Tag Archives: iwa

Love VII: 2


wa ga koi ni
fukasa kuraeba
toyama kana
yoshino no oku no
iwa no kakemichi
My love’s
Depth were you to measure,
Distant mountains, perhaps?
As in the heart of Yoshino, where
The craggy paths are overgrown!

Lord Ari’ie.

Right (Win).

fumi mitemo
narenu keshiki no
tsurenasa ya
yoshino no oku no
iwa no kakemichi
She read my letter – I treading on paths unknown –
And cared not – an unfamiliar scene –
Is her cruelty
As in the heart of Yoshino, where
The craggy paths are overgrown?


The Right state: in the Left’s poem, the expression ‘distant mountains, perhaps’ (toyama kana) sounds poor. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to mention.

In judgement: both Left and Right have precisely identical sections: ‘as in the heart of Yoshino’ (yoshino no oku) and ‘craggy paths are overgrown’ (iwa no kakemichi), but considering the initial sections, it has already been stated that the Left’s sounds poor, while the Right lacks faults. Thus, in accordance with the remarks by the Gentlemen of both teams, the Right is the winner.

MYS XV: 3617

[One of] five poems composed when dropping anchor at Nagadojima in Aki province.


taki mo todoro ni
naku semi no
kowe o si kikeba
miyako si omopoyu
Running o’er the rocks
Cataracts resound –
When the singing cicadas
Song I hear
The capital comes to my thoughts.

Ōishi no Minomaro

Love V: 29

Left (Tie).

kisakata ya
sanuru yo no
iso no nezame ni
tsuki katabukinu
In Kisakata and
In love;
I sleep the night away, and
Awaking on the rocky shore
Behold the moon descending.



iwa shiku sode no
nami no ue ni
omou mo wabishi
kimi ga omokage
At Kiyomigata
Sleeves spread atop the rocks,
Waves breaking atop them;
Heart filled with pain
At the memory of your face…


Left and Right both state that the opposing poem is pretentious.

In judgement: the Left’s poem seems well-constructed in its initial and final sections. However, as in Mototoshi’s poem long ago, ‘breaking a stem of miscanthus on the beach at Ise’, this seems to be a case of poetic allusion. The Right’s ‘Sleeves spread atop the rocks, waves breaking atop them’ (iwa shiku sode no nami no ue) seems to have been newly composed and seems elegant, but the final section is somewhat inferior. The Left has beginning and end matching. The Right has a superior initial section, but an inferior final one. Thus, the round ties.


SKS VII: 211

Composed to be presented as part of a hundred poem sequence, when former Emperor Reizei was Crown Prince.


kaze wo itami
iFa utu nami no
onore nomi
kudakete mono wo
omoFu koro kana
The howling winds
Strike waves against the crags;
I alone,
Am shattered, gloom
Filling my thoughts these days…

Minamoto no Shigeyuki



iwama ni tatamu
ikadashi ya
nami ni nuretemo
kure o matsuran
At the river Tonase
Bursting from between the rocks
The raftsman
If he would be wet with waves
Should surely wait for evening?

Fujiwara no Toshinari
From ‘The Hundred Poem Sequence Composed at the House of the Minister of the Right’ (1172)


A travel poem, included in a hundred poem sequence sent to be read by the Monk En’i.


iFane Fumi
mine no siFisiba
kumo ni yadokaru
yuFugure no sora
Treading ‘cross the deep-rooted crags
From brushwood on the peak
I break branches and spread them
Making my lodging beneath the clouds
Gazing at the evening skies…


Spring III: 19

Left (Win).


yamabuki no
hana no sakari ni
narinu to ya
ori shirigao ni
kawazu nakuran
Golden kerria
Blooms their peak
Have reached, so
Seeming to know the season
Do the frogs sing on.

Lord Suetsune.




tanimizu no
iwa moru oto wa
sudaku kawazu no
koe nomi zo suru
Waters in the valley
Soak the rocks – the sound
Swallowed by
Swarming frogs’
Singular songs.



Both teams say that they consider the other’s poem to be ‘trite’ [kyūbutsu] this round.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s poem certainly certainly has a conception [kokoro] which one is well-accustomed to hearing, but I am unable to recall exactly where. In form it is well-constructed [utazama yoroshikuhaberubeshi]. The Right’s initial “Waters in the valley soak the rocks – the sound swallowed” (tanimizu no iwa moru oto wa uzumorete) is excellent [yū], but the latter part is definitely old-fashioned [furite]. Thus, the Left must win.