Narrow bus seat to the deep north

I'm off to Aomori for a wedding! Dorky pale ties all round! Back next week. I'll post some photos from the road if I can.

In the meantime, here's an old song from the Aomori region, known as Mutsu at the time, courtesy of Edo-period collection 『山家鳥虫歌』 (Sankachōchūka):

秋風が吹けばいの 秋風が吹けばサ
豆の葉も枯れるいの 豆の葉も枯れるサ
枯れたが大事か 何としょさんしょのせい

akikaze ga fukeba, ino/ akikaze ga fukeba sa
mame no ha mo kareru, ino/ mame no ha mo kareru sa
kareta ga daiji ka/ nantosho sansho no sei

When the autumn wind blows, ino!/ When the autumn wind blows, sa!
The bean leaves wither too, ino!/ The bean leaves wither too, sa!
Withered, but so what?/ Nantosho, sansho no sei!

ASANO Kenji, who edited the edition I have, helpfully reminds us that the aki that means "autumn" is homophonous with the aki that means "boredom", and then that "bean" was Edo-period slang for the female genitalia. He also notes that some believe that the third line is a reply from the woman.

I'm not sure if it's supposed to be "Withered, but is that important?" or "Is the withering the problem?" or "Is it that which has withered that matters to you?" (i.e. if it would be 枯れたのが大事 etc. in MJ), and I'm not even sure if I understand what 大事 means in that context, so I've gone for a vague translation. Also, I don't know if that 何としょ etc. in the last line is meant to have actual meaning or if it's just meaningless "hey dilly diddle" stuff. Maybe someone with a college edumucation can shed further light on the matter while I'm away.

(By the way, sorry about all the woman-dissing poetry here lately. I'll try to even things out by posting some man-bashing classics when I get back.)

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Awesome! I love learning japanese songs. My favorite is Yu-u-ki ga kon-kon...

So how does this go? Any clue as to how to sing it?



hahahahaha. that's awesome.


You are damned right those bus seats are small. Why do Japanese people have to be so damned skinny? Also, I was once refused to be let out of a JR bus during a brief stop even though I had a high fever and couldn't stand the blasting heat. I think the driver was making some shady deals or something.


Aak: unfortunately there isn't any music in this book, so feel free to make up some of your own, I guess. All I can tell you is that the stuff I left untranslated and in italics in the English version is like a "hey!" or "ooh yeah!", i.e. outside the meter.

Adam: Yeah, I was surprised, I distinctly remember everyone being let out to stretch their legs and take leaks on the way to Kyoto on another night bus. Maybe because this bus had a toilet inside this was deemed unnecessary. It did get awfully stuffy, though, you're right.

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