Tag Archives: hikari

Winter II: 6

Left (Tie).

雲深き嶺の朝明けのいかならん槇の戸白む雪の光に

kumo fukaki
mine no asake no
ika naran
maki no to shiramu
yuki no hikari ni
Deep within the clouds,
Morning to the peaks must come,
But how? I wonder,
With whitening round my cedar door,
Brightened by the snow…

A Servant Girl.

551

Right.

眺めやる衣手寒し有明の月より殘る峰の白雪

nagameyaru
koromode samushi
ariake no
tsuki yori nokoru
mine no shirayuki
Gazing on,
How chill my sleeves;
The dawntime
Moon will linger less than
The snowfall on the peaks…

Jakuren.

552

Both teams say they find the other’s poem moving.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s poem has ‘deep snow’ (yuki fukaki), ‘whitening round my cedar door’ (maki no to shiramu), and the Right has ‘the dawntime moon will linger less than’ (ariake no tsuki yori nokoru) – the conception and diction of both are splendid [kokoro kotoba tomo ni yoroshiku koso haberumere]. It seems to me that is exactly how winter mornings are. Thus, it is difficult to say which is better. This must be a good tie [yoki ji].

Autumn II: 28

Left (Tie).

眺めやる心の末も泊まれとや月に宿貸す廣澤の池

nagameyaru
kokoro no sue mo
tomare to ya
tsuki ni yado kasu
hirosawa no ike
‘Your wandering gaze
Will find a resting place
Here!’, is that what you say?
Lending lodging to the moon,
O, pond at Hirosawa!

Lord Kanemune.

415

Right (Tie).

更科も明石もこゝに誘ひ來て月の光は廣澤の池

sarashina mo
akashi mo koko ni
sasoikite
tsuki no hikari wa
hirosawa no ike
Should I Sarashina and
Akashi bring
here,
The best moonlight would be on
Hirosawa Pond.

Nobusada.

416

Neither Left nor Right have any criticisms to make this round.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s “‘Will find a resting place here!’, is that what you say?” (kokoro no sue mo tomare to ya) seems particularly fine [yoroshiku koso miehaberu], but so is the Right’s “Akashi bring here” (akashi mo koko ni sasoikite) in form and diction [sugata kotoba] and so it is impossible to say it is inferior to the Left. This is a solid tie [yoki ji].

Autumn II: 26

Left (Tie).

澄み來ける跡は光に殘れども月こそ古りね廣澤の池

sumikikeru
ato wa hikari ni
nokoredomo
tsuki koso furine
hirosawa no ike
Limpid
Traces of light
Remain, and yet
The moon shows no sign of age
Above Hirosawa Pond.

Lord Sada’ie.

411

Right.

隈もなく月澄む夜半は廣澤の池は空にぞ一つなりける

kuma mo naku
tsuki sumu yowa wa
hirosawa no
ike wa sora ni zo
hitotsu narikeru
Completely full
The moon is clear at midnight:
Hirosawa
Pond and the heavens
Have become as one.

Lord Tsune’ie.

412

The Right query the expressions ‘light remain’ (hikari ni nokoru) and ‘the moon shows no sign of age’ (tsuki koso furine), and also say that the Left’s poem lack emotional overtones of a ‘View’ as a topic. The Left find no fault with the Right’s poem.

Shunzei’s judgement: On the Left’s poem, I do not strongly feel that expressions such as ‘traces of light’ (ato wa hikari ni) and ‘the moon shows no sign of age’ (tsuki koso furine) are particularly bad, but the gentlemen of the Right have identified two faults with the poem. As for the Right’s poem, I do not feel that there is much sense of a view in expressions such as, ‘pond and the heavens’ (ike wa sora ni zo), and the frequency of wa in tsuki sumu yowa wa, and ike wa, means the poem is lacking in form; it is truly unfortunate that I cannot declare the Left, which lacks a sense of a View, the winner.

Autumn I: 16

Left.

宵の間の月待つ程の雲間より思はぬ影を見する稲妻

yoi no ma no
tsuki matsu hodo no
kumoma yori
omowanu kage o
misuru inazuma
In the early evening
While waiting for the moon,
From between the clouds
All unexpected is the light
Of lightning.

Lord Suetsune.

331

Right (Win).

夕月夜かげろふ宵の雲間より光をかへて照らす稲妻

yūzukuyo
kagerō yoi no
kumoma yori
hikari o kaete
terasu inazuma
The evening moon
Misty is at dusk, when
From between the clouds
Comes a different light:
A flash of lightning!

