Japanese Text Initiative
Cornell University East Asia Papers, number 17
Prepared for the University of Virginia Library Electronic Text Center.
Spacing in print text has been preserved. Natural line breaks have been removed, and the trailing part of a verse has been joined to the preceding line.
In Pining Wind, the mood of autumn deepens. This play about love's unquenchable longing is wonderfully moving even if one hardly 'understands' it at all: it is a fine example of how a pattern, once traced, can be apprehended in many ways. Together with "Yuya," Pining Wind is traditionally the most popular play of all. Both together have been called what amounts to the actor's bread and butter.
Pining Wind was apparently written by Kannami, then reworked by Zeami. Though the story is found nowhere else, Yukihira, Pining Wind's beloved, did in fact exist. He lived from 818 to 893, and was a brilliant courtier and poet. Yukihira's older brother, Narihira, is Yukihira's counterpart in The Well Cradle. Yukihira may actually have been exiled to Suma, a section of shore not far from the modern Kobe, and certainly the fictional hero Prince Genji spent several melancholy years there. Pining Wind often echoes the Suma chapter of the Tale of Genji. Prince Genji too had a purification rite performed at Suma on the day of the Serpent, early in the third moon of the year.
It is possible to translate the name Pining Wind because the same double meaning exists both in English and in Japanese:
Pining Wind has told in full her love for the long dead Yukihira and has evoked his presence by putting on, as though compelled, the hat and cloak he left her as keepsakes. She has impersonated him. Now, unable to do more, she collapses in despair and sings of Three Shallows River (Mitsusegawa), the river that surrounds the underworld; her spirit has sunk down to hell. But as the lowest leads to the highest, Pining Wind raises her head again to see Yukihira (a pine tree) standing before her in the flesh. He is as much a 'Vert Galant' as the God of Sumiyoshi in Takasago, and he has come instantly, as he promised he would, to Pining Wind's cry of total yearning. When Pining Wind dances around him, she in her human form is wearing his clothes, while he in his pine form sings the song which is of her, the wind. He really is a 'wind-bent pine.' As the moon is the visible sign of wisdom, so the pining wind is the audible sign, or pattern, of divine love.
As Yukihira and Pining Wind merge, so do their colors. Near the start of the play, the Sideman says, 'A pine, one lone tree, leaves a green fall.' ('A pine, one lone tree' is matsu hito ki, which can also mean 'the pining one comes.') One sees a pine standing green amid the changing colors of fall, especially the reds and golds of the momiji, the maple leaves -- for maple leaves are as much the mark of fall in Japan as in New England. Pining Wind's dance around the tree is the same picture, for her color is that of expanding energy, of burning, of love. Red is indeed the color of a beautiful woman in no, and the costume for such a role is said to 'contain red.'
Sudden Rain, the Second, also has an eloquent name. In Japanese,
Salt-making, the livelihood of Pining Wind and Sudden Rain, is often mentioned in poetry, and in fact the play contains a tsukushi, or 'inventory,' of places associated with salt-making. (Another 'inventory,' on trees,will be found in The Golden Tablet.) Such a passage means relatively little, but plays a great deal with pun and allusion. It is like a rocky section of stream which effectively prepares one to appreciate the smoother flow beyond. As for salt-making itself, the process it involved (gathering seaweed, pouring brine over it, roasting it, steeping the roasted seaweed in more brine, then finally drawing the liquid off and boiling it down) was more complicated than one might expect.
Suma, Akashi along those shores Suma, Akashi along those shores the moon and I we'll wander forth!
You have before you a brother who's taking a look at all lands. Lately I've been in Miyako, where I've seen each scenic spot and ancient relic of noble Rakuyo. Now, I've decided to tramp on to the lands of the West.
Hurrying along that way, here I am all right in the land of Tsu at Suma shore, or some such place.[ He notices the pine and moves toward it. ]
Remarkable! Right here on the beach there's a striking pine. This pine undoubtedly has a history. I think I'll ask one of the local people.[ He goes to main spot. Fool is sitting at Fool's spot, and stands up when called. ]
Hello! Is anyone around?
What can I do for you?
