく、自己の望みのほか神聖なものはない.我々の眼前にある神社仏閣が次々に壊れてしまった.しかし一つの祭壇は保存されて、そこで我々は「自己」という至上の偶像に香を炊くのである.神は偉大で、金銭はその預言者である!私達は自然を犠牲にするため自然を破壊する.我々は物質を征服したのだと鼻にかけるも、物質が我々を従えているのだということを忘れている.文化と洗練という名の下、我々が犯す残虐性のほどはなんとひどいものか!

Tell me, gentle flowers, teardrops of the stars, standing in the garden, nodding your heads to the bees as they sing of the dews and the sunbeams, are you aware of the fearful doom that await you? Dream on, sway and frolic while you may in the gentle breezes of summer. Tomorrow a ruthless hand will close around your throats. You will be wrenched, torn asunder limb by limb, and borne away from your quiet homes. The wrench, she may be passing fair. She may say how lovely you are while her fingers are still moist with your blood. Tell me, will this be kindness? It may be your fate to be imprisoned in the hair of one whom you know to be heartless or to be thrust into the button-hole of who would not dare to look you in the face were you a man. It may even be your lot to be confined in some narrow vessel with only stagnant water to quench the maddening thirst that warns of ebbing life.

 教えてほしい、優しい花よ、星の涙よ、庭に立ち、蜂が雫の歌を口ずさむと蜂と日光に頭を垂れている花よ、汝は待ち構える恐ろしい運命に気づいているのか.夢見よ、揺らぎ戯れて夏の優しい微風にいる間は.明日は無慈悲な手がお前の喉を締めてしまうかもしれない.拗じられ、手足が分たれ、静かな生家から離れてしまうかもしれぬ.その一捻りは行きずりの淑女かもしれぬ.その指がお前の血でまだ湿っている間に、お前がどんなに愛らしいか告げるやもしれないのだ.これが優しさなのだろうか.お前にとって非常なものの髪に閉じ込められるか、お前が男ならばお前の顔を見ようともしない女のボタンの穴にねじ込まれる運命かもしれないのだ.命の衰退を警告する狂わせるような渇きを満たす、よどんだ水ばかりの狭い瓶に留められるのは、お前の定めなのかもしれぬ.

Flowers, if you were in the land of the Mikado, you might some time meet a dread personage armed with scissors and a tiny saw. He would call himself a Master of Flowers. He would claim the rights of a doctor and you would instinctively hate him, for you know a doctor always seeks to prolong the troubles of his victims. He would contort your muscles and dislocate your bones like any osteopath. He would burn you with red-hot coals to stop your bleeding, and thrust wires into you to assist your circulation. He would diet you with salt, vinegar, alum, and sometimes, vitriol. Boiling water would be poured on your feet when you seemed ready to faint. It would be his boast that he could keep life within you for two or more weeks longer than would have been possible without his treatment. Would you not have preferred to have been killed at once when you were first captured? What were the crimes you must have committed during your past incarnation to warrant such punishment in this?

 花よ、もしお前が御門の国にいるならば、鋏と小鋸をもった恐ろしい人物にあうことがいくらかあるかもしれない.彼は自身を花の宗匠と呼ぶ.彼は医者の権限を主張しお前は本能的に嫌うだろう.なぜなら医者というのは常にその患者の厄介事を引き延ばそうとするからだ.彼は筋肉を捻じ曲げ、整骨医の如く骨を脱臼させるだろう.赤く熱い炭で出血を止めようと燃やすだろう.そして、お前の循環を助けるために針金を突き刺すだろう.彼はお前に塩、酢、明礬、そして時折硫酸をかけて食うだろう.失神しそうに見える時、足に沸々とした湯が注がれるだろう.彼の治療なく放おっておいたよりも二、三週間ほど生きながらさせたといって自慢の種にするかもしれない.お前ならば最初に捕らわれたならばすぐに殺される方を選ぶであろう.このような罰を受けるとはお前の前世はどのような罪を犯したのだろうか.

The wanton waste of flowers among Western communities is even more appalling than the way they are treated by Eastern Flower Masters. The number of flowers cut daily to adorn the ballroom and banquet-tables of Europe and America, to be thrown away on the morrow, must be something enormous; if strung together they might garland a continent. Beside this utter carelessness of life, the guilt of the Flower-Master becomes insignificant. He, at least, respects the economy of nature, selects his victims with careful foresight, and after death does honour to their remains. In the west the display of flowers seemed to be a part of the pageantry of wealth, –the fancy of a moment. Whither do they all go, these flowers, when the revelry is over? Nothing is more pitiful than to see a faded flower remorselessly flung upon a during heap.

 西洋社会の間での無残な花の消費は東洋の花の宗匠によって扱われる方法よりもはるかに残忍である.アメリカやヨーロッパの舞踏室や晩餐の食卓を飾るため毎日何本もの花が切られ、翌日には捨てられる量は凄まじいに違いない.もしすべてを結んだら大陸を一周するであろう.それに加えこの圧倒的な生命への不注意、花の宗匠の罪はそれほどではない.彼は少なくとも、自然の経済を尊重し、犠牲を慎重な先見の明で選ぶ.そして彼らの残りに対して敬意を表する.静養では富の虚飾の一部のように花が陳列される.一瞬の享楽である.彼らはどこへいくのか.花よ、いつになれば幻想は終わるのだ.屍の山の上に無慈悲に投げられる花がしおれていくのを見るほど忍びないものはない.

The Book of Tea: 15

white concrete bridge
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People criticise a picture by their ear

One is reminded in this connection of a story concerning Kobori-Enshiu. Enshiu was complimented by his disciples on the admirable taste he had displayed in the choice of his collection. Said they, “Each piece is such that no one could help admiring. It shows that you had better taste than had Rikiu, for his collection could only be appreciated by one beholder in a thousand.” Sorrowfully Enshiu replied: “This only proves how commonplace I am. The Great Rikiu dared to love only those objects which personally appealed to him, whereas I unconsciously cater to the taste of the majority. Verily, Rikiu was one in a thousand among tea-masters.”

 このことと関連して、小堀遠州についてのある話が思い起こされる.遠州は彼の収集物から選定し並べたものに対して弟子は世辞を述べた.彼らは「どの品も褒めずにはいられない見事なものばかりです.あなたが利休よりも優れた鑑識をお持ちだと言うことですね.利休の品を理解できるのは千人に一人といませんよ」と述べた.悲しみにくれて遠州は次のように返事をした.「ということは私がいかに俗物かを示すにすぎない.偉大な利休はあえて自分だけが好むような品を愛した.しかし私は無意識にも多数派の嗜好に媚びたのだ.まさに利休は千人に一人の茶人である」

It is much to be regretted that so much of the apparent enthusiasm for art at the present day has no foundation in real feeling. In this democratic age of ours men clamour for what is popularly considered the best, regardless of their feelings. They want the costly, not the refined; the fashionable, not the beautiful. To the masses, contemplation of illustrated periodicals, the worthy product of their own industrialism, would give more digestible food for artistic enjoyment than the early Italians or Ashikaga masters, whom they pretend to admire. The name of the artist is more important to them than the quality of the work. As a Chinese critic complained many centuries ago, “People criticise a picture by their ear.” It is this lack of genuine appreciation that is responsible for the pseudo-classic horrors that to-day greet us wherever we turn.

 今日、芸術に対する表面上の熱狂が実際の感性に基づいていないというのは実に残念なことである.この我が国の民主的時代において自分たちの感情を顧みず人々が何が最も人気があることに対して喚いているのである.

 彼らは精錬なものではなく、高い値段のものを求める.服飾に凝ったものであり美しいものではない.大衆にとって彼ら自身の産業主義の価値ある製品である絵入り定期刊行物のほうが、礼賛するふりをしている初期のイタリア人や足利時代の巨匠よりも、芸術的享受にはより消化が良いだろう.作品の質よりも芸術家の名前がより重要なのである.中国の批評家が何世紀も前に「人々は絵を耳で批評する」と言った.今日我々がふりむけば目につく擬古典的な恐怖の数々に対して真の鑑賞の欠落が責任を負うべきである.

Another common mistake is that of confusing art with archaeology. The veneration born of antiquity is one of the best traits in the human character, and fain would we have it cultivated to a greater extent. The old masters are rightly to be honoured for opening the path to future enlightenment. The mere fact that they have passed unscathed through centuries of criticism and come down to us still covered with glory commands our respect. But we should be foolish indeed if we valued their achievement simply on the score of age. Yet we allow our historical sympathy to override our aesthetic discrimination. We offer flowers of approbation when the artist is safely laid in his grave. The nineteenth century, pregnant with the theory of evolution, has moreover created in us the habit of losing sight of the individual in the species. A collector is anxious to acquire specimens to illustrate a period or a school, and forgets that a single masterpiece can teach us more than any number of the mediocre products of given period or school. We classify too much and enjoy too little. The sacrifice of the aesthetic to the so-called scientific method of exhibition has been the bane of many museums.

 もう一つのよくある間違いは芸術を考古学と間違えることである.遺物から生まれる尊敬の念は人間の最大の特質であり、喜んで我々はそれを大きく育みたいと思う.古の巨匠たちは未来の教化への道を拓いたことに対して立派な敬意が評されるべきである.

 世紀の批判を無傷で抜けてきて、未だ栄光に包まれてやってきたという単事実でさえもわれわれの尊敬を集めるものだ.しかし人々の業績が単純に年齢で算定されるならば、我々は実際はおろかになるべきである.しかし我々は自分らの歴史的共感が審美的差別にを蹂躙していることを許容している.我々は芸術家が安らかに墓で眠りにつくときに称賛の花を手向ける.進化論を宿した十九世紀はより一層、種の中で個人の失見当の習慣を生み出した.蒐集家は時代や流派を説明しようと標本を集めることに神経質になり、二流の製品のいくつかよりも一つの傑作が与えられた時代や流派について我々に語ってくれることを忘れてしまうのである.我々はあまりに分類しすぎていて楽しむことがほとんどない.展示といういわゆる科学的理論のために審美的方法を犠牲にしたことが多くの美術館の悩みの種である.

The claims of contemporary art cannot be ignored in any vital scheme of life. The art of to-day is that which really belongs to us: it is our own reflection. In condemning it we but condemn ourselves. We say that the present age possess no art: –who is responsible for this? It is indeed a shame that despite all our rhapsodies about the ancients we pay so little attention to our own possibilities. Struggling artists, weary souls lingering in the shadow of cold disdain! In our self-centred century, what inspiration do we offer them? The past may well look with pity at the poverty of our civilisation; the future will laugh at the barrenness  of our art. We are destroying art in destroying beautiful life. Would that some great wizard might from the stem of society shape a mighty harp whose strings would resound to the touch of genius.

