Tag Archives: dreams

Love IX: 23

Left (Win)
寝るにこそ夢も見ゆらめさ夜衣返すは浅き思なりけり

nuru ni koso
yume mo miyurame
sayogoromo
kaesu wa asaki
omoinarikeri
Is it that I sleep
That brings me dreams of her?
Night robes
Turned inside-out bring but shallow
Feelings…

Lord Kanemune
1125

Right
夢路まで憂き身の程はさ夜衣返すも猶や人知れぬ恋

yumeji made
uki mi no hodo wa
sayogoromo
kaesu mo nao ya
hito shirenu koi
Even on the path of dreams
So pitiful is my lot;
My night robe
I reverse, yet
Unknown is my love…

Jakuren
1126

The Right state: we wonder about the appropriateness of ‘Is it that I sleep’ (nuru ni koso)? The Left state: the sense of the Right’s poem is difficult to grasp.

In judgement: both Gentlemen use ‘night robe’ (sayogoromo), and while the Left’s ‘sleep’ (nuru) is ordinary enough, I do wonder a little about the suitability of the initial ‘is it that I sleep’ (nuru ni koso), but it is certainly not the case that the conception of love in the poem is weak. The Right’s ‘I reverse, yet’ (kaesu mo nao ya) is elegant, but the poem’s conception certainly lacks clarity. Having a stronger conception of love, the Left wins.

Love IX: 20

Left (Win)
夢絶えて返すかひなきさ夜衣うらみばかりを重ねつるかな

yume taete
kaesu kainaki
sayogoromo
urami bakari o
kasaneteuru kana
My dreams have ceased, and
Pointless, it is to reverse
My night robe –
Resentment is all the
Lies upon me…

Lord Ari’ie
1119

Right
寝る人の夢は幾度覚めぬらん返すかひなきさ夜衣かな

neru hito no
yume wa ikutabi
samenuran
kaesu kainaki
sayogoromo kana
That sleeper has from
Dreams, how many times
Awakened?
Pointlessly reversed is
My night robe!

Nobusada
1120

Both Gentlemen state there are no faults to mention.

In judgement: both Left and Right use a ‘pointlessly reversed night robe’ (kaesu kainaki sayogoromo), but I wonder about the impression of the Right’s ‘sleeper’ (neru hito no). The Left, from the initial ‘my dreams have ceased’ (yume taete) to the concluding section sounds fine. Thus, I must make the Left the winner.

Love IX: 19

Left
戀衣いつか干るべき河社しるしも浪にいとゞしほれて

koigoromo
itsuka hirubeki
kawa yashiro
shirushi mo nami ni
itodo shiorete
My clothes of love,
When might they dry?
A river shrine
Has had no effect – the waves
Dampen them all the more…

Kenshō
1117

Right (Win)
いかで猶夜半の衣を返しても重ねしほどの夢をだに見ん

ikade nao
yowa no koromo o
kaeshitemo
kasaneshi hodo no
yume o dani min
What to do? Again
My night time garb
Inside out I turn –
As many layers
As dreams, if only I would see…

Takanobu
1118

The Right state: there are a number of different theories about the source poem ‘stems of bamboo wave freely the clothes I’d dry’ (shino ni orihae hosu koromo), so how should the allusion here be correctly understood? In response: this refers to a summer performance of sacred music and dance. In this, sprigs of sakaki are placed in clear water, and bamboo stems are hung from the shelf as offerings. This is the river shrine (kawa yashiro). It appears in the records about sacred music in summer. Standard sacred music is performed to pray to the gods. Thus, if one is made to bear the weight of something one has not done, the feeling is close to the conception of damp clothes, is it not? And this is associated with the clothes of lovers that will not dry. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to mention.

In judgement:  the Left’s poem seems to be more about a ‘river shrine’ than ‘lovers’ clothing’ (koigoromo). While it is not entirely clear, the Left and Right’s criticism and response, are certainly unusual. There are two poems which are possible as sources for this, both of which appear in Tsurayuki’s Collection. These are: ‘At a river shrine / Stems of bamboo wave freely / The clothes I’d dry / How should I do so? / Seven days still damp…’  and:

行く水のうへにいはへる河社河浪高くあそぶなるかな

yuku mizu no
ue ni iwaeru
kawa yashiro
kawa nami takaku
asobunaru kana
The waters run, and
Above them in celebration is
A river shrine;
The river’s waves rise high,
Taking pleasure in their play!

