Tag Archives: Jien

Love X: 26

Left (Win)
恋しさに逢ことかへむ市もがなつれなき人の心をも見ん

koishisa ni
au koto kaemu
ichi mo gana
tsurenaki hito no
kokoro o mo min
With love to
Meet and trade –
If only there were such a market!
Then that cruel one’s
Heart I might find there!

Lord Kanemune
1191

Right
商人の舟の昔を思ふにも恨みは深き涙なりけり

akibito no
fune no mukashi o
omou ni mo
urami wa fukaki
namida narikeri
On a merchant’s
Boat, in thoughts
Of long ago,
My despair is deep
As my tears.

Nobusada
1192

The Right state: while the Left’s poem refers to a market, it has no merchant. The Left state: ‘a merchant’s boat’ (akibito no fune) is punted, and the lute is plucked.

In judgement: in regard to the Left’s poem, the Gentlemen of the Right’s criticism is that ‘it refers to a market but has no merchant’. ‘With love to meet and trade’ (koishisa ni au koto kaemu) – that suggests a merchant. There is no cause to look elsewhere for an entirely different one! With regard to the Right’s poem, the Left have their own criticism that ‘a merchant’s boat is punted, and a lute is plucked.’ This is, indeed, a most amusing form of words, but I wonder if such levity is appropriate. This poem sounds as if a merchant’s customer is on board his boat, thinking of the past, and listening to the merchant’s wife play the lute. However, while the playing of the lute long ago is evoked, the conception of today’s love lacks clarity. The Left’s poem should win.

Love X: 21

Left
朝夕にみ山に通ふ賤だにも歎きはこらぬ物とこそ聞け

asa yū ni
miyama ni kayou
shizu dani mo
nageki wa koranu
mono to koso kike
Morning and evening,
Travelling to the mountain deeps and back,
Even the woodsmen
Will not fell the tree of grief,
Or so I hear…

Lord Kanemune
1181

Right (Win)
賤の男よ思ひはわれもこりぬべしをのが苦しき妻木ならねど

shizu no o yo
omoi wa ware mo
korinubeshi
ono ga kurushiki
tsumaki naranedo
O, woodsman!
I, too, in fires of passion
Must burn on;
My longing for my love, your axe
To kindling will not hew, and yet…

Nobusada
1182

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to indicate. The Left state: the Right’s poem sounds like it is chopping kindling that the woodsman will do no more.

In judgement: ‘Travelling to the mountain deeps and back, the woodsmen’ (miyama ni kayou shizu) should ‘fell the tree of grief’ (nageki o koru), but in the poem they ‘do not fell’ (koranu) it – I wonder how appropriate this is. This conception seems to be one not relating to grief, but simply to tree-felling. ‘I, too, in fires of passion must burn on’ (omoi wa ware mo korinubeshi) seems somewhat difficult to interpret, but I must say that the configuration of the final section is superb.

Love X: 17

Left (Tie)
よそにやは釣する志賀の海人を見ん枕の下を知らせだにせば

yoso ni ya wa
tsuri suru shiga no
ama o min
makura no shita o
shirase dani seba
Unconnected with
Fishing diver-girls
At Shiga would I seem?
When what lies beneath my pillow
Is revealed…

Lord Ari’ie
1173

Right
潮たるる袖にあはれの深きより心に浮ぶ海人の釣舟

shio taruru
sode ni aware no
fukaki yori
kokoro ni ukabu
ama no tsuribune
Tide-spattered
Sleeves: my sorrow is
So deep that
Floating upon my heart is
A diver-girl’s fishing boat!

Nobusada
1174

Left and Right together state: no faults.

In judgement: the poem of the Left has ‘unconnected with fishing diver-girls at Shiga would I seem?’ (yoso ni ya wa tsuri suru shiga no ama o min) and the poem of the Right has ‘floating upon my heart is a diver-girl’s fishing boat!’ (kokoro ni ukabu ama no tsuribune): both have profound conception and their diction sounds pleasant, so it is difficult to divide them into superior and inferior works. Thus, I make this a tie.