 同一時代の美術の主張は人生の企画において無視できるものではない.今日の芸術は実に私達に属しているものである.それは我々の反映である.それを断罪することは自身を断罪することにほかならない.今日の時代に芸術がないといういうものがいる.誰の責任というのか.古代に関する狂想曲にもかかわらず我々は自分の可能性に注意をほとんど払わないのは実に恥ずかしいことだ.苦しみもがく芸術家たち、冷たい侮蔑の影の中でさまよう疲れた魂たち!自己中心の世紀において、どのような霊感を我々はかれらに与えているのか.我々の文明が貧困だと過去が哀れみをもって見るのも無理はない.未来は芸術の不毛さを笑うだろう.我々美しいものを破壊することで芸術を破壊している.だれか大魔術師が社会の幹から有能な竪琴を作り出し、その弦が天才に触れて鳴り響かないだろうか.

天心、多いに怒っております.この議論、今も変わらない気がしませんか.

次回、第六章です.ここまでありがとうございました.

The Book of Tea: 14

time lapse photography of flame
Photo by Igor Haritanovich on Pexels.com

 茶の本、第五章の続きです.天心はどこか現代人に対して冷笑的な印象を文体に漂わせます.諦観すら感じます.どこか寂しげでもあります.なんとなくそんな気がします.

To the sympathetic a masterpiece becomes a living reality towards which we feel drawn in bonds of comradeship. The masters are immortal, for their loves and fears live in us over and over again. It is rather the soul than the hand, the man than the technique, which appeals to us, – the more human the all the deeper is our response. It is because of this secret understanding between the master and ourselves that in poetry or romance we suffer and rejoice with the hero and heroine. Chikamatsu, our Japanese Shakespeare, has laid down as one of the first principle of dramatic composition the importance of taking the audience into the confidence of the author. Several of his pupils submitted played for his approval, but only one of pieces appealed to him. It was a play somewhat resembling the comedy of Errors, in which twin brethren suffer through mistaken identify. “This,” said Chikamatsu, “has the proper spirit of the drama, for it takes the audience into consideration. The public is permitted to know more than the actors. It knows where the mistake lies, and pities the poor figures on the board who innocently rush to their fate.”

 傑作への共感は、友愛の絆によって惹きつけられ、生ける現実となる。達人たちは不死身である.その愛と恐怖が私達の中で幾度と生きているからである.手錬よりはむしろ魂が、技巧よりは人が、我々にとって魅力的である.より人間味が増すほど、我々の反応も深みが増すのである.巨匠と私達の間のこの暗黙の了解あればこそ詩歌や物語において我々が主人公とともに苦楽を共にすることができるのである.

 日本のシェイクスピアである近松門左衛門は、劇の脚本の第一原則の一つとして、作家の秘密に聴衆を引き込む重要性に重きを置いた.彼の門弟の何人かは彼に認められようと脚本を描いてきたが、一部のみが認められたに過ぎなかった.それはどこかシェイクスピアの「間違いの喜劇」に似ている脚本で、双子の兄弟が同一人物と誤認されることで苦労する話であった.「これこそ」と近松は言った.「演劇の本来の精神を持っている.聴衆を考慮に入れているからだ、大衆は役者よりも知る必要があるのだ.皆はどこに誤りがあるか知っていて、自分の運命に無垢に突っ走る哀れなや人物に同情するのだ」.

The great masters both of the East and West never forgot the value of suggestion as a means for taking the spectator into their confidence. Who can contemplate a masterpiece without being awed by the immense vista of thought presented to our consideration? How familiar and sympathetic are they all; how cold in contrast the modern commonplaces! In the former we feel the warm outpouring of man’s heart; in the latter only a formal salute. Engrossed in his technique, the modern rarely rise himself above. Like the musicians who vainly invoked the Lungmen harp, he sings only of himself. His works may be nearer science, but are further from humanity. We have an old saying in Japan that a woman cannot love a man who is truly vain, for there is no crevice in his heart for love to enter and fill up. In art vanity is equally fatal to sympathetic feeling, whether on the part of the artist or the public.

 洋の東西を問わず、巨匠は観衆に秘密を打ち明けることに暗示の価値を示すことを決して怠らない.我々の想定に対し示される思考の圧倒的な広がりによって畏敬の念を抱かずに傑作を吟味できるものはいるだろうか.

 それらはどれだけ親密で共感的であろうか.それとひきかえ現代の凡作の冷ややかさといったら.かつて我々は傑作に人の心から湧き出る温かみを感じたものだ.後にただの儀礼的な文句になってしまった.自身の技芸に没頭し、現代人は自身を超えることはほとんどなくなった.竜門の竪琴を呼び覚ませなかった音楽家のように、自身のことばかり歌うのである.彼の作品は科学に近いところにあるのかもしれないが、人情からはかけ離れている.日本の諺に、見栄はる男は女に好かれない、というのがあるが、そんな男に入り込み満たすための心の裂け目はない.芸術において虚栄は芸術家の側であれ、聴衆の方であれ、共感的感情にとって同義であるように致命的である.

Nothing is more hallowing than the union of kindred spirits in art. At the moment of meeting, the art lover transcends himself. At once he is and is not. He catches a glimpse of Infinity, but words cannot voice his delight, for the eye has no tongue. Freed from the fetters of matter, his spirit moves in the rhythm of things. It is thus that art becomes akin to religion and ennobles mankind. It is this which makes a masterpiece something sacred. In the old days the veneration in which the Japanese held the work of the great artist intense. The tea-masters guarded their treasures with religious secrecy, and it was often necessary to open a whole series of boxes, one within another, before reaching the shrine itself –the silken wrapping within whose soft folds lay the holy of holies. Rarely was the object exposed to view, and then only to the initiated.

 芸術において血盟の精神よりも神聖なものはない.出会ってすぐさま、芸術愛好家は自身を超越するのである.一瞬、彼は存在すると同時に存在しない.彼は無限のきらめきを捉えるが、彼の喜びを紡ぐ言葉はない.目には舌がないからである.彼は物質の足枷から解放され、精神は物質の律動を動かすのである.かくして芸術が宗教の近縁たらしめ人間を高尚にするのである.こうして傑作がなにか神聖になるのである.かつて昔、日本人が宗教的な崇拝とともに抱いていた芸術家への敬意は厚かった.茶人たちは、秘密の宝物を守っていたが、御神体は絹で覆われた柔らかく折りたたまれたもので、それに達するには一つまた一つと、いくつもの箱を開ける必要があった.それを見ることができる人は限られていた.見る場合でも、秘伝を授かった者のみに限られた.

At the time when Teaism was in the ascendency the Taiko’s generals would be better satisfied with the present of a rare work of art than a large grant of territory as a reward of victory. Many of our favourite dramas are based on the loss and recovery of a palace of Lord Hosokawa, in which was preserved the celebrated painting of Dharuma by Sesson, suddenly takes fire through the negligence of the samurai in charge. Resolved at all hazards to rescue the precious painting, he rushes into the burning building and seizes the kakemono, only to find all means of exit cut off by the flames. Thinking only of the picture, he slashes open his body with his sword, wraps his torn sleeve about the Sesson and plunges it into the gaping wound. The fire is at last extinguished. Among the smoking embers is found a half-consumed corpse, within which reposes the treasure uninjured by the fire. Horrible as such tales are, they illustrate the great value that we set upon a masterpiece, as well as the devotion of a trusted samurai.

 茶道が興隆する時代になると、太閤の諸将たちは勝利の報奨として広大な領土よりも希少な美術品を送られるほうが満足に感じたのであった.我々の好みの劇には細川氏の邸宅の損失と復興を主題にしたものがあり、そこには雪村による達磨の絵が保存されていたが、突如、侍の警護の不注意から失火したのである.貴重な絵画を救助するためあらゆる注意を排して、侍は燃える建物に駆け込み、掛け物を掴んだが、炎によって退路が絶たれたことを知るのみであった.絵画のことだけを考え、彼は刀で自身の体を切り裂き、裂けた袖で雪村の絵を包み、開いた傷口に容れたのであった.火事はとうとう消し止められた.灰燼の中に半焼の死体が見つかり、中には火から無傷の宝物が安置してあった.こうした話は、忠臣の侍の献身はもちろん、我々が傑作にかける価値の重さが、凄まじいことをよく説明している.

We must remember, however, that art is of value only to the extent that it speaks to us. It might be a universal language if we ourselves were universal in our sympathies. Our finite nature, the power of  tradition and conventionality, as well as our hereditary instincts, restrict the scope of our capacity for artistic enjoyment. Our very individuality establishes in one sense a limit to our understanding; and our aesthetic personality seeks its own affinities in the creation of the past. It is true that with cultivation our sense of art appreciation broadens, and we become able to enjoy many hitherto unrecognised expressions of beauty. But, after all, we see only our own image in the universe, –our particular idiosyncrasies dictate the mode of our perceptions.  The tea-masters collected only objects which fell strictly within the measure of their individual appreciation.

 しかしながら、我々は芸術が語りかける度合いがあることを覚えておかねばならない.我々が共感において普遍的であるならば普遍的な言語が存在するであろう.我々が有限の存在であり、伝統と因習の力があることは、遺伝的本能と同等に、芸術の楽しみに対する度量の視野を制限するものである.我々のこの独自性がある意味で理解に制約を課している.そして審美的人格がその過去の創造に親近感を抱くことを求めるのだ.なるほど醸成により我々の芸術鑑賞感覚が広がること、そして美の多くの未だ見ぬ表現を享受することができるのである.しかし、結局は宇宙において自分の心象を見るのみである.我々固有の特殊な性質が自身の知覚の様式を支配するのである.茶人も独自の鑑賞の測りを厳格に落とし込むことができる物品のみを蒐集したのであった.

 おそらく天心が文中で述べた双子の話は「雙生隅田川(ふたごすみだがわ)」でしょう.ここまで読んでくださり、ありがとうございます.

The Book of Tea: 13

Chapter V 第五章

gray dragon statue
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 雨の日は寒いですね.空気が一段と冷たくなるのを感じます.皆さんお元気ですか.ついに「茶の本」も五章に突入です.岡倉節ともいえる彼の芸術論、楽しいですよ.第三段落の文は美しいです.こういう文章が書けたらいいなぁ.

Art Appreciation 芸術鑑賞

HAVE you heard the Taoist tale of the Taming of the Harp?

 皆は「琴ならし」という道教徒の話を聞いたことがあるだろうか.

Once in the hoary ages in the Ravine of Lungmen7 stood a Kiri tree, a veritable king of the forest. It reared its head to talk to the stars; its roots struck deep into the earth, mingling their bronzed coils with those of the silver dragon that slept beneath. And it came to pass that a might wizard made of this tree a wondrous harp, whose stubborn spirit should be tamed but but the greatest of musicians. For long the instrument was treasured by the Emperor of China, but all in vain were the efforts of those who in turn tried to draw melody from its strings. In response to their utmost strivings there came from the harp but harsh notes of disdain, ill-according with the songs they fain would sing. The harp refused to recognise a master.

