Tag Archives: Ariwara no Narihira

KKS IX: 410

Once, he was travelling to the Eastlands with one or two friends. On reaching a place called Yatsuhashi in the province of Mikawa, they saw there were irises (kakitsubata) blooming particularly beautifully by the river. Dismounting, and resting in the shade of a tree, he composed this poem, expressing the feelings of someone homesick, with the correct syllable of kakitsubata at the beginning of each line.


kitutu narenisi
tuma si areba
Farubaru kinuru
tabi wo si zo omoFu
A Chinese robe
I have worn so often I know it
As I do my wife;
Having come so far
This journey rests heavy on my thoughts.

Ariwara no Narihira

KKS V: 294

Composed at a time when the Nijō Empress was still known as the Mother of the Crown Prince, on the topic of a picture of autumn leaves flowing along the Tatsuta River, drawn on a folding screen.


kamiyo mo kikazu
karakurenai ni
midu kukuru to Fa
In even the mighty
Gods’ own age there’s no word of it:
The River Tatsuta,
With deep scarlet
Dyed throughout the waters.

Ariwara no Narihira

KKS V: 268

A poem tied to a chrysanthemum before it was planted in someone’s garden.


uwe si uweba
aki naki toki ya
Fana koso tirame
ne saFe kareme ya
If well planted,
And Autumn came not
Would it still bloom-of course, it would!
And the flowers scatter
Were it to wither to the root?

Ariwara no Narihira

KKS II: 133

On a day at the end of the Third Month when it was raining, he plucked a spray of wisteria blossom and sent it to someone.


nuretutu zo
siFite worituru
tosi no uti ni
Faru Fa ikukamo
arazi to omoFeba
Soaked through, and
Heedless of it, I plucked this:
For this year
Spring, is all but
Gone: or so I felt.

Ariwara no Narihira