Tag Archives: eyes

KKS XII: 559

A poem from the Poetry Contest held by the Empress Dowager during the Reign of the Kanpyō Emperor.


suminoe no
kisi ni yoru nami
yoru saFe ya
yume no kayoFidi
Fitome yokuramu
On Suminoe’s
Shore break waves;
Even at night
Upon the path of dreams
Can we avoid others’ prying eyes?

Lord Fujiwara no Toshiyuki

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

Teiji-in uta’awase 13

Left (Win)


me ni miede
kaze wa fukedomo
aoyagi no
nabiku kata ni zo
hana chirikeru
Unseen by my eyes
The wind does blow, yet
The green willow
Bends toward
The scattering blossom.




ashihiki no
yamabuki no hana
ide no kawazu wa
ima ya nakuramu
Mountain kerria flowers
Have bloomed;
In Ide will the frogs
Now be a’singing?


‘The Right is old-fashioned,’ and so it lost.

[i] Despite Uda’s negative opinion of it, this poem is included in Shinkokinshū (II: 162), attributed to Okikaze, with the headnote, ‘A poem from the Poetry Contest held by Former Emperor Uda in Engi 13’.

SIS XX: 1277

In the spring of the year following the early death of Onomiya Palace Minister, the cherry blossoms bloomed profusely, and he composed on the topic of voicing one’s thoughts a little.


niFoFu mono kara
tuyukeki Fa
kono me mo mono wo
Cherry blossoms
Have such a glow, that
Dewdrops fill
My eyes as sadness
Seems to fill my thoughts.

Ōnakatomi no Yoshinobu

KKS XII: 559

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


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

Love VI: 26

Left (Win).

nochi o omoeba
me ni zo tatsu
sono yue mo naki
sora no keburi mo
I shall die of love, and
When I think on it
What should touch my eyes
But, lacking any meaning,
Smoke rising to the skies…

Lord Ari’ie.


nochi wa kemuri to
agaru tomo
kimi ga kata e zo
nao nabikubeki
When I have died of love
Then, though as smoke
I may rise,
Still towards you
I shall trail!

Lord Tsune’ie.

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults. The Left state: we wonder about the use of ‘rise’ (agaru) in the Right’s poem.

In judgement: both poems have ‘die for love’ (koishinan), and there are no particular features of either which warrant a victory or a loss, but ‘touch my eyes’ (me ni tatsu) seems a little finer than the Right’s ‘rise’ (agaru) ‘towards’ (kata e zo).