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I'm currently listening to 「愛国行進曲」, which is apparently a Shōwa-era patriotic song. It is written in a rather confusing mix of modern and Classical Japanese, but I think I can understand most of it except for 「往{ゆ}け八紘を宇{いえ}となし」. What is となし? Is it と無し? That doesn't seem to make any sense...

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Also, another weird part is 「正しき平和 打ちたてん」. Where does 打ちたてん come from? Is it 打ち立てぬ (= 打ち立てない)? That seems weird, as this seems to be meant as a command, not a negative! –  user54609 Sep 20 '13 at 0:21
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Perhaps that ん is 助動詞「む」, the ancestor of modern 助動詞「う」? –  snailboat Sep 20 '13 at 0:42
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Wikipedia actually lists the lyrics as "打ち立てむ" ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/… –  dainichi Sep 20 '13 at 6:52
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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I think it might be the 連用形 of 為す, so that the meaning is roughly

八紘を宇となし
make the whole world our home

Also, ん is most likely む, which carries the meaning of ~う・~よう, giving

正しき平和打ちたてん
let us establish true peace

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So it means roughly 正しい平和を打ち立てよう? –  user54609 Sep 20 '13 at 0:48
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Yes, I would think so. –  Earthliŋ Sep 20 '13 at 0:51
    
Ohh. Maybe I had misunderstood a lot of ~ん in lyrics and whatnot? How about the case of the last line of さくらさくら? 見にゆかん = 見るために、行かない or 行こう? Both seem to make sense, as to see something you need to stop ゆくing, but if it is far away, you need to ゆく there first... –  user54609 Sep 20 '13 at 17:17
    
It is most definitely 行こう. –  Sjiveru Sep 20 '13 at 19:30
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@user54609 Why 見る ため に? ます-stem + に is such a common construction... I would say that 見に行こう should be the contemporary translation. –  Earthliŋ Sep 20 '13 at 21:34
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