Tag Archives: evening breeze


Composed on ‘enjoying cool’ for the Poetry Match held by Yorisuke, the Minister of Justice.


hisagi ouru
katayama kage ni
fukikeru mono o
aki no yūkaze
Where red-oaks grow and
Cast their shade upon the mountain slopes
Ever secretly
Does it blow—
The autumn evening breeze.


A kuzushiji version of the poem's text.
Created with Soan.

Love V: 24


ashigaki no
ue fukikoyuru
yūkaze ni
kayou mo tsuraki
ogi no oto kana
The rush-wood fence is
Brushed over
By the evening breeze;
So hard, its coming
In the sound of the silver grass…

A Servant Girl

Right (Win).

ashigaki no
majikaki hodo ni
sumu hito no
itsuka hedatenu
naka to narubeki
The rush-wood fence:
So near
She lives;
When will unblocked
Our bond be?

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults. The Left state: the Right’s poem is old-fashioned.

In judgement: both poems start with ‘rush-wood fence’ (ashigaki); the Left’s sound of the silver grass passed over by the evening wind sounds pleasant, but simply saying that the sound is hard means that the conception of Love in the poem is weak. While the initial section of the Right’s poem does sound antiquated, it is quite normal for this to be the case, and the lower section is certainly elegant. The conception of Love also seems clear, so the Right should win.

Autumn II: 9



aki to ieba
sarademo mono no
kanashiki ni
yūkaze tachinu
takamato no miya
Speaking of the autumn,
Or even if we’re not, true
Sadness is in
The evening breeze
At the palace of Takamato.





monogoto ni
aki wa aware o
nao kagirinaki
yūmagure kana
About the autumn is moving
Without exception, but
Most of all, it is
The early evening.

The Provisional Master of the Empress Household Office.


The Right complain that ‘there is no specific linking expression in the poem with the palace at Takamato’; while the Left criticise the Right’s poem for ‘mentioning “everything” at the beginning, but then simply concluding with “early evening”.’

Shunzei’s judgement: while it is true that there is no specific link with ‘the palace at Takamato’ in the Left’s poem, is it not the case that it is a location redolent with sadness? The Right’s poem recalls ‘Everything/Is sadness/In the scarlet leaves’, and thus does not need to say more than this. However, we need to consider the concluding section ‘early evening’ (yūmagure kana). Just like ‘the palace at Takamato’, it lacks connection. The round must tie.

Autumn I: 21

Left (Win).


yūkaze no
mano no hagiwara
fuku mama ni
neya arenu to ya
uzura nakuran
As the evening breeze across
Mano’s bush clover meadow
Does blow,
Their roost disturbed, perhaps,
Quail burst into cry.

Lord Suetsune.




kaze no oto
hana no iro ni mo
uzura nakubeki
nobe no keshiki wa
The sound of wind, and
The grasses’ hues
Do tell it:
‘Tis fit that quails cry
Upon a scene of plains.

Lord Takanobu.


The Right have no criticisms to make of the Left’s poem. The Left simply remark that having both iro and keshiki (which use the character 色) is ‘a fault’.

Shunzei’s judgement is that, ‘the Left’s “does blow” (fuku mama ni), followed by “their roost disturbed, perhaps” (neya arenu to ya) is not a particularly expression. The Right’s, “do tell it” (shirukaritsu) is somewhat old-fashioned; I would not regard it as a fault, but I do regret it. Thus, the “roost” should win.’

Autumn I: 20

Left (Win).


fukikuru aki no
yūkaze ni
kokoro midare to
uzura naku nari
Across the sedge fields
Come blowing the autumn
Evening winds;
My heart’s in disarray,
The quails are crying…

Lord Kanemune.




aki kaze o
itoi ya suran
asaji ga shita ni
uzura naku nari
The autumn wind:
Do they dislike it, I wonder?
In the dark of evening
From beneath the sparse stalks of cogon grass
The quails are crying…

Lord Tsune’ie.


The Right feel that, ‘Just having “my heart’s in disarray” (kokoro midare to) is lacking something.” The Left have no particular criticisms of the Right’s poem.

Shunzei responds, ‘The gentlemen of the Right have remarked upon the lack in the Left’s poem, wondering, no doubt, if this should be “feeling my heart’s in disarray” (kokoro midare tote). If one were to say that this is definitely the way the poem should have been composed, it would be something of a loss to the Way of Poetry, I feel. If we permit poets to say they are “moved” (aware nari), why not that their “heart’s in disarray”? The Right’s poem has a superlative final section, but one cannot know whether quails dislike the autumn wind or not. In Springtime, the warblers frolic in the mists; in Autumn, the insects cry from beneath the dewdrops – but each only at their allotted time, and from this one can tell the season. The quails’ cries make one feel the chill of the autumn wind. If one composes that they hid themselves from dislike of it, it restricts the imagination about quails too much. The Left wins.’