 かつて太古の時代、竜門の渓谷に桐の木があり、森の真の王であった.高くそびえ星々と会話した.根は地中奥深く生え、青銅のとぐろを巻き、白銀の龍がそばで眠っていた.そして有能な仙人がその木を竪琴に変えた.だがその堅固な精神をならすことは偉大な音楽家だけであった.中国の皇帝によってその楽器は宝物とされたが、みなが順番に弾こうとしてその努力はすべて無駄になった.最大の努力に対して竪琴からは侮蔑の荒々しい音が、喜んで歌おうとすると音色は気分を害するものであった.竪琴は主を認めることを拒んだのである.

At last came Peiwoh, the prince of harpists. With tender hand he caressed the harp as one might seek to soothe an unruly horse, and softly touched the chords. he sang of nature and the seasons, of high mountains and flowing waters, and all the memories of the tree awoke! Once more the sweet breath of spring played amidst its branches. The young cataracts, as they danced down the ravine, laughed to the budding flowers. Anon were heard the dreamy voices of summer with its myriad insects, the gentle patterning of rain, the wail of the cuckoo. Hark! a tiger roars, – the valley answers again. In autumn; in the desert night, sharp like sword gleams the moon upon the frosted grass. Now winter reigns, and through the snow-filled air swirl flocks of swan and rattling hailstones beat upon the boughs with fierce delight.

 ついに竪琴弾きの第一人者である伯牙が現れた.優しい手付きで悍馬を手懐けるように琴を愛撫し、優しく弦に触れた.彼は自然と季節を歌い、山々について、流水について、そしてあの木の記憶がすべて目覚めたのだ.再び泉の甘美な息吹がその枝の中から現れた.青春の奔流が渓谷で踊りだすと、花の蕾に笑いかけた.すぐさま夏の無数の虫たちの夢のような声が聞こえ、雨模様の優しさ、郭公の鳴き声が聞こえる.聞くのだ.虎が吠える.渓谷にこだまする.秋には荒涼とした夜、霜の降りた草の頭上に月の光が鋭い剣のように照らす.今や冬が訪れ、雪舞う空気に白鳥の群れが渦巻き、荒れる霜は喜々として枝を打つのである.

Then Peiwoh changed the key and sang of love. The forest swayed like an ardent swain deep lost in thought. On high, like a haughty maiden, swept a cloud bright and fair; but passing, trailed long shadows on the ground, black like despair. Again the mode was changed; Peiwoh sang of war, of clashing steel and trampling steeds. And in the harp arose the tempest of Lungmen, the dragon rode the lightning, the thundering avalanche crashed through the hills. In ecstasy the Celestial monarch asked Peiwoh where in lay the secret of his victory. “Sire,” he replied, “others have failed because they sang but of themselves. I left the harp to choose its theme, and knew not truly whether the harp had been Peiwoh or Peiwoh were the harp.”

 それから伯牙は旋律を変え愛を歌った.森が熱心な田舎者のように夢中であった.横柄な高くとまった女中のように、雲が輝き、通り過ぎる.地上に長い影が尾を引き、絶望のように黒い.再び調子が変わった.伯牙は争いを歌う.剣戟の音、軍馬の駆ける音を歌った.そして竜門の嵐が起きると、竜が稲妻に乗り、雪崩が轟々と丘に落ちた.中国の皇帝は恍惚として伯牙になぜ、彼は琴を勝ち取ったのか尋ねた.「陛下、」彼は答えた.「彼らはみな自分たちのことを歌ったからです.私は琴に主題を選ばせました.そして琴が伯牙であったか伯牙が琴であったかどうかは本当はわからないのでした.」

This story illustrates the mystery of art appreciation. The masterpiece is a sympathy played upon our finest feelings. True art is Peiwoh, and we the harp of Lungmen. At the magic touch of the beautiful the secret chords of our being are awakened, we vibrate and thrill in response to its call. Mind speaks to mind. We listen to the unspoken, we gaze upon the unseen. The master calls forth notes we know not of. Memories long forgotten all come back to us with a new significance. Hopes stifled by fear, yearnings that we dare not recognise, stand forth in new glory. Our mind is the canvas on which the artists lay their colour; their pigments are our emotions; their chiaroscuro the light of joy, the shadow of sadness. The masterpiece is of ourselves, as we are of the masterpiece.

The sympathetic communication minds necessary for art appreciation must be based on mutual concession. The spectator must cultivate the proper attitude for receiving the message, as the artist must know how to impart it. The tea-master, Kobori-Enshiu, himself a daimyo, has left to us these memorable words: “Approach a great painting as thou wouldst approach a great prince.” In order to understand a masterpiece, you must lay yourself low before it and await with bated breath its least utterance. An eminent Sung critic once made a charming confession. Said he: “In my young days I praised the master whose pictures I liked, but as my judgement matured I praised myself for liking what the masters had chosen to have me like.” It is to be deplored that so few of us really take pains to study the moods of the masters. In our stubborn ignorance we refuse to render them this simple courtesy, and thus often miss the rich repast of beauty spread before our very eyes. A master has always something to offer, while we go hungry solely because of our own lack of appreciation.

 この話は芸術鑑賞の秘訣をよく説明している.傑作とは我々の最も細やかな感性との交響曲である.真の芸術は伯牙であり、我々が竜門の琴なのだ.美の秘術で我々の存在という秘密の琴線が目を覚ます.その呼びかけに震え、わななく.精神は精神に語りかける.我々は聞こえないものに耳を澄ます.我々は見えないものを凝視する.達人は我々の知らないこと旋律を呼び起こす.長く忘れられた記憶は新たな意味を持って回帰する.恐怖によって押し込められた希望、我々があえて認知せずにいた仰望は、しきりに新たな栄光にいたるべくと前に立つ.私達の精神は芸術家が色付けをする画布である.描画の絵具は情緒である.明暗法は喜びの光であり、悲しみの影である.傑作は我々の中にあるように我々は傑作の中にいるのだ.

 

 芸術鑑賞に必要なこの情緒的な心の交流は相互譲歩に基づかねばならない.観衆は芸術家がどのように分かつか知らねばならないように、言伝を受け取る適切な態度を養わねばならない.茶の宗匠、小堀遠州は自身が大名であったが、つぎのような忘れがたい言葉を残している.

 「汝が偉大な太子に近づくように偉大な絵に歩み寄れ」

 傑作を理解するためには、その前では自身を低く、固唾を呑んで一言も発しないようにせよ.宗の著名な批評家は見事な告白を行った.

 「若かりしころ、自分の好きな絵画の宗匠を崇めたが、私は歳をとって宗匠が私が好みにあわせて絵を描いてくれたものを好む自分を讃えるようになったのだ」

 達人の作法を骨を折ってでも学ぶ人がまったくいないことは実に嘆かわしい.我々の頑固な無知においてこの単純な思いやりを拒むのである.そうして我々はしばしば眼前から見事な美の饗応を見逃すことがある.宗匠はつねに何かごちそうを与えてくれる.我々が自身の鑑賞の仕方を知らないゆえに一人腹をすかせるのだ.

7 The Dragon Gorge of Honan. 竜門の峡谷 河南省の竜門峡谷のこと.

最後まで読んでくださりありがとうございます.

The Book of Tea: 12

macro photography of green leaf
Photo by Dimitry Anikin on Pexels.com

Adobe of Fancy

Hello. The chapter four ends in this page and we’ll move on next chapter later. The translation was quite challenging but so comfy to me when the work came to the end. His style of writing is vigorous, contains a profound knowledge, and full of overwhelming passion. I can but manage to appreciate it by reading hundred times and trying to find what Tenshin meant to claim.


The name, Adobe of Fancy, implies a structure created to meet some individual artistic requirement. The tea-room is made for the tea-master, not the tea-master for the tea-room. It is not intended for posterity and is therefore ephemeral. The idea that everyone should have a house of his own is based on an ancient custom of the Japanese race, Shinto superstition ordaining that every dwelling should be evacuated on the death of its chief occupant. Perhaps there may have been some unrealised sanitary reason for this practice. Another early custom was that a newly built house should be provided for each couple that married. It is on account of such customs that we find the Imperial capitals so frequently removed from one site to another in ancient days. The rebuilding, every twenty years, of Ise Temple, the supreme shrine of the Sun-Goddess, is an example of one of these ancient rites which still obtain at the present day. The observance of these customs was only possible with some such form of construction as that furnished by our system of wooden architecture, easily pulled down, easily built up. A more lasting style, employing brick and stone, would have rendered migrations impracticable, as indeed they became when the more stable and massive wooden construction of China was adopted by us after the Nara period.

 数寄家、趣味の家という名はある芸術的な要求を満たすために作られた建造物であるという意味を含む.茶室は茶の宗匠のために作られたのであり、茶室のための茶の宗匠が作られたのではない.後世のためではなく、それゆえに儚い.誰もが自前の家を持つべきだという考えは日本人の古代の慣習に基づき、神道の迷信が命ずるところには、すべての住宅が家長の死ぬ際は避引き払わなければならない.おそらくなんらかの無意識な衛生概念のために実践されたのであろう.

 もう一つの早期の慣習とは新婚の各々の夫婦に新築を与えるべきだというものであった.そうした慣習は遷都のためであるとわかる.伊勢神宮は、改装は二十年毎に行われる.崇高な太陽女神の神殿であるが、古代のしきたりを今でも保っている一例である.こうした慣習を観察することは、あるいくらかの建築様式、すなわち、たやすく壊し、たやすく建てることのできる木造建築の我が国の体系により備えられるものとしてのみはじめて可能であった.

 より耐久性のある、煉瓦と石を用いるものがあるが、これによって転居が不可能になって、安定し強靭な中国の木造建築が奈良時代以降に用いられた.事実、移動は不可能となった.

With the predominance of Zen individualism in the fifteenth century, however, the old idea became imbued with a deeper significance as conceived in connection with the tea-room. Zennism, with the Buddhist theory of evanescence and its demands for the mastery of spirit over matter, recognised the house only as temporary refuge for the body. The body itself was but as a hut in the wilderness, a flimsy shelter made by tying together the grasses that grew around, –when these ceased to be bound together they again became resolved into the original waste. In the tea-room fugitiveness is suggested in the thatched roof, frailty in the slender pillars, lightness in the bamboo support, apparent carelessness in the use of commonplace materials. The eternal is to be found only in the spirit which, embodied in these simple surroundings, beautifies them with the subtle light of its refinement.

