Tag Archives: breeze

Autumn I: 18

Left (Left).


kaze wataru
asaji ga ue no
tsuyu ni dani
yadori mo hatenu
yoi no inazuma
Brushed by the breeze,
Atop the cogon grass
The dewdrops but
Briefly rest:
Lightning at dusk.

Lord Ari’ie.




kaze fuku nobe no
tsuyu ni dani
yadori mo hatenu
inazuma no kage
Idly gazing
Across the windblown meadow;
The dewdrops but
Briefly rest:
Lightning’s light.



The Right simply say, ‘The Left’s poem is fine, is it not!’ The Left, however, grumble, ‘We cannot see how the final phrase relates to what has come before.’

Shunzei states, ‘Both poems are remarkably similar in spirit and diction, with the Left concluding “lightning at dusk” (yoi no inazuma) and the Right with “lightning’s light” (inazuma no kage) – is there really much to choose between them? The Left wins.’

Autumn I: 5



aki kitemo
nao yū kaze wo
matsu ga ne ni
natsu o wasureshi
kage zo tachi uki
Though the autumn has come,
Still, for an evening breeze,
Must I abide beneath the pines,
As did I to forget the summer,
Loath to leave the shade…

Lord Sada’ie.




mada nugiyaranu
yūgure wa
sode ni mataruru
hagi no uwakaze
My summer garb
Have I not yet put away;
In the evening
My sleeves await
A breeze over the bush-clover.



Neither team can find any fault with the other’s poem.

Shunzei, however, says, ‘With regard to the Right’s poem, one marks the change of clothing at the end of spring into summer, and the passage from autumn and the entrance to winter. Does one say that now it is autumn, one changes from summer clothes? The Left’s ‘beneath the pines’ must win, must it not?’

Autumn I: 2

Round One-Hundred and Fifty-Two: Autumn – Lingering Heat.



minazuki no
teru hi ya kage o
kesa fuku kaze no
aki ni shirarenu
The Waterless Month’s
Shining sun and light
Seem to linger on;
To this morning’s blowing breeze
Is autumn quite unknown.



Right (Win).


aki o asami
teru hi o natsu to
kureuyuku sora no
ogi no uwakaze
In autumn ‘tis weak, yet
The shining sun, of summer
Yet has the feel;
From the dusking sky comes
The wind o’er the silver-grass.

The Provisional Master of the Empress Household Office.


The Right state, ‘It would have been far better to have “This morning’s blowing breeze brings no knowledge of autumn” (kesa fuku kaze no aki o shirasenu).’ The Left reply, ‘In the Right’s poem, the initial section fails to express the topic, and the latter part seems to have no purpose.’

Shunzei’s judgement is: ‘With regard to the Left’s poem, I cannot agree that “brings no knowledge of autumn” is any better than “is autumn quite unknown”. As for the Right, in general it is not considered that “the shining sun, of summer yet has the feel” (teru hi o natsu to obomekeba) provides suitable praise to the lingering heat of autumn. However, even in poems on the theme of lingering heat, it is appropriate to praise the coolness of early evening. Does not “From the dusking sky comes the wind o’er the silver-grass” (kureuyuku sora no ogi no uwakaze) do this? It must win.’

Autumn I: 1

Left (Tie).


hitoe ni natsu no
keshiki nite
tamoto ni aki wa
My Cathay robe:
A single layer has summer’s
Upon my sleeves is autumn
Entirely unknown.

Lord Suetsune.




aki kinu to
kaze no keshiki wa
nao suzushisa wa
oto sezarekeri
When autumn came
In the breeze’s touch
Did I feel it,
Without coolness or

Lord Tsune’ie.


The Right have no criticisms to make of the Left’s poem; the Left merely wonder ‘whether proceeding from ‘coolness’ (suzushisa) to ‘sound’ (oto) is appropriate expression, although it is in keeping with the spirit of the topic.’

Shunzei states, ‘The Left’s poem has no particular problems, but “My Cathay robe: a single layer” (karakoromo hitoe) is a somewhat old-fashioned expression, and saying “Upon my sleeves is autumn entirely unknown” (tamoto ni aki wa shirarezarikeri) seems rather pointless. In the Right’s poem, while it is in the spirit of “My eyes clearly” (me ni Fa sayakani), “Without coolness or sound” (nao suzushisa wa oto sezarekeri) is clumsy expression. Neither poem is a worthy victor this round.’

Summer II: 16

Left (Win).


kusa no ha nabiku
kaze no ma ni
kakine suzushiki
yūgao no hana
At the first fall of dusk
Blades of grass rustle
In the breeze;
On the brushwood fence coolly
Blooms a moonflower.

Lord Sada’ie.




hikazu furu
yuki ni shioreshi
yūgao sakeru
shizu ga takegaki
Day after passing day
Of snowfall has draped it,
I feel,
Moonflowers blooming on
A peasant’s bamboo fence.

Lord Tsune’ie.


The Right state, ‘Both “first fall of dusk” (kuresomete) and “in the breeze” (kaze no ma ni) are unusual expressions.’ The Left in return say, ‘It sounds as if the bamboo fence is weighed down with moonflowers!’ (The Left here are interpreting the verb shioru to mean ‘bend down’ which is one of its senses. I have not followed this in my translation, in line with Shunzei’s judgement, below.)

