I present to you, episode 5 of the Okinawan mythology series, Haitai Nanafa. This episode shows somewhat the spiritual side of traditions in Okinawa. To fill up the introductory space here (not really, I just forgot to make a screenshot), let me already introduce one of the strange words that appear in the vocabulary. I’m pointing at the word “Agaa” (ouch). Don’t you think it’s strange when this girl is saying “itai toki wa agaa!” If agaa means ouch, why would they still use the word “itai”, meaning pain? (Since the Japanese just literally say “itai” when they’re hurt)
At least, I think it’s kind of strange.
This has a slight different layout than my usual TLC reports, since this is an original translation. I still feel the need to put up translation notes because this series is spoken in Okinawan Japanese dialect.
I tried to google for sarisari, just to come up with nonsensical stuff. My thoughts is that it’s a repetition of the verb 去る, which means to pass/elapse, to leave/go away, or something in that context. If you would summon a god though, wouldn’t you call out for someone, instead of sending the person away? So my guess is probably wrong. If someone has a better suggestion, please don’t hesitate to send me a message.
The other part of the charm is atotu utotu. It’s like a singing phrase for a charm. I caught a phrase on the internet that goes like 「うーとーとぅして、寝なさい」, where it seems like it’s a lullaby before saying “go to sleep”. In kanji, utotu is apparently written as 御尊(うーとーとぅ), with as Japanese translation ありがたいことです.
The different in the a and u at the beginning marks the gender of the phrase, so atotu is implied as female whereas utotu is implied as male. A god’s gender is unknown, therefore you pronounce both.
Update: Apparently, sari is another form of haisai… Perhaps I could’ve translated this line in total as: Please heed my humble request. And as Shimapan pointed out, I lacked the explanation of what 御尊 is actually translated to in English, which would be strongly connected to kami (deities). This should explain why I mention gods all the time.
And this is her request. She isn’t literally saying this, although she does imply the same thing. Literally, she asks if the gods will ease the ones who have only been doing their bests (i.e. being a good person), via means of moxibustion. That is, burning mugwort on someone’s skin or via acupuncture. You might have seen it in Chinese movies.
And a small term to close this release post. If one would say “I’m so mad right now!”, some translators might think of a line like 私は今すごく怒ってるんだから or something in that context, but Okinawan Japanese have another word to describe this “so”. It’s deeji(でぇじ）, and you’ll hear it more often throughout the series, so that’s why I’m writing it down here.