Tag Archives: Buddhism

SKKS XX: 1975

To call out to the Monk Saigyō, who had said he had a reason to come, but had not, on a night when the moon was shining brightly and hearing him pass before her window, she composed this and sent it out to him.


nishi e yuku
shirube to omou
tsuki kage no
soradanome koso
kai nakarikeri
For travelling to the West,
A guide, I thought,
The moonlight would be–
An empty promise is
No good at all…

Lady Horikawa from the Taikenmon’in

SKKS XX: 1969

In a hundred poem sequence, on the spirit of calming the heart every day in the early morning.


akatsuki goto ni
mada fukaki yo no
yume zo kanashiki
How peaceful is
Every single dawn;
I gaze out, yet
Still in the depths of night
I dream–a grief, indeed.

Princess Shokushi

SKKS XX: 1968

On the sound of waves at dawn, as they near the Coast of Gold in Paradise.


inishie no
onoe no kane ni
nitaru kana
kishi utsu nami no
akatsuki no koe
In times long gone
Tolled the bell of Onoe
Similar, I think, to
Waves breaking upon the shore,
The sound coming with the dawn.

Master of the Dowager Empress’ Household Office Toshinari

SKKS XX: 1967

When he had occasion to compose poems for pictures of the Six Hours of Paradise for the Bifukumon’in Empress, he composed this on the hour of listening to great teachings and gratefully praising the Buddha.


ima zo kore
irihi o mite mo
mida nomi kuni no
yûgure no sora
Now, at this
Though I gaze upon the setting sun,
Fond within my thoughts
In the Land of Amida, alone,
Is the evening sky.

Master of the Dowager Empress’ Household Office Toshinari

SKKS XX: 1966

When the Taikenmon’in Middle Councillor, at various people’s urging, composed poems on the 28 verses [of the Lotus Sutra]: on the spirit of saving all mankind, beyond measure, from the first verse.


kazu mo kagiranu
ika ni tatekeru
chikai naruran
We must pass over
Numbers without limit
Of bridge-pillars–
How can they remain standing (How can He
Make his vow?)

Master of the Dowager Empress’ Household Office Toshinari

SKKS XX: 1949

On the spirit of chanting the name of the Buddha, against all odds, as in the Lotus Sutra.


fukaki yo no
mado utsu ame ni
oto senu wa
uki yo o noki no
shinobu narikeri
In the depths of night
The rains striking ‘gainst my window
Make no sound–
From this cruel world I have left,
And try to remain so.

The Monk Jakuren