Tag Archives: Ise

Love X: 16

Left (Win)
さざ浪や志賀津の海士になりにけりみるめはなくて袖のしほるる

sazanami ya
shigatsu no ama ni
narinikeri
mirume wa nakute
sode no shioruru
Rocked by wavelets
A fisherman at Shiga Bay
Have I become!
Glimpsing no seaweed,
How my sleeves are soaked…

Lord Suetsune
1171

Right
伊勢の海の底までかづく海人なれやみるめに人を思ふ心は

ise no umi no
soko made kazuku
ama nare ya
mirume ni hito o
omou kokoro wa
At Ise, to the sea
Bed dive
Fisher-girls: Am I one, too?
A seaweed-tangled glimpse of you
Lodging in my heart…

Jakuren
1172

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to mention. The Left state: neither beginning nor end is sufficiently forcefully expressed.

In judgement: the conception and configuration of the Left’s ‘fisherman at Shiga Bay’ (shigatsu no ama) certainly seem splendid. That is really all there is to say about this poem. To make a deliberate point of seeking out elements which sound difficult is a pointless activity for the Way of Poetry and an individual poet. As for the Right’s poem, diving ‘to the sea bed’ (soko made) is just something that fisher-girls do. The Left must 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 VII: 10

Left (Tie).
雲井まで續きて見ゆわたつ海の行衛知られぬ物思かな

kumoi made
tsuzukite miyu
wata tsu umi no
yukue shirarenu
mono’omoi kana
Beyond the clouds
My gaze goes on and on;
The endless sea:
What lies beyond is unknown
As my gloomy thoughts…

Lord Suetsune.
979

Right.
伊勢の海の潮瀬にさはぐさざれ石の砕けて物を思ふ比かな

ise no umi no
shiose ni sawagu
sazare’ishi no
kudakete mono o
omou koro kana
The sea at Ise:
Raging rapids with the tides,
Where pebbles
Shatter, gloom
Filling my thoughts these days…

Ietaka.
980

The Right state: the Left’s poem is clichéd. The Left state: the Right’s poem is that of Shigeyuki.

In judgement: the Left’s poem is clichéd, but in addition to this uses ‘goes on and on’ (tsuzukite), which is not something one should say. The Right’s poem is, indeed, overly close to Shigeyuki’s, so both Left and Right poem are deficient and lacking in any element allowing a win.

SIS VIII: 445

Written on the rocks by the waterfall at Provisional Middle Councillor Atsutada’s mountain retreat at Nishi-sakamoto.

音羽川せき入れて落す瀧つせに人の心のみえもするかな

otoFagaFa
seki’irete otosu
taki tu se ni
Fito no kokoro no
mie mo suru kana
On Otowa River
A barrier is placed to drop
A cataract in torrents
And, your heart, perhaps,
Reveal!

Ise
伊勢

GSS XIII: 916

Sent to a woman without much sentiment, when he had not visited her for a long time:

伊勢の海のあまのまてかたいとまなみながらへにける身をぞ恨むる

ise no umi no
ama no madekata
itoma nami
nagaraFenikeru
mi wozo uramuru
By the sea at Ise
A diver-girl does work
Without surcease
Endlessly
I hate myself!

Minamoto no Hide’aki

The latest scholarship suggests that the expression should be read madekata (classical Japanese was written without voicing indicators, so there was no orthographic distiction between te and de – both would have been written て) and utilises a Man’yō expression meaning ‘left and right’ referring to the constant side-to-side movement of the ama girls’ hands and shoulders as they worked – hence the translation above – but it is unlikely that the Roppyaku-ban Uta’awase poets would have had this understanding of it. Matekata did not just cause controversy in this competition – it was discussed extensively in many other premodern critical works, none of which came to a definitive conclusion.

Genji monogatari 195

伊勢嶋や潮干の潟にあさりてもいふかひなきはわが身なりけり

isezima ya
siFoFi no kata ni
asaritemo
iFukaFinaki Fa
wagami narikeri
At the Isle of Ise,
Upon the tide-revealed sands
I gather shellfish, yet
To no avail:
That is my sorry lot!

Suma, Genji monogatari
須磨、源氏物語

Sanekata Shū 238

When the Taira Handmaid had not replied to me, I took a letter that she had sent to a lady’s house on some matter of business and, cutting out some words, sent them to her.

伊勢をのや海人と我身はなりぬらん袖のうらなる涙かこへば

ise wono ya
ama to wagami Fa
narinuran
sode no uranaru
namida kakoFeba
An Ise fisher
Man have I
Become?
My undersleeves
Bounded by tears…