English subtitles are available on YouTube in the 'Settings' of the video!
We present "Oimatsu" performed on stage with subtitles. "The song begins with words meaning: "There are many trees, but the pine tree is the most auspicious”. This is followed by a verse explaning of the kanji for "pine”*. In other words, this passage is in praise of the pine as a tree. The song goes on to say, "When Qin Shi Huang was hunting, it suddenly started to rain heavily, so he tried to find shelter from the rain under the shade of a small pine tree. As he did so, the pine grew larger and larger, so that its crown would not let the rain through. In return, the emperor bestowed on the pine tree the title of "taiyu". This story is told in dance according to the lyrics.
(Mitsuko T. Sakurai)
*TN: the part "十八公" in the Japanese lyrics refers to the Chinese character of pine being a combination of these characters