Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

The English translation of “yomachi” in The Tale of Genji: The Jōbō City system and weights and measures system

The English translation of “yomachi” in The Tale of Genji: The Jōbō City system and weights and... JOURNAL OF ASIAN ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING ENGINEERING https://doi.org/10.1080/13467581.2023.2182634 ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY AND THEORY The English translation of “yomachi” in The Tale of Genji: The Jōbō City system and weights and measures system Nobue Kato Part-time teacher, Hijiyama Univ, Dr. Let ABSTRACT ARTICLE HISTORY Received 04 March 2022 This article discusses the interpretation of “yomachi” in the English translation of The Tale of Accepted 16 February 2023 Genji. “Yomachi” describes the size of the house Rokujōin, one of the houses in the story. The construction of Rokujō-in is completed in “the 21st chapter, Otome” volume. To make it easier KEYWORDS to visualize the house’s vastness, English translations of books are heavily annotated, but the The Tale of Genji; machi; chō; English translation and the notes show a transition and are not consistent. Heian-kyō was laid how to read; jōbō city out in a grid pattern based on what was called the Jōbō City System. In the Jōbō City System, system; weights and “yomachi” is a block unit. The “yomachi” that Arthur Waley used in his English-language edition measures system was based on the Japanese Weights and Measurement Law at the time he translated it, likely because the status of Japanese units, which had changed over time, had not been commu- nicated. This story, established in the Heian period, is written in hiragana, and the word is read as “yomachi.” It is important to clearly understand the size of the house Rokujō-in, built by the protagonist, Genji, because the story tells of the actual rituals and events that took place in the aristocratic society at that time. 1. Introduction of fields and was often divided into fractions. In this case, a more specific numerical unit, such as “tan” or The Tale of Genji, a classic Japanese literary work, has “bu,” could be added to “chō.” When indicating an area been world-famous since Arthur Waley’s English trans- that exceeded a fraction of “itchō,” “itchō-bu” and “bu” lation was published, and Rokujō-in in particular, built were supplemented to avoid confusion with “itchō,” by the hero Hikaru Genji, is an important house. Hikaru which indicates distance. “Machi” was never followed Genji called his wife, daughter, and adopted daughters by a unit, indicating a further numerical value, and was to this house. Rituals and events held in the aristocratic eventually discarded with the decline of the Jōbō City society at that time are told on the stage of Rokujō-in. System. Therefore, it is common to automatically read “Yomachi” is the size of Rokujō-in, and to help the 町 as “chō” without knowing how to read it reader visualize the vastness of the house, the English in situations when it indicates the division of the translation is heavily annotated. However, the transla- Jōbō City System. I believe that the gradual loss of tion and the notes show a clear transition and are not the “machi” reading has affected English translations constant. Meanwhile, it is necessary to clearly under- of The Tale of Genji. stand the size of the house to accurately understand 1,2 *The areas marked with a note are indicated by the narrative. In this paper, I present the exact size and more. dimensions of Rokujō-in “yomachi” while tracing the transition in the English translation. In Japanese, there are two ways to read the kanji 町 : 2. The transitions of the English translation of “machi” and “chō”. When the Jōbō City System was “yomachi” introduced (Heian era), this kanji was read as “machi” First, I would like to mention Arthur Waley’s English to indicate a block of land. The same unit was used to translation of Rokujō-in’s “yomachi.” describe both the area and the Interval distance of the block. Since both area and distance could be expressed Genji had long had it in his mind, if only he could find in terms of blocks, “machi” served as a term for both. a site sufficiently extensive and with the same natural advantages as the Nijo-in, to build himself a new palace Kokushi Daijiten 1979 states, “1 machi was a square of where he could house under one roof the various 40 ‘jō’ square meters, including the streets.” Thus, 1 friends whose present inaccessibility, installed as they “machi” in the Jōbō City System is usually calculated as were in remote country places, was very inconvenient 120 square meters. A “machi” was never divided into to him. He now managed to secure a site of four machi fractions. On the other hand, “chō” has been used in the Sixth Ward close to where Lady Rokujo had lived frequently since the Middle Ages to describe the size and at once began to build. (p. 429) CONTACT Nobue Kato non21k2014@gmail.com Part-time teacher, Hijiyama Univ, Dr. Let © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group on behalf of the Architectural Institute of Japan, Architectural Institute of Korea and Architectural Society of China. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. 