Love X: 8

Left
心ゆく野路の旅寝の友なくはいとど都や恋しからまし

kokoro yuku
noji no tabine no
tomo naku wa
itodo miyako ya
koishikaramashi
To ease my heart
While sleeping on my travels ‘tween the fields
I have no friend at all, so
How much more the capital
Does seem dear to me now!

Lord Kanemune
1155

Right (Win)
立ち宿る一夜ばかりの契だにさてながらふる人もある世を

tachiyadoru
hitoyo bakari no
chigiri dani
sate nagarauru
hito mo aru yo o
Lodging on one’s travels,
For just a single night,
A love
That lasts with
A lady does happen sometimes, yet…

Nobusada
1156

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no entertainers, or conception of love, either. The Left state: the Right’s poem lacks entertainers.

In judgement: it seems that the Gentlemen of both teams have already stated that both poems lack the conception of Love. However, they seem to me to both capture the conception of entertainers. The Right’s configuration and conception are fine. It should win, I think.

Love X: 4

Left (Tie)
舟のうちにさしも浮きたる契までうらやむ程のえにこそ有けれ

fune no uchi ni
sashimo ukitaru
chigiri made
urayamu hodo no
e ni koso arikere
Within a boat
Such a brief
Bond is formed; yet
Do I envy it,
I really do!

Lord Ari’ie
1147

Right
その人と分きて待つらん妻よりもあはれは深き浪の上哉

sono hito to
wakite matsuran
tsuma yori mo
aware wa fukaki
nami no ue kana
There is her, and
My waiting
Wife:
Far fonder am I
Upon the waves!

Nobusada
1148

Left and Right state: neither has any fault.

In judgement: the configuration and diction of both poems sounds pleasant. I must make this a tie.

Love IX: 27

Left (Tie)
憂き身ゆへよがるる床のさむしろはしき忍び忍びてもかひやなからむ

ukimi yue
yogaruru toko no
samushiro wa
shikishinobitemo
kai ya nakaramu
My cruelty was it that
Kept him from my bed these many nights;
My blanket:
Should I spread it and think of him alone,
Would that have no effect at all?

Lord Kanemune
1133

Right
恋わびぬむなしき床のさむしろに幾夜いくたび寝覚しつらん

koiwabinu
munashiki toko no
samushiro ni
ikuyo ikutabi
nezameshitsuran
Sick am I of love –
In an empty bed’s
Blankets
How many nights, how many times,
Must I awake?

Nobusada
1134

Both Left and Right together state: we find no faults to mention.

In judgement: both of the ‘blankets’ (samushiro) of the Left and Right here seem elegant. The configuration of the Left’s ‘my cruelty was it that kept him from my bed these many nights; my blanket’ (ukimi yue yogaruru toko no samushiro) and the conception of the Right’s ‘sick am I of love – in an empty bed’s’ (koiwabinu munashiki toko no) are such that I find both difficult to put down. I must make the round a tie.

Love IX: 20

Left (Win)
夢絶えて返すかひなきさ夜衣うらみばかりを重ねつるかな

yume taete
kaesu kainaki
sayogoromo
urami bakari o
kasaneteuru kana
My dreams have ceased, and
Pointless, it is to reverse
My night robe –
Resentment is all the
Lies upon me…

Lord Ari’ie
1119

Right
寝る人の夢は幾度覚めぬらん返すかひなきさ夜衣かな

neru hito no
yume wa ikutabi
samenuran
kaesu kainaki
sayogoromo kana
That sleeper has from
Dreams, how many times
Awakened?
Pointlessly reversed is
My night robe!

Nobusada
1120

Both Gentlemen state there are no faults to mention.

In judgement: both Left and Right use a ‘pointlessly reversed night robe’ (kaesu kainaki sayogoromo), but I wonder about the impression of the Right’s ‘sleeper’ (neru hito no). The Left, from the initial ‘my dreams have ceased’ (yume taete) to the concluding section sounds fine. Thus, I must make the Left the winner.