 しかしながら、禅の個人主義の優勢に伴い十五世紀には、古い思想は、茶室との関係において得られたものとして、より深い意味が吹き込まれた.

 禅道は、仏教徒の無常の理論と精神が物質を優越することを修得するためのその要請を伴って、肉体を一時的な避難のための家としてみなされた.肉体そのものは荒野に建てられた小屋に過ぎず、地面に生える草を結びあわせて作られた脆いしのぎ、それらが解けてしまうと再び荒れ地に戻るのである.茶室において儚さとは藁葺き屋根を意味し、細い柱の脆さ、竹の支えの軽さ、ありふれた物質をつかうことの見え透いた無造作なところに込められている.

 永遠とは精神にのみ見られる、すなわち、素朴な環境に体現し、みずからの上品なかすかな光とともに美化するものの中においてのみである.

That the tea-room should be built to suit some individual taste is an enforcement of the principle of vitality in art. Art, to be fully appreciated, must be true to contemporaneous life. It is not that we should ignore the claims of posterity, but that we should seek to enjoy the present more. It is not that we should disregard the creations of the past, but that we should try to assimilate them into our consciousness. Slavish conformity to traditions and formulas fetters the expression of individuality in architecture. We can but weep over those senseless imitations of European buildings which one beholds in modern Japan. We marvel why, among the most progressive Western nations, architecture should be so devoid of originality, so replete with repetitions of obsolete styles. Perhaps we are now passing through an age of democratisation in art, while awaiting the rise of some princely master who shall establish a new dynasty. Would that we loved the ancients more and copied them less! It has been said that the Greeks were great because they never drew from the antique.

 茶室が個人の好みに合わせるために建てられるべきというのは芸術における生命力の原理の強い主張である.芸術を、十分な理解に耐えるためには、同時代の生活にとり真実でならなければならない.私達が後代の主張を無視するべきであるというのではなくて、現在をより享受せよということである.過去の創造物を無視するというわけではなく、自分の意識に吸収しようとすべきである.伝統と形式への奴隷のような従順とは建築において個人主義の表現の枷である.

 我々は現代日本にそびえるヨーロッパ建築の風情のない模倣を嘆かざるを得ない.我々は驚く.なぜ最も先進的な西洋国家の中で建築がかくも独創を欠いて、時代遅れの様式を繰り返しているのはなぜかと.

 おそらく我々は芸術の民主主義化の時代にいるのだが、一方で新たな王朝を築く名君の勃興を待っている.願わくば昔を愛するより多く、模倣を少なくすることを!ギリシアが優れていたのは彼らが古代様式の域から脱していないことにあると言われている.

The term, Adobe of Vacancy, besides conveying the Taoist theory of the all-containing involves the conception of a continued need of change in decorative motives. The tea-room is absolutely empty, except for what may be placed there temporarily to satisfy some aesthetic mood. Some special art object is brought in for the occasion, and everything else is selected and arranged to enhance the beauty of the principal theme. One cannot listen to listen to different pieces of music at the same time, a real comprehension of the beautiful being possible only through concentration upon some central motive. Thus it will be seen that the system of decoration in our tea-rooms is opposed to that which obtains in the West, where the interior of a house is often converted into a museum. To a Japanese, accustomed to simplicity of ornamentation and frequent change of decorative method, a Western interior permanently filled with a vast array of pictures, statuary, and bric-à-brac gives the impression of mere vulgar display of riches. It calls for mighty wealth of appreciation to enjoy the constant sight of even a masterpiece, and limitless indeed must be the capacity for artistic feeling in those who can exist day after day in the midst of such confusion of colour and form as is to be often seen in the homes of Europe and America.

 「空き家」という言葉は万物が含有するという道教徒の理論を伝えるだけでなく、装飾的な主体において絶えず変化する必要があるという概念をもっている.いくらかの審美的雰囲気を一時的に満たすために、配置すべきものを除いて、茶室はまったくの空虚である.

 状況によって何らかの特別な芸術品が持ち込まれるが、すべては原理的な題目の美しさを強化するために選定され配置される.異なる音色を同時に聞き分ける人はいない.中枢の主題へ集中することでのみ美的存在の真の鑑賞は可能になる.このようにして茶室における装飾の体系は西洋、邸宅の内装がしばしば美術館に変わるところ、において持っているものの対極である.

 日本人にとって、装飾の簡素さや装飾方法の頻繁の変化に親しんでいる我々にとって、西洋の内装の変わることなくずらりと並んだ絵画、像、骨董品が富豪のただの卑しい陳列という印象を与える.

 一つの傑作でさえも常に鑑賞を楽しむためには大きな鑑賞の豊かさが必要である.ヨーロッパやアメリカの家庭でしばしば見られる色彩と様式のそうした混乱のさなかに何日もいられる者における芸術的感性とは、実に無限を要するのであるにちがいない.

“The Adobe of the Unsymmetrical” suggests another phase of our decorative scheme. The absence of symmetry in Japanese art objects has been often commented on by Western critics. This, also, is a result of a working out through Zennism of Taoist ideals. Confucianism, with its deep-seated idea of dualism, and Northern Buddhism with worship of a trinity, were in no way opposed to the expression of symmetry. As a matter of fact, if we study the ancient bronzes of China or the religious arts of the Tang dynasty and the Nara period, we shall recognise a constant striving after symmetry. The decoration of our classical interiors was decidedly regular in its arrangement. The Taoist and Zen conception of perfection, however, was different. The dynamite nature of their philosophy laid more stress upon the process through which perfection was sought than upon perfection itself. True beauty could be discovered only by one who mentally completed the incomplete. The virility of life and art lay in its possibilities for growth. In the tea-room it is left for each guest in imagination to complete the total effect in relation to himself. Since Zennism has come become that prevailing mode of thought, the art of the extreme Orient has purposely avoided the symmetrical as expressing not only completion but repetition. Uniformity of design was considered as fatal to the freshness of imagination. Thus, landscapes, birds, and flowers became the human figure, the latter being present in the person of the beholder himself. We are often too much in evidence as it is, and in spite of our vanity even self-regard is apt to become monotonous.

 「非対称の家」は我々の装飾的様式のもう一つの段階であることを意味している.日本美術品において対称を欠くことに対して西洋の批評家の指摘を受けてきた.これもまた、道教徒思想の禅道を通じて築かれた結果である.

 儒教の二元論の考えに深く根ざすもものと、仏教の三位一体の崇拝は対称性の表現に反対するものではない.事実、古代の中国の青銅あるいは唐王朝と奈良時代の宗教芸術を学ぶとすれば、我々は対称性の絶え間ない努力を認める.我が国の古典的内装の装飾は決定的に規則的配列である.しかしながら道教徒と禅の完全の理念は異なっていた.彼ら哲学の動的本質は、完全とは、完全そのものよりも完全を探求する過程を重視することにある.

 真の美は精神的に、不完全なものを完成させたものによってのみ発見される.生命の力強さとは成長の可能性にある.茶室では、全体の効果が自身との関わりのなかで完成なものにするために客人各々の想像力に委ねられる.禅道が現在も残る思考の様式となって以来、極東の芸術は表現としての対称性を完全だけでなく、反復をも故意に避けた.

 意匠の画一性は想像力の新鮮味にとり致命的と考えられた.そうして、風景、鳥、花が人物像よりも好ましい主題となった.後者はそれを所有するひとそのものである.我々はありのままの自己を表現することが余計すぎていて、我々の空虚さにもかかわらず自己認識は単調になりがちである.

In the tea-room the fear of repetition is a constant presence. The various objects for the decoration of a room should be so selected that no colour or design shall be repeated. If you have a living flower, a painting of flowers is not allowable. If you are using a round kettle, the water pitcher should be angular. A cup with a black glaze should not be associated with a tea-caddy of black lacquer. In placing a vase on an incense burner on the tokonoma, care should be taken not to put it in  the exact centre, lest it divide the space into equal halves. The pillar of the tokonoma should be of a different kind of wood from the other pillars, in order to break any suggestion of monotony in the room.

 茶室では反復を避けようとする考えが持続しているのである.部屋の装飾に対する多彩な事物は選択されても色や意匠は反復されるべきではない.生花があれば、花の絵は不要である.丸い茶釜があれば、水差しは角張ったものであるべきだ.黒釉の茶碗は漆塗りの黒茶筒と合わせるべきではない.床の間に香炉や花瓶を配置するときは、中央に置くのではないようにして、それが均等に半分に空間を割かないようにすべきである.床の間の柱は他の柱とは異なる木材であるべきで、部屋の単調性を破るようにすべきである.

Here again the Japanese method of interior decoration differs from that of the Occident, where we see objects arrayed symmetrically on mantelpieces and elsewhere. In Western houses we are often confronted with what appears to us useless reiteration. We find it trying to talk to a man while his full-length portrait stares at us from behind his back. We wonder which is real, he of the picture or he who talks, and feel a curious conviction that one of them must be fraud. Many a time have we sat at a festive board contemplating, with a secret shock to on the dining-room walls. Why these pictured victims of chase and sport, the elaborate carvings of fishes and fruit? Why the display of family plates, reminding us of those who have dined and are dead?

 ここでまた、日本の室内装飾方法が西洋の、我々が見る事物がマントルピースやどこもかしこもに対称に並べてあるところのそれと異は異なる.西洋の邸宅において我々はしばしば無用の繰り返しのように思われるものに出くわす.ある男が彼の等身大の肖像画が飾ってある前で当人と話をしていることがある.我々はどちらが本物なのかと思うのである.絵の男か、話をしている男か、そしてどれかが偽物だという奇妙な確信をもつのである.

 我々は宴会に着座して、晩餐会の壁に密かな衝撃を何度も受ける.なぜ狩りの犠牲の絵が、魚や果物の精巧な彫刻が描かれているのか.なぜかつてともに食事し、亡くなったことを思い起こすような家紋の描かれた器が並んでいるのだろうか.

The simplicity of the tea-room and its freedom from vulgarity make it truly a sanctuary from the vexations of the outer world. There and there alone can one consecrate himself to undisturbed adoration of the beautiful. In the sixteen century the tea-room afforded a welcome respite from labour to the fierce warriors and statesman engaged in the unification and reconstruction of Japan. In the seventeenth century, after the strict formalism of the Tokugawa rule had been developed, it offered the only opportunity possible for the free communion of artistic spirits. Before a great work of art there was no distinction between daimyo, samurai, and commoner, Nowadays industrialism is making true refinement more difficult all the world over. Do we not need the tea-room more than ever?

 茶室の簡素さと粗野からの自由が外界の苛立たしさを解き放つ聖域なのである.そうして美の礼賛を煩わされずに身を捧げることを可能にするのである.十六世紀において茶室は歓待を提供し、荒くれ者の戦士と日本の再興と統合に従事する者が労働からの休息を提供する.十七世紀において、徳川の厳格な形式主義が確立してからの後、茶室は芸術的精神の自由な親交に対する唯一の機会をもたらした.

