Music is medicine III Is Kyoto language music?

  Yoshie Doi

  In Kyoto, there is a word called “Zamochi.” Read the mood of the place and soften the atmosphere. Particularly in Hnanamachi(red-light districts), this Zamochi is considered the basis of hospitality. In the Kyoto language, the word “Ookini” has both yes and no meanings, and the meaning changes depending on the situation. This is a common phrase when refusing a request without making a fuss, but it creates a more peaceful atmosphere. However, there are very few people who understand this meaning.

 Even though I was born and raised in Kyoto, there were times when I couldn’t decide whether to say yes or no to this conversation, and I was forced to make a high-level decision. In Kyoto, there is a custom of speaking in an oblique manner rather than speaking directly. Is this the custom and culture of the capital? Deep conversations are not particularly difficult, and are distinguished by the intensity of human relationships and whether they are business or private, but doing business in Kyoto requires interpersonal skills.

 Japanese is a special language, with a frequency band of 200 to 1,500 Hz, which is close to natural sounds, while English has a frequency range of 2,000 to 12,000 Hz, which is far from natural sounds. In Japanese, every vowel and consonant has a meaning, the consonant reflects the vowel, and every letter has a meaning. It is said that by speaking Japanese carefully and correctly, you can incorporate the good frequencies of the natural world into yourself.

 The Kyoto language has a musical tempo. “Ookini : Thank you”, “Okagesannde : Thanks to you”, “Yoryosu otanomoushimasu”, “Sodosuka”, “Honmadosune”, etc.

 A long time ago, I called the proprietress of a long-established store and asked her for a favor. At that time, at the end of the talk, he said, “Ookini” and I was so happy and the tempo was so good that it sticks in my ears. It was at that moment that I felt like the Kyoto language was like music.

 In the Kyoto language, the sound of the words is more important than the content. Nowadays, I want to talk to you with more importance on the smooth and warm sound of words.

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Translated by Masami Otani