Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

In the little field

of Sagamu, the fires

burned, the fires――and

you stood there among them

and said you loved me

Kojiki song

When the god of Sagamu Sea tried to keep Yamato Takeru from crossing and made the sea so rough that Yamato’s ship was almost wrecked, his consort Ototachibana jumped into the sea and stilled the waves. This poem is given in the Kojiki as the farewell poem she recited in her last moments. Sanesashi is a pillow word for Sagamu. The meaning of the poem in the Kojiki context is: “When we met the enemy’s fires in Sagamu’s fields, even in the midst of the flames you said you loved me.” But if read apart from the legend of Yamato Takeru, this is a farmer’s love song, and the meaning is: “In the early spring, the fields were being burned and at the fires’ height, it was you who said, ‘I love you.’” Tou is tsumadoi, “to propose.”

さねさしSanesashi
相模sagamuno小野ononi
燃ゆるmoyuruhino
火中honakani立ちてtachite
問ひしtoishikimiwamo

古事記歌謡(こじきかよう)

やまとたけるが相模の海で海神に阻止され、荒波を起されて遭難しかけた時、后のおとたちばなは海に沈んで波を鎮めた。その姫の最期いまわの別れの歌として『古事記』にのる。「さねさし」は相模の枕詞。相模の野で私たちが敵の火攻めにあった時、火中でも私を気遣ってくれたあなたよ、との意だが、倭健伝説を離れて読めばこれは農民の恋歌である。野焼きの火が燃えさかる中で、好きだと言ってくれたのね、あなたは。「問ふ」は妻問い、求愛すること。