 偉大な芸術作品の前に大名、侍、そして領主に違いはなかった.今日、産業主義が世界中で真の風雅をより困難にしている.我々はこれまでないほど茶室が必要なときはないのではないか.

 いつもありがとうございます.

Goro
Goro

The chief editor and translator of Kamegoro Law Firm.

The Book of Tea: 11

scenic view of bamboo trees
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
吾郎(ごろうちゃん)
吾郎(ごろうちゃん)

ほとんどの記事を執筆しています.甲長20cm,体重900g超になりました.体格に負けないくらいずっしりと読み応えのある記事を目指しています.

 こんにちは.茶の本の続きになります.詩歌を訳すほうが、文章を訳すよりも大変でした.コツはあまり考えすぎずに直観でさささーっと訳してしまうことです.もとの歌を英訳した天心に関してはもはや何もいわなくていいでしょう.これが才能というやつですね.

A cluster of summer trees, A bit of the sea, A pale evening moon.

The simplicity and purism of the tea-room resulted from emulation of the Zen monastery. A Zen monastery differs from those of other Buddhist sects inasmuch as it is meant only to be a dwelling place for the monks. Its chapel is not a place of worship or pilgrimage, but a college room where the students congregate for discussion and the practice of meditation. The room is bare except for a central alcove in which, behind the altar, is a statue of Bodhi Dharuma the founder of the sect, or of Sakyamuni attended by Kashiapa and Ananda, the two earliest Zen patriarchs. On the altar, flowers and incense are offered up in memory of the great contributions which these sages made to Zen. We have already said that it was the ritual instituted by Zen monks of successively drinking tea out of a bowl before the image of Bodhi Dharma, which laid the foundations of the tea-ceremony. We might add here that the altar of the Zen chapel was the prototype of the Tokonoma, – the place of honour in a Japanese room where paintings and flowers are placed for the edification of the guests.

 茶室の簡素さと純粋さは禅林を見習うことによって生じたのであった.禅林は他の仏教宗派と異なるので僧侶にとってただの住所となっている.礼拝堂は崇拝や巡礼の場所ではなく、学生が問答と瞑想の練習のため集まる学問の部屋であった.その部屋は中央にくぼみがあり、祭壇の後ろには菩提達磨、流派の創始者あるいは迦葉と阿難陀が連なった釈迦牟尼の像があり、二人の初期禅道の祖師以外何もないのである.祭壇の上には、花と香が禅に対して賢人がなした偉大な貢献を記憶するために捧げられている.

 禅僧が菩提達磨の像の前でひとつの碗の茶を次々続けて飲む儀礼的なものだとすでに言及した.菩提達磨は茶の湯の創始者であった.禅の祭壇は床の間、すなわち絵画や花が客人を教化するために配置された日本の部屋の上座の原型であったと付言しよう.

All our great tea-masters were students of Zen and attempted to introduce the spirit of Zennism into the actualities of life. Thus the room, like the other equipments of the tea-ceremony, reflects many of the Zen doctrines. The size of  the orthodox tea-room, which is four mats and a half, or ten feet square, is determined by a passage in the Sutra of Vikramadytia. In that interesting work, Vikramadytia welcomes the Saint Manjushiri and eighty-four thousand disciples of Buddha in a room of this size, –an allegory based on the theory of the non-existence of space to the truly enlightened. Again the roji, the tea-room, signified the first stage of meditation, –the passage into self-illumination. The roji was intended to break connection with the outside world and to produce a fresh sensation conducive to the full enjoyment of aestheticism in the tea-room itself. One who has trodden this garden path cannot fail to remember how his spirit, as he walked in the twilight of evergreens over the regular irregularities of the stepping stones, beneath which lay dried pine needles, and passed beside the moss-covered granite lanterns, became uplifted above ordinary thoughts. One may be in the midst of a city, and yet feel as if he were in the forest far away from the dust and din of civilisation. Great was the ingenuity displayed by the tea-masters in producing these effects of serenity and purity. The nature of the sensations to be aroused in passing through the roji, differed with different tea-masters. Some, like Rikiu, aimed at utter loneliness, and claimed the secret of making a roji was contained in the ancient ditty:

 我が国の偉大な茶の宗匠はみな禅の学徒であり、禅道の精神を生活の実際に導入しようとした.このようにして、部屋は、茶の湯の他の道具の様に、禅の教義の多くを反映している.標準的な茶室の大きさは、四畳半あるいは十尺平方で、ヴィクラマーディティヤ王の経典「維摩経」の文によって決められている.興味深い作品の中で、ヴィクラマーディティヤ王は文殊菩薩と、四万八千のブッダの弟子をこの大きさの部屋で迎える.真に悟りを開いたものにとって空間は存在しないという理論に基づいた寓話である.

 再び路地、茶室は黙想の初段階と位置づける、自己啓発への小路である.路地は外界との連絡を絶ち、茶室そのものの審美主義の十分な楽しみにつながる新鮮な感覚を生み出すためにあった.

 庭道を歩く人は、常緑樹の黄昏を歩く時に乾いた松の葉が敷かれ、踏石が規則的な不規則性で並び、苔むした御影石の灯籠のそばを過ぎる時、その精神が普通の考えを離れ昇華するのを感じざるをえないだろう.

 都市の真っ只中にいるものは、まるで文明の塵芥から遠く離れた森林にいるかのような気持ちになる.

 茶の宗匠たちによって配置されたこれら静穏と純真の効果は見事な巧妙さであった.

 路地を通るときに生じる感覚の本質は、茶の宗匠によって異なる.例えば、利休は究極の寂寥を目指したが、路地の秘訣は次のような古歌に含まれていると主張した.

“I look beyond;

Flowers are not,

Nor tinted leaves.

On the sea beach

A solitary cottage stands

In the waning light

Of an autumn eve.”

私が向こうを見渡すと (見渡せば)

花はないし (花も)

紅葉もない.(紅葉もなかりけり)

浜辺には (浦の)

ひっそりと小屋が建つ (苫屋の)

秋の夕べの (秋の夕暮れ)

うす明かりの中で.

Others, like Kobori-Enshiu, sought for a different effect. Enshiu said the idea of the garden path was to be found in the following verses:

 一方、小堀遠州のように、異なる効果を求めたものもいた.遠州は庭の小道の着想は次の句に見いだされると述べた.

“A cluster of summer trees,

A bit of the sea,

A pale evening moon.”

夏の木々の群れ(夕月夜)

海がむこうに見える(海少しある)

淡い夕暮れの月 (木の間かな)

It is not difficult to gather his meaning. He wished to create the attitude of a newly awakened soul still lingering amid shadowy dreams of the past, yet bathing in the sweet unconsciousness of a mellow spiritual light, and yearning for the freedom that lay in the expanse beyond.

 この意味を集約することは難しくは無い.彼は新しく目覚めた魂が過去の影かかる夢の中で未ださまよう態度を作ろうとした.神秘的な心地よい光の甘美な無意識に浴し、遠く彼方に横たわる自由を切望するといったものである.

Thus prepared the guest will silently approach the sanctuary, and if a samurai, will leave his sword on the rack beneath the eaves, the tea-room being pre-ëminently the house of peace. Then he will bend low and creep into the room through a small door not more than three feet in height. This proceeding was incumbent on all guests, -high and low alike, – and was intended to inculcate humility. The order of precedence having been mutually agreed upon while resting in the machiai, the guests one by one will enter noiselessly and take their seats, first making obeisance to the picture of flower arrangement on the tokonoma. The host will not enter the room until all the guests have seated themselves and quiet reigns with nothing to break the silence save the note of the boiling water in the iron kettle. The kettle sings well, for pieces of iron are so arranged in the bottom as to produce a peculiar melody in which one may hear the echoes of a cataract muffled by clouds, of a distant sea breaking among the rocks, a rainstorm sweeping through a bamboo forest, or of the soughing of pines on some faraway hill.

 こうして、支度した客は聖域へと静かに近づく.そして侍であれば軒下に刀の鞘を置くと、茶室は優れて平穏の空間となる.そして人は腰を低くかがめて三尺もない高さの小さな扉を開けて部屋へ入ってゆく.この手続はどの客人も高貴だろうと低かろうと同じで、人情を教え込むようになっている.

 誰が先に入るか順番を決めるのは待合で待っている間に相互の了解で決まり、客人は一人ずつ音を立てずに入り着座する.最初に床の間の生花への敬意を表するのである.主催はすべての客人が着座し、静寂が支配し、茶釜の湯が沸騰する音が静けさを破るまで入室しないのである.

 茶釜の音がよく鳴り、鉄器のかけらが特有の音を奏でるのに底がちょうどよく整えられているからだ.それは雲によって瀑布が包まれた音、遠方の海が岩を穿ち、嵐が竹林を吹き曝し、どこか遠くの丘の松籟のように聞こえる.

Even in the daytime the light in the room is subdued, for the low eaves of the slanting roof admit but few of the sun’s rays. Everything is sober in tint from the ceiling to the floor; the guests themselves have carefully chosen garments of unobtrusive colours. The mellowness of age is over all, everything suggestive of recent acquirement being tabooed save only the one note of contrast furnished by the bamboo dipper and the linen napkin, both immaculately white and new. However faded the tea-room and the tea-equipage may seem, everything is absolutely clean. Not a particle of dust will be found in the darkest corner, for if any exists the host is not a tea-master. One of the first requisites of a tea-master is the knowledge of how to sweep, clean, and wash, for there is an art in cleaning and dusting. A piece of antique metal work must not be attacked with the unscrupulous zeal of the Dutch house wife. Dripping water from a flower vase need not be wiped away, for it may be suggestive of dew and coolness.

 日中でさえも部屋の明かりは抑えられている.というのは傾斜した屋根の低い軒がごくわずかな日光しか拾わないからである.

 天井から床の色合いまですべてがありのままである.客人は控えめの色の服装を注意して着ている.年月の出す円熟味はすべてに行き渡っていて、最近手に入れたのだとわかるものは皆禁じられている.竹の柄杓と麻の布巾は例外で新しいものと古いものの対照をなしている.両者は完璧に白く新しい.

 しかしながら茶室と茶道具が色あせようとすべてがまったく清潔なのである.真っ暗な隅に塵一つ無いのは、もしそれがあれば、その主催は茶人では無いからだ.茶の宗匠に求められる資質のうちの最初の一つは掃き方、清掃、洗浄の知識である.拭きとはたきには技芸があるからである.金属の骨董品は無作法で熱心なオランダの掃除婦にさせてはならない.花瓶からしたたる水を拭いてはならない.というのは雫と涼しさを与えるからである.

