Tag Archives: Ietaka

Love X: 30

Left
年深き入江の秋の月見ても別惜しまぬ人やかなしき

toshi fukaki
irie no aki no
tsuki mitemo
wakare oshimanu
hito ya kanashiki
Late on in the year
Above the bay one evening,
Glimpsing the moon:
That he cares not at their parting –
Is that a source of sadness?

A Servant Girl
1199

Right (Win)
ともすれば別を知らぬ浪の上にかきなす音をも人は問けり

tomo sureba
wakare o shiranu
nami no ue ni
kakinasu ne o mo
hito wa toikeri
As ever,
In ignorance of our parting,
Upon the waves
The strains I pluck
Bring folk to ask me why…

Ietaka
1200

Both Gentlemen state: the poems are based on ‘The Song of the Lute’ and have no faults to mention.

In judgement: both the Left and the Right are based on ‘The Song of the Lute’ and the Left, beginning with ‘late on in the year’ (toshi fukaki) is pleasant, but ‘that he cares not at their parting’ (wakare oshimanu) and what follows seems rather insufficient, in addition to simply seeming to recall Xunyang River and lack a conception of the poet’s own love. The Right has ‘in ignorance of our parting’ (wakare o shiranu), while ‘bring folk to ask me why’ (hito wa toikeri) also has a slight conception that the lady has not asked why either. Thus, the Right should win.

Love X: 24

Left (Win)
山深み歎きこる男のをのれのみ苦しくまどふ恋の道かな

yama fukami
nageki koru o no
onore nomi
kurushiku madou
koi no michi kana
Deep within the mountains
Felling trees, a woodsman’s
Axe, my grief
Leaves me in pained confusion
On the paths of love…

Lord Sada’ie
1187

Right
山人の帰る家路を思ふにも逢はぬ歎きぞ休むまもなき

yamabito no
kaeru ieji o
omou ni mo
awanu nageki zo
yasumu ma mo naki
A mountain man,
Homeward bound,
Is in my thoughts, but
Unable to meet with you grief
Gives me no respite.

Ietaka
1188

Left and Right together state: no faults to mention.

In judgement: the Left has a profound conception of love. The Right’s ‘homeward bound’ (kaeru ieji) and ‘unable to meet with you grief’ (awanu nageki) are extremely difficult to grasp, I think. The Left should win.

Love X: 15

Left
藻塩やく海人のまくかたならねども恋のそめきもいとなかりけり

moshio yaku
ama no makuka
tanaranedomo
koi no someki mo
ito nakarikeri
Burning seaweed for salt,
Scattering on the shore are the fisher-girls;
Not just so, but
From the tumult of love
Is there little respite.

Kenshō
1169

Right (Win)
思ひにはたぐひなるべき伊勢の海人も人を恨みぬ袖ぞ濡れける

omoi ni wa
taguinarubeki
ise no ama mo
hito o uraminu
sode zo nurekeru
In thoughts of love
Are we the same:
The diver girls at Ise,
Gazing at bay, with no sight of you
My sleeves are soaked.

Ietaka
1170

The Right state: there is a theory that ‘scattering on the shore’ (ama no makukata) is actually ‘waiting’ (matekata). How should this phrase be correctly be understood here? In response, the Left: the poem was composed from the standpoint that ‘scattering on the shore’ is correct. The Later Selection texts vary between ku and te, but ‘without surcease’ (itoma nami) is an appropriate expression for burning seaweed for salt. In both the Collection of a Myriad Leaves and the Tales of Ise there is the expression ‘ceaseless salt burning (shio yaku itoma nashi). In addition, there is the Ise Priestess Consort’s poem ‘Scattering on the shore, the fisher-girls rake seaweed’, where te would not be suitable. Izumi Shikibu’s poem:

