Tag Archives: blanket

Love IX: 27

Left (Tie)

ukimi yue
yogaruru toko no
samushiro wa
kai ya nakaramu
My cruelty was it that
Kept him from my bed these many nights;
My blanket:
Should I spread it and think of him alone,
Would that have no effect at all?

Lord Kanemune


munashiki toko no
samushiro ni
ikuyo ikutabi
Sick am I of love –
In an empty bed’s
How many nights, how many times,
Must I awake?


Both Left and Right together state: we find no faults to mention.

In judgement: both of the ‘blankets’ (samushiro) of the Left and Right here seem elegant. The configuration of the Left’s ‘my cruelty was it that kept him from my bed these many nights; my blanket’ (ukimi yue yogaruru toko no samushiro) and the conception of the Right’s ‘sick am I of love – in an empty bed’s’ (koiwabinu munashiki toko no) are such that I find both difficult to put down. I must make the round a tie.

Love IX: 25

Left (Tie)

kimi ga yodoko no
samushiro ni
hitorineshite ya
hada o furemashi
Is he from our bed tonight, so
On his blanket
Should I sleep alone,
Might I touch his skin?



tachiyoru hito wa
aramashi ni nomi
shikite koso mate
To my patterned blanket
He has not
Drawn near, yet
In simple longing
Will I spread it and await him…

Lord Tsune’ie

Both Left and Right together state: this seems somewhat jocular.

In judgement: the Left’s conception of starting with ‘departed’ (idenikeru), as the poem of a woman sleeping alone and finding traces of a the man who has left on the blanket, sounds extremely poor in style. On the other hand, if it is a man’s poem, has he come upon the traces of a woman after she has left? In any case, whichever it is the initial line is not good at all. The Right’s poem, with its ‘to my patterned blanket he has not drawn near, yet’ (ayamushiro tachiyoru hito wa nakeredomo), also appears to be a woman’s poem. The Left’s humour, and the Right’s longing, are both eccentric. The round must tie.

Spring I: 9

Left (Win).


shigaraki no
toyama wa yuki mo
kienishi o
fuyu o nokosu ya
tani no yūkaze
From Shigaraki’s
Mountains, the snow
Has gone, yet
Does winter remain in
The valleys’ evening breeze?





haru kaze wa
fuku to kikedomo
shiba no ya wa
nao samushiro ni
i koso nerarene
The spring breeze
Blows, I hear, yet
My twig-roofed hut is
Yet chill: beneath a threadbare blanket
I cannot fall asleep.

Lord Tsune’ie


Shunzei states the first part of the Left’s poem is ‘elevated in tone’, but that the final line is problematic: a reference to ‘morning’ might have been better, or just to the ‘valleys’ breeze’, but this would not have fitted the syllable count. If the intention had been to add a sense of ‘darkness’ to the poem, an expression such as ‘the valleys, shadowed by the crags’ would have been better. As for the Right’s poem, the image of the ‘twig-roofed hut’ is lonely, but the overlaying of the ‘cold’ with ‘blanket’ (in the original poem ‘samushiro’ is a play-on-words with both senses) is pedestrian, and so the Left’s poem, despite its faults, is adjudged the winner.