This poem is included in Kokinshū (II: 114) and also in Sosei-shū 素性集 (16), where in some versions the headnote reads ‘[Composed] on the profusion of blossom when it was decided there would be poetry match at the residence of the Ninnaji Middle Captain Lady of the Bedchamber’.
A poem composed in winter in the Eleventh Month, by His Majesty, when the Major Controller of the Left, Prince Kazuragi, and others, were granted the name Tachibana.
mi sape pana sape
sono pa sape
e ni simo puredo
iya toko pa no ki
O, orange tree:
Fruit and flowers both,
And leaves, too,
Even should frost fall on your branches
Evegreen will you be!
The above poem was composed in winter, on the 9th day of the Eleventh Month, after Prince Kazuragi, Junior Third Rank, and Prince Sai, Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade, among others, surrendered their membership of the imperial family and were granted the name of Tachibana. At that time Former Emperor [Genshō], the Emperor [Shōmu], and Empress [Kōmyō], were present in the Empress’ quarters, and hosted a banquet at which poems celebrating the name of Tachibana were composed, and sake was presented to the new members of the family. It is alternatively said, ‘This poem was composed by the Former Emperor. In addition, the Emperor and the Empress each composed a single poem. Those poems were lost and cannot now be located.’ If one seeks copies of the documents now, they say that on the 9th day of the Eleventh Month [Tenpyō] 8 , Prince Kazuragi and other submitted a request to the throne to be granted the name of Tachibana. On the 17th day the request was granted.