I beg your pardon, but I'm very struck by this pine here on the shore. Can you tell me anything about it?
Well, I'm afraid I'm very ignorant when it comes to things like that. But from what I've heard, that
pine marks a grave: the grave of two seafolk named Pining Wind and Sudden Rain. It certainly would be kind of you if you'd raise them and pray before you pass on.
Then I'll do so. Thank you.
[ Fool exits. Sideman moves to center, facing pine. ]
At your service.
[ Sideman retires to Sideman's spot. ]
s So, this pine long ago was Pining Wind, Sudden Rain so-called, two seafolk's ancient relic. A sad, sad story! Their bodies are in earth buried but the names linger now, for their sign unchanging in hue a pine, one lone tree leaves a green fall. Ah, most moving! sp Now that I've prayed that way with sutras and invocations to Amida, well, it's just as you'd expect on a fall day: in no time the sun's gone down. That hamlet at the foot of the mountains is a long way off, so I think I'll go up to this seafolk's salt shed and see the night through here.
A brine scoop wagon wheels meagerly the sorry world round and round so cruelly fickle!
[ facing front ]
Waves right at our feet on Suma shore
[ again face to face ][ Second now moves to center, Doer to main spot. They face front. ]
the very moon soaks a trailing
Hearts empty in the fall wind so while the sea was somewhat far
[ face to face ]
noble Yukihira the Middle Counsel sang '. . . blows through the pass' where the curved shore waves surge nigh each night sounding so near the seafolk's home; the hamlet's far down our path to and fro beside the moon there's no company.
[ They face front. ]
Yes, the sad world's work does claim us but utterly wretched the seafolk's craft that makes no way over life, this dream where 'I live' is no word for a bubble of froth on the brine scoop wagon without safe haven for us, the seafolk whose sleeves together with yearning love the heart never lets dry!
[ Noticing her reflection, she lowers her head. At 'lingering,' she stares into water again; at 'in the sun,' looks to her right as though gazing along the shore; at first 'shrivel,' retreats to main spot and expresses grief. ]
'So thoroughly does all life seem hard to pass through' that in envy we dwell on the clear moon's rising tide, come, scoop![ Doer steps forward. ]
Scoop the rising tide!
This image shames me my own form this image shames me my own form shrinks low, a wain drawn withdrawing tides leave lingering pools how long to live on? Yes, on meadow grasses dewdrops in the sun dwindle and vanish but on the pebbled shore sea wrack-raking seafolk cast weeds all a-tangle to shrival, wilting trailing sleeves shrivel, wilting trailing sleeves.
How lovely! though so familiar, Suma at dusk: seafolk's cries come faint
[ face to face ]
offshore little fishing craft show dim the moon's full face, silhouetted wild geese, flocking plovers, cutting gales, salt winds, yes, each one in such a place means fall; oh, the heart-chilling long night hours!
Come, come! Let's scoop brine! she says at the sea's edge flood and ebb tides saltyclothes,
sleeves we tie drape on the shoulder
to scoop brine or so we hope
but hold! try as we may
a woman's wagon
[ Doer kneels on one knee beside the wagon; at 'scoops,' uses fan to mime ladling brine into bucket, while gazing at moon's reflection within. ]
rolled in falls back single breakers roll in fall back single waves;[ Above, Second retreats to drums while Doer goes toward mark post. Now Doer gazes into distance to her right; at 'storm blasts,' she faces front; at 'live it through,' lowers head in dejection; at 'deepening moon,' gazes up to her right at moon; at 'our scoops,' shifts gaze to wagon. ]
out by the reeds cranes start up crying, all four storm blasts add their roar; night's icy cold, how'll we live it through? The deepening moon shines so bright! Our scoops catch the reflection! Salt fire smoke: watch out for that! This is the way we seafolk shall live out gloomy fall.
[ Doer returns to main spot. ]
Pine Island's Hero Island's seafolk beneath the moon scoop reflections, ah, with keen delight scoop reflections, ah, with keen delight!
A long haul's theirs far up north in Michinoku where the name's Near Chika, and Shiogama Salt Kilns . . .
