Tag Archives: Jakuren

Love V: 17

Left (Win).

kanashiki wa
sakai kotonaru
naka to shite
naki tama made mo
yoso ni ukaren
How sad it is:
Beyond the borders of this life
Should our bond endure
Even your departed soul
So distant, would I trail after…

Lord Sada’ie


wasurezu yo
iku kumoi to wa
sora yuku tsuki no
chigiri bakari wa
I will not forget!
How far beyond the clouds you are
I know not, yet
As the moon across the skies,
Is my simple vow to you…


Left and Right: no faults to mention.

In judgement: although the Left’s poem sounds a little over-familiar, it certainly does have conception. The Right’s poem does sound smooth, but the origin poem has ‘Forget me not’ (wasuru na yo) – and this has ‘I will not forget’ (wasurezu yo) – the origin poem has ‘for distant as the clouds’ (hodo wa kumoi ni) – and this has ‘how far beyond the clouds’ (iku kumoi to wa); and ‘as the moon across the skies’ (sora yuku tsuki no) is identical, so the only part which as been changed is ‘I shall return – ‘til then’ (meguri au made). It is only to be expected that it would sound good, given that it presents much of the same material in the same order. The Left should win.

Love V: 9


kokoro mo shiranu
yosobito wa
mada itokenaki
oto ya kikuran
An understanding
Of my heart is lacking, so
All those strangers
Still like a child
Do speak to me – that must be why!

Lord Kanemune.

Right (Win).

nani to naku
tsutsuitsu no
kage hanareyuku
ne nomi nakarete
Was I used to playing, but
From the pipe-well
Our reflected faces have grown distant, so
I do but weep and sob…


The Right state: the Left’s poem seems a bit too young. The Left state: ‘Simply was I used to playing’ (nani to naku asobinarenuru) seems rather prosaic diction.

In judgement: although the latter part of the Left’s poem and the initial section of the Right’s are both pleasant, the Left’s use of ‘speak’ (oto) feels unnecessary. The latter section of the Right’s poem seems particularly good. It should win.


Love V: 6

Left (Win).

akatsuki ni
aranu wakare mo
ima wa tote
wa ga yo fukureba
sou omoi kana
At dawn
This parting is not;
Now it is
When my life reaches twilight –
I think…

Lord Sada’ie.


okina sabi
mi wa oshikaranu
ima wa to nuren
hito na togame so
Feeling like an ancient,
But I regret it not!
My loving clothes:
Now’s the time to dampen them
But blame me not!


The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to mention. The Left state: we wonder about the appropriateness of ‘now’s the time to dampen them’ (ima wa to nuren).

In judgement: ‘Feeling like an ancient’ (okina sabi) ‘now’s the time to dampen them’ (ima wa to nuren) does not sound like it fits formally with ‘but I regret it not!’ (mi wa oshikaranu). The Left, in addition to sounding like it has no faults, has ‘this parting is not; now it is’ (aranu wakare mo ima wa tote), which certainly sounds right. It is superior.

Love IV: 29


nezame made
nao kurushiki
ashi mo yasumenu
yume no kayoiji
Until I awaken
It is ever painful
Going back and forth
My feet not resting once
Upon the path of dreams.

Lord Ari’ie.


mi o ba omowade
tatsuta yama
kokoro ni kakaru
oki tsu shiranami
I think not on myself, but
On Mount Tatsuta
Dwells my heart
Whipped by whitecaps…


The Gentlemen of the Right: no faults to mention. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right’s poem does not have anything to say beyond what is contained in its origin poem.

In judgement: the Left’s poem takes the conception of Komachi’s poem ‘my feet don’t rest, constantly trailing to you, yet’ (ashi mo yasumezu kayoedomo) and skilfully adds ‘Until I awaken it is ever painful’ (nezame made nao kurushiki). The Right’s poem is based upon the poem ‘where, through night’s depths, my Lord’ (yowa ni ya kimi ga), but then says ‘Dwells my heart whipped by whitecaps’ (kokoro ni kakaru oki tsu shiranami), which sounds pleasant, too. They are comparable and should tie.

