Tag Archives: ashi

Autumn II: 24

Left (Win).


nami yosuru
sawa no ashibe o
kaze ni tatsunari
shigi no hanegaki
A wave beats on
The marshy reed beds;
Roost broken, sorrowfully
Starting up into the breeze
The snipe work their wings.

A Servant Girl.




akenu tote
sawa tatsu shigi no
hito koe wa
hane kaku yori mo
aware narikeri
Crying that there’s no dawn yet,
Starting from the marsh, a snipe’s
Single call,
More that his beating wings
Summons sadness…



The Right wonder, ‘if it wouldn’t be rather difficult for a lightly beat its wings on taking off into the wind, as in the Left’s poem?’ The Left respond with, ‘In the Right’s poem, the accustomed reference to the sound of the snipe’s wings, seems subordinated to its cry. Is that right?’

Shunzei’s judgement: A snipe’s wing-beats on taking off into a strong wind are not that vigorous. ‘The snipe work their wings’ (shigi no hanegaki) is what they do, whether gently or not. However, this poem has more of a feeling of reed-bed dwelling birds like cranes, or plovers. In the Right’s poem, it’s not clear what kind of snipe it is ‘starting from the marsh’. The Left’s ‘reed-bed snipe’ should win.

Autumn I: 23

Left (Win).


hitori nuru
ashi no maruya no
shimo tsuyu ni
toko o narabete
uzura nakunari
Sleeping singly
In a reed-roofed hut,
Dripped with dew,
Beside my bed
The quails are crying.

A Servant Girl.




akikaze ni
nabiku obana no
yūzuyu ya
uzura ga neya no
ame to chiruramu
In the autumn breeze
Flutter fronds of silvergrass,
Scattering dewdrops
On the quails’ roost –
How like rain…

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.


The Right state that the Left’s poem has no faults. The Left state that, ‘“On the quails’ roost – how like rain” (uzura ga neya no ame) suggests that this is what it actually is.’

Shunzei disagrees: ‘It is not the case that uzura ga neya no ame definitely implies that it is actually rain, particularly with the scene set by dew on silvergrass. However, “beside my bed” (toko o narabete) is particularly attractive in expression. It should win.’

Love 57

Left (Tie).


kururu yo wa
eji no taku hi wo
sore to miyo
muro no yashima mo
miyako naraneba
In the dark of night,
The conscripts kindled flames
Behold as my love, for
The waters of Muro no Yashima
Lie not within the capital.


Right (Tie).


ashi no ya ni
hotaru ya magau
ama ya taku
omoi mo koi mo
yoru wa moetsutsu
In a reed-roofed hut,
One might mistake for fireflies, or
Fisherfolk’s kindled fires
The passion and the love, that
Burns in me throughout the night.


Summer 20

Left (Win).


ashi no ya no
karine no toko no
fushi no ma ni
mijikaku akuru
natsu no yonayona
Out cutting reeds,
Upon a fleeting bed
I lie; between one reed-knot and another,
So brief comes the dawn
Each passing night in summer.




shigemi ga shita no
sayuriba no
shirarenu hodo ni
kayou akikaze
Beneath the growth
to all,
Are passed by an autumn breeze.