Love VI: 30

Left (Tie).
奈呉の海士の塩燒く煙空にのみ我名を立てゝやまんとやする

nago no ama no
shio yaku kemuri
sora ni nomi
wa ga na wo tatete
yaman to ya suru
At Nago the fisherfolk’s
Salt-burning smoke fills
The skies; is that all
My names is to be? Gossip
And then the end?

Kenshō.
959

Right.
山田守るかひ屋が下の煙こそこがれもやらぬたぐひなりけれ

yamada moru
kaiya ga shita no
kemuri koso
kogare mo yaranu
tagui narikere
Warding the mountain fields
Beneath the heated hut
The smoke
Smoulders without end –
And so do I!

Jakuren
960

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults. The Left state: we wonder about the usage of ‘beneath the heated hut’ (kaiya ga shita) with ‘warding the mountain fields’ (yamada moru). In reply: in the Man’yōshū ‘heated hut’ (kaiya), is written with characters meaning ‘deer-repelling fire hut’. In addition, in territories where they wish to drive the deer away from their mountain paddies, they take things which smell foul when burnt, such as hair, and burn them, and in order that the fires are not put out by the rain, they build a roof over them. The common folk of these places call these things ‘heated huts’ (kaiya). So, the Man’yōshū’s usage corresponds with actual practice. Again, a further criticism from the Left: the Master of the Crown Prince’s Household Office composed a poem on salting. Atsutaka also includes ‘heated hut’ in the section on mosquito fires. Such are the ideas of our forebears. That ‘heated hut’ is written in Man’yōshū with characters meaning ‘deer-repelling fire’ and ‘scented fire’ is no proof of anything. Might it not have been written this way so that it would be read to mean ‘keep’? One certainly cannot sweepingly say that it means ‘deer-repelling fire’. A further response from the Right: our forebears have presented no definite evidence, and so it is difficult to accept this argument. In addition, has it not long been accepted that ‘morning haze’ can be used to refer to the smoke from deer-repelling fires, when composing on the haze spreading? Furthermore, in the Hitomaroshū, there is the poem ‘On Kogane Mountain / Beneath the heated hut / Frogs call’. Thus, it appears that this composition must refer to mountain fields.

In judgement: the Left’s ‘At Nago the fisherfolk’ (nago no ama) links the initial and latter sections of the poem extremely well. There seems to be have been some discussion from both teams about the Right’s ‘beneath the heated hut the smoke’ (kaiya ga shita no kemuri). Prior to the to and fro about this poem, was there not a similar discussion about heated huts in the final section of spring poems about frogs? With the greatest respect, the discussion here seems little different. However, in regard to the Right’s poem, saying that love smoulders is the normal way of expressing matters. I do wonder about ‘smoulders without end’ (kogare mo yaranu), but this would certainly seem appropriate with the reference to a heated hut. The Left, in addition, with ‘salt burning smoke’ (yaku shio kemuri) lacks any faults to indicate, so with no clear winner or loser, I make this round a tie.

 

Love VI: 29

Left (Win).
忍びかね心の空に立つ煙見せばや富士の峰にまがへて

shinobikane
kokoro no sora ni
tatsu kemuri
miseba ya fuji no
mine ni magaete
I can bear no more:
Into the heavens of my heart
Smoke rises;
I would show her it is of Fuji’s
Peak an image!

A Servant Girl.
957

Right.
富士の嶺の煙も猶ぞ立のぼる上なき物は思ひなりけり

fuji no ne no
kemuri mo nao zo
tachinoboru
ue naki mono wa
omoi narikeri
The peak of Fuji:
Smoke yet
Rises there;
Higher than the highest is
My love.

Ietaka.
958

The Right state: we wonder about the meaning of ‘heavens of my heart’ (kokoro no sora). In reply, the Left: this is the same conception as the poem ‘into the heavens of my heart emerges the moon’. In reply, the Right: what is the point in using the smoke from Fuji as a metaphor? It seems as if the focus of the poem is the smoke. Furthermore, why have smoke rising in your heart without the smoke of passion? The Left state: the Right’s poem seems good.

In judgement: the Gentlemen of the competition seems to have sagaciously criticised the faults of the Left’s poem, but ‘I would show her it is of Fuji’s peak an image!’ (miseba ya fuji no mine ni magaete) is charming in configuration and diction. The Right’s poem, too, in the final section is elegant in configuration. However, I must make the Left the winner.

 

MYS VII: 1412

我が背子をいづち行かめとさき竹のそがひに寝しく今し悔しも

wa ga seko wo
iduti yukame to
sakitake no
sogapi ni nesiku
ima si kuyasimo
My darling man
Where could he go, I thought, so
As split bamboo
We slept back-to-back,
And now I am distraught…