Tag Archives: crickets

KKS XIX: 1020

A poem from the Poetry Contest held by the Empress Dowager during the reign of the Kanpyō emperor.

秋風にほころびぬらし藤袴つづりさせてふきりぎりすなく

akikaze ni
Fokorobinurasi
Fudibakama
tudurisasete teFu
kirigirisu naku
With the autumn breeze
Seem to have bloomed and twined
The asters
Bound together by the rasping
Crickets’ cries.[1]

Ariwara no Muneyana


[1] This poem is composed around a dual wordplay, which I have not been able to closely replicate in the translation. Hokorobu is simultaneously both ‘bloom fully’ and ‘thread (a needle)’ while tsuzuru is both ‘sew together’ and an onomatopoeic representation of the sound that a cricket makes.

Love VIII: 25

Left
起きもゐで年ふる戀はをのづから常世の神やしるし見すべき

oki mo ide
toshi furu koi wa
onozukara
tokoyo no kami ya
shirushi misubeki
Unable to arise
From love these many years,
May I
By the eternal gods
Be shown a sign!

Kenshō
1069

Right (Win)
獨臥すながながし夜のかなしきを語らひあかすきりぎりす哉

hitori fusu
naganagashi yo no
kanashiki o
katarai akasu
kirigirisu kana
Lying alone,
So long, long the night’s
Sorrow;
Lightening it with chatter
Are the crickets!

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1070

The Gentlemen of the Right state: what is the meaning of ‘the eternal gods’ (toko no kami). In appeal, the Left: in the Chronicles of Japan, insects are worshipped under the name of ‘the eternal gods’ and made to seem like men. The Left state: what can an insect chatter about?

In judgement: in regard to the Left’s poem, while it is true that insects were worshipped, a poem on ‘Love and Insects’ with no insect is lacking something from the start. This poem would seem to be more a case of ‘Love and Prayers’. Thus, this is nothing enduring. A prior example has been contrived, but this is ineffective. It does not seem as if this insect’s nature has any relation to the topic. The Right’s poem has a commonplace cricket. Where is the fault in having it lighten one’s mood with chatter? Thus, the Right must win.