Tag Archives: asaji

GSIS IV: 270

Composed for a picture based on the Song of Everlasting Woe, for the scene where Xuanzong had returned home and the emperor was depicted weeping with insects calling from the withered cogon grass all around him.

ふるさとは浅茅が原と荒れはてて夜すがら虫の音をのみぞ鳴く

Furusato Fa
asadi ga Fara to
areFatete
yosugara musi no
ne nomi zo naku
My old home
With cogon grass is
Entirely overgrown;
All night the insects
Simply let forth their cries…

Dōmei
道命

Love III: 25

Left (Win).
末までといひしばかりに浅茅原宿も我名も朽や果てなん

sue made to
iishi bakari ni
asajibara
yado mo wa ga na mo
kuchi ya hatenan
‘Until the very end,’
You simply said, but
A field of cogon grass
Surrounds my house; my name, too,
Will it wither away…?

A Servant Girl
769

Right.
斧の柄も年経る程は知る物をなど我恋の朽つる世もなき

ono no e mo
toshi heru hodo wa
shiru mono o
nado wa ga koi no
kutsuru yo mo naki
Even my axe handle,
Endures through the passing years,
I know it, but
Why is it that this love
Does not rot from this world?

Jakuren
770

Neither poem has any errors.

In judgement: ‘My house; my name, too’ (yado mo wa ga na mo) sounds better than ‘Why is it that this love’ (nado wa ga koi). The Left wins.

Winter I: 1

Left (Tie).

晴曇る時雨に色を染ながら隙なく降るは木葉成けり

harekumoru
shigure ni iro o
somenagara
himanaku furu wa
ko no ha narikeri
From the unsettled skies
Drizzle with colour
Stains
The ever-falling
Leaves from the trees.

Kenshō.

481

Right.

時雨つる嶺の叢雲晴のきて風より降るは木葉なりけり

shiguretsuru
mine no murakumo
harenokite
kaze yori furu wa
ko no ha narikeri
Drizzle done,
The peaks the clearing clouds
Reveal;
Now the winds are done, fallen are
The leaves from the trees.

Nobusada.

482

Both teams state they find no particular faults with the other’s poem this round.

Shunzei’s judgement: Both poems are on the topic of ‘falling leaves’, and both ‘The ever-falling leaves from the trees’ (himanaku furu wa ko no ha) and ‘Now the winds are done, fallen are’ (kaze yori furu wa), in conception and diction, are charming [kokoro kotoba tomo no okashiku kikoyu]. They must tie.

Autumn III: 6

Left (Win).

宇津の山越えし昔の跡古りて蔦の枯れ葉に秋風ぞ吹く

utsu no yama
koeshi mukashi no
ato furite
tsuta no kareba ni
akikaze zo fuku
Utsu Mountain,
Crossed in times of old by
Ruins, ageing; on
The withered ivy leaves
The winds of autumn are a’blowing…

A Servant Girl.

431

Right.

淺茅たつ庭の色だにあるものを軒端の蔦はうち時雨つゝ

asaji tatsu
niwa no iro dani
aru mono o
nokiba no tsuta wa
uchishiguretsutsu
The cogon-grass grows
In my garden, but the only hint of colour
Is in
The ivy by my eaves,
Wet with constant showers…

Jakuren.

432

As the previous round.

Shunzei’s judgement: Both Left and Right seem superb in form and diction [sugata kotoba wa yoroshiku miehaberu], but the Right’s ‘cogon-grass grows’ (asaji tatsu) is pretentious [yauyaushiku], and I wonder what to make [ikaga to oboehaberu] of the final ‘wet with constant showers’ (uchishiguretsutsu), but the conception [kokoro] of the Left’s ‘Utsu Mountain’, with its ‘ancient ruins’ brought back to memory by ‘on the withered ivy leaves the winds of autumn a’blowing’, is particularly tasteful [en]. Thus, the Left certainly wins.

Autumn I: 20

Left (Win).

