Kawarafuji

Man’yō Name Kaparapudi
(かはらふじ)
Modern Name  Saikachi (サイカチ)
English Names Japanese honey locust
Scientific Name F. Fabaceae
Gleditsia japonica
Distribution
Appearance
Seasonal Association
Notes
This is a case where variant readings of the orginal Man’yō text have introduced disagreement between the scholars.

In the original, the first character used to write the name of this plant is particularly obscure (so obscure, in fact, that it is not easily reproducible in on-line form), with the result that there are various theories about how to read it in this context, meaning in combination with the character 莢, which forms the second half of the plant’s name.

The majority opinion is to read the plant’s name as saukepu, but there are also those who argue in favour of kaparapudi or saikati. To further confuse matters, there is some variation of identification of the actual plant the poem is mentioning. In the translation, I have followed the most authoritative opinion, and transcribed the source as saukepu.

Poems (1)

MYS XVI: 3855

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