2 N. KATO Table 1. Changes in the English translation of “yomachi”. Year of English translation of Translator issue “yomachi” Note Arthur Waley 1925 a site of four machi A machi is 119 yards. Edward G. 1976 four parks ― Seidensticker Royall Tyler 2001 four chō of land About 14 acres Dennis 2015 four parcels of land Equivalent to about 15,000 square meters. Thus, the total size of the land Genji acquired (60,000 Washburn Note: four machi square meters) was roughly 6 hectares (about 14.8 acres). (or chō) Waley translates “yomachi” as “four machi.” The Table 1 The “yomachi” part of The Tale of Genji is writ- below shows the “yomachi” passage in the four English ten in hiragana in many manuscript editions, translations of The Tale of Genji. Dennis Washburn’s according to Tale of Genji Taisei and Tale of version has a separate article with more details. Genji Betsuhon Shusei . Some manuscript editions As the table above shows, Arthur Waley’s translation were written in “yokimachi” (Kunifuyu-bon), and of “yomachi” as “a site of four machi” advanced to others were written in kanji (Arima-bon). Edward Seidensticker’s “four parks” (p. 382) and However, there are no confirmed manuscript edi- Royall Tyler’s “four chō of land” (p. 401) , and finally tions written in hiragana as “yonchō.” Therefore, to Dennis Washburn’s “four parcels of land” (p. 454) . even if modern printed books were written in Dennis Washburn adopted Waley’s “four machi” and kanji, it would be a mistake to read this word as Royall Tyler’s “chō.” “yonchō” because the hiragana “yomachi” was “Yomachi” means four “machi,” so the English trans- converted to kanji and written such that it is lation “four machi” is not wrong. As I show later, the easier for modern people to read. manuscript editions say “yomachi” in hiragana, so the The Rokujō-in depicted in this The Tale of Genji English translation should be just “four machi,” and occupies four blocks, including the family home of there is no need to add “chō.” There are two different the Umetsubo Empress, whom Genji adopted. The readings of “machi” and “chō” in the kanji of this word, southwestern block is the family home of the the units also differ in different periods, and two of the Umetsubo Empress, and the southeastern, north- English translations appear to reflect this. However, the eastern, and northwestern blocks are each “yomachi” part of The Tale of Genji’s manuscript edi- described in hiragana as “machi” when speaking tions are originally written in hiragana, and therefore, of a single block. These four blocks of Rokujō-in “machi” is correct. include four blocks of alleys, showing that “machi” is not a pure area unit. Because Rokujō-in, built in the era of the Jōbō City System, occupied a four- 3. “Yomachi” written in hiragana block area, it is clear that the word “yomachi” is written in hiragana in the manuscript editions of Here, I would like to confirm the notation of “yoma- The Tale of Genji, so there is no need to supple- chi” in manuscript editions. It is a well-known fact that ment the English translation “four machi” with no version of The Tale of Genji in Murasaki Shikibu’s “four chō.” handwriting has been handed down to the present, but there are many manuscript editions. The Ōshima- bon was copied by Asukai Masayasu. In this book, there is a text dated the 13th year of the Bunmei era (1481). Many of the annotations appearing in modern typeset editions are based on the Ōshima-bon . The textual line in modern Japanese annotations was writ- ten by changing the hiragana text into a mixed kanji text and adding furigana “yomachi” to the kanji. “Yonchō” and furigana are not attached to the textual line because “yomachi” is written in hiragana in the Ōshima-bon. The relevant part of the photoreproduc- tion of the Ōshima-bon is shown in Photo 1 . A reproduction of a manuscript of the Nijō-in no Sanuki, copied in the early Kamakura period, is shown in Photo 2 (The Paleological Association of Japan 1996) for reference. The manuscript of the Nijō- in no Sanuki was like the Ōshima-bon version, in that Photo 1. Photocopy of manuscript editions with the applicable portion in the circle. it is written in hiragana, “yomachi.” JOURNAL OF ASIAN ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING ENGINEERING 3 Shikibu, who served Empress Shōshi. Both works, however, were written in the Nara period (710–794) or later, during the period of national-style culture modeled on China. The twelfth century, when the “Chūyuki” was written, was influenced by the culture of the eleventh century Sekkan period, when The Tale of Genji is said to have been established. In other words, it is safe to assume that “machi” was read in the same way because it was written at a time when the national style was influenced by the culture. Since it is not strictly correct to read without any evidence, it is safer to use the manuscript editions’ notation of The Tale of Genji as a basis. In the current notes on The Tale of Genji in Japan, the uses of “chō,” which became the general term with an unknown basis, were mixed. It seems to have been Photo 2. Photocopy of manuscript editions with the applicable translated into English as a reference, but as portion in the circle. I mentioned above, the manuscript editions of The Tale of Genji say “yomachi” in hiragana. Therefore, 4. The Transition of “machi” in the Jōbō City “four machi” is fine, and it is not necessary to supple- System and how to read it ment “four chō.” As mentioned earlier, “町 ” has two readings. There are two readings for “machi” and “chō.” The “machi” was 5. Arthur Waley’s English Translation, the unit of block in the Jōbō City System. It was not Annotated with “chō” weights and measures a pure area unit but a distance unit and an area unit. system On the other hand, “chō” mainly indicates the area of a field, but unlike the “machi” in the Jōbō City System, Arthur Waley leaves the note that “a machi is 119 it often has fractions. yards,” which appears to reflect Japanese metrology Since “machi” did not have a fraction, it is possible in 1925 when the English translation was published. that with the decline of the Jōbō City System, it was “Chō” is defined as 109.09091 