Tag Archives: ashi

Love VII: 6

Left (Tie).

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.


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!


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.


wa ga kikisi
mimi ni yoku niru
asi no ure no
asi yamu wa ga se
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.


asiFiki no
yamada no soFodu
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!



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.


asima yori
miyuru nagara no
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

Love IV: 29


nezame made
nao kurushiki
ashi mo yasumenu
yume no kayoiji
Until I awaken
It is ever painful
Going back and forth
My feet not resting once
Upon the path of dreams.

Lord Ari’ie.


mi o ba omowade
tatsuta yama
kokoro ni kakaru
oki tsu shiranami
I think not on myself, but
On Mount Tatsuta
Dwells my heart
Whipped by whitecaps…


The Gentlemen of the Right: no faults to mention. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right’s poem does not have anything to say beyond what is contained in its origin poem.

In judgement: the Left’s poem takes the conception of Komachi’s poem ‘my feet don’t rest, constantly trailing to you, yet’ (ashi mo yasumezu kayoedomo) and skilfully adds ‘Until I awaken it is ever painful’ (nezame made nao kurushiki). The Right’s poem is based upon the poem ‘where, through night’s depths, my Lord’ (yowa ni ya kimi ga), but then says ‘Dwells my heart whipped by whitecaps’ (kokoro ni kakaru oki tsu shiranami), which sounds pleasant, too. They are comparable and should tie.