Tag Archives: horses

Winter II: 1



yamazato wa
asakawa wataru
koma no oto ni
seze no kōri no
hodo o shiru kana
Dwelling in the mountains,
Crossing the river in the morning,
The horses’ footfalls
Upon the ice within the shallows
Tells to me its depth…



Right (Win).


tanikawa no
kōru dani aru
yamazato ni
hito mo oto senu
kesa no shirayuki
The streamlet,
Even, has frozen
At my mountain home;
No folks’ footfalls
On this snow-white morning…



The Right have no criticisms to make of the Left’s poem. The Left just remark that the Right’s use of ‘even’ (dani aru) is ‘poor’ [yokarazu].

Shunzei’s judgement: Despite the Left starting their poem with ‘dwelling in the mountains’ (yamazato wa), even if it is on a winter morning, where must it take place? It must be at a riverside estate, or village. In addition, the only element of the conception of morning, is ‘crossing the river in the morning’ (asa kawa wataru). I do wonder about the sound of ‘even, has frozen’ (kōri dani aru), but the snow in the morning is more moving and charming [aware mo okashiku mo] than the Left’s mere sound of horses’ hooves on ice, so the Right’s is the better poem.

Summer I: 8

Left (Win).


tare ka yuku
natsuno no kusa no
hazue yori
honoka ni miyuru
mishima sugagasa
Who is that a’coming?
Above the summer plains’ grass
Distantly appears
A Mishima sedge-hat!

Lord Suetsune.




natsukusa ni
no kai no koma mo
ibayuru koe zo
hito ni shiraruru
Among the summer grasses
The herded horses, too,
Are hidden;
Whinnying neighs
Are what let folk know!

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.


Neither team has any comments to make about the other’s poem this round.

Shunzei remarks, ‘While the Left’s poem is certainly affecting, might it not be the case that simply “someone” (tare ka yuku) seen at a distance wearing a Mishima sedge-hat is insufficiently moving? However, the conception of the Right’s poem is not that surprising [kokoro wa mezurashikaranedo], and the expression [kotoba] “are hidden” (kakuroete) is certainly inappropriate [yoroshiki kotoba ni arazarubeshi]. “Sedge-hat” should win, should it not!’

uma ni nete

On the moon: on suddenly awakening on passing through Nakayama in Saya and remembering the poem ‘Travelling Early in the Morning’ by Tu Mu.


uma ni nete
zanmu tsuki tôshi
cha no keburi
Dozing on my mount
I start from sleep to see the distant moon,
Smoke rising for morning tea.