Tag Archives: hemp

Winter II: 22



kiehito no
madarabusuma wa
itama yori
shimo oku yowa no
na ni koso arikere
The Kie folk’s
Motley-coloured coverlet:

From between the boards
The falling midnight frost has
Given that name to mine!

Lord Ari’ie.




sayuru yo wa
ama tsu otome mo
ika naran
kaze mo tamaranu
asade kobususma
On this chill, clear night
The maidens of the Heavens, too,
How must they feel?
Unable to avoid the wind,
With only a meagre hempen blanket!

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.


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.

Winter II: 20



kasanezu wa
ake no koromo
nani naraji
mi o atatameyo
asade kobusuma
With no garments piled with
My vermillion robe
What good is it?
Come, warm my flesh,
O meagre hempen blanket!

Lord Suetsune.




sayuru yo no
samusa mo ima wa
araji kashi
ake no fusuma no
atsuku miyureba
On this chill, clear night
The cold now
You feel not, I think, for
With vermillion has your bedding
Grown thicker, it seems!

Lord Tsune’ie.


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.


Topic unknown.


oFoaraki no
mori no sitakusa
koma mo susameszu
karu Fito mo nasi
In Oaraki
Forest the undergrowth
Has grown so old
It does not tempt my mount,
Nor will any come to reap it.
sakura asa no
woFu no sitakusa
koma mo susameszu
karu Fito mo nasi
Cherry hemp
Growing, the grass beneath it
Has grown so old
It does not tempt my mount,
Nor will any come to reap it.



A summer poem, from when she presented a hundred poem sequence to retired Emperor Sutoku.


sakura asa no
ou no shitakusa
shigere tada
akade wakareshi
hana no na nareba
Cherry hemp
Growing, the grass beneath it
So lush! Simply
Never sating – as parting
Is in this blossom’s name….

Lady Asa of the Taikenmon Palace