Let me reach Shiretoko / The end of the world

The Sea of Okhotsk in the north, the sunlight splashes on Hokkaido,
I climbed the Hidaka Mountains while reciting a psalm
Or maybe it was your name that I whispered to the retan (white) flowers?
I pulled up roots on Mount Sahoro I sat on the Karikachi Pass

The Siberian thrush pierced the smoke
A beggar had taken the appearance of a Yezo deer
He took me to his grave I followed him thinking of you
A blue nightingale covered us with its melodious song

The deity of the mountain is a kamuy (bear)
The yuk (deer) showed me his shining tracks in the snow
I knelt down, there were drops of blood beading on the flakes
I looked up at the sky and the deer went away

The mother spider is a weaver of love
I invoked your name by offering her my monk’s hure (red) robes,
I could spend a lifetime contemplating your memory,
But I must cross the country in search of the Ainu people

Maybe you don’t exist
That you are only a star in the firmament of my dreams
The weight of the years already, bends my back,
I smile at the children who wander on the alpine paths

In front of a Shinto altar, an icy lake caught fire
I saw the face of a henke (old man) reflected in the blue flames
The stilt houses shook in the fog
I saw the shadow of the yuk (deer) creeping into one of them

Take me away from this dream of love that obsesses me
In these mountains populated by winter creatures
My boat is made of uyna (ashes) and my bow splits the ice of Hokkaido
Let me reach Shiretoko (from « sir-etok », the end of the earth)

The forest is a karepinki (loom) of light
The leaves of the pines shade my wet lashes,
I want to choose my death in the Ainu country,
To burn my sable cloak and my shoes

I write with a nimble hand with a hawk’s feather
The Ainu language is breathed in the lights of the kotan (Ainu village)
Each cise (house) has three windows
The mistress of the house keeps a small inuma (treasure), a jewel box

I sat down on a reed mat and greeted the lady of the house,
The yuk (deer) appeared in the crack of the door
I smoked my tampako (tobacco) for a long time, before the night fell
And tasted the flesh of a grouse in silence

The soul mate of the engraver is his makiri (knife)
Which he waves to make the atomte (beautiful) face of God appear on the stone
I crossed the village, I heard a menoko (little girl)
Telling a yukar (Ainu saga) while laughing

I think it was about a pilgrim who like me
Left apunno (in peace) the city and its glowing mirages
To forget the face of a loved one
The Sea of Okhotsk in the north, the sunlight splashes on Hokkaido,

I climbed the Hidaka Mountains while reciting a psalm
Or maybe it was your name that I whispered to the white flowers?
I pulled up roots on Mount Sahoro, I was lost;
The Siberian thrush pierced the smoke

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