Tag Archives: iriai

Love IV: 20

Left (Win).

tamahoko no
michi yukibito mo
kokoro arite
kon to tanomeyo
kono yūke ni wa
Jewelled spear straight
The road for this traveller:
If he longs for me,
Let it say, ‘Come with me!’,
This evening’s fortune!

Lord Kanemune.


au koto o
tanomuru kure to
iriai no kane mo
‘We will meet,
On that you can rely, at dusk,’
He made me think, so
The sunset bell, too,
Does seem full of joy!

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.

The Right state: evening fortune-telling and crossroad divination are different things. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults.

In judgement: both evening fortune-telling and crossroad divination are conducted in the evening, and with either one could wish ‘Let it say, “Come with me!”’ (kon to tanomeyo), so this does not seem to be a mistake does it? The Right has the fault of having both ‘We will meet’ (au koto o) and ‘sunset bell, too’ (iriai no kane mo). The Left should win.

Love II: 13



iriai no
oto ni tsukete mo
neyo to no kane ni
For the sunset bell’s
Have I waited, and
Thought to go to sleep, but a further chime
Leaves me distraught.



Right (Win).


yoi no kane o
kikisugusu dani
kurushiki ni
tori no ne o naku
sode no ue kana
The night’s bells
I hear, in passing, but
More painful is
The birdsong falling
Upon my sleeves…



The Gentlemen of the Right state: in the Left’s poem the use of ‘have I waited’ (matareshi) gives the impression that the wait has been very long, indeed! In addition, ‘thought to go to sleep, but a further chime’ (neyo to no kane) is unsatisfactory. ‘Sunset bell’ (iriai no oto) and ‘sleep, but a further chime’ (neyo to no kane) – both these expressions have the same meaning. The Gentlemen of the Left state: in the Right’s poem ‘painful’ (kurushiki ni) sounds weak.

Shunzei’s judgement: the statement by the Gentlemen of the Right concerning ‘sunset bell’ and ‘sleep, but a further chime’ is correct. As for the faults of the Right’s poem, using painful or ‘sorrowful’ (wabishi) forcefully certainly does not sound weak. Having said, ‘I hear, in passing, but’ (kikisugusu dani) makes it more painful. The final line sounds charming. Thus, the Right wins.