meters in the fifth sec- forgotten that it was a unit for indicating area and tion of the Metrology Act enforced in the Meiji era 26 distance. Thus, it seems to have become common to (1893) . Therefore, it is calculated according to the read “chō” phonetically. Japanese metrology in place at the time of Waley’s As mentioned above, because it is clear that The translation: One “chō” is calculated using an interna- Tale of Genji and the manuscript editions of “yoma- tional yard value of 0.9144 meters: chi” are written in hiragana, likely, the kanji written in 109.09091 meters÷0.9144 yards/meters = 119.3033 the diaries of the nobles of the Heian period was yards read as “machi” based on a manuscript of The Tale This formula gives nearly the same value, 119 yards, of Genji. The word “machi” appears in the diary of an as Arthur Waley gave in his note, but this is the value of aristocrat, “Chūyūki.” The scale of this word has “chō” in the weights and measures system. As been studied in the field of Japanese architectural I mentioned above, it is necessary to use the Jōbō history . However, the reading of the word has not City System value for a town in interpreting The Tale been clarified, so I clarified it . Until now, the read- of Genji. If it had been known that the unit was ing of the blocks in the regular system had not been a “machi” under the Jōbō City System, I would have considered, and they were merely read in general. calculated yards using 120 meters for one “machi”, and The diaries and other records left by aristocrats in the the values would have been different: Heian period were mainly written in kanji. Kanji has 120 meters÷0.9144 yards/meters = 131.2336 yards two different readings, on’yomi and kun’yomi. The The result above that calculating size as “machi” in on’yomi is close to the Chinese language, and the the Jōbō City System would give 131 yards indicates kun’yomi is used to express the traditional Japanese that Arthur Waley was following the “chō” metrology language. The on’yomi reading became common rather than the Jōbō City System’s “machi.” Waley, who because it was unclear how it was read. The term translated The Tale of Genji into English in its entirety, first appears in an entry in Chūyuki on November 28, produced a groundbreaking work, but he does not the first year of the Chōji era (1104), and there is appear to have reflected the changing system of a gap of about 100 years after the time of Murasaki metrology in Japan. The Edward G. Seidensticker 4 N. KATO edition does not have a numbered note for “He bought four parks in Rokujō,” and Royall Tyler notes, “about 14 acres.” Using a value of 4,046.8 square meters for 1 acre, “about 14 acres” can be calculated as follows: 14 acres × 4,046.8 square meters/acre = 56,655.2 square meters. Figure 1. shows a schematic diagram of Rokujō-in. A “machi” in the Jōbō City System is calculated as a square of 40 “jō,” as described above; the area of the entire four blocks of Rokujō-in, equal to 120 square meters per block, is given in square meters as follows: 120 meters×120 meters×4 = 57,600 square meters. In other words, the “About 14 acres” that Royall Tyler’s edition says is nearly equal to the area of the entire four 120-square-meter blocks of Rokujō-in. If Royall Tyler had calculated a block as 109.09091 meters by weights and measures, as Arthur Waley did, Royall Tyler’s edition’s block would have been “About 12 Figure 1. Size of the Rokujō-in. acres”: 119 yards × 119 yards × 4 ÷ 4,840 square yards/ acres = 11.7033 acres. Table 2. Report results. However, it can be seen that Royall Tyler did not use Year of the weights and measures system but instead used the Translator issue How to read Numerical values in notes Jōbō City System “machi.” Dennis Washburn adds Arthur Waley 1925 machi Weights and Measures a detailed note to this section: System Royall Tyler 2001 chō The Jōbō City System Dennis 2015 machi (or The Jōbō City System The text specifies that Genji acquired four machi (or Washburn chō) chō 町 ), which was a unit of measure used in laying out *Edward G. Seidensticker’s edition does not contain a corresponding the grid pattern of the capital, Heian-kyō. A machi was description, so it has been omitted. the area marked out on four sides by surrounding streets or alleys and was equivalent to about, 15,000 6. Conclusion square meters. Thus, the total size of the land Genji acquired (60,000 square meters) was roughly 6 hec- With this paper, I trace the evolution of the English tares (about 14.8 acres), which was certainly an translation of Rokujō-in “yomachi” in the classic impressive estate. (p. 454) Japanese literary work The Tale of Genji and present an accurate interpretation and reading of the word. One block in the Jōbō City System is given in square The “yomachi” values given in Arthur Walley’s edi- meters as follows: tion were based on the Japanese system of weights 120 meters × 120 meters = 14,400 square meters and measures from the period when they were trans- Which is nearly the same as Dennis Washburn’s lated into English. Walley probably did not know that 15,000 square meters. Following this measurement the Japanese use of “machi” had changed over time. system, the Rokujō-in “yomachi” would be 60,000 Edward G. Seidensticker did not give numbered notes, square meters. Additionally, because 10,000 square but Royall Tyler’s calculation gives nearly the same meters is 1 hectare, the “yomachi” would be 6 hectares, value as that of a “machi” in the Jōbō City System; and the following is the conversion of 60,000 square Dennis Washburn’s edition has more detailed notes. meters into acres: Specifically, Dennis Washburn uses three different 60,000 square meters ÷ 4,046.8 square meters/ units of measurement to describe the size of Rokujō- acres = 14.8 acres. in: square meters, hectares, and acres. Royall Tyler and In other words, Dennis Washburn uses three differ - Dennis Washburn correctly identified “machi” as a unit ent units of measurement, square meters, hectares, of the Jōbō City System. and acres, to concretize the size of Rokujō-in and to This word is read as “yomachi.” The Tale of Genji was accurately convey the numeric value of “machi” under written in the Heian era and is written in hiragana; the Jōbō City System. He adds the detailed note that there is a manuscript with the word “yomachi” written Rokujō-in “was certainly an impressive estate.” The in hiragana, but there is no manuscript with the word “yomachi” figure is important and will play a major “yonchō” written in hiragana. This indicates that Arther role in the rest of the story. The report results are Waley’s “four machi” is correct. The “chō” given in shown in Table 2. JOURNAL OF ASIAN ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING ENGINEERING 5 Royall Tyler’s “four chō of land” is incorrect. Dennis Toshokan Zenpon Sōsho Washo no bu, vols.14 Tokyo: Yagi Shoten, 1973. It is said that Nijōin no Sanuki is the Washburn’s “(or chō)” in “four machi (or chō)” was person who died at 77 or 78 years old in Kenpo 5 (1217). not necessary to add it. The fact that “chō” has been This information depends on explanatory notes. written into the annotations indicates that when trans- 9. Ikeda Kikan, ed., Genji monogatari taisei, popular edi- lating The Tale of Genji into English, the current anno- tion, Tokyo: Chūō Kōronsha, 1984 tations’ mixed kanji text was used as a reference. 10. Genji Betsubon Shusei, Another Tale of Genji Corpus, eds. 15 vols. Genji Betsubon, Another Tale of Genji The scene at Rokujō-in, where the main character Corpus Publication, Tokyo: Ōfu, 1989-2002. Hikaru Genji built a house, is important because the 11. Fujiwara Munetada, Chūyūki. 7 vols. Zoho Shiryō Taisei, scene describes the rituals and events that were held in vols. 9-15, Kyoto: Rinsen Shoten, 1965. As for this word, the aristocratic society at that time. To understand November 28 Chōji era 1 (1104) is the first to go out. what the author is describing, it is necessary to have 12. Honda Hirotarō, Kuge Shakai no Hatten to Sono Suitai, a clear image of the actual size, and no other Kenchikushi 3(3), 1941. In Nihon Jutakushi no Kenkyū, Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1984. Ōta Seiroku, Transactions researcher has focused specifically on “yomachi” to of the Architectural Institute of Japan, Transactions of trace its evolution in English translation. What the Architectural Institute of Japan 45, 103-108, 1952. I conclude from my work is that the word is read as Kawamoto Shige, Shindenzukuri no Gishiki (2): “yomachi” and that in The Tale of Genji, a “machi” is not “Nyohoichōya” to Sono Gishiki Kūkan, Architectural a unit in the system of weights and measures but a unit Institute of Japan Summaries of technical papers of in the Jōbō City System. annual meeting,1979. In Shindenzukuri no Kūkan to Gishiki, Tokyo: Chūō Kōron Biyutsu Shuppan, 2005. 13. Kato Nobue, Consideration on the unit of block and distance: On the words ‘Yomachi’ in ‘The Tale of Genji’, Notes Journal of Architecture and Planning, AIJ, Vol. 85 No. 776, 2227-2232, 10-2020. 1. Kokushi Daijiten Henshuiinkai eds. Kokushi Daijiten, 14. Koizumi Kesakatsu, “Doryōkō no Rekishi,” Tokyo: Hara Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 1979–1997. shobō, 1977, Abe Takeshi, “Doryōkō no Jiten”, Tokyo: 2. Waley, Arthur, tr. The Tale of Genji. By Murasaki Dōseisha, 2006. Shikibu. 2 vols. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1925. The number of pages of quoted text is shown in parentheses. The same applies below. 3. Seidensticker, Edward G., tr. The Tale of Genji. 2 vols. Acknowledgments London: Secker & Warburg, 1976. 4. Tyler, Royall, tr. The Tale of Genji. By Murasaki Shikibu. 2 The authors would like to thank Enago (www.enago.jp) for vols.; though pagination. New York: Viking Penguin, 2001. the English language review. 5. Washburn, Dennis, tr. The Tale of Genji. By Murasaki Shikibu. New York: W. W. Norton, 2015. 6. Abe Akio, Akiyama Ken, and Imai Gen’e, eds. Genji Disclosure statement monogatari. By Murasaki Shikibu. 6 vols. In Shinpen Nihon koten bungaku zenshū, vols. 20-25. Tokyo: No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author. Shōgakukan, 1994-98. There is the applicable point on vols. 22, Chapter titles “Otome”, p76. 7. The Paleological Association of Japan, eds. Ōshima-bon Genji monogatari. 4 vols. Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1996. ORCID 8. Tenri Toshokan Zenpon Sōsho Washo no bu Henshuiinkai, ed. Genjimonogatari Shohonshū. In Tenri Nobue Kato http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1876-7440 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering Taylor & Francis

The English translation of “yomachi” in The Tale of Genji: The Jōbō City system and weights and measures system

Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering , Volume OnlineFirst: 5 – Mar 31, 2023

The English translation of “yomachi” in The Tale of Genji: The Jōbō City system and weights and measures system

Abstract

This article discusses the interpretation of “yomachi” in the English translation of The Tale of Genji. “Yomachi” describes the size of the house Rokujōin, one of the houses in the story. The construction of Rokujō-in is completed in “the 21st chapter, Otome” volume. To make it easier to visualize the house’s vastness, English translations of books are heavily annotated, but the English translation and the notes show a transition and are...
