Tag Archives: breeze

Love V: 25

Left (Win).

makura ni mo
ato ni mo tsuyu no
tama chirite
hitori oki’iru
sayo no naka yama
Upon my pillow and
My foot prints both, dew
Drops have fallen
Awakening alone in

A Servant Girl


hitori akashi no
ura kaze ni
itodo namida zo
Pillowed on the grass,
Alone at dawn in Akashi,
The breeze from the bay
Makes even more tears

Lord Tsune’ie.

The Right state they have no criticisms of the Left’s poem. The Left merely say that the Right’s poem is ‘old-fashioned’.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s ‘dew drops’ (tsuyu no tama) falling so widely at Sayo-no-Nakayama one can surmise to be deeply expressive of the concept of travel. The Right’s Akashi Bay is a place strongly associated with the sad sound of the wind and the waves, but the final ‘makes even more fall’ (ochimasarikeru) is insufficient. Thus, the Left should win.


Composed in the conception of travel, when he presented a hundred poem sequence.


azumadi no
nozima ga saki no
Famakaze ni
wa ga Fimo yuFisi
imo ga kaFo nomi
omokage ni miyu
On Eastern roads
At Nojima Point
In the breeze from off the beach:
My belt was tied
By my darling, her face,
A vision, appears before me…

Master of the Left Capital Office, Akisuke

Winter II: 26

Left (Win).


kawatake no
nabiku hakaze mo
toshi kurete
miyo no hotoke no
mina o kiku kana
Bamboo by the river,
Leaves streaming in the breeze, and
The ending of the year, with
The three worlds’ Buddhas
Honoured names – I hear them both…

Lord Sada’ie.




ureshiku mo
tsumi wa yo no ma ni
kienu nari
kureyuku toshi ya
mi ni tsumoruramu
How pleasant that
One’s sins in the space of a night
Do disappear, and
The year fading into dusk
Seems to lie upon me!



The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right’s poem is pedestrian [tsune no koto nari].

Shunzei’s judgement: the sound of ‘Bamboo by the river, leaves streaming’ (kawatake no nabiku), leading to ‘the three worlds’ Buddhas’ (miyo no hotoke) is not a particularly good expression. In the Right’s poem, if it was changed to ‘the disappearance of one’s sins is pleasant, but’ (tsumi no kiyuru koto wa ureshiki o), this would be more in line with the conception of the final section of the poem. By beginning ‘how pleasant that’ (ureshiku mo) it sounds as if the poet is pleased to bear another year, too. I wonder, is ‘bamboo by the river’ a recollection of the Palace Gardens? The Left should win.

Winter I: 20



tare mo miyo
kore wa mizore no
sora naran
chirikuru hana wa
ame ya majirishi
Behold, one and all!
This is a sleet-filled
Sky, indeed!
Flowers falling,
Mixed with rain?

Lord Suetsune.


Right (Win).


kaze wataru
hana no atari no
harusame wa
fuyu no sora ni mo
arikeru mono o
The breeze blows
Around the blossom
In spring showers;
The winter skies, too,
Have such things…



The Right wonder about the appropriateness of ‘mixed’ (majirishi). The Left complain that the Right’s poem ‘does not contain an expression from the topic [dai no ji]’ and wonder about the appropriateness of this in a poetry competition.

Shunzei’s judgement: ‘This is a sleet-filled sky, indeed!’ (kore wa mizore no sora naran) is charming, but the latter section of the poem, saying that blossoms fall during a shower is quite pedestrian [tsune no koto ni aran]. I also wonder about the appropriateness of ‘mixed with rain?’ (ame ya majirishi) as a choice of poetic diction [uta kotoba]. Having ‘Around the blossom in spring showers’ (hana no atari no harusame wa), and then ‘The winter skies, too, have such things…’ (fuyu no sora ni mo arikeru mono o) is extremely charming. Even without the explicit reference to the topic, one can certainly glimpse the sleet. The Right should win.

Autumn I: 30



asa madaki
niwa mo magaki mo
tsuyu okiagaru
kusa no ha mo nashi
At the cusp of dawn
My garden and my fence, too,
After the gales,
Are drenched in dew
Flattened blades of grass – every one.

Lord Ari’ie.




muragumo mayoi
fuku kaze ni
makura sadamenu
hana no iroiro
In the dim dusk light
Crowding clouds confusedly
Blown by the breeze
Unable to rest are all
The many blooms.

Lord Takanobu.


The Right state that ‘linking “gales” with “drenched” is a poor expression’, while the Left feel that they have no criticisms of the Right’s poem.

Shunzei, again, broadly agrees: ‘What are we to make of the Left’s poem with a fence left standing in a garden after a gale? The Right’s “crowding clouds confusedly” is fine, indeed. Although the term “pillow” is unsuitable in this context, the Left’s “drenched in dew” cannot possibly be right here, either, and so the Right wins.”

Autumn I: 28

Left (Win).


hagi no ha ni
kawarishi kaze no
aki no koe
yagate nowaki no
tsuyu kudakunari
Bush clover leaves
Brushed by the breeze
Speak of autumn;
Swift comes the gale,
Scattering dewdrops…

Lord Sada’ie.




obana ga sue ni
nami koete
mano no nowaki ni
tsuzuku hamakaze
Miscanthus fronds
At Mano in the gales
Born from breezes off the beaches.



The Left’s ‘speak of autumn’ (aki no koe) and the Right’s ‘born from’ (tsuzuku) are each found unsatisfactory by the opposing team.

Shunzei states, ‘Both the poems of the Left and Right have been found unsatisfactory by a number of modern poets, and is this not reasonable? However, the Left’s “Brushed by the breeze speak of autumn” (kawarishi kaze no aki no koe) is particularly fine. The Right’s “born from” is not a turn of phrase which could be considered pleasant; starting with “streaming” (nabikiyuku) and then continuing to “breezes off the beaches” (hamakaze) which lead to “Mano in the gales” (mano no nowaki ni) suggests an implicit meaning, but the Left’s upper and lower sections are finer. It should win.’