“Source of Life” (Manyoshu Vol. 1, No. 1)

Emperor Yuuryaku
I saw a girl
picking vegetables on a hill.
She had a basket,
a beautiful basket.
She had harvester too,
a lovely harvester.

“Young maiden, who are you?”

“I am a girl from Yamato.
In nature I nurture all things
and tend them well,
for they are the source of life
in this place we dwell.”

Note: Yamato
was the ancient name of Japan and was originally an area around the modern Sakurai
City in the Nara Prefecture in Japan.



Original Text
Modern Text
Pronunciation
雄略天皇
雄略天皇
Yuu-ryaku Tenno
篭毛與
篭もよ
Komo
yo
美篭母乳
み篭持ち
Miko
mochi
布久思毛與
堀串もよ
Fukushimo
yo
美夫君志持
み堀串持ち
Mibukushi
mochi
此岳尓
この岡に
Kono
Oka ni
菜採須兒
菜摘ます子
Ma
tumasu ko
家吉閑名
家聞かな
Ie
kikana
<>
告らさね
Nora
sane
虚見津
そらみつ
Sora
mitsu
山跡乃國者
大和の国は
Yamato
no Kuni ha
押奈戸手
おしなべて
Oshi
-nabete
吾許曽居
我れこそ居れ
Ware-koso
ore
<>名倍手
しきなべて
Shiki
nabete
吾己曽座
我れこそ座せ
Ware-koso
mase
<>背齒
我れこそば
Ware-koso
ba
告目
告らめ
Norame
家呼毛名雄母
家をも名をも
Ie
wo mo na wo mo



Translation Notes
篭もよ
a basket
み篭持ち
beautiful basket you have
堀串もよ
a spatula
み堀串持ち
beautiful spatula you have
この岡に
on this hill
菜摘ます子
vegetable picking girl
家聞かな
where are you from (house hear I-wonder?)
告らさね
tell me
そらみつ
(this word leads Yamato,大和)
大和の国は
yamato county
おしなべて
all together
我れこそ居れ
I look after
しきなべて
all the things
我れこそ座せ
I take care
我れこそば
I myself
告らめ    
have to introduce
家をも名をも
my name and family
  

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