Tag Archives: ashi

Love X: 29

Left (Win)
よそにても君をし三輪の市ならば行かふ賤に立もをくれじ

yoso nite mo
kimi o shi miwa no
ichi naraba
yukikau shizu ni
tachi mo okureji
Far away
At Miwa Market
Had I met you,
The peasants going back and forth
Would not be arriving late…

Lord Ari’ie
1197

Right
住わびて世をふる道は知らるとも難波の蘆のかりにだに見ん

sumiwabite
yo o furu michi wa
shiraru tomo
naniwa no ashi no
kari ni dani min
Life is hard, as it is
To make one’s way
I know, yet
At Naniwa the reeds
I reap for a brief glimpse of you…

Jakuren
1198

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to indicate. The Left state: the Right’s poem is not bad.

In judgement: the Left’s ‘at Miwa had I met you’ (kimi o shi miwa no) is elegant, but the final section is lacks force. The Right’s reaping reeds at Naniwa has only a faint sense of a merchant. Thus, the Left’s ‘Miwa Market’ (miwa no ichi) wins.

Love X: 1

Left
蘆間分け月にうたひて漕ぐ舟に心ぞまづは乗りうつりぬる

ashima wake
tsuki ni utaite
kogu fune ni
kokoro zo mazu wa
nori’utsurinuru
Parting the reeds, and
Singing to the moon,
Boats come rowing out –
My heart, it is, that is first
Aboard and carried away…

Kenshō
1141

Right (Win)
浪の上にくだるを舟のむやひして月にうたひし妹ぞ戀しき

nami no ue ni
kudaru o fune no
muyaishite
tsuki ni utaishi
imo zo koishiki
Upon the waves,
Her boat departs,
Vanishing into the mist;
That moon-sung
Girl is dear to me, indeed!

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1142

The Right state: the Left’s poem lacks much of a conception of pleasure girls. In appeal: the poem was written in the conception of Mochitoki’s Chinese poem on pleasure girls ‘the reed-leaves are fresh in springtime’. The Left state: the Right’s poem has nothing worth mentioning.

In judgement: is the conception of pleasure girls really absent from the Left’s ‘parting the reeds, and singing to the moon’ (ashima wake tsuki ni utaite)? The case certainly cannot rely on ‘the reed-leaves are fresh in springtime’. A Chinese poem expresses its topic in its initial line. It is normal for the introduction of the topic to be vague. Japanese and Chinese poetry have aspects where they are similar, and aspects where they differ. Thus, it is not appropriate to cite a Chinese poem’s broaching of its topic as evidence for a Japanese poem’s content. There are certainly other examples by Mochitoki, such as his overlong line in ‘in a boat atop the waves, but I find the same pleasure in life’. The line about reed-leaves can in no way function as proof. Thus this poem, as ‘an old fisherman sings a single shanty’ could be said to be about an old man. As a result, given the lack of clarity in the poem, it is not possible to accept that it is about a pleasure girl. The Right’s poem concludes ‘that moon-sung girl is dear to me, indeed’ (tsuki ni utaishi imo zo koishiki). The final line seems to be almost pointlessly pedestrian, but the poem is certainly about love for a pleasure girl. The Right must win.

Love VII: 6

Left (Tie).
足引の山路の秋になる袖はうつろふ人のあらしなりけり

ashihiki no
yamaji no aki ni
naru sode wa
utsurou hito no
arashi narikeri
Leg wearying
Mountain trails in autumn
Have my sleeves become,
For she fades from my life, as
A departing storm…

Lord Sada’ie.
971

Right.
この世には吉野の山の奧にだにありとはつらき人に知られじ

kono yo ni wa
yoshino no yama no
oku ni dani
ari to wa tsuraki
hito ni shirareji
Within this world, were I
In the Yoshino mountains’
Heart, even so
That cruel
One would know it not!

Jakuren.
972

The Right state: the Left’s poem does not refer to a specific mountain – we wonder whether this is acceptable? In addition, ‘in autumn have my sleeves’ (aki ni naru sode) and ‘she…as a storm’ (hito no arashi) is difficult to understand. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to indicate.

In judgement: in connection with the criticism made of the Left’s poem, I do not feel that it is always essential to refer to a specific mountain. The other matters are, indeed, difficult to understand. The underlying sense of the Right’s poem seems overly pretentious. It is reminiscent of the tales of Boyi and Shuqi, or of Jie Zhitui, and Mount Shouyang and Mount Mian. Really, it does put me in mind of the Four White-Headed Recluses of Mount Shang, where it says, ‘They emerged due to the plans of Zhang Liang, made for Huidi, who said, “Though I may lie down with the greybeards, enjoying Mount Shang myself, all, in the end, are people under Zhang Liang.”’ It is extremely difficult, in the end, to make these sentiments relevant to our own land. Thus, I find it inappropriate to accept the content of the Right’s poem. The Left’s poem has its faults, too, so cursorily, I make this round a tie.

MYS II: 128

A futher poem sent by the Elder Maiden of Ishikawa to  Ōtomo no Tanushi.

我が聞きし耳によく似る葦の末の足やむ我が背つとめ給ぶべし

wa ga kikisi
mimi ni yoku niru
asi no ure no
asi yamu wa ga se
tutometabubesi
As I have heard
So it does seem to be:
As the reed tips
Pierce your legs, my darling,
Get well soon!

The above poem was presented by the Elder Maiden of Ishikawa to Chūrō, when she visited him on hearing that his legs were troubling him.

GSS XII: 806

A man went to the country house of a woman with whom he had been having conversation, among other things, but although he knocked – perhaps because she did not hear him – she did not open the gate, so listening to the frogs croaking in the paddies.

葦引の山田のそほつうちわひてひとりかへるのねをそなきぬる

asiFiki no
yamada no soFodu
utiwabite
Fitori kaFeru no
ne o zo nakinuru
Reed pulling in
The mountain paddies, a scarecrow
Stands grieving;
On his solitary return, the frogs’
Cries is all he does!

Anonymous

SIS VIII: 468

Composed to accompany a painting of the few remains of the bridge at Naraga on a folding screen for His Majesty, during the Tenryaku era.

葦間より見ゆる長柄の橋柱昔の跡のしるべなりけり

asima yori
miyuru nagara no
Fasibasira
mukasi no ato no
sirube narikeri
From between the reeds
Can one see at Nagara
The bridge pillars:
A trace from long ago
To guide us now…

Fujiwara no Kiyotada
藤原清正