Loading next page...
 
/lp/taylor-francis/the-english-translation-of-yomachi-in-the-tale-of-genji-the-j-b-city-H3KgCI7ea9
Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group on behalf of the Architectural Institute of Japan, Architectural Institute of Korea and Architectural Society of China.
ISSN
1347-2852
eISSN
1346-7581
DOI
10.1080/13467581.2023.2182634
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

JOURNAL OF ASIAN ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING ENGINEERING https://doi.org/10.1080/13467581.2023.2182634 ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY AND THEORY The English translation of “yomachi” in The Tale of Genji: The Jōbō City system and weights and measures system Nobue Kato Part-time teacher, Hijiyama Univ, Dr. Let ABSTRACT ARTICLE HISTORY Received 04 March 2022 This article discusses the interpretation of “yomachi” in the English translation of The Tale of Accepted 16 February 2023 Genji. “Yomachi” describes the size of the house Rokujōin, one of the houses in the story. The construction of Rokujō-in is completed in “the 21st chapter, Otome” volume. To make it easier KEYWORDS to visualize the house’s vastness, English translations of books are heavily annotated, but the The Tale of Genji; machi; chō; English translation and the notes show a transition and are not consistent. Heian-kyō was laid how to read; jōbō city out in a grid pattern based on what was called the Jōbō City System. In the Jōbō City System, system; weights and “yomachi” is a block unit. The “yomachi” that Arthur Waley used in his English-language edition measures system was based on the Japanese Weights and Measurement Law at the time he translated it, likely because the status of Japanese units, which had changed over time, had not been commu- nicated. This story, established in the Heian period, is written in hiragana, and the word is read as “yomachi.” It is important to clearly understand the size of the house Rokujō-in, built by the protagonist, Genji, because the story tells of the actual rituals and events that took place in the aristocratic society at that time. 1. Introduction of fields and was often divided into fractions. In this case, a more specific numerical unit, such as “tan” or The Tale of Genji, a classic Japanese literary work, has “bu,” could be added to “chō.” When indicating an area been world-famous since Arthur Waley’s English trans- that exceeded a fraction of “itchō,” “itchō-bu” and “bu” lation was published, and Rokujō-in in particular, built were supplemented to avoid confusion with “itchō,” by the hero Hikaru Genji, is an important house. Hikaru which indicates distance. “Machi” was never followed Genji called his wife, daughter, and adopted daughters by a unit, indicating a further numerical value, and was to this house. Rituals and events held in the aristocratic eventually discarded with the decline of the Jōbō City society at that time are told on the stage of Rokujō-in. System. Therefore, it is common to automatically read “Yomachi” is the size of Rokujō-in, and to help the 町 as “chō” without knowing how to read it reader visualize the vastness of the house, the English in situations when it indicates the division of the translation is heavily annotated. However, the transla- Jōbō City System. I believe that the gradual loss of tion and the notes show a clear transition and are not the “machi” reading has affected English translations constant. Meanwhile, it is necessary to clearly under- of The Tale of Genji. stand the size of the house to accurately understand 1,2 *The areas marked with a note are indicated by the narrative. In this paper, I present the exact size and more. dimensions of Rokujō-in “yomachi” while tracing the transition in the English translation. In Japanese, there are two ways to read the kanji 町 : 2. The transitions of the English translation of “machi” and “chō”. When the Jōbō City System was “yomachi” introduced (Heian era), this kanji was read as “machi” First, I would like to mention Arthur Waley’s English to indicate a block of land. The same unit was used to translation of Rokujō-in’s “yomachi.” describe both the area and the Interval distance of the block. Since both area and distance could be expressed Genji had long had it in his mind, if only he could find in terms of blocks, “machi” served as a term for both. a site sufficiently extensive and with the same natural advantages as the Nijo-in, to build himself a new palace Kokushi Daijiten 1979 states, “1 machi was a square of where he could house under one roof the various 40 ‘jō’ square meters, including the streets.” Thus, 1 friends whose present inaccessibility, installed as they “machi” in the Jōbō City System is usually calculated as were in remote country places, was very inconvenient 120 square meters. A “machi” was never divided into to him. He now managed to secure a site of four machi fractions. On the other hand, “chō” has been used in the Sixth Ward close to where Lady Rokujo had lived frequently since the Middle Ages to describe the size and at once began to build. (p. 429) CONTACT Nobue Kato non21k2014@gmail.com Part-time teacher, Hijiyama Univ, Dr. Let © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group on behalf of the Architectural Institute of Japan, Architectural Institute of Korea and Architectural Society of China. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. 