This latter is a poem from a folding screen with pictures of each of the moons of the year, painted in the Tenryaku Era. Moreover, in a work by Lord Toshiyori, he says, ‘There is no one today who knows what a “river shrine” is. All we can do now is guess. So people say that it was a shrine on top of the water, where sacred music was performed in summer. The latter poem certainly does not seem to have this meaning. The former makes no mention of sacred music, and simply talks of clothing one has wanted to dry for a long time not drying.’ In addition, I have questioned a member of a household familiar with sacred music about this matter, and been told, ‘Where summer sacred music is concerned, there is a particular way of it. It is definitely absent from the records.’ Furthermore, Toshiyori played the double-reed flute. He would clearly have known all about sacred music, and around this time wrote, ‘first of all, there is no one who knows of this,’ and yet the Left’s response simply states, ‘it appears in the records about sacred music.’ This is something which requires greater proof. If the gentleman of the Left is able to provide some now, this would be a fine thing for the Way of Music! These, in brief, are my thoughts on this matter and, of course, the Left’s response.

First, it is a mistake to say that the river shrine is necessarily connected with summer sacred music. Summer sacred music is just what it sounds like: in summer, sacred music is performed, but not in any fixed way. However, here summer sacred music is done before a river shrine. Kawa yashiro shino ni is an old term for widely or ordinarily. It appears to have been used this way in the Collection of a Myriad Leaves. Orihaete has the same meaning. In the phrase ‘drying a robe / seven days undrying’ (hosu koromo / nanoka hizu) seven, or eight, days is simply a poetic convention for conveying that something was not dry after a long time. The ‘robe’ is not really a piece of clothing, but something which resembles it, and which is not dry. Ise said of the so-called Ryūmon Waterfall, ‘So why should the mountain’s princess rinse her cloth’ (nani yama hime no nuno sarasuramu) and also there are expressions such as ‘Nunohiki Falls’. Thus we have the Left’s argument for the summer sacred music platform, and then Lord Toshiyori’s writings; further, on the term shino ‘bamboo hung from the shelf as an offering to the gods’ and ‘clothing has the conception of damp clothing’. This is a remarkable way of interpreting the poem, indeed! The only way to settle the matter would be with the presentation of definite proof. So, this is certainly something which His Grace should request for review. In short, the Left’s poem, beginning with the idea that lovers’ clothing is to pray at a river shrine, and then saying ‘it has no effect’ (shirushi mo nami ni) seems like everlasting bitterness. The Right’s poem says ‘my night time garb inside out I turn’ (yowa no koromo o kaeshitemo), which is quite ordinary. In the absence of definite proof for the Left’s contentions, the Right must win.

Love IX: 7

Left (Tie)
昔聞く君が手馴れの琴ならば夢に知られて音をも立てまし

mukashi kiku
kimi ga tenare no
koto naraba
yume ni shirarete
ne o mo tatemashi
Long ago, I heard
Your favourite
Zither play – if that were me, then
In your dreams I would be known, and
Make a sound most sweet within your sleep…

Lord Sada’ie
1093

Right
わぎも子が心のひかぬ琴の音は我まつにこそ通はざりけれ

wagimoko ga
kokoro no hikanu
koto no ne wa
wa ga matsu ni koso
kayowazarikere
My darling’s
Heartstrings are not tugged
By my zither’s strains, so
Though I pine for her
‘Tis of no use at all…

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1094

The Right state: the Left’s poem gives the impression of being based on something – but what? The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to mention.

In judgement: there is nothing unusual about the Left’s poem. It simply seems to be in the conception of the Man’yōshū poem where, ‘a Japanese zither made from the wood of the parasol tree transforms into a maiden in a dream, and says “When will / The day come that / I shall sing / Making his lap / My pillow?”’ I also have the feeling that it is alluding to the subsequent poem, however. So, it is certainly not the case that it is not based on anything. The Right’s poem has ‘heartstrings are not tugged’ (kokoro no hikanu) and then the metaphorical ‘though I pine for her’ (wa ga matsu ni koso), so is certainly not lacking in conception either. They are equivalent and tie.

