Tag Archives: chidori

Teiji-in uta’awase 30

Left (Tie)


au koto no
kimi ni taenishi
wa ga mi yori
ikura no namida
My meetings with
You, my lord, have ceased, and
From my flesh
What a torrent of tears
Flow out!





kimi koi no
amari nishikaba
hito no shiruran
koto no wabishiki
Loving you
Beyond all measure,
I kept it secret, yet
That folk seem to know
Is a cause of heartache.


On hearing His Highness, the Prince of the Right remark in irritation that the Left’s poem had appealed to His Majesty’s heart, His Majesty composed


chidori naku naru
hamayū no
kokoro hedatete
omou mono ka wa
Going back and forth
Plovers cry from
The beach among the spider lilies
Do their hearts distinguish
Do you think?

His Majesty

MYS III: 268

A poem composed on an ancient estate by Prince Nagaya.

吾背子我 古家乃里之 明日香庭 乳鳥鳴成 <嬬>待不得而


wa ga seko ga
purupe no sato no
asuka ni pa
tidori nakunari
tuma matikanete
In that dear man’s
Ancient estate home
At Asuka
Plovers are crying,
Impatiently awaiting their mates…

Kanpyō no ōntoki chūgū uta’awase 10

Round Ten



chidori naku
sao no kawagiri
tachinu nari
mine no momiji no
iro masarikeri
Plovers cry, as
The mists from the Sao River
Have risen;
On the peaks the scarlet leaves’
Hues are fine, indeed.



This poem is missing from the surviving texts of the competition.

Love VIII: 18

Left (Win)

kamo no iru
irie no nami o
kokoro nite
mune to sode to ni
sawagu koi kana
Ducks flock on
The inlet’s waves
Within my heart, so
My breast and sleeves both
Are raucous with love!

Lord Sada’ie


saogawa no
kiri no mayoi no
hodo dani mo
tsuma motomu tote
chidori naku yo o
To the vernal river:
The mist brings confusion
And in its midst,
Seeking a mate,
A plover cries at night…


The Gentlemen of the Right state: we wonder about the appropriateness of ‘my breast and sleeves both are raucous’ (mune to sode to ni sawagu)? The Left, in appeal, state: there is ‘the river-mouths of my sleeves’ (sode no minato) and ‘when I think, upon my breast’ (omoeba mune ni) so linking ‘breast’ and ‘sleeve’ is entirely uncontroversial. The Gentlemen of the Left state: we find no faults to mention in the Right’s poem.

In judgement: I understand the views of the Left’s poem held by both teams. It has also been said that the Right’s poem lacks faults. However, in ‘seeking a mate, a plover cries at night’ (tsuma motomu tote chidori naku yo o) only the two words ‘at night’ (yo o) have any conception of love. The remainder of the poem is simply about plovers, so there is little of love about it. ‘Breast and sleeves both’ (mune to sode to) should win.

Love VIII: 16


tamazusa no
taedae ni naru
tagui kana
kumoi ni kari no
miemi miezumi
His jewelled missives
Have become intermittent
It seems, just like
The geese up in the skies,
Glimpsed, and then not seen at all…

Lord Ari’ie

Right (Win)

yowa no tamoto ni
kaze fukete
namida no kawa ni
chidori nakunari
Unable to bear my love,
At midnight my sleeve is
Stirred by the wind, and
Upon a river of tears
The plovers are crying…


The Gentlemen of the Right state: we find no faults to mention in the Left’s poem. The Gentlemen of the Left state: we wonder about the reason for emphasising ‘upon a river of tears the plovers’ (namida no kawa ni chidori).

In judgement: the Left on a lover’s letters becoming intermittent, and saying ‘the geese up in the skies, glimpsed, and then not seen at all’ (kumoi ni kari no miemi miezumi) has a charming conception, and elegant diction. The Right, saying ‘at midnight my sleeve is stirred by the wind’ (yowa no tamoto ni kaze fukete) and continuing ‘the plovers are crying’ (chidori nakunari) has a configuration and diction which sounds fine, too. The criticisms of the Gentlemen of the Left are nothing more than ‘a fisherman fishing beneath his pillow’! Although the conception of the Left’s poem is charming, the configuration of the Right’s poem is slightly more notable, so it should win.

GSIS VI: 388

Composed on plovers for a poetry competition in Eishō 4 [1050].


saFogaFa no
kiri no anata ni
naku tidori
kowe Fa Fedatenu
mono ni zo arikeru
The River Sao:
Mist rises, and from beyond
Come plover cries,
Their calls uninterrupted
By anything.

The Horikawa Minister of the Right [Fujiwara no Yorimune]