Umi Yukaba 海行かば

"Umi Yukaba 海行かば"(composed by Kiyoshi Nobutoki in 1937), literally meaning "If you go to the sea--" , however, it is deeply rooted in the Japanese culture, dating back to AD 700s when the Emperor Shoumu decided to erect Great Buddha Statue in Nara in 743.  "Umi Yukaba 海行かば" is originated from The Zoku Nihon Shoki 続日本書紀,  a history book dealing with the period of 95 years from AD 697 to AD 791, a sequel to The Nihon Shoki 日本書紀, often translated as The Chronicles of Japan completed in 720.

The music was originally composed by Mr. Sueyoshi Tougi in 1880 with the words ( written by Nobleman and Poet  Ootomo no Yakamochi in 740s) originated from The Zoku Nihon Shoki 続日本書紀.  It was often played and aired on radio whenever the resuslts of the battles were reported  in the past.  It was once considered as the secondary national anthem to "Kimi ga yo".

Umi yukaba is considered as a vow  to the Emperor Shoumu written by Nobleman and Poet  Ootomo no Yakamochi in 740s to express the feelings of loyal subjects to do whatever required to erect Great Buddha Statue in Nara in 740s. The building of Great Buddha Statue is said to have required a total of 2.6 million workers and $5.7 billion at the current value.

I will go wherever required to go whether I have to go to the sea or to the mountain. I will not look back with any regrets at all regardless of how I die as long as I die for the Emperor.

The above is an translation of Umi yukaba to give you what it really means.
by Ted Yokohama

The below is a translation of  Umi yukaba as a lyrics found  in Wikipedia.
Umi yukaba
If I go away to the sea,
Mizutsuku kabane
I shall be a corpse washed up.
Yama yukaba
If I go away to the mountain,
Kusa musu kabane
I shall be a corpse in the grass,
大君の 辺にこそ死なめ 
Okimi no he ni koso shiname
But if I die for the Emperor,
かへり見は せじ
Kaerimi wa seji
It will not be a regret.

Original Umiyukaba

Five Reflections
These reflections were originally devised by Vice Admiral Hajime Matsushita who was the Chief of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy. Every evening cadets are expected to meditate on these inter-related questions.[1]
  1. Hast thou not gone against sincerity
  2. Hast thou not felt ashamed of thy words and deeds
  3. Hast thou not lacked vigor
  4. Hast thou exerted all possible efforts
  5. Hast thou not become slothful
The Japan Martime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) encourages the use of the Gosei as a self-reflective exercise during the course of daily living.
The crux of this contemplative practice has been translated into English and has been discussed at the United States Naval Academy. -Wikipedia

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to make your comments on the issues