Love IX: 18

Left
いとはれて胸やすからぬ思をば人の上にぞ書きうつしつる

itowarete
mune yasukaranu
omoi o ba
hito no ue ni zo
kakiutsushitsuru
Being despised
And my unquiet heart
Filled with feelings
Upon her
I paint them out!

Kenshō
1115

Right (Win)
いかにせん絵にかく妹にあらねどもまこと少き人心かな

ika ni sen
e ni kaku imo ni
aranedomo
makoto sukunaki
hitogokoro kana
What am I to do?
A lady painted in a picture
She is not, yet
How lacking are
Her feelings!

Nobusada
1116

The Right state: what is the Left’s poem about? In appeal: it reflects Changkang, who, feeling a woman living next door was beautiful, painted her and was then able to meet her. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to mention.

In judgement: I, too, was unsure of the meaning of ‘my unquiet heart filled with feelings upon her’ (mune yasukaranu omoi woba hito no ue ni zo), and after reading the Left’s response, I am still unclear. In general, in these cases it is customary to cite the source of such things, and to hear of such wide reading is interesting indeed, but this is simply, ‘it reflects Changkang, who, feeling a woman living next door was beautiful, painted her and was then able to meet her’, so it would be difficult to locate within the usual Three Histories; furthermore, I have no recollection of a person named in this Chinese manner, and so an ignorant old man like myself can only ask, who is this Nagayasu? More importantly, though, I do not feel the conception of this poem is particularly well-matched to the topic. The Right’s ‘a lady painted in a picture’ (e ni kaku imo) is a little over-explicit, but ‘how lacking are’ (makoto sukunaki) would seem to be in the style of the Kazan Archbishop, and as I feel this is easier to understand than Nagayasu, I make the Right the winner.

Love IX: 12

Left (Win)
住みなれし人はこずゑに絶えはてて琴の音にのみ通ふ松風

suminareshi
hito wa kozue ni
taehatete
koto no ne ni nomi
kayou matsukaze
Accustomed to his being here,
Now, he comes not and from the treetops
All that endures
Are my zither’s strains,
Blending with the pines.

Lord Ari’ie
1103

Right
聞かじただつれなき人の琴の音にいとはず通ふ松の風をば

kikaji tada
tsurenaki hito no
koto no ne ni
itowazu kayou
matsu no kaze o ba
I will listen no more!
To that cruel man’s
Zither strains
Heedlessly blending
With the wind from off the pines…

Nobusada
1104

The Right state: it sounds as if the man is enduring on the treetops. The Left state: ‘I will listen no more!’ (kikaji tada) is extremely coarse.

In judgement: while it may sound as if the man is enduring on the treetops in the Left’s poem, this is no more than a standard use of metaphorical expression, and the configuration of ‘accustomed to his being here, now, he comes not and from the treetops’ (suminareshi hito wa kozue ni) sounds fine, with the latter part of the poem also being elegant. The initial line of the Right’s poem has a conception of closing up the ears to block one’s auditory sense, which seems excessive. Clearly, the Left’s ‘my zither’s strains’ (koto no ne ni nomi) must win.

Love IX: 2

Left (Tie)
よそにのみ隣の笛を聞き来しに我身の上に音こそ絶えせね

yoso ni nomi
tonari no fue o
kikikoshi ni
wa ga mi no ue ni
ne koso taesene
Simply a stranger to me is
The flute from next door
Drifting to my ear, but
Upon me fall
Nothing but endless cries.

Lord Ari’ie
1083

Right
夜もすがらよそに聞きつる笛の音の片敷く袖に移りぬる哉

yomosugara
yoso ni kikitsuru
fue no ne no
katashiku sode ni
utsurinuru kana
All through the night
I heard a strange
Flute’s strains;
On a single spread sleeve
Have they come to rest…

Nobusada
1084

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to mention. The Left state: we wonder about the appropriateness of the sound of a flute coming to rest on sleeves?

In judgement: both poems are about the ‘sounds of a flute’, with the Left having them ‘upon me fall’ (wa ga mi no ue ni) endlessly, and the Right resting ‘on a single spread sleeve’ (katashiku sode ni). Neither has a conception of love which is greater or lesser than the other. I must make this round a tie.