Category Archives: Poetry Competitions

Saishō chūjō kuninobu no ie no uta’awase 16

Left (Win).
我が恋は片裏染めの唐衣かへして寝るや色に見ゆるらむ

wa ga koFi Fa
kata’urazome  no
karakoromo
kaFesite nuru ya
iro ni miyurururamu
For my love
An inner-dyed
Cathay robe
I will reverse – in sleep, then,
I wonder will I see passion’s hues?

Shichirō 七郎
[Minamoto no Ie’yori 源家職]
31

Right.
寝ぬままに月を眺めて明かすかな闇には恋もなぐさかじかし

nenu mama ni
tuki wo nagamete
akasu kana
yami ni Fa koFi mo
nagusamazikasi
While sleepless
I gaze upon the moon
‘til dawn!
For in the darkness my love
Would gain no consolation!

Saburō 三郎
[Minamoto no Kanemasa 源兼昌]
32

Saishō chūjō kuninobu no ie no uta’awase 15

Left (Win).
恋ひわびて片敷く袖はかへせどもいつかは妹が夢に見えける

koFiwabite
katasiku sode Fa
kaFesedomo
itu ka Fa imo ga
yume ni miekeru
Tortured with love
My single spread sleeve
I do reverse, yet
When will my darling
Appear in my dreams?

The Holy Teacher 闍梨
[Ryūgen 隆源]
29

Right.
我が心ときぞともなく乱るれど日だに暮るれば恋ひ添はりけり

wa ga kokoro
toki zo tomonaku
midaruredo
Fi dani kurureba
koFisoFarikeri
My heart
With every passing hour
Is more distraught, yet
Even when the day does dim
Love is my companion.

Bichū 備中
[Minamoto no Nakazane 源仲実]
30

Saishō chūjō kuninobu no ie no uta’awase 14

Left (Win).
夜とともに玉散る床の菅枕見せばや人に夜半の景色を

yo to tomo ni
tama tiru toko no
sugamakura
miseba ya Fito ni
yowa no kesiki wo
Together with the night
Gemlets scatter on my bed’s
Sedge-filled pillow;
Should I show her
This midnight sight?

The Master 大夫
[Minamoto no Toshiyori 源俊頼]
27

Right.
波のよる岩根に立てる磯馴れ松また寝もいらで恋ひあかしつる

nami no yoru
iFane ni tateru
sonare matu
mata ne mo irade
koFi akasituru
The waves roll in
To the cliffs where stands
A hardy pine upon the rocks;
Once more sleepless
From love do I greet the dawn.

The Assistant Master 佐
[Fujiwara no Mototoshi 藤原基俊]
28

Saishō chūjō kuninobu no ie no uta’awase 13

Left (Win).
思ひあまりながむる空の掻き曇り月さへ我を厭ひつるかな

omoFi’amari
nagamuru sora no
kakikumori
tuki saFe ware wo
itoFituru kana
Filled full with love
The sky on which I turn my gaze
Is drowned in darkness;
Even the moon from me
Does shy!

The Consultant Middle Captain 宰相中将
[Minamoto no Kuninobu 源国信]
25

Right.
嵐吹く夜寒の里の寝覚めにはいとど人こそ恋ひしかりけれ

arasi Fuku
yo samu no sato no
nezame ni Fa
itodo Fito koso
koFisikarikere
Stom winds rage
Round my night-chilled home;
Starting from sleep
How much more do
I love her now…

The Minister of Justice 刑部卿
[Minamoto no Akinaka 源顕仲]
26

Love VII: 10

Left (Tie).
雲井まで續きて見ゆわたつ海の行衛知られぬ物思かな

kumoi made
tsuzukite miyu
wata tsu umi no
yukue shirarenu
mono’omoi kana
Beyond the clouds
My gaze goes on and on;
The endless sea:
What lies beyond is unknown
As my gloomy thoughts…

Lord Suetsune.
979

Right.
伊勢の海の潮瀬にさはぐさざれ石の砕けて物を思ふ比かな

ise no umi no
shiose ni sawagu
sazare’ishi no
kudakete mono o
omou koro kana
The sea at Ise:
Raging rapids with the tides,
Where pebbles
Shatter, gloom
Filling my thoughts these days…

Ietaka.
980

The Right state: the Left’s poem is clichéd. The Left state: the Right’s poem is that of Shigeyuki.

