I was to leave for the provinces

Sanekata was appointed to a post in the government of Michinoku Province and departed on the 27th day of the Ninth Month 995, so this exchange probably took place a few days before.

Michinoku was famous for its cloth, and the provisions the lady is providing are most likely clothes for the journey, hence the reference to its customs barrier being of garments. ‘Meeting Hill’ was the barrier affording entrance to the capital, so Sanekata’s conclusion says he would far rather remain with the lady in Kyoto, than travel off to the desolate north.

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