In this connection there is a story of Rikiu which well illustrates the ideas of cleanliness entertained by the tea-masters. Rikiu was watching his son Shoan as he swept and watered the garden path. “Not clean enough,” said Rikiu, when Shoan had finished his task, and bade him try again. After a weary hour the son turned to Rikiu: “Father, there is nothing more to be done. The steps have been washed for the third time, the stone lanterns and the trees are well sprinkled with water, moss and lichens are shining with a fresh verdure; not a twig, not a leaf have I left on the ground.” “Young fool,” chided the tea-master, “that is not the way a garden path should be swept.” Saying this, Rikiu stepped into the garden, shook a tree and scattered over the garden gold and crimson leaves, scraps of the brocade of autumn! What Rikiu demanded was not cleanliness alone, but the beautiful and the natural also.

 これに関連して、利休が茶の宗匠によって面白く清潔の思想について説明する話がある.利休は彼の息子、千紹安が庭の道を掃いているのを見た.「十分ではないよ」と利休が言ったのは、紹安が彼の仕事を終えた時で、やり直させようとしたのであった.一時間してくたくたになって息子は利休に「父上、もはや掃くところはありません.段差は三度洗いました.灯籠と木々は十分水をやりました.苔は新緑で輝いています.小枝や葉っぱ一枚も地面に落ちていません」と言った.「馬鹿者め」と利休は叱り、「庭の路地はそのように掃くのではないよ」このように言って、利休は庭に入り込んで木を揺すり庭に黄金色、紅色の葉っぱを散らし、秋の金襴の小布で覆ったのだ.利休が主張するのは清潔さだけでなく、美と自然そのものでもあった.

いつもいつも最後まで読んでくださりありがとうございます.

The Book of Tea: 9

wood logs on fire
Photo by Harry Cunningham @harry.digital on Pexels.com

The Vacuum

But the chief contribution of Taoism to Asiatic life has been in the realm of aesthetics. Chinese historians have always spoken of Taoism as the “art of being in the world,” for it deals with the present –ourselves. It is in us that God meets with Nature, and yesterday parts from to-morrow. The Present is the moving Infinity, the legitimate sphere of the Relative. Relativity seeks Adjustment; Adjustment is Art. The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings. Taoism accepts the mundane as it is and, unlike the Confucians and the Buddhists, tries to find beauty in our world of woe and worry. The Sung allegory of the Three Vinegar Tasters explains admirably the trend of the three doctrines. Sakyamuni, Confucius, and Laotse once stood before a jar of vinegar–the emblem of life–and each dipped in his finger to taste the brew. The matter-of-fact Confucius found it sour, the Budda called it bitter, and Laotse pronounced it sweet.

 しかし、道教がアジア的生活に大きく寄与しているのは審美主義の世界においてである.中国の歴史家は道教を「世界の処世術」だと常に言う.というのは、道教は現在を、我々のことを扱うからである.天が自然と出会い、昨日が明日から分かれるのは私達のなかにおいてである.現在は動き続ける「無限」であり、相対の本領である.「相対性」は「適応」を求める.「適応」は「芸術」である.処世術は我々の周りを常に再適応する.道教徒は世俗をそれそのものとして受け入れ、儒教徒や仏教徒と違って、悲哀と苦悩の世界に美を見出そうとする.宗朝の「三人の酢を味わうもの」という寓話は三つの教義の傾向を実によく説明する.釈迦牟尼、孔子、そして老子はあるとき酢の入った瓶の前に立ち、人生の象徴である酢を指につけて醸造を味わう.その事実を孔子は酸いといい、仏陀は苦さといい、老子は甘みだと述べた.

The Taoists claimed that the comedy of life could be made more interesting if everyone would preserve the unities. To keep the proportion of things and give place to others without losing one’s own position was the secret of success in the mundane drama. We must know the whole play in order to properly act our parts; the conception of totality must never be lost in that of the individual. This Laotse illustrates by his favourite metaphor of the Vacuum. He claimed that only in vacuum lay the truly essential. The reality of a room, for instance, was to be found in the vacant space enclosed by roof and walls, not in the roof and walls themselves. The usefulness of a water pitcher or the material of which it was made. Vacuum is all potent because all containing. In vacuum alone motion becomes possible. One who could make of himself a vacuum into which others might freely enter would become master of all situations. The whole can always dominate the part.

 道教徒は皆がより三単一の法則を享受すれば人生の喜劇はより面白くなるだろうと述べた.物事の釣り合いを保ち、自分の立場を失うことなく場所を他に譲ることが日常劇における成功の秘訣であった.私達は自分の役割をきちんと演じるために全体の芝居をしらなければならない.全体の概念は個を知っても失われてはならない.

 老子は「虚」という好みの暗喩を用いて説明する.彼は唯一虚においてのみ本質があると説いた.例えば、部屋の本質は、屋根と壁によって閉じられた空間に見いだされ、屋根と壁そのものではないとした.水差しの利便性は水を容れるそのものにあるとした.虚はすべてを含むゆえに万能である.虚においてのみ動作は可能である.自分を空虚にして他者が入ってこれるようにできるものはあらゆる状況をも自由にするである.全体が常に部分を支配するのだ.

These Taoists’ ideas have greatly influenced all our theories of action, even to those of fencing and wrestling. Jiu-jitsu, the Japanese art of self-defence, owes its name to a passage in the Taoteiking. In jiu-jitsu one seeks to draw out and exhaust the enemy’s strength by non-resistance, vacuum, while conserving one’s own strength for victory in the final struggle. In art the importance of the same principle is illustrated by the value of suggestion. In leaving something unsaid the beholder is given a chance to complete the idea and thus a great masterpiece irresistibly rivets your attention until you seem to become actually a part of it. A vacuum is there for you to enter and fill up to the full measure of your aesthetic emotion.

 こうした道教徒の思想は我々の行動理論に大きな影響をもたらし、剣術と相撲にさえも影響を与えた.柔術は日本の護衛術であるが、「道徳経」の一句からその名を得ている.柔術において人は無抵抗、すなわち虚によって敵の力を引き出そうとし、疲労させ、最後の闘いのために力を温存するのである.芸術において同様の原則が重要であることは暗示の価値が説明している.何も言わずにおくことで観察者はその考えをまとめる機会を与えられる.そうして偉大な傑作が否応なしに人を釘付けにし、見るものが実際に作品の一部になっている気持ちにするのだ.虚無は見るものを招き審美的感情を十分に満たすためにある.

He who had made himself master of the art of living was the Real Man of the Taoist. At birth he enters the realm of dreams only to awaken to reality at death. He tempers his own brightness in order to merge himself into the obscurity of others. He is “reluctant, as one who crosses a stream in winter; hesitating as one who fears the neighbourhood; respectful, like a guest; trembling, like ice that is about to melt; unassuming, like a piece of wood not yet carved; vacant, like a valley; formless, like troubled waters.” To him the three jewels of life were Pity, Economy, and Modesty.

 生の術を極めたものは道教でいう「本物の人」であった.生まれると彼は夢の国に入り、彼は死に際でのみ現実に目覚める.他者の蒙昧さを自身が混在させるために、自分のまばゆさを和らげる.

 彼は「冬の小川を横切る人のように渋り、隣人をおそれる人のようにためらう.客人のように丁寧で、溶けようとする氷のように震えている.彫られていない材木のように控えめであり、渓谷のように空虚であり、荒れる海のように形がない」.

 彼にとって三つの宝石とは慈愛、倹約、そして謙譲であった.

If now we turn our attention to Zennism we shall find that it emphasises the teachings of Taoism. Zen is a name derived from Sanscrit word Dhyanma, which signifies meditation. It claims that through consecrated meditation may be attained supreme self-realisation. Meditation is one of the six ways through which Buddhahood may be reached, and the Zen sectarians affirm that Sakyamuni laid special stress on this method in his later teachings, handing down the rules to his chief disciple Kashiapa. According to their tradition Kashiapa, the first Zen patriarch, imparted the secret to Ananda, who in turn passed it on to successive patriarchs until it reached Bodhi-Dharma came to Northern China in the early half of the sixth century and was the first patriarch of Chinese Zen. There is much uncertainty about the history of these patriarchs and their doctrines. In its philosophical aspect early Zennism seems to have affinity on one hand to the Indian Negativism of Nagarjuna and on the other to the Gnan philosophy formulated by Sancharacharya. The first teaching of Zen as we know it at the present day must be attributed to the sixth Chinese patriarch Yeno(637-713), founder of Southern Zen, so-called from the fact of its predominance in Southern China. He is closely followed by the great Baso(died 788) who made of Zen a living influence in Celestial life. Hiakujo(719-814) the pupil of Baso, first instituted the Zen monastery and established a ritual and regulations for its government. In the discussions of the Zen school after the time of Baso we find the play of the Yangtse-Kiang mind causing an accession of native modes of thought in contrast to the former Indian idealism. Whatever sectarian pride may assert to the contrary one cannot help being impressed by the similarity of Southern Zen to the teachings of Laotse and Taoist Conversationalists. In the Taoteiking we already find allusions to the importance of self-concentration and the need of properly regulating the breath- essential points in the practice of Zen meditation. Some of the best commentaries on the Book of Laotse have been written by Zen scholars. 

 我々が今、禅道に注意を向けると、禅は道教の教えを強調しているとわかる.禅はサンスクリットの言葉であるディヤーナから取られており、瞑想を意味する.神聖な瞑想を通じて最高の自己実現へ到ると主張する.瞑想とは仏に到達する六つの道の一つであり、禅の宗派がいうところによると、釈迦牟尼が晩年の教えでこの理論に特別な重きをおき、彼の主な弟子のカシュヤパ(迦葉)にその規則を伝えた.

 彼らの言い伝えによれば、カシュヤパは禅道の始祖であり、アーナンダ(阿難陀)は、十六世紀の前半に北部中国に菩提達磨が中国の禅道の第一始祖となるに到るまで順に後継者たちに秘技を授けたのだった.この始祖らの歴史と教義については不確かなことが多い.その早期禅道の理念的な面はナーガルジュナ(龍樹)のインド否定論に親和性があり、他方シャンカラチャリヤにより作られた唯識哲学に似ているようである.禅の最初の教えは我々が今日知るように、六代目の祖師慧能(六三七-七一三年)だと考えられ、南方の禅の創始者、中国南部のその優勢を占めていたためにそう言われる.

 中国人の生活に禅の影響を与えているとした偉大な馬祖は(七八八年没)慧能のすぐ後を継いだ.百丈(七一九-八一四年)は馬祖の徒弟であり、統制のため禅の叢林を最初に創設し儀式と規則(禅林清規)を定めた.馬祖のあとの時代に禅の問答で我々は揚子江の理念が当時のインド理想主義と対照をなす中国固有の様式を付け加えていると知る.

