Tag Archives: bird clapper

Autumn II: 15

Left (Win).


ochikochi no
io ni hita utsu
oto kikeba
katami ni moru ya
aki no oyamada
Both near and far
From huts the bird clappers sound;
Hearing it,
I wonder do they ward together
The little mountain paddies at autumn time…





kaze fukeba
yamada no io ni
inaba zo hito wo
When the wind does blow
To the mountain paddy huts
Comes the sound
Of rustling rice fronds; the folk within
Warding, wakeful, ‘til daybreak.



The Right find no fault with the Left’s poem this round. The Left wonder about the suitability of the phrase ‘folk within warding’ (hito wo moru), to which the Right respond that the expression carries the sense of wakefulness.

Shunzei’s judgement: the Left has the sound of bird clappers jointly guarding the fields, the Right, the sound of rice stirred by the autumn wind rousing folk in their huts – both poems display a particular skill in terms of form, but perhaps at the expense of feeling. Furthermore, I am unable to apprehend the Right’s ‘rice fronds; the folk within warding’. The Left wins, by a small margin.

Autumn II: 14



aware kana
ochi no yamada ni
sayo fukete
honoka ni hita no
oto bakari suru
O, how sad!
From the distant mountain fields
As the night draws in
Comes faintly the bird-clapper’s
Sound, and nothing more…

Lord Suetsune.


Right (Win).


izuku yori
aki no aware o
inaba ni kaze no
Where is it from that,
Autumn sadness
Is invited in?
Over the rice-stems the wind
Blows on and on…

The Master of the Empress’ Household Office.


The Right state that they are left wondering why, by the first line of the Left’s poem. The Left have no criticisms of the Right’s poem.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left faintly hears the sound of a bird clapper from distant mountain fields. The Right’s poem is a from a dwelling among the fields. Moreover, ‘blows on and on’ (fukitsuzuku) is forceful, indeed. It must win.

Autumn II: 13

Left (Tie).


yamada moru
suko ga naruko ni
kaze furete
tayumu neburi
odorokasu nari
Guarding the mountain fields,
To the watchman the bird-clapper’s sound
Is carried by the wind,
And from his idle doze
He starts awake!

Lord Ari’ie.


Right (Tie).


fuku ori wa
naruko no oto mo
kaze no morikeru
yamada narikeri
When the wind blows
The bird-clapper’s sound
Is ceaseless;
It is the wind that’s watching
O’er the mountain fields.

Lord Tsune’ie.


The Right find no fault with the Left’s poem this round. The Left merely state that the first line of the Right’s poem is ‘weak’.

Shunzei’s judgement: In the Left’s poem, the emotional overtones of ‘idle doze’ (tayumu neburi) do not match those of ‘watchman’ (suko). Perhaps, instead, it was and old man doing the guarding? As for the Right’s poem, saying ‘when the wind blows’ (fuku ori wa) is weak is an understatement, indeed, and yet it is impossible to award ‘idle doze’ the victory. The round must tie.