The Gentlemen of the Right state: why have the ‘bell’ (kane) here? The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults.
Shunzei’s judgement: the Left’s poem, having the poet buried beneath his bedclothes, which alter the sound of the bell recollects a composition on the ‘bell at the Temple of Bequeathed Love’. Nevertheless, the Gentlemen of the Right have asked, ‘Why have the bell here?’, and they are right to do so. The Right’s poem, on how the feeling of cold on a chill, snowy night vanishes briefly, exactly conveys the ‘bedding’s effect’ (fusuma no shirushi). Thus, it is without fault. I must make the Right the winner.
The Gentlemen of the Right state: we wonder about the use of ‘bedding of little point’ (fusuma yoso ni)? The Gentlemen of the Left state: we find no faults in the Right’s poem.
Shunzei’s judgement: Both poems are on ‘bedding’ (fusuma), with the Left saying that it seems of little purpose at a gathering around a charcoal fire-pit, and the Right, that it seems to be thin when the cold comes. So, we go from it doing no good, even if you do have it on, to it being pointless when you are happy and warm. What point are these poems trying to make, I wonder? The Left should win.
The Gentlemen of the Right state: we don’t understand the reference to ‘Kie Folk’ (kiehito). In response, the Gentlemen of the Left state: it occurs in the Man’yōshū. We have nothing more to say than that.
Shunzei’s judgement: although various remarks have been made about ‘Kie Folk’, and it has been said that it occurs in the Man’yōshū, it is not acceptable to simply say that and then say nothing more. It does appear to be something which it is acceptable to extract from the Man’yōshū and compose with, though. The Right’s poem, too, with its conception of frost falling on a ‘meagre hempen blanket’ (asade kobususma) is in a Man’yō style [fūtei]. It is also certainly the case that it is not unreasonable for the Left to have used ‘motley-coloured coverlet’ (madarabususma). The Round should tie.
Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s ‘piled bedding’ (atsubusuma) is similar in style to the poems of the previous round. The Right’s ‘single blanket’ (hitori fusuma) is a comparable piece of bedding, but the configuration of ‘pointless dawn breaks night’ (itazura ni akuru yo o nomi) is elegantly beautiful [sugata yūbi ni kikoyu]. Thus I make the Right the winner.
Both Left and Right say that the other’s poem is undesirable.
Shunzei’s judgement: The conception and diction [sugata kotoba] of the Left’s ‘come, warm my flesh’ (mi o atatameyo) and the Right’s ‘the cold now’ (samusa mo ima wa) have the Gentlemen of each team stated to be undesirable, but this is not sufficient criticism. Neither poem expresses enough. They are of the same quality.