• Masashi

Shizuka Gozen / 静御前



【日本語版は英語版のあとです】


This is a story about discord of Minamoto brothers*1 back in 1185.

Yoritomo (the first Shogun who founded Kamakura Shogunate) ordered his soldiers to capture his younger brother Yoshitsune and his lover Shizuka Gozen. The couple had to separate from each other in mountains of Yoshino (located in today’s Nara prefecture) because lady couldn’t pass through the mountains due to strict custom in this era. Unfortunately, Shizuka was caught by the soldiers and sent to Kamakura where Yoritomo wielded his power.


Shizuka Gozen was well-known traditional dance performer for her beautiful skills.

One day, Yoritomo forced Shizuka to show her performance to deity of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu (Shinto shrine) even if she didn’t want to.

Following is the Waka*2 she chanted while dancing: That was the one Yoshitsune wrote for her.

Shi-zu ya Shi-zu

Shi-zu no O-da-ma-ki

Ku-ri-ka-e-shi

Mu-ka-shi wo I-am-ni

Na-su Yo-shi-mo-ga-na


Meaning

“My dear Shizu, Shizu,

You are so beautiful like Odamaki*3”

He always repeated saying so.

Wish we were together

Just like before. The language of flower of Odamaki is “Fortitude for winning”.

No matter how hard she was among enemies, she expressed her strong will and love for Yoshitsune.

The master of dance also accomplished martial art of Naginata*4.


Reference image (source: Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, Kamakura)

https://www.hachimangu.or.jp/about/history/shizuka.html


Notes

*1 Very famous samurai clan

*2 Very short poem consists of 31 syllables divided into 5 lines : From the first to the last ones, 5-7-5-7-7 syllables.

*3 Aquilegia

*4 Long bar with sharp blade attached on the top. Compared to samurai sword for male, this arm has more advantage for protection due to its length.

源頼朝が放った討伐軍から逃れる義経と静御前は、女人禁制の吉野の山で離れ離れに。静御前は捕らえられ、鎌倉に送られた。


美しい舞で知られた静御前は頼朝の命により、自らの意に反して鶴岡八披露することに。

その時唱えた和歌は、義経が彼女に贈ったもの。


しずやしず

しずのおだまき

繰り返し 

昔を今に 

なすよしもがな

おだまきの花言葉は「断固として勝つ決意」。


敵陣にありながら、義経への思いを堂々と表した強い気持ち。

舞の名手は、薙刀の名手でもあった。

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