伊勢の海の海人のあまたのまてかたにおりやとるらん浪の花なみ

ise no umi no
ama no amata no
matekata ni
ori ya toruran
nami no hananami
By the sea at Ise
Crowds of fisher-girls
A’waiting
To be plucked –
A row of blossoms on the waves.

is written with te, but ‘crowds of fisher-girls’ seems to suit the conception of burning seaweed. The Right still find fault: in the Muroyama Lay Priest’s Collection in a Tortoiseshell Mirror, Hideaki’s poem is written with mate. In addition, it evokes a scene of evaporation pools, and is there such an activity as scattering salt on the shore? In response: the salt kilns are on the shore. It is they which are scattered. People from the area have told me as much. In addition, mate could mean looking for razor clams (mategai) in the sand. And the girls would not be completely occupied doing this. In response, the Right: that is not the only possible meaning of mate. When the fisher-girls are busy with their work, and have no respite from it, one uses itoma nami. The Left have no criticisms to make of the Right’s poem.

In judgement: the Left’s poem, with the initial ama no makukata, followed by the final section ‘from the tumult of love is there little respite’ (koi no someki mo ito nakarikeri) fails to sound elegant. There should be no confusion over this issue. Lord Hide’aki’s poem in the Later Selection is plainly ‘a diver-girl does wait without surcease’ (ama no matekata itoma nami). On this matter, long ago when I was in attendance upon His Majesty, Emperor Sutoku, he presented me with the commentaries on problematic poems by a certain personage written as he remembered them, and His Majesty asked, ‘People say there are many errors in this text – is this true?’ to which I replied, ‘When it came to making things, there are errors in even those made by the wisest men of old. What you could call imperfect scholarship.’ In the midst of talking about this and that, I mentioned problems in the Later Selection, and that this matekata poem was written maku; I didn’t provide any commentary, just simply said, ‘This is matekata. The fact that there are texts which erroneously write maku have produced some doubt over this,’ and when people later heard that I had said this, his followers got confused and thought I meant maku was correct. ‘Without surcease’ (itoma nami) is particularly suitable for matekata. ‘Waiting’ (matekata) and ‘burning seaweed for salt’ (moshio yaku) are both things which fisher-girls do endlessly – there is no difference between them. Both the Collection of a Myriad Leaves and the Tales of Ise say ‘fisher-girls without surcease’ (ama no itoma nashi). Nowhere does it say ‘scattering’ (makukata). In addition, the shore where they burn seaweed for salt on the beach (hama ni shio yaku kata) bears no resemblance to scattering salt (shio o maku). Moreover, as for the Ise Virgin Consort’s poem, there are many texts which have mate, and any versions of both this anthology and of the Later Selection, too, which have maku are erroneous. There is also a poem in reply to the Consort’s poem ‘Scattered on the shore, / Raking, the fisher-girls gather / Sea-salt weed: / Where does the smoke / Rise to, I ask, my love?’ There are many who argue that this should be maku, but it simply means that the fisher-girls are busy. Matekata and itomanaki koto mean the same thing. In conclusion, we must have regard to the Later Selection poem. Hide’aki has left only a few poems, but was surrounded by poets of peerless talent. Whichever way one looks at it, he was not one to produce an erroneous poem. The Right’s poem has nothing special about it, but as the Left uses ‘from the tumult of love is there little respite’ which sounds old-fashioned and unpleasant, and there is no evidence that makukata is correct, the Right wins.

Love X: 3

Left
うき舟に一夜ばかりの契だになどありがたき我身なるらむ

ukifune ni
hitoyo bakari no
chigiri dani
nado arigataki
wa ga mi naruramu
In a drifting boat
A single night’s
Brief bond – even that:
Why so rarely
Do I get it?

Lord Suetsune
1145

Right (Win)
誰となきうき寢を忍ぶ海人の子も思へば淺き恨み也けり

tare to naki
ukine o shinobu
ama no ko mo
omoeba asaki
urami narikeri
Knowing not with whom
She’ll briefly sleep, and regret
Is my diving girl:
But considering, little
Will it trouble her!

