The Right state: the conclusion of the Left is unacceptable given its beginning. The Left state: there is no natural flow in ‘those feelings – Abe’ (kokorozashi abe).
In judgement: with regard to the Left’s poem, the Gentlemen of the Right have already stated that the conclusion is unacceptable given its beginning. The Right’s poem, too, lacks natural flow in ‘those feelings – Abe’. Furthermore, the Left’s diction of stating ‘if I were he’ (sore naraba) and then ‘I would trade places – for I would meet you!’ (kaete awamashi) sounds rather tense, but ‘life for love’ (koi ni inochi) certainly has impact. Thus, the Right should win.
Left and Right together state: we find no faults to mention.
In judgement: the Left’s ‘blow across the fisher girl’s rush-woven roof’ (fukikosu ama no toma hisashi) is certainly elegant. The Right’s ‘ospreys hunt along the strand at Isora’ (misago iru isora ga saki) seems a kind of overblown style, yet the Left seems particularly pleasant in form. I make it the winner.
The Right state: the Left’s poem has no matters we can criticize. The Left state: the conception of Love in the Right’s poem is vague.
In judgement: The Left’s poem seem certainly to capture the conceptions of both Love and player-girls. ‘Even’ (sura shimo) in the Right’s final section, sounds rather abrupt and portentous, but the initial section is certainly elegant. Thus, the Right should win.
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.
The Right state: the Left’s poem is not bad. The Left state: the final section of the Right’s poem is unsatisfactory.
In judgement: Both poems use ‘matting’ (samushiro), and the Left’s is not bad in form, but the theme of a person who has grown to hate their own bed so much that dust alone gathers there is completely different from that of the previous round – what sort of lover might they have had, one wonders! Although I wonder about the final section of the Right’s poem, it does not seem to regret the overall conception of love and so wins the round.
The Right state: both the conception and diction of the Left’s poem are unclear. The Left state: the Right’s poem, in addition to being commonplace, has ‘begins’ (susumuru) which is unimpressive.
In judgement: in the Left’s poem, while ‘blossoms do the sleeves’ (hana no koromode) is evocative, ‘a hue that’ (iro zo sore) is certainly extremely difficult to understand. In the Right’s poem, both ‘Cathay robe’ (karakoromo) and ‘with a skirt’ (tsuma ni zo arikeru) seem elegant, but I wonder about the impression of ‘her scent transferred’ (sono utsurika) and ‘begins’. It is unclear which poem is superior or inferior, so the round should tie.
The Right state: the Left’s poem gives the impression of being based on something – but what? The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to mention.
In judgement: there is nothing unusual about the Left’s poem. It simply seems to be in the conception of the Man’yōshū poem where, ‘a Japanese zither made from the wood of the parasol tree transforms into a maiden in a dream, and says “When will / The day come that / I shall sing / Making his lap / My pillow?”’ I also have the feeling that it is alluding to the subsequent poem, however. So, it is certainly not the case that it is not based on anything. The Right’s poem has ‘heartstrings are not tugged’ (kokoro no hikanu) and then the metaphorical ‘though I pine for her’ (wa ga matsu ni koso), so is certainly not lacking in conception either. They are equivalent and tie.
The Right state: the Left’s poem lacks any faults to mention. The Left state: the Right’s poem has not faults to point out.
In judgement: ‘night after night of despair’ (yoyo no urami o) in the Left’s poem sounds profound, but in actual fact is quite prosaic. In the Right’s poem, ‘sea-lanes, forging, came a bamboo flute’ (namiji wakekuru takefue o) has, I think, the contemporary conception of ‘it has come forging through many waves’. It seems evocative. Thus, the Right must win.
The Gentlemen of the Right state: what is the meaning of ‘the eternal gods’ (toko no kami). In appeal, the Left: in the Chronicles of Japan, insects are worshipped under the name of ‘the eternal gods’ and made to seem like men. The Left state: what can an insect chatter about?
In judgement: in regard to the Left’s poem, while it is true that insects were worshipped, a poem on ‘Love and Insects’ with no insect is lacking something from the start. This poem would seem to be more a case of ‘Love and Prayers’. Thus, this is nothing enduring. A prior example has been contrived, but this is ineffective. It does not seem as if this insect’s nature has any relation to the topic. The Right’s poem has a commonplace cricket. Where is the fault in having it lighten one’s mood with chatter? Thus, the Right must win.