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.

332

Neither team finds any fault with the other’s poem this round.

Shunzei, however, says, ‘Both poems contain the line “from between the clouds” (kumoma yori), with the Left “while waiting for the moon” (tsuki matsu hodo) and the Right “The evening moon misty is at dusk” (yūzukuyo kagerō yoi). In addition to the fact that “misty” is far more charming in relation to an “evening moon”, than “waiting for the moon”, “all unexpected is the light” (omowanu kage) is not an expression I find particularly pleasing. “Comes a different light” (hikari o kaete) seem much finer. Thus, I make the right the winner.’

Autumn I: 14

Left (Tie).

稲妻の光にのみやなぐさめむ田中の里の夕闇の空

inazuma no
hikari ni nomi ya
nagusamemu
tanaka no sato no
yūyami no sora
Is it lightning’s
Light alone, that
Can console?
Dwelling among the rice-fields
Beneath the blackened evening sky.

Kenshō.

327

Right (Tie).

賤の男が山田の庵の苫を粗み漏る稲妻を友とこそ見れ

shitsu no o ga
yamada no io no
toma o arami
moru inazuma o
tomo to koso mire
A peasant in
The mountain fields, whose hut has
A rough roof of straw:
The lightning dripping in
Seems his single friend.

Lord Tsune’ie.

328

As with the previous round, neither team can find fault with the other’s poem.

Shunzei, however, says, ‘The initial part of the Left’s poem is fine, indeed, but one wonders where the “dwelling among the rice fields” (tanaka no sato) is. I wonder whether nowadays poets can simply refer to a house among the rice fields. I do seem to have heard it before, but for the life of me I cannot remember where. As for the Right’s poem, this, too, has a perfectly standard beginning, but then has the expression “lightning dripping” (moru inazuma) – this seems rather new-fangled to me! Both poems are about the same.’

Autumn I: 13

Left (Win).

影宿す程なき袖の露の上に馴れても疎き宵の稲妻

kage yadosu
hodo naki sode no
tsuyu no ue ni
naretemo utoki
yoi no inazuma
The light dwells
But for an instant on my sleeves
Where dewdrops rest;
Accustomed to it though I am, how distant is
Lightning in the evening.

Lord Sada’ie.

325

Right.

むば玉の闇をあらはす稲妻も光の程ははかなかりけり

mubatama no
yami o arawasu
inazuma mo
hikari no hodo wa
hakanakarikeri
Lily-seed
Dark, broken by
Lightning;
The flash,
So brief.

Lord Takanobu.

326

Neither team can find fault with the other’s poem this round.

Shunzei feels, ‘The spirit of “an instant on my sleeves” (hodo naki sode) is particularly fine, is it not? Prefacing “dark, broken by” (yami o arawasu) with “lily-seed” (mubatama no), seems somewhat overblown, and then concluding with “so brief” (hakanakarikeri) contradicts the initial statement. “Lightning in the evening” (yoi no inazuma) should win.’

Spring II: 23

Left (Win).

面影に千里をかけて見するかな春のひかりに遊ぶいとゆふ

omokage ni
chisato o kakete
misuru kana
haru no hikari ni
asobu itoyū
A vision from
Across a thousand leagues
Appears,
In the spring sunlight
Wavering ‘midst the haze.

A Servant Girl.

105

Right.

見わたせばあるかなきかに亂れつゝ心ぼそくも遊ぶいとゆふ

miwataseba
aru ka naki ka ni
midaretsutsu
kokorobosoku mo
asobu itoyū
When I look out
Is it there, or not?
Disordered and
Forlorn,
Wavering haze.

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.

106

The Right say they have nothing particular to remark upon about the Left’s poem, but the Left wonder whether ‘forlorn’ (kokorobosoku mo) forms an appropriate linkage with the final line. (The point they are making is that in the original poem the final line starts asobu, which literally means ‘enjoy oneself’ or ‘play’, and thus ‘forlorn’ seems an incongruous prequel to it. In all the ‘Heat Haze’ poems I’ve translated asobu as ‘wavering’, as it’s use in this context is not for its sense, but as an addition piece of orthographic wordplay, as ‘heat haze’ (itoyū), is written with the characters for ‘threads’ (ito 糸) and ‘play’ ( 遊).)

Shunzei’s judgement is: ‘One has to wonder about the suitability of the final line of the Right’s poem, as is the gist of the Left’s remarks; by contrast, the ending of the Left’s poems seems particularly good. It has to be the winner.’