 流派の自尊心が、反対しようと、老子や道教徒の保守派の教えへと南方の禅の類似性を考えられずにはいられないとわかる.

 「道徳経」で我々はすでに自己集中の重要性への引喩と、禅の瞑想の実践するための要点、適切な呼吸の調整が必要だと知る.「老子」の最も優れた注釈は禅の学者によって書かれている.

Zennism, like Taoism, is the worship of Relativity. One master defines Zen as the art of feeling the polar star in the southern sky. Truth can be reached only through the comprehension of opposites. Again, Zennism, like Taoism, is a strong advocate of individualism. Nothing is real except that which concerns the  working of our own minds. Yeno, th sixth patriarch, once saw two monks watching the flag of a pagoda fluttering in the wind. One said “It is the wind that moves,” the other said “It is the flag that moves”; but Yeno explained to them that the real movement was neither of the wind nor the flag, but of something within their own minds. Hiakujo was walking in the forest with a disciple when a hare scurried off at their approach. “Why does the hare fly from you?” asked Hiakujo. “Because he is afraid of me,” was the answer. “No,” said the master, “it is because you have a murderous instinct.” This dialogue recalls that of Soshi(Chuangtse), the Taoist. One day Soshi was walking on the bank of a river with a friend. “How delightfully the fishes are enjoying themselves in the water!” exclaimed Soshi. His friend spoke to him thus: “You are not a fish; how do you know that the fishes are enjoying themselves?” “you are not myself,” returned Soshi; “how do you know that the fishes are enjoying themselves?” “You are not myself,” returned Soshi; “how do you know that I do not know that the fishes are enjoying themselves?”

 禅道は道教のように「相対性」を崇拝する.ある師は禅を南方の空に北極星を感じる術と定義した.真実は対極の理解を通じてのみなされる.さらに禅道は道教のように、個人主義の強い擁護者である.自分の思弁を除いて実在するものは何もないのだ.

 慧能、六代目始祖はあるとき、二人の僧が楼閣の旗が風になびくのを見た.一人が「あれが揺れるのは風のせいだ」というと、もう一人は、「動いているのは旗だ」といった.しかし慧能は、実際に動いているのは風でもなく、旗でもない.自分の精神の中で何かが動いているのだ、と彼らに説いた.

  百丈は弟子と森の中を歩いていると、近くにいた兎が逃げ出した.「なぜ兎はあなたから逃げたのでしょう」と百丈が尋ねると、「なぜなら兎は私を恐れたからです」と答えた.「そうではない、あなたの殺気を感じたからだ」と師は答えた.この対話は道教徒の莊子のものを想起させる.

 莊子が友人と川のほとりを歩いていると「魚はなんと楽しそうに泳いでいることか」と莊子はいった.彼の友人は次のようにいう.「あなたは魚ではないのにどうして魚が楽しんでいるとわかるのかね」、「あなたは私ではない」と莊子は返す.「なぜあなたは私が魚が楽しんでいるのがわからないといえるのかね」と.

Zen was often opposed to the precepts of orthodox Buddhism even as Taoism was opposed to Confucianism. To the transcendental insight of the Zen, words were but an incumbrance to thought; the whole sway of Buddhist scriptures only commentaries on personal speculation. The followers of Zen aimed at direct communion with the inner nature of things, regarding their outward accessories only as impediments to a clear perception of the Truth. It was this love of the Abstract that led the Zen to prefer black and white sketches to the elaborately coloured paintings of the classic Buddhist School. Some of the Zen even became iconoclastic as a result of their endeavour to recognise the Buddha in themselves rather than through images and symbolism. We find Tankawosho breaking up wooden statue of Buddha on a wintry day to make a fire. “What sacrilege!” said the horror-stricken bystander. “I wish to get the Shali5 out of the ashes,” calmly rejoined the Zen. “But you certainly will not get Shali from this image!” was the angry retort, to which Tanka replied, “If I do not, this is certainly not a Buddha and I am committing no sacrilege.” Then he turned to warm himself over the kindling fire.

 禅道はしばしば正統な仏教の考えと対立した.道教ですら儒教と対立した.禅道の超越的内観にとって言葉は思考の邪魔でしか無い.(incumbrance->encumbrance)

 仏教徒の経典の全体の力は個人の推測による注釈に過ぎない.禅道の信徒は物事の内なる本質との直接的な交わりを目的とし、外部の付属物は真実の明瞭な知覚の妨げでしかないとみなした.抽象への愛こそが禅をして古典的な仏門の塗装よりも墨絵の素描を好ませたのである.心象と象徴よりも自身に仏を感じようとしたの結果として、ある禅道のものは偶像破壊者となった.

 丹霞和尚はある冬の日に火を起こすため木造の仏を壊したという.恐れおののく目撃者は「何という冒涜か」と言ったが、和尚は「私は灰の中から舎利を得るのだ」といい静かに座禅に戻った.「ですがこの像から舎利は手に入らないではないですか」と怒りの返事がかえってくると、丹霞は「もし手に入らなければ、これは仏ではないし私は冒涜をしていないのだよ」そして彼はつけた火で暖を取るためくるりと戻った.

A special contribution of Zen to Eastern thought was its recognition of the mundane as of equal importance with the spiritual. It held that in the great relation of things there was no distinction of small and great, an atom possessing equal possibilities with the universe. The seeker for perfection must discover in his own life the reflection of the inner light. The organisation of the Zen monastery was very significant of this point of view. To every member, except the abbot, was assigned some special work in the care-taking of the monastery, and curiously enough, to the novices were committed lighter duties, while to the most respected and advanced monks were given the more irksome and menial tasks. Such services formed a part of the Zen discipline and every least action must be done absolutely perfectly. Thus many a weighty discussion ensued while weeding the garden, paring a turnip, or serving tea. The whole ideal of Teaism is a result of this Zen conception of greatness in the smallest incidents of life. Taoism furnished the basis for aesthetic ideals, Zennism made the, practical.

 禅道が東洋にもたらした特別な貢献は、世俗を精神的なものと同じく重要であるとみなしたことであった.事物の大いなる関係において、大小の区別はなくて、一つの原子がもつ可能性は宇宙と等しいのである.

 完全を求めるものは自分の人生に内なる光の反映を探さなければならない.禅林の組織はこの観点で大変意義深い.あらゆる信徒は、長を除いて禅林の管理をする何らかの役が与えられている.面白いことに新入りは簡単な仕事を、一方最も尊敬され熟達した僧侶はより退屈な単純作業を与えられたのだった.そうした奉仕は禅道の規則の一部分でありどんなにわずかな行為でも必ず完全に行わなければならなかった.そうして多くの実りある問答が庭の手入れや蕪をわけること、茶を淹れる間行われた.茶道の理想の全体はこの禅の、偉大なものは日々の小さな出来事にあるという思想の帰結であり、道教は審美的理想の基礎を与え、禅道はその理想を実践したのである.

5 The precious jewels formed in the bodies of Buddha after cremation. 舎利 仏陀を火葬したあとその遺骸の中の生じた宝石のこと.

 実は、三章の終盤の和訳がすっぽぬけていたのでした.大変失礼しました.かなり大事な箇所でもありました.それにしても見事だなぁ.

To the transcendental insight of the Zen, words were but an incumbrance to thought.という文句、しびれますね.長い間、’insight’の訳に「洞察」としていたのでしたが、「内観」という言葉が割としっくりくる今日このごろです.

 次回、茶の本は第四章の続きです.どうぞよろしくおねがいします.

The Book of Tea: 10

Chapter IV The Tea Room

To European architects brought up to the traditions of stone and brick construction, our Japanese method of building with wood and bamboo seems scarcely worthy to be ranked as architecture. It is but quite recently that a competent student of Western architecture has recognised and paid tribute to the remarkable perfection of our great temples.6 Such being the case as regards our classic architecture, we could hardly expect the outsider to appreciate the subtle beauty of the tea-room, its principles of construction and decoration being entirely different from those of the West.

The tea-room (the Sukiya) does not pretend to be other than a mere cottage – a straw hut, as we call it. The original ideographs for Sukiya mean the Adobe of Fancy. Latterly the various tea-masters substituted various Chinese characters according to their conception of the tea-room, and the term Sukiya may signify the Adobe of Vacancy or the Adobe of the Unsymmetrical. It is an adobe of Fancy inasmuch as it is an ephemeral structure built to house a poetic impulse. It is an Adobe of the Vacancy inasmuch as it is devoid of an ornamentation except for what may be placed in it to satisfy some aesthetic need of the moment. It is an Adobe of the Unsymmetrical inasmuch as it is consecrated to the worship of the Imperfect, purposely leaving some thing unfinished for the play of the imagination to complete. The ideals of Teaism have since the sixteenth century influenced our architecture to such degree that the ordinary Japanese interior of the present day, on account of the extreme simplicity and chasteness of its scheme of decoration, appears to foreigners almost barren.

The first independent tea-room was the creation of Senno-Soyeki, commonly know by his later name of Rikiu, the greatest of all tea-masters, who, in the sixteenth century, under the patronage of Taiko Hideyoshi, instituted and brought to a high state of perfection the formalities of the Tea-Ceremony. The proportions of the tea-room had been previously determined by Jowo –a famous tea-master of the fifteenth century. The early tea-room consisted merely of a portion of the ordinary drawing-room partitioned off by screens for the purpose of the tea-gathering. The portion partitioned off was called the Kakoi(enclosure), a name still applied to those tea-rooms which are built into a house and are not independent constructions. The Sukiya consists of the tea-room proper, designed to accommodate not more than five persons, a number suggestive of the saying “more than the Graces and less than the Muses,” an anteroom (midsuya) where the tea utensils are washed and arranged before being brought in, a portico(machiai) in which the guests wait until they receive the summons to enter the tea-room is unimpressive in appearance. It is smaller than the smallest of Japanese houses, while the materials used in its construction are intended to give the suggestion of refined poverty. yet we must remember that all this is the result of profound artistic forethought , and that the details have been worked out with care perhaps even greater than that expended on the building of the richest palaces and temples. A good tea-room is more costly than an ordinary mansion, for the selection of its materials, as well as its workmanship, requires immense care and precision. Indeed, the carpenters employed by the tea-masters form a distinct and highly honoured class among artisans, their work being no less delicate than that of the makers of lacquer cabinets.

