Tag Archives: Iefusa

Love VIII: 25

Left
起きもゐで年ふる戀はをのづから常世の神やしるし見すべき

oki mo ide
toshi furu koi wa
onozukara
tokoyo no kami ya
shirushi misubeki
Unable to arise
From love these many years,
May I
By the eternal gods
Be shown a sign!

Kenshō
1069

Right (Win)
獨臥すながながし夜のかなしきを語らひあかすきりぎりす哉

hitori fusu
naganagashi yo no
kanashiki o
katarai akasu
kirigirisu kana
Lying alone,
So long, long the night’s
Sorrow;
Lightening it with chatter
Are the crickets!

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1070

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.

Love VIII: 20

Left (Tie)
いかにしてつれなき中を渡るべき足の音もせぬ駒のありとも

ika ni shite
tsurenaki naka o
watarubeki
ashi no oto mo senu
koma no aritomo
How, indeed,
To one so heartless
Can I make my way across?
Even a silent-footed
Steed had I to ride…

Lord Suetsune
1059

Right (Win)
道遠み妹がりがりいそぐその駒に草取り飼はんなづみもぞする

michi tōmi
imogari isogu
sono koma ni
kusa torikawan
nazumi mo zo suru
Long is the road
To go swiftly seek my darling, so
For my steed
I’ll go gather grasses
That he not tire along the way…

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1060

The Gentlemen of the Right state: we wonder about the appropriateness of making one’s way across when there is no ‘bridge’? The Gentlemen of the Left state: there are no faults to indicate in the Right’s poem.

In judgement: the gentleman of the Left has composed his poem referring to the conception of the Man’yō poem ‘A silent-footed / Colt I’d have: / In Kashitsuka, / The clapper bridge at Mama / To ceaselessly traverse!’, but must have misplaced the bridge somewhere. Truly, I do wonder how it is possible to make one’s way across in the absence of a bridge. Although to say ‘for my steed I’ll go gather grasses’ (sono koma ni kusa torikawan) is something commonplace, doing it to prevent one’s mount getting tired, despite the length of the journey, seems better than lacking a bridge.

Love VIII: 13

Left
時しもあれ空飛ぶ鳥の一聲も思ふ方より來てや鳴らん

toki shi mo are
sora tobu tori no
hitogoe mo
omou kata yori
kite ya naruran
Now, when I am wondering,
A bird, soaring through the skies,
Gives a single call;
From whence I love
Does it come, I wonder?

A Servant Girl
1045

Right (Win)
天の戸を明けぬと告ぐる鳥の音も獨寢る夜はさもあらばあれ

ama no to o
akenu to tsuguru
tori no ne mo
hitori neru yo wa
sa mo araba are
“The gates of Heaven
Are open!” announces
A cock’s crow, though
On a night spent sleeping alone,
It matters not at all…

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress Household Office
1046

The Right state: what gives rise to the idea in the Left’s poem? The Gentlemen of the Left state: there are no faults we can find.

In judgement: what sort of bird is it that ‘soaring through the skies gives a single call’ (sora tobu tori no hitogoe)? I wonder if there is a suitable source for this? That being said, I doubt the Gentlemen of the Right’s point is pertinent. It has been stated that the Right’s poem lacks any faults. It must win.

Love VIII: 8

Left
戀死なば苔むす塚に栢古りてもとの契に朽ちやはてなん

koi shinaba
kokemusu tsuka ni
kae furite
moto no chigiri ni
kuchi ya hatenan
Should I have died of love and
Upon my moss-hung tomb
An aged cypress be
Would those vows from long ago
Have rotted quite away?

Lord Sada’ie
1035

Right (Win)
かくばかり思と君も白樫に知らじな色に出でばこそあらめ

kaku bakari
omou to kimi mo
shirakashi ni
shiraji na iro ni
ideba koso arame
That so much
I long for you,
Evergreen,
You know not; for what hues
Might I show?

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress Household Office
1036

The Gentlemen of the Right state: ‘tomb’ (tsuka) and ‘cypress’ (kae) are frightening. The Gentlemen of the Left state: ‘evergreen’ (kashi) is the same, is it not?

In judgement: What might ‘upon my moss-hung tomb an aged cypress be’ (kokemusu tsuka ni kae furite) mean? Maybe the poet had in mind the part of the Scribe’s Records, where Duke Wen of Jin, on parting from his wife in Di, says, ‘If you wait for me for twenty-five years and I have still not returned, then marry again,’ but his wife laughs and says, ‘After ageing for twenty-five years, a cypress will be growing upon my tomb!’ The Right’s ‘evergreen’ (shirakashi) must simply serve to introduce to ‘you know not; for what hues might I show?’ (shiraji na iro ni ideba koso arame). However, both ‘cypress’ (kae) and ‘evergreen’ (kashi) lack admirable qualities. The round should tie.

Love VIII: 4

Left (Tie)
ももよ草百夜までなど頼めけむかりそめ臥しの榻のはしがき

momoyogusa
momoyo made nado
tanomekemu
karisome fushi no
shiji no hashigaki
A hundred nights upon the grass:
After a hundred nights, how
Can I trust we’ll meet?
Fitfully pillowed on
The scratches on my shaft stand…

Kenshō
1027

Right
逢事はいつといぶきの嶺に生ふるさしも絶せぬ思ひなりけり

au koto wa
itsu to ibuki no
mine ni ouru
sashimo taesenu
omoi narikeri
When will our meeting
Come? On Ibuki
Peak grows
Moxa, thus, endlessly
Burning, as do my fires of love.

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress Household Office
1028

The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to mention. The Gentlemen of the Left state: it is difficult to grasp that there is nothing said from ‘when will it come? On Ibuki’ (itsu to ibuki). ‘Moza, thus’ (sashimo) does not fit with the end of the poem.

