Tag Archives: bell

Love V: 4

Left (Win).

kimi yue ni
itou mo kanashi
kane no koe
yagate wa ga yo mo
fukenishi mono o
For lack of you, I am
In sorrow and despite;
The tolling of the bell reveals
That so swiftly has my life
Reached its eventide…

A Servant Girl.


te ni toru hodo mo
omoiki ya
kari ni mo koi o
shiga no yamabito
A jewelled broom
I’ll take in hand now,
Could that have been my thought?
Briefly in love now as
The old man of Shiga Mountain!


The Right state: we wonder about the appropriateness of ‘swiftly’ (yagate). The Left state: should one mention a monk in a poem about Love?

In judgement: the configuration of the Left’s ‘In sorrow and despite; the tolling of the bell’ (itou mo kanashi kane no koe) sounds pleasant, so ‘swiftly’ does not seem unsuited. The Left wins.


Love IV: 20

Left (Win).

tamahoko no
michi yukibito mo
kokoro arite
kon to tanomeyo
kono yūke ni wa
Jewelled spear straight
The road for this traveller:
If he longs for me,
Let it say, ‘Come with me!’,
This evening’s fortune!

Lord Kanemune.


au koto o
tanomuru kure to
iriai no kane mo
‘We will meet,
On that you can rely, at dusk,’
He made me think, so
The sunset bell, too,
Does seem full of joy!

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.

The Right state: evening fortune-telling and crossroad divination are different things. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults.

In judgement: both evening fortune-telling and crossroad divination are conducted in the evening, and with either one could wish ‘Let it say, “Come with me!”’ (kon to tanomeyo), so this does not seem to be a mistake does it? The Right has the fault of having both ‘We will meet’ (au koto o) and ‘sunset bell, too’ (iriai no kane mo). The Left should win.

Love IV: 5


omokage mo
wakare ni kawaru
kane no oto ni
narai kanashiki
shinonome no sora
That your face
Is transformed to parting
By the bell’s toll:
How sad this custom
From the eastern skies!

Lord Sada’ie.

Right (Win).

akatsuki no
namida ya semete
sode ni ochikuru
kane no oto kana
At dawn, are
My tears, forced to be
Like them?
Falling on my sleeves:
The tolls of the bell!


The Right state: the sense of the Left’s poem is difficult to grasp on hearing. The Left state: the expression ‘forced to be’ (semete) seems out of place in the context of the Right’s poem.

In judgement: The Left’s poem, just as was said of Kisen’s poetry – that it was ‘obscure of diction and indefinite from beginning to end’  – seems to be in just such a style. The Right’s poem, while it does not, in fact, sound like a suitable context for ‘forced to be’ (semete), provides a profound conception in ‘falling on my sleeves’ (sode ni ochikuru). The Right should win.