2 N. KATO Table 1. Changes in the English translation of “yomachi”. Year of English translation of Translator issue “yomachi” Note Arthur Waley 1925 a site of four machi A machi is 119 yards. Edward G. 1976 four parks ― Seidensticker Royall Tyler 2001 four chō of land About 14 acres Dennis 2015 four parcels of land Equivalent to about 15,000 square meters. Thus, the total size of the land Genji acquired (60,000 Washburn Note: four machi square meters) was roughly 6 hectares (about 14.8 acres). (or chō) Waley translates “yomachi” as “four machi.” The Table 1 The “yomachi” part of The Tale of Genji is writ- below shows the “yomachi” passage in the four English ten in hiragana in many manuscript editions, translations of The Tale of Genji. Dennis Washburn’s according to Tale of Genji Taisei and Tale of version has a separate article with more details. Genji Betsuhon Shusei . Some manuscript editions As the table above shows, Arthur Waley’s translation were written in “yokimachi” (Kunifuyu-bon), and of “yomachi” as “a site of four machi” advanced to others were written in kanji (Arima-bon). Edward Seidensticker’s “four parks” (p. 382) and However, there are no confirmed manuscript edi- Royall Tyler’s “four chō of land” (p. 401) , and finally tions written in hiragana as “yonchō.” Therefore, to Dennis Washburn’s “four parcels of land” (p. 454) . even if modern printed books were written in Dennis Washburn adopted Waley’s “four machi” and kanji, it would be a mistake to read this word as Royall Tyler’s “chō.” “yonchō” because the hiragana “yomachi” was “Yomachi” means four “machi,” so the English trans- converted to kanji and written such that it is lation “four machi” is not wrong. As I show later, the easier for modern people to read. manuscript editions say “yomachi” in hiragana, so the The Rokujō-in depicted in this The Tale of Genji English translation should be just “four machi,” and occupies four blocks, including the family home of there is no need to add “chō.” There are two different the Umetsubo Empress, whom Genji adopted. The readings of “machi” and “chō” in the kanji of this word, southwestern block is the family home of the the units also differ in different periods, and two of the Umetsubo Empress, and the southeastern, north- English translations appear to reflect this. However, the eastern, and northwestern blocks are each “yomachi” part of The Tale of Genji’s manuscript edi- described in hiragana as “machi” when speaking tions are originally written in hiragana, and therefore, of a single block. These four blocks of Rokujō-in “machi” is correct. include four blocks of alleys, showing that “machi” is not a pure area unit. Because Rokujō-in, built in the era of the Jōbō City System, occupied a four- 3. “Yomachi” written in hiragana block area, it is clear that the word “yomachi” is written in hiragana in the manuscript editions of Here, I would like to confirm the notation of “yoma- The Tale of Genji, so there is no need to supple- chi” in manuscript editions. It is a well-known fact that ment the English translation “four machi” with no version of The Tale of Genji in Murasaki Shikibu’s “four chō.” handwriting has been handed down to the present, but there are many manuscript editions. The Ōshima- bon was copied by Asukai Masayasu. In this book, there is a text dated the 13th year of the Bunmei era (1481). Many of the annotations appearing in modern typeset editions are based on the Ōshima-bon . The textual line in modern Japanese annotations was writ- ten by changing the hiragana text into a mixed kanji text and adding furigana “yomachi” to the kanji. “Yonchō” and furigana are not attached to the textual line because “yomachi” is written in hiragana in the Ōshima-bon. The relevant part of the photoreproduc- tion of the Ōshima-bon is shown in Photo 1 . A reproduction of a manuscript of the Nijō-in no Sanuki, copied in the early Kamakura period, is shown in Photo 2 (The Paleological Association of Japan 1996) for reference. The manuscript of the Nijō- in no Sanuki was like the Ōshima-bon version, in that Photo 1. Photocopy of manuscript editions with the applicable portion in the circle. it is written in hiragana, “yomachi.” JOURNAL OF ASIAN ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING ENGINEERING 3 Shikibu, who served Empress Shōshi. Both works, however, were written in the Nara period (710–794) or later, during the period of national-style culture modeled on China. The twelfth century, when the “Chūyuki” was written, was influenced by the culture of the eleventh century Sekkan period, when The Tale of Genji is said to have been established. In other words, it is safe to assume that “machi” was read in the same way because it was written at a time when the national style was influenced by the culture. Since it is not strictly correct to read without any evidence, it is safer to use the manuscript editions’ notation of The Tale of Genji as a basis. In the current notes on The Tale of Genji in Japan, the uses of “chō,” which became the general term with an unknown basis, were mixed. It seems to have been Photo 2. Photocopy of manuscript editions with the applicable translated into English as a reference, but as portion in the circle. I mentioned above, the manuscript editions of The Tale of Genji say “yomachi” in hiragana. Therefore, 4. The Transition of “machi” in the Jōbō City “four machi” is fine, and it is not necessary to supple- System and how to read it ment “four chō.” As mentioned earlier, “町 ” has two readings. There are two readings for “machi” and “chō.” The “machi” was 5. Arthur Waley’s English Translation, the unit of block in the Jōbō City System. It was not Annotated with “chō” weights and measures a pure area unit but a distance unit and an area unit. system On the other hand, “chō” mainly indicates the