The Complete Ainu Shinyoushuu

Project Okikirmui is in the process of translating, annotating and giving away the entire text of Chiri Yukie’s Ainu Shinyoushuu.  The table of contents, then, is as follows:

Introductory material:

About Chiri Yukie

About the Ainu Shinyoushuu 

About our Translation

The Ainu Shinyoushuu in English:

The Prologue

The Song The Owl God Sang

The Song The Fox Sang

The Song The Black Fox Sang

The Song The Rabbit Sang

The Song The Marsh Demon Sang

The Song The Wolf Cub Sang

The Song The Owl God Sang: “Konkuwa”

The Song The Sea God Sang

The Song The Frog Sang

A Song Pon Okikirmui Sang

Another Song Pon Okikirmui Sang

The Song The Otter Sang

The Song The Mussel Sang


The Prologue

Long ago, this broad land of Hokkaido was a world in which our ancestors lived lives of freedom. Like children of unspoilt innocence, they lived their carefree lives in the embrace of mother Nature, whose beloveds they were – what happy people they must have been! In winter, kicking aside the thick snow that covered …

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1: The Song the Owl God Sang

“Silver drops fall all around, golden drops fall all around”  I sang as I glided above a stream and over a village, And as I passed I gazed down – Those who had been poor had become rich, Those who had been rich were now poor, it seemed. On the beach, human children were playing …

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2: The Song the Fox Sang

Towa towa to! One day I went out To look for food by the sea. Hopping among the stones, towa towa to! Hopping among the twigs, towa towa to! And as I went along what I saw in front of me looked like this: On the beach a whale had been washed up And humans …

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3: The Song the Black Fox Sang

Haikunterke Haikoshitemturi On the rocky headlands of our land On the rocky headlands of the gods I was sitting. One day I went out and saw The sea stretching away broad and calm, and on the sea Okikirmui, Shupunramka and Samayunkur[1] Had sailed out together to hunt for whales, and when I saw this The …

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4: The Song the Rabbit Sang

Sampaya Terke Running through valley after valley I’d follow my big brother up to the mountains, playing together. Every day I’d follow him, and sometimes There’d be crossbow traps set by the humans[1] And he would break them and I would always laugh. But one day, out of the blue, Suddenly my big brother was …

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5: The Song the Marsh Demon Sang

Harit Kunna One day, the weather was so nice That I poked just my eyes and mouth Out from the marsh; and from the direction of the beach I found I could clearly hear human voices. I saw that two young men were coming; The one in front was like a hero, Equipped with a …

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6: The Song the Wolf Cub Sang

Hotenao One day, I was bored so I went to the beach And I saw a human boy coming, so I played a game: When he went downstream, I went downstream, When he came upstream, I came upstream and blocked his way. When we’d been downstream six times And upstream six times, Anger started to …

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7: The Song the Owl God Sang: ‘Konkuwa’

Konkuwa “Long ago, when I spoke It was like the sound of a strong bow Bound with cherry bark Plucked just in the very center; But now I have weakened and grown old. If only there were someone with eloquence Someone having the confidence to be my messenger I could give them the task Of …

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8: The Song the Sea God Sang

Atuika tomaomaki kuntuteshi hm hm Tall brothers, six brothers, tall sisters, six sisters, Short brothers, six brothers, short sisters, six sisters, Here is how I was raised: Near where the treasures were piled, a dais was provided; Sitting on that dais, carving new knife-sheaths: That was how my days were spent. Every day, when morning …

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9: The Song the Frog Sang

Tororo hanrok, hanrok! One day, as I was hopping over the plains As I amused myself, what should I see But a house! So I went to the door and peeped in, And in the house the dais was piled with treasures! And on the dais there was a young man Who was bent over, …

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10: A Song Pon Okikirmui Sang

Kutnisa kutunkutun One day I went for a walk up the river And by the spring I saw a boy Hard at work, bending over in the water, Hammering in stakes for a walnut-wood fish trap. Seeing me, what he said was: “Who are you? Come here, friend, and give me a hand with this.” …

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11: Another Song Pon Okikirmui Sang

Tanota hurehure One day, as I was taking a walk downstream, I met Pon Nitnekamui, the devil. The devil always has a beautiful appearance, A beautiful face. Dressed in black, Carrying a little walnut bow and little walnut arrows With a smile he said: “Okikirmui, let’s play a game. Now I’m going to show you …

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12: The Song the Otter Sang

Kappa Reureu Kappa One day, when I went for a swim along the stream, I swam down to the place where Samayunkur draws water, and Along came Samayunkur’s little sister, looking as beautiful as a goddess, Holding a bucket in one hand and in the other A bundle of rushes. So putting just my head …

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13: The Song the Marsh Mussel Sang

Tonupeka ranran Strong sunlight had dried out the place where I lived, And I was in danger of death. “Someone, please bring me water to drink, Help me, I beg! Water, water!” We all cried, and from the beach a woman came With a basket on her back. As we were crying out, she came …

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