Minbukyō yukihira no uta’awase 12

Left
逢ひがたみ眼より涙は流るれど恋をば消たぬものにざりける

aFigatami
me yori namida Fa
nagaruredo
koFi woba ketanu
mono ni zarikeru
At the impossibility of meeting
From my eyes the tears
Flow, yet
My love extinguished
Shall never be!

23

Right
夢にだに見ぬ人恋に燃ゆる身の煙は空に満ちやしぬらむ

yume ni dani
minu Fito koFi ni
moyuru mi no
keburi Fa sora ni
miti ya sinuramu
Even in dreams
Unseen is she, yet with love
For her I burn;
Will my smoke the skies
Fill with my death, I wonder?

22

Saishō chūjō kuninobu no ie no uta’awase 15

Left (Win).
恋ひわびて片敷く袖はかへせどもいつかは妹が夢に見えける

koFiwabite
katasiku sode Fa
kaFesedomo
itu ka Fa imo ga
yume ni miekeru
Tortured with love
My single spread sleeve
I do reverse, yet
When will my darling
Appear in my dreams?

The Holy Teacher 闍梨
[Ryūgen 隆源]
29

Right.
我が心ときぞともなく乱るれど日だに暮るれば恋ひ添はりけり

wa ga kokoro
toki zo tomonaku
midaruredo
Fi dani kurureba
koFisoFarikeri
My heart
With every passing hour
Is more distraught, yet
Even when the day does dim
Love is my companion.

Bichū 備中
[Minamoto no Nakazane 源仲実]
30

KKS XII: 559

A poem from the Empress’ Poetry Competition held in the Kanpyō period.

住の江の岸による浪夜さへや夢の通ひ路人目よくらむ

suminoe no
kisi ni yoru nami
yoru saFe ya
yume no kayoFidi
Fitome yokuramu
As to Suminoe’s
Shore rush the waves
Why every night
Upon the path of dreams
Do I hide from other’s eyes?

Fujiwara no Toshiyuki
藤原敏行

Love VII: 3

Left (Win).
戀ゆへに憂き世を捨て隱れなば忍ぶの山やすみかなるべき

koi yue ni
ukiyo o sutete
kakurenaba
shinobu no yama ya
sumika narubeki
If for love
I should depart this cruel world
And hide myself away,
Would Mount Shinobu
Then become my dwelling?

Lord Kanemune.
965

Right.
夢にだにまだふみも見ぬ忍山深き戀路をいかで尋ん

yume ni dani
mada fumi mo minu
shinobuyama
fukaki koiji o
ikade tazunen
Even in my dreams
Have I yet to tread – or send a note – so why
Do I to Mount Shinobu’s
Deep paths of love
Pay a visit?

Lord Takanobu.
966

Both Left and Right together state there are no faults to indicate in the opposing poem.

In judgement: I do wonder about the Left’s use of ‘and hide myself away’ (kakurenaba), but in addition to the Right’s ‘Have I yet to tread – or send a note’ (mada minu fumi) certainly evoking ‘the paths of Ikuno lie far away’ (ikuno no michi no tōkereba), ‘why to deep paths of love pay a visit’ (fukaki koiji o ikade tazunen), sounds as if the poet is wondering whether his love is shallow or not. The Left should win.

Rokujō sai’in baishi naishinnō ke uta’awase 9

Left
たれか又暁ごとに夢さめて羽掻く鴫の声を聞くらむ

tareka mata
akatuki goto ni
yume samete
Fane kaku sigi no
kowe wo kikuramu
Who is it that yet
With every single dawn
Awakens from her dreams, and
The wing-beating snipes’
Cries does hear?

Koma
小馬
17

Right
我ならで誰か聞くらむ暁の羽掻く鴫の数を尽くして

ware narade
tare ka kikuramu
akatuki no
Fane kaku sigi no
kazu wo tukusite
If not I, then
Who is it that will hear?
With the dawn
The snipes’ wing-beats
Coming to an end…

Saemon
左衛門
18