restricted access Ashi Kari Yoshi
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285 ASHI KARI YOSHI1 Ueda Akinari and Motoori Norinaga | 1787 [This Q and A essay is a record of correspondence between Ueda Akinari and Motoori Norinaga, as recorded by Norinaga. In letters to Norinaga, Akinari pushed back against what he considered to be rules and ideas about Japanese culture and language he did not believe. The topics of discussion range from the phonology of Old Japanese to Norinaga’s stance taken in his work Kenkyōjin (1785). The correspondence dates between the years 1786 and 1787. This is sometimes called Kagaika, using the Sino-­ Japanese readings of the characters 呵刈葭, as Norinaga sometimes calls it in his own letters. I have left the title in its Japanese form.] PART ONE Article One Akinari: abbreviated.2 Norinaga:IsnotthisexchangewiththequestionfromTayasuChūnagon and the answer from Katō Umaki3 all a fabrication created by someone else? There are many suspicious points to this. Please check into the matter. Akinari: I previously borrowed Kana Montō from Master Umaki when I met him, copied the text, and have it stored away. Tayasu Chūnagon told me that his question originated from seeing a story found in Master Umaki ’s preface attached at the beginning of Katori Nahiko’s4 Kogentei. This certainly is not the fraudulent work of some other person. Master Umaki would not recklessly use Tayasu Chūnagon’s name without permission, and I certainly would not misrepresent my master in using his name. Are 1. The ground-­ breaking Norinaga scholar Muraoka Tsunetsugu read the title as Ashi kari yoshi, but it is also clear from a letter sent by Norinaga to one of his students, Ozasa Minu (dated second day of the fourth month of 1790), that Norinaga himself vacillated between a Japanese pronunciation of the title and one based on the Sino-­ Japanese reading of the characters, kagaika (see MNZ 1976, 8:48). 2. Since Norinaga recorded this exchange, only things that he felt were important have been recorded. Here Norinaga left the text out, apparently feeling that the context was obvious at the time. 3. Katō Umaki (1721–77) wrote a work called Kana Montō in which he answers questions by Munetake regarding kana usage. 4. Katori Nahiko (1723–82) was a student of Mabuchi. 286 Views on Scholarship you using a euphemistic phraseology to suggest that this work is nothing more than shallow scholarship consisting of questions and answers? I would appreciate a frank response. Norinaga: There is no euphemistic usage with my question about the work being a possible fraud. I only asked because I truly had my doubts about the work. However, if you borrowed the work directly from Umaki and copied it down yourself, then it could not be a fraud. I have nothing further to say on the subject. Article Two Akinari: The statement that ancient Japanese had no mora-­ final /n/ is nothing but a spurious private opinion of yours. And yet you have taught us to read the word “divine wind” as kamukaze. Norinaga: What do you mean by “nothing but a spurious private opinion?” Is not the act of arbitrarily following your own will, making a statement without any proof grounded in ancient textual examples or making logical sense a spurious private opinion itself? I have already said in a former statement there is a mountain of clear textual evidence showing mora-­final /n/ did not exist anciently.5 It is a grave mistake to stick to examples from later ages when the pronunciation of /mu/ had already changed [to /n/] due to euphonic influence, and believe that the past was exactly the same. That does not mean there are no contemporary examples that are not applicable to the ancient past, but each example is independent . If you were to prove from recent examples that /n/ existed anciently, then you would say something like the phrase “just one” (tatta fitotu) was read as tada fitotu in the ancient texts, and certainly the ancients said tatta fitotu in colloquial usage, but that thinking would lead to the bizarre logic of saying that since there was no way to represent double consonants in man’yōgana, the double consonant was abbreviated and written as tada fitotu ; however, when the text was vocalized, the reader said tatta fitotu. In the same light, the words yukamu “will go” and kaferamu “will return ” would presently be read as yuko and kafero. So are you proclaiming that the basis for your argument is that these ancient textual examples of yukamu and kaferamu...


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