A poem admonishment and instruction to Owari no Okui, the Scribe, with tanka.

In the Seven Causes for divorce it is written, ‘Should even one of these occur, it is acceptable. Should none of these occur, a man who casually abandons his wife will be imprisoned for a year and a half.’  The Three Cases state, ‘Even in situations where one of the seven causes occurs, it is not necessary to abandon one’s wife. Violation shall be punished by one hundred strokes of the cane. However, in cases of adultery or infection with disease, divorce is acceptable. The law on Bigamy states, ‘A man who, having a wife, marries another woman in addition, shall be imprisoned for a year. The woman will receive one hundred strokes of the cane. In addition, they shall be made to separate.’ The Imperial edict states, ‘Husbands who are righteous and wives who are faithful shall be granted Our compassion.’ My own humble thoughts on the matter are that these various statements are the cornerstone of the Law which instructs us, and a source of guidance on the path we should follow. Consequently, the path of the righteous husband is to never think of separating from his wife, and to live with her holding all property in common. How can one possibly develop fresh feelings for another woman while fogetting those for a former wife? To that end I have written several poems on the inevitable regret one will come to feel from the distress of abandoning one’s wife. These are they.

大汝 少彦名の 神代より 言ひ継ぎけらく 父母を 見れば貴く 妻子見れば かなしくめぐし うつせみの 世のことわりと かくさまに 言ひけるものを 世の人の 立つる言立て ちさの花 咲ける盛りに はしきよし その妻の子と 朝夕に 笑みみ笑まずも うち嘆き 語りけまくは とこしへに かくしもあらめや 天地の 神言寄せて 春花の 盛りもあらむと 待たしけむ 時の盛りぞ 離れ居て 嘆かす妹が いつしかも 使の来むと 待たすらむ 心寂しく 南風吹き 雪消溢りて 射水川 流る水沫の 寄る辺なみ 左夫流その子に 紐の緒の いつがり合ひて にほ鳥の ふたり並び居 奈呉の海の 奥を深めて さどはせる 君が心の すべもすべなさ

sukunapiko no
kamuyo yori
titipapa wo
mireba taputoku
memo mireba
kanasiku megusi
utusemi no
yo no kotowari to
kaku sama ni
ipikeru mono o
yo no pito no
taturu kotodate
tisa no pana
sakeru sakari ni
pasiki yosi
sono tuma no koto
asa yopi ni
wemi miwemazu mo
katarikemaku wa
tokosipe ni
kakusi mo arame ya
ametuti no
kami koto yosete
paru pana no
sakari mo aramu to
toki no sakari zo
nagekasu imo ga
itusika mo
tukapi no komu to
kokoro sabusiku
minami puki
yukige pa purite
imidu kapa
nagaru napa no
yorupe nami
saburu sono ko ni
pimo no o no
itugari apite
nipodori no
putari narabii
nago no umi no
oki wo pukamete
kimi ga kokoro no
sube mo subenasa
Since Ōnamuchi, and
Sukunahiko, in
The Age of Gods
It has been told:
Your father and your mother
Gaze on with respect;
When you see your wife and child
So dear it will rend your heart:
In this cicada shell
World – this is how it should be.
So has it
Long been said, so
Folk within this world
Do make their vows:
When the snowbells bloom
In profusion,
With your dearest love,
Your wife,
From morning until night
Laugh, be serious, and
While talking together;
If forever
We could be like this –
Only heaven and earth,
The Gods can tell;
As when the flowers in springtime
Will bloom brightly –
We should await
That time of blessing;
Abandoned and
Grieving, your darling,
When will
Your messenger come
Waits wondering,
Sad at heart;
The south wind blows
Snowmelt waters flowing into
The River Imizu:
As foam upon its waters
With nowhere to go,
Does that girl Saburu
Her belt
Tie with yours together, and
As the  grebes
Pair together
At the sea of Nago
To the depths
Does plunge in confusion
Your heart;
Hopeless you are, indeed!

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