Storm Tidings Article 01

July 1, 2009 at 15:22 (Uncategorized)

I’ve decided to post some of my better ST articles – no reason really… 

ものがたり

Monogatari

 Monogatari is a style of storytelling developed during the Heian period which continued through the following centuries.  Monogatari were mostly written prose but prose and poetry were often written together; the poetry either captured a moment or was used for dialogue.  Monogatari covered a range of genres but most were fiction or used historical facts as a basis for the story.  So using the ‘historical facts’ and poetry [vaguely tanka using English syllabary] I’m attempting a retelling of the tournament held at the Japanese Valentine Picnic.

 

I’ve Japanised, and shortened, the names – Sir Ulf Bloodfoot Fallgrson becomes Arufu (アルフ), Dominyk of Adamastor becomes Domoniku (ドモニク), Lord Rannulf Sweartfaxe becomes Ranarufu (ラナルフ), Máel Dúin mac Rogellaig becomes Maruduin (マルヅイン) and al-Sayyid Garsiyya ibn Ibrahim ibn Sulaiman al-Qurtubi becomes, simply, Garushia (ガルシア).  The fighter’s names have become clan names rather than individual’s names and shinpan Garsiyya has become emperor.  I’ve tried to keep it as close as possible to actual events but poetic license and all that…

  

THE VALENTINE WARS

 There was a time long ago when the gods walked with men and they shaped each other’s destinies.  During that time there were many battles of strength between the four greatest clans; Arufu, Domoniku, Ranarufu and Maruduin.  The Emperor Garushia had seen enough of his people dying but the great clans would not heed his word.  One council when the day was clouded and rain threaten, Garushia said:

 

The heaven today

Brings sadness to my heart

Would the wind blow

 

Peaceful sky and sweet blossoms

Calm many fearful hearts 1

 

The great clan leaders heard these words and were thoughtful.  The Ranarufu clan leader spoke:

 

Thunderstorms

Are troublesome but pass

Gods watch over

 

Peaceful sky and sweet blossoms

Calm many fearful hearts 2

 

Emperor Garushia nodded but said:

 

The sun climbs

And the moon falls

Everyday

 

Nature does not change

With just willing it 3

 

The Ranarufu clan leader knew how but he was worried.  The emperor spoke true about the nature of men.  To make it law was not the way to win over the other great clans.  Time was short and the other great clan leaders were waiting on him.  He said:

 

Test of men

Storm of the season

Follow the sun

 

Nature does not change

Willing it shall be so 4

 

The emperor looked at the other great clan leaders.  The leader of the greatest clan, Arufu, said:

 

Test of men

Storm of the season

Follow the sun

 

Peaceful sky and sweet blossoms

Calm many fearful hearts 5

 

The Domoniku clan leader and the Maruduin clan leader agreed.  There would be one final battle between the great clans and the winner would be declared the strongest clan.  With pleasantries and beautiful faces the council came to an end. 

 

Emperor Garushia stood by his window and watched the great clan leaders leave; he knew there would be more bloodshed. 

 

The sky will darken

Thunderstorms will rain

The heartache

 

Longing for spring sunshine

Blossoms of the aching 6

 

The roads were stained with blood as the great clan leaders returned to their homes.  Ranarufu tried to waylay Domoniku as Maruduin stood before Arufu.  Best by Arufu, Maruduin turned to Domoniku and blades clashed between Arufu and Ranarufu.  Clan Domoniku being the smallest clan turned to clan Arufu, the biggest and said:

 

Friend or foe

Blades alone cut cleanly

Lonely hilts fail

 

Domoniku is a hilt

Arufu is a blade 7

 

Clan Arufu considered what clan Domoniku had to say and saw wisdom in their words.  The banners of Arufu and Domoniku were lowered and those of Arudomo were raised.  Maruduin saw the banners and spoke with Ranarufu, they said:

 

New Arudomo

New swords have new strength

Outnumbered alone

 

Strength and strength

Overcome all together

 

And the two clans lowered their banners to raise those of Ranamaru.  The newly formed clans of Arudomo and Ranamaru stood before Emperor Garushia.  They said:

 

Sing sweet song

Bird of new dawn

Follow the sun

 

Final thunderstorms

Bring in the new day 9

 

Emperor Garushia said:

 

New spring dawning

The storm clouds deepen

Thunderstorm breaks

 

Bringing in the new morning

Leave behind the night clash 10

 

And they fought.

 

Ranamaru bows

The storm has passed

Follow the sun

 

The spring sun shines

Bring in the new day 11

 

Owari (おわり)

End

 

 

Poetry explained:

1.  Stop fighting people.

2.  I agree.  You should stop the fighting. 

3.  How?  Men fight.

4.  Yes, men fight.  One final fight could end it.

5.  Yeah, okay, one final fight.

6.  They never listen.

7.  Let’s join up.

8.  Let’s join up as well.

9.  Let us fight.

10.  Fight.

11.  Arudomo wins.

 

 

みどり かえで

Midori Kaede

 

Sources: 

Early Voice Recordings of Japanese Storytelling by J. Scott Miller

Literary History by Anders Pettersson

And the fighters’ sketchy memories 😛

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1 Comment

  1. Done with the madness « Nantalith Teglan said,

    […] February 16, 2009 at 19:39 (Uncategorized) Sometime this morning I said I was thinking about writing the tourneyof the past event as a story all Japanese like so  I set about it this afternoon.  I’ve been working on it solidly since three this afternoon and I’m finally finished.  Making up poems to set styles is a lot more time consuming than I originally though.  At eleven, I think there are sufficient poems to portray the events.  I’m going to go over them tomorrow again and see if any need improving.  [EDIT 01.07.09 Here…] […]

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