Ghost of Tsushima Ending Haiku Explained – Reflecting on what was lost

Ghost of Tsushima Ending Haiku Explained

The once “Honorable” Samurai, Jin Sakai, endeavors on a journey to become the Ghost of Tsushima. In doing so, he abandons everything he once was, and fights for the people. This causes great discord between him and his uncle, once mentor and father figure. and it quickly escalates to a life or death situation where the players have to decide between Jin’s personal moral code or uncle Shimura’s Noblesse oblige.

Ghost of Tsushima enables the players to reflect and meditate on various situations using a Haiku 俳句 poem generator, which is a short form poetry originally from Japan. Traditional Japanese haiku consists of three phrases composed of 17 words in a 5,7,5 pattern, which might make the actual meaning vague, not to mention the words that get lost in translation from Japanese to English.

In this article, we shed some light on the true meaning behind Jin’s final reflection, and how he came into terms with how he and his uncle were so close, yet distant. I will provide the equivalent of each Japanese sentence, and how it gradually builds up into the final decision, in addition to reflecting on how the English translation elevated the introspection scene in various ways.

The Ending Scene

Ghost of Tsushima – What was lost

The mini-game starts with the phrase: 失われたものを思って(ushinawareta mono wo omotte) which means reflecting or thinking of what was lost. It can refer to goals, opportunities or loved ones.

The first phrase consists of a set phrase: で周囲を見渡す (de shūi wo miwatasu) I look at, survey the scene or take an extensive view of ….. and a variable phrase the player has to pic.

The choices available are: wagakimi to 我が君と waga shifu to 我が師父と waga chichi to 我が父と, which is equivalent for My lord, My Fatherly master, and My father. It’s up to the player who he refers to the uncle’s persona, depending on the degree of intimacy they feel towards him and the ending they want to choose.

The second part of the poem also makes three choices available, albeit longer ones:

いかで互いに争わん How can we be mutually in discord, how can we fight one another.

定めが断ち絆しにて The law is like a shackle that must be severed

軒と枝との争いに The eaves and branches are in discord or in strife.

Each of the three choices reflects a mental conflict that Jin goes through. The first makes it as if he is in pain regarding how things came to be between the two of them, while the second re-establishes his conviction that the samurai code should be forgotten, and the third is a poetic description of their situation, because the eaves (roof extensions) and branches are considered in eastern art to be aesthetically compatible, yet right now they aren’t. Jin was also looking at the tree when he said these words.

Ghost of Tsushima Ending Haiku Explained

The third and final part gives a conclusion to each of the previous phrases:

寄せる波さえ 哭く声のごと Even the waves are like wailing voices

いザれが渡る三途の川を Eventually, we will cross the Sanzu River (Buddhist equivalent of the River Styx)

名残を惜しむこの刹那かな I wonder if I will regret moment of parting sorrow

Jin is trying to translate the feelings inside him using the sounds and the environment around him, to the point that even the sounds of the waves have become like cries for him. At one point, he is accepting that they will all receive the same ending despite their differences, and the player is allowed to choose again if Jin still has doubts in his mind about the sorrow he is feeling, or if he is completely decided on what he should do.

The English translation may not have entirely connected or poetic phrases, but it succeeds in capturing all the emotions contained in the original words. A bond broken forever appears when Jin looks at the tree, its branches broken, Eyes that saw my pain when he looks at his uncle, as if saying how he means to him, and finally will death redeem us? again he is wondering about weather their ending will be the same, or will they go to their separate places after death.

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