Love IV: 22


hitotsu hanarete
tobu tori mo
ne ni yuku kata wa
arikeri to miyu
As the evening comes
As a single, distant,
Flying bird
Going to roost do
I seem to be…



ima wa ware
mataji to omou
kokoro sae
mata kakimidasu
kumo no furumai
Now, I
Will wait no more, I think, and
My very heart
Is thrown into confusion by
The spider spinning…


Both Left and Right state: we find no faults to remark upon.

In judgement: the Left’s ‘flying bird going’ (tobu tori no yuku kata) and the Right’s ‘spider spinning’ (kumo no furumai) are both certainly not uncharming. I make this round a tie.

Love IV: 15


kesa koso arame
ika ni ko wa
hiru ma mo shiranu
sode no keshiki zo
Having come home
This morning, I am certain,
Why is it that
A daytime dry moment is a stranger
To my sleeves?

Lord Kanemune.


kureyuku sora o
matsu hodo mo
tanomu koto to wa
yumeji narikeri
While I
For darkening skies
Do wait,
The only thing in which I can place my trust
Is the path of dreams.


The Right state: we find no particular faults to mention. The Left state: we wonder about the appropriateness of placing one’s trust in dreams during the daytime. Was he having a nap?

In judgement: the conception of the Left’s poem is well developed from beginning to end. The Right’s poem has an elegant configuration, but it is unacceptable to have the speaker napping. However, the Left’s ‘Why is it that’ (ika ni ko wa) is unsatisfactory style. I have to say the poems are equal and tie.

Love IV: 10


asa tode no
imo ga furikosu
kurokami wa
miru yosome sae
kokoro midarenu
In the morning, opening the door
Draped with my love’s
Tresses of black:
The sight any
Heart would excite!



oshimishi sode no
utsuriga o
yoso ni mo ima wa
omoi koso yare
To leave, upon my sleeves
Her scent was left, and
Now, so far away,
It recalls her still…


The Right state: the Left’s poem is pretentious. The Left state: the conception of morning fails to appear in the Right’s poem.

In judgement: Although the Left’s ‘tresses of black’ (kurokami) is used extremely frequently, the configuration of combining it with ‘my love, opening the door in the morning’ (asa tode no imo) whose ‘sight any heart would excite’ (miru yosome sae kokoro midare) is terrifying, is it not? The Right’s ‘upon my sleeves her scent was left’ (sode no utsuriga) does not sound objectionable. Although the conception of morning there is lacking, the Left simply has ‘tresses of black’ the ‘heart would excite’, which does not sound particularly in keeping with Love so, overall, the round should tie.

Love IV: 1

Left (Win).

yo o fukami
shibanaku kake wa
ware gotoku
netemo sametemo
koi ya subenaki
At the close of night
The cock crows from time to time,
Just as I
Both sleeping and waking,
Won’t a thought of love console me?



aimite wa
uki orifushi mo
tori no ne ni
A meeting always
Brings a painful parting, but
The cock’s crow
Brings back memories
Of the one I love…


The Right state: we cannot comprehend a cock feeling thoughts of love when asleep. The Left state: the initial section of the Right’s poem is incomprehensible. The second section is antiquated.

In judgement: the Left’s ‘cock crows from time to time’ (shibanaku kake) and ‘Won’t a thought of love console me?’ (koi ya subenaki) are expressions the style of which I am unable to accept. Moreover, I don’t feel that cocks really have thoughts of love while they are asleep. But, I have wondered, when hearing them crow so vigorously at dawn whether, ‘just as I, both sleeping and waking, they are thinking of love’? The Right’s poem is somewhat naïve in style, and suggests that after having met, and parted from, a lover, subsequently hearing the cock crow brings back mixed feelings of love and sorrow, but the initial impression it gives is that because a meeting has brought about painful feelings, something has happened – but what this is is left unclear. The Left’s poem is certainly not out of keeping with one in this style. Thus, the Left should win.