Ten Nights of Dreams - Section 008 Study Guide

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Rough translation

Rain has been falling for a while. The path has grown darker. My mind is frantic now. Still, the small one clings to my back, and the small one knows every detail of my past, present, and future. The truth is exposed as through a shining mirror, with nothing hidden from the light. This is my own child. The child is blind. I'm at my wits' end.

"We're here. We're here. Right at the base of that cedar tree."

Through the rain, the voice of the young one rings crystal clear. I stop, transfixed. We're already in the forest. Several meters ahead stands the dark silhouette of a cedar tree, just as the young one said.

"Father, it happened at the base of that tree, didn't it?"

"Yes, it did." I answer despite myself.

"It was the 5th year of Bunka, a year of the dragon."

I remembered now that it was indeed the 5th year of Bunka, and it was indeed a year of the dragon.

"A hundred years have passed since the day you took my life."

As soon as I hear these words, I'm suddenly aware that I killed a blind man, at the base of this cedar tree, on a dark night like this, in the 5th year of Bunka, a year of the dragon, a hundred years before. In the instant I realize I've killed a man, the child on my back is heavy as a stone Jizō.


あめ rainって fall; come down (rain)みち path; wayくらくなる grow dark夢中むちゅうである be desperate; be frantic背中せなか back (body)ちいさい small小僧こぞう youngster自分じぶんの one's own過去かこ past現在げんざい present未来みらい futureてらして shed light on; make clear寸分すんぶんの (not) in the least事実じじつ truth; realityらさない doesn't let escapeかがみ mirrorひかって sparkle; shine child盲目めくら blind person すぎ cedar (tree) rootsところ place なか middle; midstこえ voice判然はっきり clearly; distinctlyきこえた could be heardおぼえず unconsciously; unknowinglyとまった stoppedいつしか before one knows it森 woods這入はいって enter一間いっけん 1 ken (about 1.8 meters; about 2 yards)さき ahead; in frontくろい dark; blackとおり just as (someone) said treeえた appeared (to be) 御父おとっさん father おもわず without thinkingこたえて answered 文化ぶんか五年ごねん 5th year of Bunka (1808)辰年たつどし year of the dragon 御前おまえ you (condescending)ころした killed; murderedいま now; the present百年ひゃくねん a hundred yearsまえ before; earlier 言葉ことば wordsいなや as soon as ...やみの darkばん evening; night一人ひとり one (person)自覚じかく awareness; self-knowledge忽然こつぜんとして suddenlyあたまなか in one's head; in one's mindおこった awoke; arose人殺ひとごろし murdererはじめて for the first timeがついた realized途端とたん moment; instant childきゅうに suddenlyいし stone地蔵じぞう Jizō (bodhisattva - guardian of children)おもくなった grew heavy