小萱原吹來る秋の夕風に心亂れと鶉鳴くなり

ogayawara
fukikuru aki no
yūkaze ni
kokoro midare to
uzura naku nari
Across the sedge fields
Come blowing the autumn
Evening winds;
My heart’s in disarray,
The quails are crying…

Lord Kanemune.

339

Right.

秋風を厭ひやすらん夕間暮淺茅が下に鶉鳴く也

aki kaze o
itoi ya suran
yūmagure
asaji ga shita ni
uzura naku nari
The autumn wind:
Do they dislike it, I wonder?
In the dark of evening
From beneath the sparse stalks of cogon grass
The quails are crying…

Lord Tsune’ie.

340

The Right feel that, ‘Just having “my heart’s in disarray” (kokoro midare to) is lacking something.” The Left have no particular criticisms of the Right’s poem.

Shunzei responds, ‘The gentlemen of the Right have remarked upon the lack in the Left’s poem, wondering, no doubt, if this should be “feeling my heart’s in disarray” (kokoro midare tote). If one were to say that this is definitely the way the poem should have been composed, it would be something of a loss to the Way of Poetry, I feel. If we permit poets to say they are “moved” (aware nari), why not that their “heart’s in disarray”? The Right’s poem has a superlative final section, but one cannot know whether quails dislike the autumn wind or not. In Springtime, the warblers frolic in the mists; in Autumn, the insects cry from beneath the dewdrops – but each only at their allotted time, and from this one can tell the season. The quails’ cries make one feel the chill of the autumn wind. If one composes that they hid themselves from dislike of it, it restricts the imagination about quails too much. The Left wins.’

Autumn I: 18

Left (Left).

風渡る淺茅が上の露にだに宿りも果てぬ宵の稲妻

kaze wataru
asaji ga ue no
tsuyu ni dani
yadori mo hatenu
yoi no inazuma
Brushed by the breeze,
Atop the cogon grass
The dewdrops but
Briefly rest:
Lightning at dusk.

Lord Ari’ie.

335

Right.

眺むれば風吹く野邊の露にだに宿りも果てぬ稲妻の影

nagamureba
kaze fuku nobe no
tsuyu ni dani
yadori mo hatenu
inazuma no kage
Idly gazing
Across the windblown meadow;
The dewdrops but
Briefly rest:
Lightning’s light.

Ietaka.

336

The Right simply say, ‘The Left’s poem is fine, is it not!’ The Left, however, grumble, ‘We cannot see how the final phrase relates to what has come before.’

Shunzei states, ‘Both poems are remarkably similar in spirit and diction, with the Left concluding “lightning at dusk” (yoi no inazuma) and the Right with “lightning’s light” (inazuma no kage) – is there really much to choose between them? The Left wins.’

Spring II: 16

Left (Win).

片岡の霞も深き木隱れに朝日待つまの雲雀鳴くなり

kataoka no
kasumi mo fukaki
kogakure ni
asahi matsu ma no
hibari nakunari
At Kataoka
The haze is deep upon
The shade of the concealing trees;
Awaiting dawn’s first light,
A skylark sings.

A Servant Girl.

91

Right.

野邊見ればあがる雲雀も今はとて淺茅に落つる夕暮の空

nobe mireba
agaru hibari mo
ima wa tote
asaji ni otsuru
yūgure no sora
Looking out across the plain,
A soaring skylark
Seizes the second
To plunge among the cogon-grass
From the evening sky.

Ietaka.

92

Neither team has any criticisms to make of the other’s poem.

Shunzei states that, ‘Left and Right deal with the skylark at morning and evening respectively. Both poems are alike in content, yet the Right’s poem conveys a particularly desolate feeling. Why should this be? Once more, the Left is the victor.’ Commentators are divided as to whether in this judgement he is suggesting that loneliness is an inappropriate emotion to convey in a skylark-themed poem, or whether, knowing that the Left’s poem was composed by Fujiwara no Yoshitsune, the host of the competition and the highest-ranking person present, he is simply flattering a powerful man’s work.