Tag Archives: Kara

KKS XII: 571

A poem from the Poetry Contest held by the Empress Dowager during the Reign of the Kanpyō Emperor.


koFisiki ni
wabite tamasiFi
munasiki kara no
na ni ya nokoramu
If, for love of you and
Suffering, my soul
Should wander in confusion,
As an empty husk—
Would that be my reputation?


MYS XIX: 4153

Composed on the Third Day at a banquet at the estate of Yakamochi, Lord Ōtomo.


karabito mo
pune wo ukabete
asobu topu
kepu so wa ga seko
pana kadurasena
The folk of Cathay, too,
Drift in their boats
At play, ‘tis said,
Upon this day, my love,
Won’t you wear, this garland, in your hair?

Ōtomo no Yakamochi

Autumn II: 20

Left (Win).


susono no io no
sode yori shigi no
tatsu kokochisuru
Clothed in Cathay robes
In a hut at Susono
My traveller’s pillow –
My sleeve – from which the snipe
I feel are starting.

Lord Sada’ie.




tabi makura
yowa no aware mo
shigi tatsu nobe no
akatsuki no sora
Clad in traveller’s garb
All night long in lonely reverie
As beating wings time and again
Snipe start from the fields
Into the dawning sky.



The Right query whether it is possible to draw an association between ‘Cathay robes’ and snipe? The Left wonder about the usage of’lonely reverie as beating wings’.

Shunzei’s judgement: The criticisms from both teams are ones I have encountered before. As the poet has used ‘My sleeve – from which the snipe’ (sode yori shigi), and ‘a hut at Susono’ (susono no io), it requires the use of ‘Cathay robes’ (kara koromo) – there is no more to it than that. As for the Right, saying ‘Snipe start from the fields’ (shigi tatsu nobe) and ‘All night long in lonely reverie as beating wings time and again’ (yowa no aware mo momohagaki) – there is no fault to be found here, either. However, saying ‘My sleeve – from which the snipe’ is better. It must win.

Spring III: 13

Left (Tie).


sakazuki no
nagare ni tsukete
karahito no
fune norisu naru
kyō o shi zo omou
As the wine cups
Cathay folk,
Boarding boats
This day, comes to my mind.



Right (Tie).


yuku mizu ni
ukaburu hana no
sakazuki ya
nagarete no yo no
tameshi naruran
Upon the flowing waters
Floating flowers of
Wine cups!
In times gone by,
Was there ever such a thing?

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.


Both Left and Right say they have no criticisms to make this round.

Shunzei says, ‘The Left’s poem recalls an ancient Chinese festival, while the Right’s mentions one from our own Court. In terms style and form, neither poem has any particular problems. The round must tie.’

SKS I: 1

During the reign of Retired Emperor Horikawa, when he offered a hundred poem sequence, he composed this in the conception of the beginning of Spring.


koFori wisi
siga no karasaki
sazanami yosuru
Faru kaze zo Fuku
Once ice-locked,
Around Kara Cape in Shiga
There is a melting and
The wavelets lap
With the blowing breeze of Spring.

Minister of the Treasury [Ōe no] Masafusa