area of a field, but unlike the “machi” in the Jōbō City System, Arthur Waley leaves the note that “a machi is 119 it often has fractions. yards,” which appears to reflect Japanese metrology Since “machi” did not have a fraction, it is possible in 1925 when the English translation was published. that with the decline of the Jōbō City System, it was “Chō” is defined as 109.09091 meters in the fifth sec- forgotten that it was a unit for indicating area and tion of the Metrology Act enforced in the Meiji era 26 distance. Thus, it seems to have become common to (1893) . Therefore, it is calculated according to the read “chō” phonetically. Japanese metrology in place at the time of Waley’s As mentioned above, because it is clear that The translation: One “chō” is calculated using an interna- Tale of Genji and the manuscript editions of “yoma- tional yard value of 0.9144 meters: chi” are written in hiragana, likely, the kanji written in 109.09091 meters÷0.9144 yards/meters = 119.3033 the diaries of the nobles of the Heian period was yards read as “machi” based on a manuscript of The Tale This formula gives nearly the same value, 119 yards, of Genji. The word “machi” appears in the diary of an as Arthur Waley gave in his note, but this is the value of aristocrat, “Chūyūki.” The scale of this word has “chō” in the weights and measures system. As been studied in the field of Japanese architectural I mentioned above, it is necessary to use the Jōbō history . However, the reading of the word has not City System value for a town in interpreting The Tale been clarified, so I clarified it . Until now, the read- of Genji. If it had been known that the unit was ing of the blocks in the regular system had not been a “machi” under the Jōbō City System, I would have considered, and they were merely read in general. calculated yards using 120 meters for one “machi”, and The diaries and other records left by aristocrats in the the values would have been different: Heian period were mainly written in kanji. Kanji has 120 meters÷0.9144 yards/meters = 131.2336 yards two different readings, on’yomi and kun’yomi. The The result above that calculating size as “machi” in on’yomi is close to the Chinese language, and the the Jōbō City System would give 131 yards indicates kun’yomi is used to express the traditional Japanese that Arthur Waley was following the “chō” metrology language. The on’yomi reading became common rather than the Jōbō City System’s “machi.” Waley, who because it was unclear how it was read. The term translated The Tale of Genji into English in its entirety, first appears in an entry in Chūyuki on November 28, produced a groundbreaking work, but he does not the first year of the Chōji era (1104), and there is appear to have reflected the changing system of a gap of about 100 years after the time of Murasaki metrology in Japan. The Edward G. Seidensticker 4 N. KATO edition does not have a numbered note for “He bought four parks in Rokujō,” and Royall Tyler notes, “about 14 acres.” Using a value of 4,046.8 square meters for 1 acre, “about 14 acres” can be calculated as follows: 14 acres × 4,046.8 square meters/acre = 56,655.2 square meters. Figure 1. shows a schematic diagram of Rokujō-in. A “machi” in the Jōbō City System is calculated as a square of 40 “jō,” as described above; the area of the entire four blocks of Rokujō-in, equal to 120 square meters per block, is given in square meters as follows: 120 meters×120 meters×4 = 57,600 square meters. In other words, the “About 14 acres” that Royall Tyler’s edition says is nearly equal to the area of the entire four 120-square-meter blocks of Rokujō-in. If Royall Tyler had calculated a block as 109.09091 meters by weights and measures, as Arthur Waley did, Royall Tyler’s edition’s block would have been “About 12 Figure 1. Size of the Rokujō-in. acres”: 119 yards × 119 yards × 4 ÷ 4,840 square yards/ acres = 11.7033 acres. Table 2. Report results. However, it can be seen that Royall Tyler did not use Year of the weights and measures system but instead used the Translator issue How to read Numerical values in notes Jōbō City System “machi.” Dennis Washburn adds Arthur Waley 1925 machi Weights and Measures a detailed note to this section: System Royall Tyler 2001 chō The Jōbō City System Dennis 2015 machi (or The Jōbō City System The text specifies that Genji acquired four machi (or Washburn chō) chō 町 ), which was a unit of measure used in laying out *Edward G. Seidensticker’s edition does not contain a corresponding the grid pattern of the capital, Heian-kyō. A machi was description, so it has been omitted. the area marked out on four sides by surrounding streets or alleys and was equivalent to about, 15,000 6. Conclusion square meters. Thus, the total size of the land Genji acquired (60,000 square meters) was roughly 6 hec- With this paper, I trace the evolution of the English tares (about 14.8 acres), which was certainly an translation of Rokujō-in “yomachi” in the classic impressive estate. (p. 454) Japanese literary work The Tale of Genji and present an accurate interpretation and reading of the word. One block in the Jōbō City System is given in square The “yomachi” values given in Arthur Walley’s edi- meters as follows: tion were based on the Japanese system of weights 120 meters × 120 meters = 14,400 square meters and measures from the period when they were trans- Which is nearly the same as Dennis Washburn’s lated into English. Walley probably did not know that 15,000 square meters. Following this measurement the Japanese use of “machi” had changed over time. system, the Rokujō-in “yomachi” would be 