In judgement: I do wonder about the sound of beginning a poem with momoyogusa. Furthermore, originally, the ‘one hundred nights’ (momoyo) would be placed upon the shaft stand. ‘When on Ibuki grows moxa’ (itsu to ibuki no sashimo), too, just as with Inaba’s pines, places too much stress on the peak. The poems are of the same quality and tie.

Love VII: 28

Left.
われが身や長柄の橋の橋柱恋に朽ちなん名をば残して

ware ga mi ya
nagara no hashi no
hashibashira
koi ni kuchinan
na o ba nokoshite
Is my body as
The broken bridge at Nagara’s
Bridge pillars?
Eaten away by love
Is all they’ll say when I am gone…

Lord Kanemune
1015

Right (Win).
崩れゆく板田の橋もさもあらばあれ我を恋ふべき妹ならばこそ

kuzureyuku
itada no hashi mo
sa mo araba
are ware o koubeki
imo naraba koso
Collapsing is
The bridge at Itada:
Should that be, then
Love for me from
My darling will do the same!

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress Household Office
1016

The Right state: clichéd from beginning to end. The Left state: the style of the Right’s poem is unattractive.

In judgement: the second and third lines are certainly old-fashioned. I also cannot call the poem tasteful, because the initial line of it is unattractive. The style of the Right’s poem is not particularly elegant, but the Left is old-fashioned, so the Right wins.

Love VII: 23

Left.
逢ひ見じと思かたむる中なれやかく解けがたき下紐の関

aimiji to
omoikatamuru
naka nare ya
kaku tokegataki
shimohimo no seki
Never to meet
Has she hardened her heart –
Is that to be our bond?
As hard to undo as
The barrier at Shitahimo!

Lord Suetsune
1005

Right (Win).
恋しともかくは人にも知られなんと思ふ心や文字の関守

koishitomo
kaku wa hito ni mi
shirarenan to
omou kokoro ya
moji no sekimori
The letters for love, should
I write, would she my feelings
Then understand, I
Wonder? Does her heart have
A barrier warden at Moji?

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1006

The Right state: ‘hardened her heart’ (omoikatamuru) is grating on the ear. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to indicate.

In judgement: regardless of whether the Left’s poem sounds poor or not, having both ‘hardened’ (katamuru) and ‘hard’ (kataki) is a fault. So, ‘a barrier warden at Moji’ (moji no sekimori) wins.

Love VII: 15

Left.
最上河人の心の稲船もしばしばかりと聞かば頼まん

mogamigawa
hito no kokoro no
inabune mo
shibashi bakari to
kikaba tanoman
Upon Mogami River,
Her heart is as
A rice-boat;
That but for a little while
She will hear me, is all my longing.

Lord Ari’ie
989

Right (Win).
飛鳥川淵瀬ひまなき世の中に人のつらさぞ變らざりける

asukagawa
fuchi se himanaki
yo no naka ni
hito no tsurasa zo
kawarazarikeru
On Asuka River
The deeps and shallows have no rest;
In this world of ours,
Her cruelty
Is unchanging.

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
990

The Right state: we have no criticisms to make of the Left’s poem. The Left state: we wonder about the Right’s use of ‘the deeps and shallows have no rest’ (fuchi se himanaki).

In judgement: ‘Mogami River’ appears to be technically accomplished, but the final section sounds excessive. The deeps and shallows of Asuka River, indeed, do change constantly. The final section, too, seems fine. Thus, the Right wins.

Love VII: 12

Left (Win).
與謝の海の沖つ潮風浦に吹けまつなりけりと人に聞かせん

yosa no umi no
oki tsu shio kaze
ura ni fuke
matsunarikeri to
hito ni kikasen
By the sea at Yosa,
Tidewinds on the offing,
Blow across the bay!
That I am waiting without end,
Tell him!

A Servant Girl
983

Right.
浪かくるさしでの磯の岩根松ねにあらはれてかはくまもなし

nami kakuru
sashide no iso no
iwane matsu
ne ni arawarete
kawaku ma mo nashi
Waves beat
Upon the shore at Sashide, where
The pine trees on the crags
Roots are bared and
Never dry for but a moment.

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
984

The Right state: the Left’s poem lacks any faults. The Left state: the Right’s poem is pedestrian.

In judgement: the configuration of the Left’s ‘Blow across the bay!’ (ura ni fuke) and its links with the preceding and subsequent lines, sounds charming. The Right’s poem is stylistically elegant, but the poem more closely resembles a poem on the topic of ‘Love and Pine Trees’. Thus, the Left wins.

Love VII: 1

Left (Tie).
年を經て茂るなげきをこりもせでなど深からん物思ひの山

toshi o hete
shigeru nageki o
kori mo sede
nado fukakaran
mono’omoi no yama
The years go by and
My ever verdant grief
Is never felled;
Why am I so deep
In mountains of gloomy thought?

Kenshō.
961

Right.
君にわれ深く心を筑波山しげきなげきにこりはてぬ哉

kimi ni ware
fukaku kokoro o
tsukubayama
shigeki nageki ni
korihatenu kana
You for me
Had deep thoughts once –
All gone now, yet on Tsukuba Mountain
My ever verdant grief
Remains unfelled…

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office.
962

The Right state: we are not familiar with the expression ‘mountains of gloomy thought’ (mono’omoi no yama) used in the Left’s poem. The Left state: the Right’s poem has nothing significant to say.

In judgement: both poems use the wordplay of ‘ever verdant grief’ (shigeki nageki) and a ‘heart unfelled’ (korinu kokoro); they have no particular merits or faults. The round ties.