Tag Archives: dreams

Love V: 30

Left (Tie).

furusato ni
ideshi ni masaru
namida kana
arashi no makura
yume ni wakarete
My home
I left in floods
Of tears;
The wild wind round my pillow
Breaks us apart in dreams…

Lord Sada’ie


azumaji no
yowa no nagame o
miyako no yama ni
kakaru tsukikage
Upon the eastern roads
All night I turn my gaze –
Tell him that,
O moonlight, sinking
Toward the mountains round the capital!


Both Left and Right say they find no faults.

In judgement: the Left starts with ‘My home I left in floods’ (furusato ni ideshi ni masaru) and concludes with ‘the wild wind round my pillow breaks us apart in dreams’ (arashi no makura yume ni wakarete) – this is a form of words the quality of which I am entirely unable to convey with my own clumsy expressions, but the Right’s ‘O moonlight, sinking toward the mountains round the capital’ (miyako no yama ni kakaru tsukikage) is awash with a sense of tears, so it is most unclear which should win or lose. Both truly seem to reflect the conception of this topic ‘Love and Travel’ well. The poems have been so good every round that my brush is drenched with this old man’s tears, and I can find no other way to express it.


Love IV: 29


nezame made
nao kurushiki
ashi mo yasumenu
yume no kayoiji
Until I awaken
It is ever painful
Going back and forth
My feet not resting once
Upon the path of dreams.

Lord Ari’ie.


mi o ba omowade
tatsuta yama
kokoro ni kakaru
oki tsu shiranami
I think not on myself, but
On Mount Tatsuta
Dwells my heart
Whipped by whitecaps…


The Gentlemen of the Right: no faults to mention. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right’s poem does not have anything to say beyond what is contained in its origin poem.

In judgement: the Left’s poem takes the conception of Komachi’s poem ‘my feet don’t rest, constantly trailing to you, yet’ (ashi mo yasumezu kayoedomo) and skilfully adds ‘Until I awaken it is ever painful’ (nezame made nao kurushiki). The Right’s poem is based upon the poem ‘where, through night’s depths, my Lord’ (yowa ni ya kimi ga), but then says ‘Dwells my heart whipped by whitecaps’ (kokoro ni kakaru oki tsu shiranami), which sounds pleasant, too. They are comparable and should tie.

Love IV: 4


tsurenasa no
tagui made ya wa
tsuki o mo medeji
ariake no sora
Heartless on parting are you,
And just so is the
Moon – no more will I care for it! –
In the sky at dawn.

Lord Ari’ie.

Right (Win).

au to miru
nasake mo tsurashi
akatsuki no
tsuyu nomi fukaki
yume no kayoiji
We met, I saw, and
How fond were you, but how cruel
The dawn, when
I was drenched with dew alone from
The path of dreams…

Lord Takanobu.

The Gentlemen of the Right state: if the Left allude to the poem ‘At the dawning / How cruel it seemed / To part’, then this poem refers to the cruelty of a lover, but their poem suggests that the moon is the cruel one. Is this appropriate? In response: ‘At the dawning / How cruel it seemed’ can also be interpreted as referring to the moon. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right use the diction ‘fond’ (nasake), but the sense of this does not follow in the poem.

In judgement: the Left builds on the poem which starts ‘At the dawning / How cruel it seemed / To part, but’ and then says more than the lover’s heartlessness, ‘The fading moon / Cared not at all.’ So, given that this is the case, it’s not really saying anything different from ‘No more will I care for the moon!’ As for the Right, it sounds as if the lover’s fondness appears in the ‘dream’ (yume), but the final section seems good. The Right’s poem is somewhat superior.

Love III: 11



toshi zo furu
miru yonayona mo
ware mo nakina ka
yume ka to zo omou
The years go by
And meeting night after night
Is so rare, that
Even for me a baseless rumour, or
A dream, it seems…

Lord Sada’ie.


Right (Win).


aru ka naki ka no
ikanaru ori ni
Your love for me:
Is it real, or is it not,
Like a forgotten stream;
When, for certain,
Do you remember me, I wonder…

Lord Tsune’ie.


The Gentlemen of the Right state: we wonder, somewhat, about the link in ‘Even for me a baseless rumour, or a dream, it seems’ (ware mo nakina ka yume ka to zo). The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right’s poem is old-fashioned.

In judgement: the Left’s poem certainly has the fault of obscuring its subject – there can be no doubt of this. The conception of the Right’s ‘forgotten stream’ (wasuremizu) is not retained in contemporary poetry, I think. And yet, while it is old fashioned, I cannot recall such a usage. In the absence of this, it must seem novel. Thus, in the end, the Right should win.

