茜さす (akane sasu)
武士の (mononofu no)
八雲立つ (ya kumo tatsu)
Compound of 枕 (makura, “pillow”) + 詞 (kotoba, “word”). The pillow meaning is in reference to the way that makura kotoba in poetry are used as introductions to something else.
枕詞 • (makura kotoba)
- (poetry) a pillow word, an epithet, specifically a poetic device where a certain introductory phrase is commonly used to allude to something else, traditionally used in 和歌 (waka, “traditional Japanese poetry”)
- Over time, certain makura kotoba may become full metonyms to replace the term they originally only alluded to, such as the Old Japanese phrase 庭つ鳥 (niwa tsu tori) or "garden bird" replacing the older term 鶏 (kake) to mean "chicken", as in the modern Japanese term 鶏 (niwatori). An example of such a makura kotoba:
- 711–712, Kojiki (poem 2)
- [...] 爾波都登理 迦祁波那久 [...] [Man'yōgana]
- [...] 庭つ鳥 鶏は鳴く [...] [Modern spelling]
- ...niwa tsu tori, kake wa naku...
- ...the garden bird, the chicken clucks...
- (by extension) introductory words
- (literally) a pillow talk
- Synonyms: 寝物語 (nemonogatari), 枕物語 (makura monogatari)