HOMEJapanese Culture (日本の文化) > 『孝女白菊の詩』(Kojo Shiragiku no uta)
White Aster : a Japanese Epic

English ed. 1897 (Meiji 30) Catalogue No. 7


German ed. 1907(Meiji 40) Catalogue No. 140
『孝女白菊の詩』(Kojo Shiragiku no uta
著者:井上巽軒(Original Author : Sonken Inoue)
訳者:カール・フローレンツ(Translator : Karl Florenz)
訳者:アーサー・ロイド(Translator : Arthur Lloyd)
絵師:三島蕉窓、新井芳宗(Illustrator : Shoso Mishima,     Yoshimune Arai)

■ 解説
ter: ein romantisches Epos
  元々は西南戦争(明治10年)の後、熊本などで伝承されていた話で、井上巽軒<そんけん>(哲次郎)が「孝女白菊詩」として漢詩に詠い、後に落合直文が七五調の今様体にしている。本書にはこの厖大な 「孝女白菊詩」の訳に加え、「孝女白菊詩」の作者である巽軒の他の漢詩、上田万年の詩、都々逸<どどいつ>の訳が収録されている。絵は前書きに書かれているように「孝女白菊詩」部分を蕉窓<しょうそう>が、残りの詩の部分を芳宗<よしむね>がそれぞれ担当している。
■ Explanation
 This book presents poems that were popular throughout Japan from the Meiji period to the end of the Pacific War. It is an English translation of Weissaster : ein romantisches Epos, the German translation of the same poems prepared by Karl Florenz, who was well versed in Japanese literature. The English translation was made by Arthur Lloyd, who, like Florenz, had a thorough knowledge of Japanese literature. Both are splendid feats of translation that are as sonorous as their original.
  The epic tells the story of White Aster, a maiden who is so named because she was found in a clump of white asters and decides to go on a journey in search of her father, whose whereabouts are not clear. She is captured by robbers, but is rescued by her older brother, who had left home and become a priest. Subsequently, she attempts suicide by drowning as a result of a conflict that had her torn between her sense of obligation to the old man who had treated her so kindly and the last will of her mother, who wanted her to marry her brother (the two being not related by blood). Thereafter, she is reunited with her brother, and when the two return home together, they find that their father is already back, safe and sound.
  The tale originated in Kumamoto after the Satsuma Rebellion (the year 1877). Sonken (Tetsujiro) Inoue first related it in a poem of essentially the same title, written in the Chinese style. This was followed by another version by Naobumi Ochiai in the contemporary seven-and-five-syllable meter Japanese style. Besides "White Aster," the book contains translations of the Chinese-style poems by Sonken, of a poem by Kazutoshi Ueda, and of "dodoitsu" ditties. As is noted in the preface, the illustrations for the "White Aster" poem were drawn by Shoso, and those for the other poems, by Yoshimune.