Love II: 26



nani ka ware
kesa nagori o
kaenu hodo naku
kururu hi naraba
Why should I
This morning for my keepsake
Have only grief?
If but a while from leaving
The sun sets once again…

Lord Suetsune


Right (Win).


kesa no wakare ni
mitsuru kana
kokoro gawari no
yukusue no yume
For just a while
At this morning’s parting
Did I see it:
Your change of heart
In a prescient dream…

Lord Nobusada


The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left’s poem is entirely in the conception of a morning after poem. This does not match the conception of this topic. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the sense of the Right’s poem is difficult to grasp. The use of ‘dream’ (yume) does not fit with the remainder of the poem’s contents.

Shunzei’s judgement: in terms of the Left’s poem, the morning after is also a parting. What fault can be found in this? However, the Right’s ‘change of heart in a prescient dream’ sounds charming. Thus, the Right wins.

Love I: 12

Left (Win).


kono yo tsukinaba
omou koto
koke no shita ni ya
tomo ni kuchinan
Continually concealing:
Should this world end, then
My love for you
Beneath the moss,
With me, would rot away…

Lord Ari’ie.




kokoro no tare ga
toko ni yukite
ayamu bakari no
yume ni miyuran
My heart to someone’s
Bed does go;
Simply a strange
Dream, would she see?

Lord Takanobu.


The Gentlemen of both Left and Right state: the final section of the other team’s poem is not bad.

Shunzei’s judgement: while I feel that the conception and diction of both poems seems fine [sugata kotoba yoroshiku miehaberu], the Right’s heart, flitting off to someone quite plainly, seems rather frivolous. The Left’s ‘beneath the moss’ (koke no shita ni ya) closely resembles the conception of the topic. It should win.

Winter II: 30



hito tose no
hakanaki yume wa
miyo no hotoke no
kane no hibiki ni
A year is but
A fleeting dream
I feel, while
The three worlds’ Buddhas’
Bells yet sound…

A Servant Girl.




hotoke no mina wa
asahi nite
yagate kieyuku
hito tose no tsuyu
The proclaimed
Buddhas’ Honoured names are
As the morning sun,
Finally dispelling
The year’s dewfall.



The Gentlemen of both Left and Right state: we find no faults with the other team’s poem.

Shunzei’s judgement: the Left’s poem, saying, ‘A fleeting dream I feel’ (hakanaki yume wa oboenuran) leading to ‘The three worlds’ Buddhas’ bells yet sound’ (miyo no hotoke no kane no hibiki) is particularly fine in configuration and conception [sugatakotoba kotoni yoroshiku koso]. The Right’s poem, too, starting ‘Buddhas’ Honoured names are as the morning sun’ (hotoke no mina wa asahi nite) and then having ‘Finally dispelling the year’s dewfall’ (yagate kieyuku hito tose no tsuyu) is reminiscent of the passage from the Samantabhadra Contemplation Sutra ‘many sins are like frost or dew – one can avoid and extinguish them with the sun of the Buddha’s blessings’; both poems move the heart and so I cannot say which is better or worse. Thus, the round ties.

Winter I: 17

Left (Win).


yume ka sa wa
nobe no chigusa no
omokage wa
honobono maneku
susuki bakari ya
Was it all a dream?
Across the fields a thousand blooms
Did meet my gaze; now
Dimly beckoning
Are there only fronds of miscanthus grass…

Lord Sada’ie.




taedae nobe ni
shita hau kuzu zo
The clumps of miscanthus grass
From time to time across the fields
Do wave, yet
The creeping arrowroot beneath
Holds all my regrets…



The Right state that the initial line of the Left’s poem is ‘awkward’ [amari nari], and that they cannot approve of the final use of ya. The Left wonder about the appropriateness of ‘Holds all my regrets’ (uramihatenuru).

Shunzei’s judgement: The Gentlemen of the Right have a number of criticisms of the Left’s poem. However, with careful consideration, while the poem is not tasteful in its entirety [subete yū ni shimo arazaredo], the initial line does not seem that strange, and the final ya is fine, is it not? The Right’s ‘The clumps of miscanthus grass from time to time across the fields do wave’ is tasteful [yū naru], but all that connects with ‘arrowroot’, is the subsequent ‘seeing what lies beneath’. ‘Arrowroot’ is too briefly in the poem for this. The initial and final sections of the Left’s poem have been criticised by the Gentlemen of the Right, but they are not without purpose. Thus, the Left wins.