KKS VI: 332

Composed on seeing snow fall when he had gone to the province of Yamato.

あさぼらけありあけの月と見るまでによしののさとにふれるしらゆき

asaborake
ariake no tuki to
miru made ni
yosino no sato ni
Fureru sirayuki
Dawning’s
Pale moonlight
It seems:
The house at Yoshino,
With snowfall all around.

Sakanoue no Korenori

3 thoughts on “KKS VI: 332”

  1. Professor McAuley, would you be willing to help me understand the sense of the third line? Does the phrase と見るまでに mean something like “it looks as though” or “it seems like” in classical Japanese? Is the modern までに, more like “before/until,” related or a different word?

    1. One of the meanings of made まで in premodern Japanese was to put a limit on a situation or matter, so a wordy translation for ‘X made’ would be ‘up to the point that X is possible’ or sometimes ‘up to the point that X is permitted’. The addition of the ni に simply converts an adverbial into a nominal expression. In this poem, what we have is ‘to miru’, which transforms miru 見る (‘see (physically with eyes)’) to ‘(figuratively) see’ that is ‘imagine’ or ‘appear to be’. So, all together, X to miru made ni と見るまでに means something approximating ‘up to the point where (it) appears to be be X’ – in this case, moonlight at dawn. In the translation, I simplified this, as you can see.

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