Pine seedlings on the Day of the Rat (子日小松)
ne no hi suru matsu no ha goto ni kazoureba nao zo tsukisenu kimi ga chitose wa On this Day of the Rat Every single pine needle I count, but Still the number would not exhaust The millennia of my Lord…
A Court Lady
harukanaru kimi ga yowai ni kurabemu to ne no hi no matsu o kyō wa hiku kana Distant is My Lord’s age: To what might it compare? Why The Rat Day pines that We pick today!
A Court Lady
tsuki mo senu kimi ga yowai wa iku chiyo to kagireru take no eda ni ya aruran Inexhaustible is My Lord’s age: How many thousand generations Limit it – a bamboo Branch might know!
wa ga kimi no yowai taketaru ureshisa wa ōmiyabito no mi ni amaruran My Lord’s Age has reached such lofty heights – Could the joy of Courtiers all Be any greater?
kiku no midu
yowaFi wo nobezu
sato mo arasade
keFu aFamasi ya The chrysanthemums’ waters
Age do not extend –
If that were so, then
Would undisarrayed their estate be where
We would meet today?
koi ni midarete
oi zo shinikeru Long ago, I,
Your hair, bunched on either side,
Did glimpse, and ever since
In a confusion of love
Have I grown old.
iro ni somuru
kokoro wa onaji
hito no turaki ni
oi o shiru kana Being charmed by beauty
My heart is just the same
As long ago, but
How cruel for me now,
Feeling my age…
The Right state: ‘Your hair, bunched on either side’ (
furiwakegami) appears very abruptly. In addition, we wonder about the appropriateness of evoking youthful love. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to indicate.
In judgement: the confusion evoked by ‘your hair, bunched on either side’ seems to have lasted rather too long. The Right’s poem sounds exactly as it should be. Thus, the Right should win.