Tag Archives: fune

Love X: 3

Left
うき舟に一夜ばかりの契だになどありがたき我身なるらむ

ukifune ni
hitoyo bakari no
chigiri dani
nado arigataki
wa ga mi naruramu
In a drifting boat
A single night’s
Brief bond – even that:
Why so rarely
Do I get it?

Lord Suetsune
1145

Right (Win)
誰となきうき寢を忍ぶ海人の子も思へば淺き恨み也けり

tare to naki
ukine o shinobu
ama no ko mo
omoeba asaki
urami narikeri
Knowing not with whom
She’ll briefly sleep, and regret
Is my diving girl:
But considering, little
Will it trouble her!

Ietaka
1146

The Right state: ‘drifting boat’ (ukifune) fails to link properly with ‘single night’ (hitoyo). The Left state: although ‘diving girl’ (ama no ko) is used in the source poem in the section on pleasure girls in the Collection of Poems to Sing, we wonder about the appropriateness of simply using it to mean pleasure girl.

In judgement: there is no need to critique whether or not ‘drifting boat’ links with ‘single night’. In the final section ‘why so rarely’ (nado arigataki), though, makes me wonder why this should be the case! On the matter of the Right’s use of ‘diving girl’, our predecessors, including Lord Kintō, have provided poems on pleasure girls in the Collection of Poems to Sing, and who, indeed, would not utilize this? Furthermore, ‘knowing not with whom she’ll briefly sleep, and regret’ (tare to naki ukine o shinobu) certainly sounds like a pleasure girl! Thus, the Right must win over a pleasure girl finding it hard to get custom.

Love X: 1

Left
蘆間分け月にうたひて漕ぐ舟に心ぞまづは乗りうつりぬる

ashima wake
tsuki ni utaite
kogu fune ni
kokoro zo mazu wa
nori’utsurinuru
Parting the reeds, and
Singing to the moon,
Boats come rowing out –
My heart, it is, that is first
Aboard and carried away…

Kenshō
1141

Right (Win)
浪の上にくだるを舟のむやひして月にうたひし妹ぞ戀しき

nami no ue ni
kudaru o fune no
muyaishite
tsuki ni utaishi
imo zo koishiki
Upon the waves,
Her boat departs,
Vanishing into the mist;
That moon-sung
Girl is dear to me, indeed!

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1142

The Right state: the Left’s poem lacks much of a conception of pleasure girls. In appeal: the poem was written in the conception of Mochitoki’s Chinese poem on pleasure girls ‘the reed-leaves are fresh in springtime’. The Left state: the Right’s poem has nothing worth mentioning.

In judgement: is the conception of pleasure girls really absent from the Left’s ‘parting the reeds, and singing to the moon’ (ashima wake tsuki ni utaite)? The case certainly cannot rely on ‘the reed-leaves are fresh in springtime’. A Chinese poem expresses its topic in its initial line. It is normal for the introduction of the topic to be vague. Japanese and Chinese poetry have aspects where they are similar, and aspects where they differ. Thus, it is not appropriate to cite a Chinese poem’s broaching of its topic as evidence for a Japanese poem’s content. There are certainly other examples by Mochitoki, such as his overlong line in ‘in a boat atop the waves, but I find the same pleasure in life’. The line about reed-leaves can in no way function as proof. Thus this poem, as ‘an old fisherman sings a single shanty’ could be said to be about an old man. As a result, given the lack of clarity in the poem, it is not possible to accept that it is about a pleasure girl. The Right’s poem concludes ‘that moon-sung girl is dear to me, indeed’ (tsuki ni utaishi imo zo koishiki). The final line seems to be almost pointlessly pedestrian, but the poem is certainly about love for a pleasure girl. The Right must win.

MYS II: 153

A poem by Her Majesty, the Dowager Empress.

鯨魚取り 近江の海を 沖放けて 漕ぎ来る船 辺付きて 漕ぎ来る船 沖つ櫂 いたくな撥ねそ 辺つ櫂 いたくな撥ねそ 若草の 夫の 思ふ鳥立つ

isana tori
opomi no umi wo
oki sakete
kogikitaru pune
pe tu kite
kogikuru pune
oki tu kai
itaku na pane so
pe tu kai
itaku na pane so
wakakusa no
tuma no
omopu tori tatu
In the whale-hunting
Sea of Ōmi
From far off in the offing
Boats come rowing;
Nearing the shore,
Boats come rowing;
Off in the offing, oars
Beat not so hard!
By the shore, oars
Beat not so hard!
A fresh blade of grass –
My husband’s
Beloved birds you’ll start to flight!

Yamato Hime no Ōkimi
倭皇后

MYS XVI: 3869

大船に小舟引き添へ潜くとも志賀の荒雄に潜き逢はめやも

opobune ni
wobune piki sope
kaduku tomo
sika no arawo ni
kaduki apame ya mo
If a great ship to
A little boat were attached, and
Dived down, even so
Would Arao from Shika
Meet them beneath the seas?

It is said that the above poems were composed in the years of Jinki [724-729], when the Dazai provincial government ordered a peasant by the name of Munakatabe no Tsumaro from the district of Munakata in Chikuzen province to captain a boat taking provisions to Tsushima. So, Tsumaro went to the home of a fisherman called Arao in the village of Shika in the district of Kasuya, and said to him, ‘I have a request to make of you. Will you hear me out?’ Arao replied, ‘The district in which I live is different from yours, but we have sailed on the same ship for many years. I feel closer to you than to my brothers. Even should we be about to die together, I would not dare to abandon you.’ So Tsumaro said, ‘The officials of the Dazai government have ordered me to captain a boat carrying provisions to Tsushima. However, I am grown old and my strength is failing me, and I do not think I would survive the voyage. Thus I have come to you. I beg you, please take on this duty in my place.’ Arao agreed and in due course, in line with his duty, set sail from Mineraku Point in Matsura in Bizen Province. As he was sailing straight across to Tsushima, suddenly clouds filled the sky, the wind and the rain arose, he could not catch a favourable breeze, and his ship sank to the bottom of the sea. His wife and children, unable to endure feeling like a calf which has lost its mother, composed these poems. An alternative explanation is that the Governor of Chikuzen, Yamanoue no Okura felt sympathy for the woman and her children, and composed them in their stead.