Wang Wei: Send Off Inspector Secretary Chao, Going Back to Japan

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Send Off Inspector Secretary Chao, Going Back to Japan

送 秘 书 晁 监 还 日 本 国
积 水 不 可 极
安 知 沧 海 东?
九 州 何 处 所
万 里 若 乘 空?
向 国 惟 看 日
归 帆 但 信 风。
鳌 身 映 天 黑
鱼 眼 射 波 红。
乡 树 扶 桑 外
主 人 孤 岛 中。
别 离 方 异 城
音 信 若 为 通?
Song Mi Shu Chao Jian Huan Ri Ben Guo

Ji shui bu ke ji
An zhi cang hai dong.
Jiu zhou he chu suo
Wan li ruo sheng kong ?

Xiang guo wei kan ri
Gui fan dan xin feng.
Ao shen ying tian hei
Yu yan she bo hong.

Xiang shu fu sang wai
Zhu ren gu dao zhong.
Bie li fang yi cheng
Yin xin ruo wei tong.

 

Send Off Inspector Secretary Chao, Going Back to Japan

Ocean waters, not able to see the limits
How can one know the deep blue sea to the east.
All of China, where he lived from place to place
So vast and far away, like chariots riding across the sky?

Looking towards Japan, can only see the sun
I wish you reliable winds on your return sail.
May the ao shen reflect the dark sky to help you across
And eyes of fish on the waves, emit red light for you to see.

Your native trees are outside of Fusang
You go back to your solitary island country.
As we go away to different cities
Do you know how we can stay in touch?

 

Notes:

All of China: Literally the nine administrative divisions of ancient China.

Ao shen: A very large and legendary sea turtle.

Fusang: Silk growing regions of Japan and China (primarily in Zhejiang Province).

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