'Humble men hauled salt wood . . .' -- on Akogi coast it was withdrawing tides . . .
Yes, the same Ise sea has Futami, Twin Glance, shore, and it's twice I'd go out in the world!
Pine groves stand hazy glows the sun as tide roads, far, far out sound past Narumigata, Bight of the Sounding Sea;
yonder's Narumigata, here at Naruo beneath the pines moonlight's blocked off by Reedy Roofs of Ashinoya.
Scooping brine from Nada Channel's a sad life, though tell none willow comb
[ Above at 'thrust,' Second approaches wagon and places her bucket on it. Doer stares into buckets from where she stands. Now, Doer advances a little; Second hands her the cord for pulling the wagon, then goes to main spot. At 'moon is one,' Doer gazes aloft, then back to wagon; at 'for tonight,' she pulls wagon up to drums, then turns round and gazes into buckets once more; at 'tide roads,' stamps beat. ]
thrust in combing tides scoop down and look! the moon right in my pail!
In mine too the moon's slipped in!
Oh lovely! Here too the moon!
Moon is one
[ Stagehand removes the wagon. Doer sits on a stool before drums, facing front; Second sits in the ordinary way a little behind her and to her right. They are in the salt shed. Sideman stands and faces them. ]
reflections two three the brimming tide for tonight our wagon's loaded with the moon. Sad? Why, not at all, the tide roads of the sea!
[ Second stands and advances a little toward Sideman. ]
Excuse me, there in the salt shed! I beg your pardon!
What is it?
I'm traveling through, and the sun's gone down on me. I'd appreciate shelter for the night.
Please wait a moment. I'll ask the owner.[ She kneels on one knee before Doer. Henceforth she moves thus between Doer and Sideman, as appropriate. ]
Excuse me, but a traveler has come. He says he'd like
shelter for the night.
That's a simple request, no doubt, but this place isn't fit to be seen. Please tell him we really can't let him stay.
I asked the owner, who says that as this place isn't fit to be seen, we really can't let you stay.
I quite understand. But if the place isn't fit to be seen, it certainly won't bother me. I'm a wandering monk, after all. So I do ask you again: please allow me to see the night through here.
The traveler is a monk, and he insists on asking again for a night's shelter.
What! You say the traveler's a monk? s By the moon's night shine I see one who's cast off the world; well, it will do, this seafolk's home with posts of pine and bamboo fence. The night's cold, I know; tell him to warm himself at our rush fire and stay.
Do please come in.
[ Sideman advances a few steps and sits, while Second returns to her place. They are in the shed. ]
Ah, with pleasure!
sp From the start I wanted to put you up. But this place isn't fit to be seen, and that's why I refused.
[ Doer and Second both hide tears. ]
Thank you for your kindness. I've always been a monk and a wanderer, and it's not mine to settle anywhere. So how should I choose my shelter? Certainly, here on Suma shore, any sensitive person ought actually to prefer a rather melancholy life: s 'Should one by chance inquire for me, say I'm at Suma shore; sp say the tangle-salt drips down and I am sad.' Yes, that's what Yukihira himself sang. By the way,
when I saw that lone pine over there on the shore, I asked a fellow about it. He said something about it being an ancient relic of two seafolk named Pining Wind and Sudden Rain. Of course they're nothing to me, but I did comfort them and pray before I went on.
[ They both weep. ]
s Oh, it's true! When love's within, love's hues show without! The way you quoted, 'Should one by chance inquire for me,' gave such pangs of longing! And tears of Jambudvipa, the world of clinging, wet our sleeves once more.
Tears of Jambudvipa, the world of clinging? You talk like people who've left this life! And the poem 'Should one by chance' gives you pangs of longing, or so I gather. It's all very strange. Both of you, name yourselves!
I'm ashamed! Let me begin to tell, and should one by chance inquire after me, he'd vanish, a shadow world where salt-drenched I learn no lesson but ever assume a surely bitter heart!
After all this, what need we so carefully conceal? We are . . . This twilight past you kindly raised two vanished shades up from the moss beneath that pine, Pining Wind, Sudden Rain,[ They turn to Sideman. ]
two girls' darkened spirits have come to you here.
but saltburner's clothes were all transformed
to stiff silk summer robes censed with sweet fragrance.
