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   Chapter 8 Hé KéGANí

The Romance of the Milky Way, and Other Studies & Stories By Lafcadio Hearn Characters: 1308

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:02


Readers can find in my "Kottō" a paper about the Hé?ké-Crabs, which have on their upper shells various wrinklings that resemble the outlines of an angry face. At Shimono-séki dried specimens of these curious creatures are offered for sale.... The Hé?ké-Crabs are said to be the transformed angry spirits of the Hé?ké warriors who perished at Dan-no-ura.

Shiwo-hi ni wa

Sé?zoro? shité,

Hé?kégani

Ukiyo no sama we

Yoko ni niramitsu.

[Marshaled (on the beach) at the ebb of the tide, the Hé?ké-crabs obliquely glare at the apparition of this miserable world.47]

Saikai ni

Shizumi-nurédomo,

Hé?kégani

Kōra no iro mo

Yahari ak

a-hata.

[Though (the Hé?ké) long ago sank and perished in the Western Sea, the Hé?ké-crabs still display upon their upper shells the color of the Red Standard.48]

Maké-ikusa

Munen to muné ni

Hasami ken;-

Kao mo makka ni

Naru Hé?kégani.

[Because of the pain of defeat, claws have grown on their breasts, I think;-even the faces of the Hé?ké-crabs have become crimson (with anger and shame).]

Mikata mina

Oshi-tsubusaréshi

Hé?kégani

Ikon we muné ni

Hasami mochikéri.

[All the (Hé?ké) party having been utterly crushed, claws have grown upon the breasts of the Hé?ké-crabs because of the resentment in their hearts.49]

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