In judgement: the Left’s poem is clichéd, but in addition to this uses ‘goes on and on’ (tsuzukite), which is not something one should say. The Right’s poem is, indeed, overly close to Shigeyuki’s, so both Left and Right poem are deficient and lacking in any element allowing a win.

Love VII: 9

Left (Win).
思ヘどもまだ見ぬ程は滿つ潮に入りぬる磯のためしだになし

omoedomo
mada minu hodo wa
mitsu shio ni
irinuru iso no
tameshi dani nashi
I love her, yet
Have not caught a glimpse;
The rising tide
Flooding the rocky shore –
There’s not even a case of that!

Lord Kanemune.
977

Right.
岩根打つ荒磯浪の高きこそまだよそながら袖は濡るなれ

iwane utsu
ara’iso nami no
takaki koso
mada yosonagara
sode wa nuru nare
Crashing on the crags by
The rocky shore, the waves
Are high, indeed;
Distant, perhaps, but
Still my sleeves are soaked…

Lord Takanobu.
978

Both Left and Right state that the opposing poem lacks a strong conception of the sea.

In judgement: I wonder whether the suggestion by both Left and Right that the poems lack a strong conception of the sea is correct. The Left has ‘the rising tide flooding the rocky shore’ (mitsu shio ni irinuru iso), while the Right has ‘crashing on the crags by the rocky shore’ (iwane utsu ara’iso). If these expressions do not strongly convey the conception of the sea, then I ask you, what would? I wonder, though, how one’s sleeves can get soaked if the waves, though high, are distant. The final section of the Left’s poem is elegant. It wins.

Love VII: 8

Left (Tie).
わたの原沖つ潮風に立つ浪の寄り來やかかる汀なりとも

wata no hara
oki tsu nami ni
tatsu nami no
yoriko ya kakaru
migiwa naritomo
Across the broad sea sweep,
The waves from the offing,
The breakers:
So I would have you come to me,
Though I be such a shore…

Lord Ari’ie.
975

Right.
わたの原深き契りや渚なるかたし貝ともなりにける哉

wata no hara
fukaki ya chigiri
nagisa naru
katashigai tomo
narinikeru kana
The broad sea sweep’s
Depths: did our vow match them?
Upon the beach lie
Single seashells:
That is what we have become!

Lord Tsune’ie.
976

The Right state: we are unable to appreciate the Left’s poem. The Left state: as are we the Right’s poem.

In judgement: the Left’s poem would seem to be an improved example of a poem in the style of the previous round. That being said, the waves wouldn’t not come, would they? And, what is the point in addressing them so? The Right’s poem has an extremely flippant final section. The poems are comparable and should tie.

Love VII: 7

Left.
鯨取るさかしき海の底までも君だに住まば浪路しのがん

kujira toru
sakashiki umi no
soko made mo
kimi dani sumaba
namij shinoga
The whale-hunting
Savage sea’s
Depths: even there,
Should it be your dwelling,
Would I endure the waves…

Kenshō.
973

Right (Win).
石見潟千尋の底もたとふれば淺き瀬になる身の恨かな

iwamigata
chihiro no soko mo
tatoureba
asaki se ni naru
mi o urami kana
Iwamigata:
Your thousand fathom depths
I take as
A shallow shoal
For my despite.

Jakuren.
974

The Right state:  the Left’s poem leaves a fearsome impression, does it not? The Left state: we find no fault with the Right’s poem.

In judgement: The Left’s ‘whale hunting’ (kujira toran) I remember occurring in the Man’yōshū, but among many of that collection’s oddly-styled poems. However, it does sound extremely fearsome. When Emperor Qin Shihuang sought Mount Penglai, although he said to ‘shoot’ (iyo) great fish, I have not heard that he went so far as to ‘hunt’ (tore) them. Generally speaking, poems should evoke delicacy and charm, and what purpose is served, for the way of poetry, or for the individual, by frightening people deliberately? The Right’s Iwamigata and ‘For my despite’ (mi no urami kana) recalls an official complaining over being passed over for promotion. However, I cannot accept the Left’s poem. Thus, the Right wins.