Ietaka
1146

The Right state: ‘drifting boat’ (ukifune) fails to link properly with ‘single night’ (hitoyo). The Left state: although ‘diving girl’ (ama no ko) is used in the source poem in the section on pleasure girls in the Collection of Poems to Sing, we wonder about the appropriateness of simply using it to mean pleasure girl.

In judgement: there is no need to critique whether or not ‘drifting boat’ links with ‘single night’. In the final section ‘why so rarely’ (nado arigataki), though, makes me wonder why this should be the case! On the matter of the Right’s use of ‘diving girl’, our predecessors, including Lord Kintō, have provided poems on pleasure girls in the Collection of Poems to Sing, and who, indeed, would not utilize this? Furthermore, ‘knowing not with whom she’ll briefly sleep, and regret’ (tare to naki ukine o shinobu) certainly sounds like a pleasure girl! Thus, the Right must win over a pleasure girl finding it hard to get custom.

Love IX: 28

Left
君とわが寝しさむしろの塵なれば形見がてらにうちも払はず

kimi to wa ga
neshi samushiro no
chiri nareba
katami ga tera ni
uchi mo harawazu
My love and I
Did sleep upon these blankets, so
Even the dust there
Is a memento –
I cannot brush it away!

Lord Suetsune
1135

Right (Win)
ひとり寝の床のさ筵朽ちにけり涙は袖をかぎるのみかは

hitorine no
toko no samushiro
kuchinikeri
namida wa sode o
kagiru nomi ka wa
Sleeping solo on
My bed’s blankets,
They have rotted away;
Tears on more than sleeves
Have that effect…

Ietaka
1136

The Right state: ‘did sleep’ (neshi) is particularly unimpressive. The Left state: ‘more than sleeves’ (sode o kagiru) is, perhaps, over-definite.

In judgement: in the Left’s poem, despite ‘did sleep upon these blankets’ (neshi samushiro) referring to something which definitely exists, it still sounds as if there is not much poetic expression in the poem. ‘Is a memento’ (katami ga tera) fails to resemble ‘for blossom viewing’ (hanami ga tera). As for the Right’s poem, I certainly would not say that ‘tears on more than sleeves have that effect’ (namida wa sode o kagiru nomi ka wa) is over-definite. It is somewhat difficult to make out on hearing, but the configuration is poetic, indeed, so the Right should win, it seems.

Love IX: 15

Left (Win)
思あまり絵にかきとめてなぐさむる妹が上にも涙落ちけり

omoi amari
e ni kakitomete
nagusamuru
imo ta ue ni mo
namida ochikeri
Too much in love
I paint a picture for
Consolation, but
Upon my darling
Tears fall…

Lord Kanemune
1109

Right
かきとめて変らぬ色もをみなへしあはれと見れば露ぞこぼるる

kakitomete
kawaranu iro mo
ominaeshi
aware to mireba
tsuyu zo koboruru
Painted in
Changeless hues is my love –
A maidenflower
I glimpse in sorrow,
Drenched with dew…

Ietaka
1110

The Right state: the Left’s poem certainly has no faults. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no conception of Love.

In judgement: both Gentlemen’s pictures are ‘painted’ (kakitomete), with the Left then using ‘upon my darling’ (imo ga ue ni mo), which certainly has a conception of love. The Right simply draws a picture of a maidenflower and drenches it with dew, so it does not seem as if he is being moved by the sight of a person. Thus, again, the Left seems the superior poem.

Love IX: 11

Left (Tie)
君ゆへもかなしき琴の音は立てつ子を思ふ鶴に通ふのみかは

kimi yue mo
kanashiki koto no
ne wa tatetsu
ko o omou tsuru ni
kayou nomi ka wa
For you
In sadness has my zither
Put forth strains, so
Can a crane calling for her chick
Be the only one to cry?