So three years flew; then Yukihira went up to our Sovereign's Seat.
He'd no sooner gone than this life, so young,
he departed: so we heard.
And ever since, oh, I've missed him so! Still, perhaps in another life he'll come calling
[ They turn front again. At second 'dew,' Second goes to sit before Chorus, while Sideman retires to Sideman's spot; at 'melt away,' Doer looks down, showing deep emotion. ]
pining Wind and Sudden Rain drench these sleeves helpless, alas, with love far beyond us. The Suma seafolk are deep in sin:[ They bow to Sideman with palms joined. ]
kindly, brother, raise our shadows!
Love's grasses grow dew, passions all tangled dew, passions all tangled; the heart's madness wears dear easy robes. The Day of the Serpent brings a blessing! Mulberry streamers to ask the
Alas! When I recall the past I miss him so! Yukihira the Middle Counsel three years dwelt on Suma shore, then went up to our Sovereign's Seat. 'Some keepsakes of these days!' he said and kindly left us a tall court hat, a hunting cloak. Each time I see them ever more passion grasses spring; the blade tips bear dewdrops gone so soon might I forget, oh, wretched agony! 'His keepsakes, yes, are now my foe: without them a forgetful pause might come,' so someone sang: very true! More and more my love deepens in power.
Dusk after dusk before I sleep I shed the hunting habit,
[ Stagehand approaches Doer, drapes the cloak over her and places the hat on her head. Below, Doer checks tears. ]
put it on and on I beg that in one same world . . . Life is empty, I can't forget these fruitless keepsakes! She throws them down but cannot leave them, takes them up and his shape looms. Standing lying are the same: 'From the pillow, from the bed's foot love comes against me;' helpless, weeping I sink down in utter misery.
[ She looks up. ]
Three Shallows River: endless tears, that unhappy shoal, hold, yes, even they, a gulf of churning love.
s Oh, what happiness! Yukihira's standing right over there![ She stands and moves toward pine. ]
'Pining Wind!' he's calling! I'm going to him![ Second quickly stands, grasps Doer's right sleeve. At 'crazed longing,' Doer goes to drums, Second retreats toward side. ]
How awful! It's just the state you're in now that sinks one in the sin of clinging. You still haven't escaped the crazed longing you felt when you belonged to the world! That's a pine tree. Yukihira just isn't there.
sp You're unsteady to talk that way! That pine is Yukihira! s Though for a while we may be parted, tell me you're pining and I'll come back: so he sang for us -- now what do you say?
You're right! I'd completely forgotten! Though for a while we may be parted, pine and I'll come: those were the words
I'd not forgotten pining wind's up now he's coming home, his message
one day may touch sudden rain to wet these sleeves a while, surely
pining as ever he's coming home,
we trusted rightly
his dear poem:
[ Hiding tears, Doer runs toward bridgeway; Second, crying too, goes to sit before Chorus. ]
'I'm up to leave you,
bound away for Inaba's mountain peaks so green with pining's needless: call me and it's now I'll be home.'[ Below, at 'yonder,' Inaba,' Doer gazes into distance toward bridgeway; at 'here my longing,' comes to center, pointing at pine with fan; at 'curved shore,' sweeps fan around, indicating an expanse of sea; at 'back with me,' turns right up to drums; at 'by the tree,' glides down to the pine; at 'love him still,' retreats, weeping, back to drums. ]
Yonder, Inaba's far mountain pines
here my longing my beloved Lord here on Suma's curved shore pines Yukihira back with me while by the tree I rise now, draw near so dear the wind bent pine, I love him still!
Pining the tree-bound wind turns mad, Suma's mighty waves rage the night through; wrongful clinging dreams us for you, kindly, raise our shadows! Good-bye we say retreating waves sound
clear down Suma shore blows the back hills' seaward breeze; the pass road's where cocks are crowing, the dream is gone without a shadow night opens into dawn. Sudden rain you heard indeed but this morning see, pining wind is all that lingers pining wind alone lingers on.