Historical Truths are Passed Down by Oral Tradition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Let Me Through”

-Words by unknown,  Arranged by Motoori Nagayo

Let me through, let me through.

What is this narrow path lead to?

This is the one for Tenjin to pass along.

Please let me through.

I won’t let you if you don’t have anything to do.

I’m going to a shrine to return my Ofuda in cerebration of my daughter’s seventh birthday.

It’s very good to use this path when you go, but it’s scary when you come back.

I’m scared, but please let me through.

 

Motoori Norinaga(本居宣長)was an eminent Japanese classical scholar in Edo period, but he was also a unparalleld theosophist and a great Ise-Shitoist. The children’s song Let Me Through has been handed down all over Japan through the ages. Interestingly, the meaning of its original words had been vague and the melody had never been made uniform before Motoori Nagayo(本居長世), the sixth descendant of Motoori Norinaga, selected it from a number of children’s songs, adapted the song into a musical score, arranged and spread it.

  • eminent 高名な
  • scholar 学者
  • theosophist 霊学者
  • hand down A  Aを伝える
  • vague 不明瞭な
  • descendant 子孫

“It’s very good to use this path when you go, but it’s scary when you come back” feels like the very process where souls come into the world. You came into this world anxious to be born, but once you did, you end up living your life afraid of death. This song is a description of the process where God sends souls to this world, suggesting that everyone has some mission from God. Though Tenjin(天神) refers to Sugawara Michizane(菅原道真)generally, but spiritually, it refers to Susanoo(スサノオ), the holy spirit that controls life and death of human beings. Nursery songs and folk tales often contain something spiritually deep.

  • process 過程
  • anxious to~ 〜したくて仕方がない
  • description 描写
  • mission 使命
  • refer to A  Aを指す
  • folk tale 民間伝承

Speaking of folk tales, a folklorist, a Japanese literature scholar, and a poet Origuchi Shinobu(折口信夫) concluded after walking and researching all over Japan that historical truths are passed from generation to generation orally. Therefore he suggested that documents should be doubted. His study, called Origuchi Gaku(折口学),  included Shinto studies, the history of arts and Japanese linguistics as well as ethnology and Japanese literature.

  • speaking of A Aと言えば
  • orally 口で
  • doubt 疑う
  • ethnology 民俗学
  • include 含める

Here are a few examples of his interesting views. One of his coind words is Marebito(稀人・稀客・客神) , which reffers to gods visiting this world from antient times. Another is Yorishiro(依代・招代), which refers to things on which gods and spirits descend. Also he defined Emperor as the man possessed with Tennou Rei(天皇霊), the spirit of Emperor.

  • coin 造り出す
  • descend 降臨する
  • define A as B AをBと定義する
  • possess 憑依する

Having Studied Ethnology thoroughly, he derived the two important concepts: Marebito, an idea of holy spirits, and Yorishiro, a secret of practical, occult psychical research. These concepts basically coincide with the secret ceremony I was told by a holy spirit. It’s something extremely rare that Origuchi could grasp the spirit world correctly from his academic point of view. Truth being singular, it may be a matter of course.

  • thoroughly 徹底的に
  • derive 引き出す
  • psychical 心霊の
  • coinside 一致する
  • grasp 把握する
  • sigular 一つだけの

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

Thank you so much for keeping me/us alive.

Advertisements