A Servant Girl
1101

Right
よそになる人だにつらき琴の音に子を思ふ鶴も心知られて

yoso ni naru
hito dani tsuraki
koto no ne ni
ko o omou tsuru mo
kokoro shirarete
Strangers to me –
Even they the pain
Within my zither’s strains,
As a crane calling for her chick,
Feel in their hearts!

Ietaka
1102

Left and Right together: no faults to mention.

In judgement: both Left and Right mention ‘a crane calling for her chick’ (ko o omou tsuru). This would appear to be after the conception of the pentachord in Bai’s Works: ‘The third and fourth strings are chill, and at night a crane, loving her chick, calls from her cage.’ This is not the usual zither with seven strings, but it is certainly also a kind of zither. In the topic ‘On Zithers’ there is certainly no issue with alluding to Japanese zithers or Chinese ones, is there? In any case, neither poem seems greatly inferior or superior, so the round ties.

Ietaka-kyō hyakuban jika’awase 2

Left
けふも猶雪はふりつつ春霞たてるやいづこ若菜つみてむ

kyō mo nao
yuki wa furitsutsu
harugasumi
tateru ya izuko
wakana tsumitemu
Still yet, today
Is the snow falling;
O, spring haze
Where do you arise?
For I would go and pluck fresh herbs!

3
In no hyakushu, shodo, Eighth Month Shōji 2 [September 1200]

Right
朝氷たがため分て此川のむかへの野べに若菜つむらん

asagōri
ta ga tame wakete
kono kawa no
mukae no nobe ni
wakana tsumuran
This film of morning ice:
For who’s sake do I break it?
On this river’s
Yonder side within the fields
Would I pluck fresh herbs…

4
Naidaijinke hyakushu, Ninth Month Kenpō 3 [October 1215]

Ietaka-kyō hyakuban jika’awase 1

Left. Spring
あら玉の年もかはらぬふるさとの雪のうちにも春はきにけり

aratama no
toshi mo kawaranu
furusato no
yuki no uchi ni mo
haru wa kinikeri
To the fresh jeweled
Year the change has yet to come, yet
Around my familiar home
Even within the snows
The spring is here!

1
Ninnaji gojūshu, Kenkyū 1 [1190]

Right
冬ながら花ちる空のかすめるは雲のこなたに春やきつらむ

fuyu nagara
hana chiru sora no
kasumeru wa
kumo no konata ni
haru ya kitsuramu
It’s winter now, yet
Are the blossom-scattering skies
Hazed
Beneath the clouds by
The arrival of spring, perhaps?

2

Love IX: 1

Left
独寝を今は何にかになぐさめん隣の笛も吹やみぬなり

hitorine o
ima wa nani ni ka
nagusamen
tonari no fue mo
fukiyaminu nari
Sleeping solo,
Now, how can I
Console myself?
For the flute next door
Has ceased to play…

Kenshō
1081

Right (Win)
よなよなは枕になれし笛竹のいかなる床にふしかはるらん

yonayona wa
makura ni nareshi
fuetake no
ikanaru toko ni
fushi kawaruran
Night after night
By my pillow used to be
A flute, but
What bed is it that
He has gone to lie in now?

Ietaka
1082

The Right state: the Left’s poem is mundane. The Left state: what does it mean that a flute is used to lying by a pillow?

In judgement: the Left’s poem has ‘for the flute next door has ceased to play’ (tonari no fue mo fukiyaminu nari), but I wonder if this should not be ‘for the flute next door will cease to play’ (tonari no fue mo fukiyamu). In the rhapsody which Xiang Xu wrote on thinking of times long gone, he says this about a neighbour playing an old flute, ‘Next door, there is a man who plays the flute. The sound emerges, echoing clear,’ without any suggestion that he has stopped playing, so I wonder how appropriate it is in this poem to say that the playing has stopped. The diction of the Right’s poem, ‘by my pillow use to be’ (makura ni nareshi) seems fine. Thus, the Right wins.