Tag Archives: cranes

Spring III: 1

Left (Tie).


uguisu no
momo saezuri o
iku kaeri
nagaki haru hi ni
The warblers’
Multitude of twitters
Goes round, and round again;
The long, late days of spring,
Do they spend in song?



Right (Tie).


kumo no ue ni
tsuru no morogoe
aware nodokeki
haru no kyō kana
By the clound borne palace
The choir of cranes
Gives song;
O, how peaceful is
Today, in springtime!



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

Shunzei says, ‘Both poems are on “lengthening days”, and both – the Left’s “warblers’ multitude of twitters” (uguisu no momo saezuri) and the Right’s “choir of cranes” (tsuru no morogoe) – have a tranquil air and sound excellent. Again, I must make them a tie.’

Winter 46

Left (Win).


ura kaze ya
towa ni nami kosu
hamamatsu no
ne ni arawarete
naku chidori kana
The breeze across the bay
Endlessly breaks waves upon
The beach-bound pines
Washed roots, as comes the sound of
Plover calls…




shiga no ura ya
kōri mo ikue
iru tazu no
shimo no uwage ni
yuki wa furitsutsu
In the bay at Shiga
Many-fold the layers of ice:
There, the cranes,
Frost upon their feathers stand
In the ever-falling snow.


SKKS X: 897

Written when on a visit to the province of Ise in the tenth month of the twelfth year of Tenpyō (743).


imo ni koi
waka no matsubara
shioi no kata ni
tazu nakiwataru
Thinking of my love,
At Matsubara in Waka,
As I look out
Across the mud-flats
A crane’s cry drifts across, and I go weeping on my way.

Emperor Shōmu (701-756, r. 724-749)

SZS X: 624

When the gentlemen of the court were presenting hundred-poem sequences, He composed this on the spirit of celebration.


siragumo ni
Fane utitukete
tobu tadu no
Faruka ni titose no
omoFoyuru kana
Upon the clouds so white,
Beating wings,
The flying cranes-
A distant prospect of a thousand years
I feel.

Emperor Nijō

SKS V: 167

The day after someone’s third son had had his coming-of-age ceremony, Motosuke sent this to him.


matusima no
iso ni murewiru
asitadu no
wono ga samazama
miesi tiyo kana
At Matsushima’s
Rocky shore, the flocking
Cranes among the reeds,
Each and every one
Has seen a thousand passing years.

Kiyowara no Motosuke