midutori no awoba no yama ya ikanaran kozuwe wo somuru kesa no sigure ni
Waterbird Aoba Mountain – What is to become of you? Your treetops dyed By this morning’s drizzle…
Lord Akinaka 7
Right (Win – Toshinari)
kakikumori ama no wobune ni Fuku toma no sita toForu made siguresinikeri
Clouds claw in and, Upon the fisherfolk’s tiny boats Do blow; until from the thatch, Right through to beneath, Do the showers fall…
Lord Michitsune 8
Toshinari states: to follow ‘waterbird Aoba Mountain’ (midutori no awoba no yama) with ‘treetops dyed’ (kozuwe wo somuru) is blatantly obvious; in the following poem, while referring to ‘fisherfolk’s tiny boats’ (ama no wobune) is stylistically unexpected, it is not a fault, so I feel it should win.
Mototoshi states: referring to ‘waterbird Aoba Mountain’ (midutori no awoba no yama) is extremely old-fashioned, but the poem of the Right has ‘clouds claw in and, upon the fisherfolks’ tiny boats do blow; until the thatch’ (kakikumori ama no wobune ni fuku toma), which are not things on which spring or summer showers fall, so there is no linking sense with ‘right through to beneath’ (sita toForu made). Thus, I must conclude that showers which dye the treetops is slightly superior.
kaiya ga shita no
kogare mo yaranu
Warding the mountain fields
Beneath the heated hut
Smoulders without end –
And so do I!
The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults. The Left state: we wonder about the usage of ‘beneath the heated hut’ (kaiya ga shita) with ‘warding the mountain fields’ (yamada moru). In reply: in the Man’yōshū ‘heated hut’ (kaiya), is written with characters meaning ‘deer-repelling fire hut’. In addition, in territories where they wish to drive the deer away from their mountain paddies, they take things which smell foul when burnt, such as hair, and burn them, and in order that the fires are not put out by the rain, they build a roof over them. The common folk of these places call these things ‘heated huts’ (kaiya). So, the Man’yōshū’s usage corresponds with actual practice. Again, a further criticism from the Left: the Master of the Crown Prince’s Household Office composed a poem on salting. Atsutaka also includes ‘heated hut’ in the section on mosquito fires. Such are the ideas of our forebears. That ‘heated hut’ is written in Man’yōshū with characters meaning ‘deer-repelling fire’ and ‘scented fire’ is no proof of anything. Might it not have been written this way so that it would be read to mean ‘keep’? One certainly cannot sweepingly say that it means ‘deer-repelling fire’. A further response from the Right: our forebears have presented no definite evidence, and so it is difficult to accept this argument. In addition, has it not long been accepted that ‘morning haze’ can be used to refer to the smoke from deer-repelling fires, when composing on the haze spreading? Furthermore, in the Hitomaroshū, there is the poem ‘On Kogane Mountain / Beneath the heated hut / Frogs call’. Thus, it appears that this composition must refer to mountain fields.
In judgement: the Left’s ‘At Nago the fisherfolk’ (nago no ama) links the initial and latter sections of the poem extremely well. There seems to be have been some discussion from both teams about the Right’s ‘beneath the heated hut the smoke’ (kaiya ga shita no kemuri). Prior to the to and fro about this poem, was there not a similar discussion about heated huts in the final section of spring poems about frogs? With the greatest respect, the discussion here seems little different. However, in regard to the Right’s poem, saying that love smoulders is the normal way of expressing matters. I do wonder about ‘smoulders without end’ (kogare mo yaranu), but this would certainly seem appropriate with the reference to a heated hut. The Left, in addition, with ‘salt burning smoke’ (yaku shio kemuri) lacks any faults to indicate, so with no clear winner or loser, I make this round a tie.
The Right state that it should be kuyuru in the Left’s poem – and that they are not accustomed to hearing kuyuri. The Left state that, ‘while the rain falling on a roof of reeds would make no sound, once it became drops dripping through, it would. In addition, while it “makes no sound”, how can it be love?’
Shunzei’s judgement: The gentlemen of the Right’s claim that the Left’s poem should be kuyuri is incorrect. This is simply a case of the same diction as in utsuru-utsuri, todomaru-todomari – I should not have to give more examples. In form the poems do have good and bad points [utazama zen’aku arubeki]. I have the feeling I have recently seen something similar to the Right’s metaphorical use of a roof of reeds. Or maybe it was not that recently. The Left’s ‘has yet to rise’ seems better. I shall make it the winner.