Sailing Past a Dismal Shoal


 
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View of 閩江 Minjiang, near the venerable 雪峰寺 Xuefengsi

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益虞臣



滿











Sailing Past a Dismal Shoal
        Yi Yuchen (Ming)

Penetrating the gloom by boat,
Misty rain falls on river gorge.
Water rushes
        Anxiously take in the scene,
River banks looms high
        suddenly change color.
My body light as a leaf,
My mission heavy as a mountain!
In the distance lies the Capital,
 
Guò Àndàn Tān
Yì Yúchén

Zhōu xíng guò àndàn,
Yānyǔ mǎn jiāng jiān.
Shuǐ jí pín huíshǒu,
Tān gāo hū gǎi yán.
Chén shēn qīng cì yè,
Jūn mìng zhòng rú shān.
Wànlǐ shénjīng guò,
Hé cí gèng chūguān.
 
Translator: Dongbo 東波

Notes:
It is hard today to visualize how difficult and time-consuming travel was before modern times. Once travelers from the Ryukyus, debarked from their ship in Fuzhou City in Fujian Province, they were faced with a long arduous journey by river, horse and on foot to Nanjing and/or Beijing. This overland journey could take over a month, and no hot showers and fancy hotels along the way!

Poem from 中山詩文集, Kyushu Daxue Press, pg 95, 1998

 
 
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Fújiàn 福建
Fúzhōu 福州
Mínjiāng 岷江
Okinawa 沖繩
Ryukyu Kingdom 琉球王国