60,000 Edward G. Seidensticker did not give numbered notes, square meters. Additionally, because 10,000 square but Royall Tyler’s calculation gives nearly the same meters is 1 hectare, the “yomachi” would be 6 hectares, value as that of a “machi” in the Jōbō City System; and the following is the conversion of 60,000 square Dennis Washburn’s edition has more detailed notes. meters into acres: Specifically, Dennis Washburn uses three different 60,000 square meters ÷ 4,046.8 square meters/ units of measurement to describe the size of Rokujō- acres = 14.8 acres. in: square meters, hectares, and acres. Royall Tyler and In other words, Dennis Washburn uses three differ - Dennis Washburn correctly identified “machi” as a unit ent units of measurement, square meters, hectares, of the Jōbō City System. and acres, to concretize the size of Rokujō-in and to This word is read as “yomachi.” The Tale of Genji was accurately convey the numeric value of “machi” under written in the Heian era and is written in hiragana; the Jōbō City System. He adds the detailed note that there is a manuscript with the word “yomachi” written Rokujō-in “was certainly an impressive estate.” The in hiragana, but there is no manuscript with the word “yomachi” figure is important and will play a major “yonchō” written in hiragana. This indicates that Arther role in the rest of the story. The report results are Waley’s “four machi” is correct. The “chō” given in shown in Table 2. JOURNAL OF ASIAN ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING ENGINEERING 5 Royall Tyler’s “four chō of land” is incorrect. Dennis Toshokan Zenpon Sōsho Washo no bu, vols.14 Tokyo: Yagi Shoten, 1973. It is said that Nijōin no Sanuki is the Washburn’s “(or chō)” in “four machi (or chō)” was person who died at 77 or 78 years old in Kenpo 5 (1217). not necessary to add it. The fact that “chō” has been This information depends on explanatory notes. written into the annotations indicates that when trans- 9. Ikeda Kikan, ed., Genji monogatari taisei, popular edi- lating The Tale of Genji into English, the current anno- tion, Tokyo: Chūō Kōronsha, 1984 tations’ mixed kanji text was used as a reference. 10. Genji Betsubon Shusei, Another Tale of Genji Corpus, eds. 15 vols. Genji Betsubon, Another Tale of Genji The scene at Rokujō-in, where the main character Corpus Publication, Tokyo: Ōfu, 1989-2002. Hikaru Genji built a house, is important because the 11. Fujiwara Munetada, Chūyūki. 7 vols. Zoho Shiryō Taisei, scene describes the rituals and events that were held in vols. 9-15, Kyoto: Rinsen Shoten, 1965. As for this word, the aristocratic society at that time. To understand November 28 Chōji era 1 (1104) is the first to go out. what the author is describing, it is necessary to have 12. Honda Hirotarō, Kuge Shakai no Hatten to Sono Suitai, a clear image of the actual size, and no other Kenchikushi 3(3), 1941. In Nihon Jutakushi no Kenkyū, Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1984. Ōta Seiroku, Transactions researcher has focused specifically on “yomachi” to of the Architectural Institute of Japan, Transactions of trace its evolution in English translation. What the Architectural Institute of Japan 45, 103-108, 1952. I conclude from my work is that the word is read as Kawamoto Shige, Shindenzukuri no Gishiki (2): “yomachi” and that in The Tale of Genji, a “machi” is not “Nyohoichōya” to Sono Gishiki Kūkan, Architectural a unit in the system of weights and measures but a unit Institute of Japan Summaries of technical papers of in the Jōbō City System. annual meeting,1979. In Shindenzukuri no Kūkan to Gishiki, Tokyo: Chūō Kōron Biyutsu Shuppan, 2005. 13. Kato Nobue, Consideration on the unit of block and distance: On the words ‘Yomachi’ in ‘The Tale of Genji’, Notes Journal of Architecture and Planning, AIJ, Vol. 85 No. 776, 2227-2232, 10-2020. 1. Kokushi Daijiten Henshuiinkai eds. Kokushi Daijiten, 14. Koizumi Kesakatsu, “Doryōkō no Rekishi,” Tokyo: Hara Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 1979–1997. shobō, 1977, Abe Takeshi, “Doryōkō no Jiten”, Tokyo: 2. Waley, Arthur, tr. The Tale of Genji. By Murasaki Dōseisha, 2006. Shikibu. 2 vols. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1925. The number of pages of quoted text is shown in parentheses. The same applies below. 3. Seidensticker, Edward G., tr. The Tale of Genji. 2 vols. Acknowledgments London: Secker & Warburg, 1976. 4. Tyler, Royall, tr. The Tale of Genji. By Murasaki Shikibu. 2 The authors would like to thank Enago (www.enago.jp) for vols.; though pagination. New York: Viking Penguin, 2001. the English language review. 5. Washburn, Dennis, tr. The Tale of Genji. By Murasaki Shikibu. New York: W. W. Norton, 2015. 6. Abe Akio, Akiyama Ken, and Imai Gen’e, eds. Genji Disclosure statement monogatari. By Murasaki Shikibu. 6 vols. In Shinpen Nihon koten bungaku zenshū, vols. 20-25. Tokyo: No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author. Shōgakukan, 1994-98. There is the applicable point on vols. 22, Chapter titles “Otome”, p76. 7. The Paleological Association of Japan, eds. Ōshima-bon Genji monogatari. 4 vols. Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten, 1996. ORCID 8. Tenri Toshokan Zenpon Sōsho Washo no bu Henshuiinkai, ed. Genjimonogatari Shohonshū. In Tenri Nobue Kato http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1876-7440

Journal

Journal of Asian Architecture and Building EngineeringTaylor & Francis

Published: Mar 31, 2023

Keywords: The Tale of Genji; machi; chō; how to read; jōbō city system; weights and measures system

There are no references for this article.