The tea-room is not only different from any production of Western architecture, but also contrasts strongly with the classical architecture of Japan itself. Our ancient noble edifices, whether secular or ecclesiastical, were not to be despised even as regards their mere size. The few that have been spared in the disastrous conflagrations of centuries are still capable of aweing us by the grandeur and richness of their decoration. Huge pillars of wood from two to three feet in diameter and from thirty to forty feet high, supported, by a complicated network under the weight of the tile-covered slanting roofs. The material and mode of construction, though weak against fire, proved itself strong against earthquakes and was well suited to the climatic conditions of the country. In the Golden Hall of Horiuji and the Pagoda of Yakushiji, we have noteworthy examples of the buildings have practically stood intact for nearly twelve centuries. The interior of the old temples and palaces was profusely decorated. In the Hoōdo temple at Uji, dating from the tenth century, we can still see the elaborate canopy and gilded baldachins, many-coloured and inlaid with mirrors and mother-of-pearl, as well as remains of the paintings and sculpture which formerly covered the walls. Later at Nikko and in the Nijo castle in Kyoto, we see structural beauty sacrificed to a wealth of ornamentation which in colour and exquisite detail equals the utmost gorgeousness of Arabian or Moorish effort.

 石と煉瓦を積み立てる伝統に育ってきたヨーロッパの建築家にとって、日本人の木と竹で家を建てる方法は全く建築に値しないと考えるであろう.しかしここ最近西洋建築の有能な学徒が我らの大寺院の素晴らしい完璧を認め、賛辞を送るようになった.我々の古典建築に関してもこの具合であるから、茶室の微妙な美しさ、その建築と装飾の原則が西洋のそれとは全くことなるものを外部が鑑賞できることを私達は全く期待し得ない.

 

 茶室(数寄屋)はただの小屋でありそれ以上望むものではない.いわゆる藁屋と呼ぶに過ぎない.元来の数寄屋の表意は「好き屋」である.最近では様々な茶の宗匠が茶室に対する自分の考えに応じて漢字を当てたので、数寄屋の意味は空き家か数寄屋になっている.詩的な衝動で建てられた儚い構造物であるからこそ「数寄屋」なのだ.その瞬間のある種唯美的必要を満たすために設けられたものを除いて、調度品を欠いているからこそ「空き家」なのである.故意に、あるものを完成への想像するため戯れに未完成にして、不完全を敬い聖別するからこそ数寄屋なのである.茶道の理念は十六世紀以来、我が国の建築に現在の日本の内装という点である程度影響を及ぼしたが、装飾構造の極度の簡素と貞淑のために、外国人にとってはほとんど荒廃したように見えるのである.

 初めて独立した茶室が生み出したのは千宗易、のちに千利休の名で知られた、最も偉大な茶の宗匠であり十六世紀に太閤秀吉の庇護下で茶の湯の形式を定めて完成させ、高みの領域に至らしめた.茶室の広さは以前に十五世紀の有名な宗匠紹鷗によって定められていた.初期の茶室は茶会のため屏風で仕切った普通の居間に過ぎなかった.仕切りの一部は「囲い」と呼ばれ、その名前は未だ、家の中に作られ、独立した建物でない茶室に使われている.数寄屋は、「グレース神の数より多く、ミューズ神の数よりも少ない」という諺の暗示する数、五人よりも少ない人数を歓待するために設計された茶室と、茶器を茶室に持ち込む前に洗って並べておく控えの間「水屋」と、客が茶室に招来されるまで待つ玄関「待合」と、茶室と待合をつなぐ庭の小道を「露地」からなる.茶室の見た目は印象的ではない.それは最も小さい日本の家屋よりも小さく、その建築に使われた材質は洗練された貧しさを暗示する意図が秘められている.すべてこのことは深い技芸的先見から出たものであり、その細部に仕上げられた配慮は、最も豪奢な御殿や寺院よりに払われたものよりも周到であることを記憶せねばなるまい.良い茶室は普通の邸宅よりも費用がかかっている.職人の手腕と同様に、材質の選択に途轍もない配慮と精密性が求められるからである.実際、茶人に雇われる大工は、職人の中で一目置かれ、名誉あるもので、その仕事は漆器職人のそれに劣らぬ、細心の手際を要するものである.

 茶室はあらゆる西洋建築と異なるだけでなく、日本の古典建築そのものと強烈な対照をなしている.我々の古代の気高い殿堂は、俗的であろうと宗教的であろうと、単なる大きさでさえも軽蔑しがたいものであった.世紀の大災害を免れたものごく少数は未だその装飾の豪華絢爛さで我らに畏敬の念を抱かせる力を持っている.直径二、三尺、高さ三十尺から四十尺の巨大な木の柱は傾斜した瓦屋根の重さのもと複雑な網状の斗栱によって支えられる.材質と建築の様式は火に弱いものの、地震に強いことを証明し国の気候条件に適していた.法隆寺の金堂と薬師寺の塔は、十二世紀近く無傷で実際に立っていることの顕著な例であろう.古刹と宮殿の内装は惜しみなく装飾されていた.宇治の鳳凰堂では十世紀から我々は精巧な玉座と金襴の天蓋、かつての壁画や精巧な彫像はもとより、多彩な色とはめ込まれた鏡、螺鈿細工を見ることができる.後の日光や京都の二条城のように、優美な細部と色彩において、我々はアラビア様式やムーア様式の豪華絢爛に等しい装飾の豊かさに構造上の美しさを犠牲にした例を見ることができる.

6 We refer to Ralph N. Cram’s Impressions of Japanese Architecture and the Allied Arts. The Baker & Taylor Co., New York, 1905.

 ながらく時間が空いてしまいました.季節の変わり目で油断して少し体調を崩したのでした.涼しいどころか寒くなりましたね.鍋物が美味しくなる季節です.久しぶりの対訳です.

What I have in my mind

This article is a translation of previous one.

When I was browsing books about great writers or writings, I coincidentally made the acquaintance of other writers frequently, that mainly attracted me in the past, whereas I had suspended further research on them. I never anticipated to find out the notification in the book that one and another had actually met or they had been in the same place before, or he/she had been quoted as an example of their story. That was like unexpectedly completing a piece of gigantic jigsaw puzzle which is very hard in the process of making, I felt an ease which was the same sense of fitting something accurately in my heart. If I were to see as a flying creature the vast ground from the highest view among obscure clouds, it might be as well as seeing slight landscape through a chink which is getting wider. So I would fain tell viewers about my tiny experiences which are short, and to write down my prospect as well.

At first, I would like to mention of Khalil Gibran. I brought my mind to the translation of his poetry had been arranged among the works of Kamiya Mieko in the section of Misuzu Shobo in some bookshops since long time ago. I wondered his name supposed to be originated from west Asia, and I thumbed through one of Kamiya’s book. After that I knew that Kamiya Mieko was in the department of Psychiatry of Tokyo University, school of medicine, in which Kinoshita Mokutaro(Ohta Masao) was belong to the department of Dermatology as a professor. Such connection has directly nothing to do with literary meaning, however, people may get close each other unconsciously by somewhat called a gravity, I must say.

I learnt that Gibran was born in Lebanon, where the former Ottoman empire had occupied, and he has been famous for his poetry, especially “The Prophet” has been read worldwide. It is true that his works translated in Japanese are available in remote cities of Japan as well, nevertheless the original version can be purchased only online if living in local cities. It is all the more difficult to buy other language edition. The other day I found that Gibran firstly conceived the idea of “The Prophet” in Arabic. He went to the America in his youth and learnt skills of English, then he also went back home to receive higher education of Arabic.

Fortunately I got an ebook of “The Prophet” in English and Arabic version. I am not get used to read in Kindle, but it was a good purchase that I got it within 1,000Yen. As I read the introduction, that says it took twenty years to translate in Arabic. What a long journey it is! I cannot understand the concept of price tagging when I came across such a valuable book that is affordable less than 1,000Yen. I am also a member of Kindle unlimited in Amazon.com, so I am able to read the Japanese translation by Sakuma Takeshi for free. Then I have started to read it. What I felt was that it was easy to read and not many pages. But I have to mention that read easily and be comprehensible are not the same. The energy that the writer brought his heart to bear upon every single words must be so immense that I have to read it thoroughly. This is one of my utmost happiness to realise that I can examine it many times. As for the title “The Prophet”, it is a story like a manual of life course, the prophet Almustafa(المصطفى), teaches lessons to people who need guidance. I have not read the original poetry yet so it is not the time to speak of it. And I have got the reasonable reference book for studying Arabic at last, I would like to reverse translate gradually by using this ebook. Someday I would be happy to introduce the study result.

Secondly, I would fain speak of Rabindranath Tagore. Recently, I have very been attracted by the fact that non-English born person such as Gibran creates great English writings. Needless to say, Okakura Tenshin who is inordinately contributed to Kamegoro Law Firm is the one of greatest writer from non-Anglosphere, I believe. It is tremendously shameful for me to tell you that I thought that nothing better than using own language when expressing one’s own culture. How stupid I am! That is not true. At least Tenshin himself succeeded in attempting it in literature. Of course Gibran must have accomplished, not to mention Tagore and other writers who I do not know. I am very excited to know the fact all the more that Tenshin and Tagore knew each other, and visited their countries. It is said that Tagore has been to Tenshin’s tombstone when he died. Tagore was in Izura! He wrote “Gitanjali(গীতাঞ্জলি)” in Bengali, later on he wrote it again in English. Someday, I wish I could read his work.

I think that it is a huge encouragement for me to know that such people who are from non-Anglosphere write English literature. Particularly as for myself, who live in the world of totally different linguistic family, is quite an incentive.

I sometimes write articles in English, which are not praiseworthy contents and I think I am at best the third-rate writer. There must be many errors in my sentences. But I would like to keep writing my blog in English with my style. Then I would like to sophisticate my essay writing technique, not to be contented with the present situation, humbly tolerate the critics of others and review retrospectively by myself.

Finally, I would fain end the article by introducing a songwriter from Iceland. His name is Ásgeir Trausti. He speaks Icelandic but also good at writing beautiful lyrics in English.

Glistening nighttime dew, and she is walking with me.  

From the house of red, I hear a child crying.  

Foxes heading home, their prey hangs from their jaws.

And the forest knows, but it won’t share the secret.

When the king takes sides, leaving moral minds; soldiers take their share. Nighthawks seem to sense that now is the time.  

Deep inside them burns the raging fire of life.

He’ll take back what he owns.

Death cannot take hold, if I can keep momentum.  

Fortresses of stone, turn into crystal tears soothed by southern winds; I’ve found my strength now.  

And nobody knows, and we must keep their secret.

When the king takes sides, leaving moral minds; soldiers take their share. Nighthawks seem to sense that now is the time.

Deep inside them burns the raging fire of life.

He’ll take back what he owns.

When the king takes sides, leaving moral minds; soldiers take their share. Nighthawks seem to sense that now is the time.

Deep inside them burns the raging fire of life.

He’ll take back what he owns.

Dýrð í dauðaþögn, 2012 (In the Silence, 2013)

Thank you for reading.