Shunzei comments, ‘The gentlemen of the Right have stated that “first fall of dusk” (kuresomete) and “in the breeze” (kaze no ma ni) are unusual expressions, but I do not feel this to be particularly the case. As for yuki ni shiroreshi, surely this simply means that the fence is draped. In any case, however, “on the brushwood fence, coolly” is the superior poem in every way.’

Summer II: 12

Left (Win).


sode no uchi ni
nakaba kakururu
ōgi koso
made idehatenu
tsuki to miekere
Within my sleeve
A half-concealed
The barely risen
Moon to me recalls.

Lord Suetsune.




chirinishi hana o
tazuneba ya
ōgi zo kaze no
yadori narikeru
I resent it, yet upon
The fallen blossoms
Would I pay a call;
Within my fan, the breeze
Has made its lodging.



The Right find that the Left’s poem, ‘seems to have no problems,’ while the Left state that the Right’s is ‘extremely good.’

Shunzei judges, ‘The Left’s poem displays a fine use of expression. The Right’s poem is redolent the Kokinshu poem “Breeze’s lodging – Does anyone know it? Tell me! For I would go and curse it!”, but refers to already fallen blossoms. The gentlemen of the Left have pronounced the Right’s poem fine, but I feel the Left must win.’

Summer II: 11



kaze kayou
ōgi ni aki no
mazu te narenuru
neya no tsukikage
The breeze wafted
By my fan to autumn
Accustomed before me to have
A moonlit bed.

Lord Sada’ie.


Right (Win).


ōgi no kaze no
hodo naki ni
ogi no oto kana
My fan, the breeze
Brings thoughts of
Rustling silver grass.



Both teams consider the other’s poems to be ‘not bad’ this round.

Shunzei, however, finds fault with both: ‘The Left’s “bed” (neya) does occur in both Chinese poetry and our own, however, I cannot help but find it undesirable. The Right’s “Sweeping my fan” (uchiharau ōgi) and “Brings thoughts of silver grass” (omoikometaru ogi) are both fine examples of mangled expression, and are, moreover, unclear. Thus, “a moonlit bed” must win, I feel.

Summer II: 10

Left (Tie).


yuki no iro no
natsu mo kiesenu
kai ya kore
ōgi no kaze no
aki yori mo ke ni
The hue of snow
Unmelted in summer
Must have some effect for
My fan’s breeze has
More than autumn’s…

Lord Ari’ie.


Right (Tie).


utatane ni
ōgi o narasu
toko no ue no
tsuki to kaze to wa
aki no mono ka wa
Dozing and
Wafting a fan
Above my bed:
Do both moon and breeze
Belong to autumn?

Lord Takanobu.


The Right state that ‘Both “some effect” (kai ya kore) and “more than…” (ke ni) seem somewhat insufficient.’ The Left wonder, ‘if the fan’s shape, making the moon “belong to autumn” (aki no mono ka wa) is enough?’

Shunzei judges, ‘Both the Left and Right poems seem most charming. A winner is lacking.’

Summer II: 8

Left (Tie).


mina tsuki no
teru hi mo ikade
tanomu ōgi no
kaze nakariseba
The Sixth Month’s
Sunshine-filled days: how
Might I endure them?
Lacking support from a fan
Brought breeze…

Lord Kanemune.


Right (Tie).


suzushisa wa
ōgi no kaze mo
aki wa kore mo ya
mi ni wa shimuran
In coolness
A fan-brought breeze
Differs not, so
In autumn would it, too,
Pierce the heart?

Lord Tsune’ie.


The Right state that ‘the Left’s poem appears to have no problems’, while the Left remark ‘the gentlemen of the Right are doubtless pierced to the heart!’ (implying that the Right’s poem is simply stating the obvious).

Shunzei simply states, ‘The Left’s “support from a fan” (tanomu ōgi) and the Right’s “in autumn would it, too” (aki wa kore mo ya) must be judged to be of the same quality.’

Summer II: 7



te ni narasu
natsu no ōgi to
tada aki kaze no
sumika narikeri
Wafting in hand
My fan in summer
And wonder if
‘Tis just here that the autumn breeze
Has found his lodging…

A Servant Girl.


Right (Win).


narasu ōgi no
kaze ni koso
katsugatsu aki wa
At eventide
Wafting a fan;
With the breeze
An early autumn
Rises, begun.



The Right complain that in the Left’s poem ‘my fan in summer’ (natsu no ōgi) sounds old-fashioned, while ‘the autumn breeze has found his lodging’ (kaze no sumika) sounds modern. The Left comment, ‘The expression ‘rises begun’ (tachihajimu) seems to have little connection with fans,’ to which the Right reply, ‘It is normal to imply a relationship with autumn. There is also the example of “Lady Pan’s Fan” to build on.

Shunzei’s judgement short, and to the point, ‘The Left’s “‘Tis just here that the autumn breeze” (tada aki kaze no) is not as good as the Right’s “An early autumn” (katsugatsu aki wa) and so the latter wins.’’