Above the clouds

Koichijōemon’s poems contains a number of double meanings: ‘above the clouds’ kumowi 雲居, was a standard euphemism for the palace and court, while the reference to the goose’s call referred to Sanekata’s reputation for being unfaithful. Aki is simultaneously ‘autumn’, ‘longing’ and evokes the name of Sanekata’s ox-boy, Akimaro. Essentially, then, the lady is saying, “You’ve got a name at court for being unfaithful (and now you have the gall) to come visit, just because you feel like it (after so long: how dare you!)”

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