Tag Archives: kawa

Fubokushō XXIV: 11156

From a poetry contest at Sadafun’s house.

みねはもえふもとはこほるふじ川のわれもうき世を住みぞわづらふ

mine Fa moe
Fumoto Fa koForu
FuzigaFa no
ware mo ukiyo wo
sumi zo waduraFu
At the peak it burns and
At the foot does freeze:
The Fuji River, just as
I, too, in this cruel world
Live and suffer.

Fukayabu

This is the sole surviving poem from ‘Sadafumi’s Poetry Contest‘.

Love IX: 19

Left
戀衣いつか干るべき河社しるしも浪にいとゞしほれて

koigoromo
itsuka hirubeki
kawa yashiro
shirushi mo nami ni
itodo shiorete
My clothes of love,
When might they dry?
A river shrine
Has had no effect – the waves
Dampen them all the more…

Kenshō
1117

Right (Win)
いかで猶夜半の衣を返しても重ねしほどの夢をだに見ん

ikade nao
yowa no koromo o
kaeshitemo
kasaneshi hodo no
yume o dani min
What to do? Again
My night time garb
Inside out I turn –
As many layers
As dreams, if only I would see…

Takanobu
1118

The Right state: there are a number of different theories about the source poem ‘stems of bamboo wave freely the clothes I’d dry’ (shino ni orihae hosu koromo), so how should the allusion here be correctly understood? In response: this refers to a summer performance of sacred music and dance. In this, sprigs of sakaki are placed in clear water, and bamboo stems are hung from the shelf as offerings. This is the river shrine (kawa yashiro). It appears in the records about sacred music in summer. Standard sacred music is performed to pray to the gods. Thus, if one is made to bear the weight of something one has not done, the feeling is close to the conception of damp clothes, is it not? And this is associated with the clothes of lovers that will not dry. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to mention.

In judgement:  the Left’s poem seems to be more about a ‘river shrine’ than ‘lovers’ clothing’ (koigoromo). While it is not entirely clear, the Left and Right’s criticism and response, are certainly unusual. There are two poems which are possible as sources for this, both of which appear in Tsurayuki’s Collection. These are: ‘At a river shrine / Stems of bamboo wave freely / The clothes I’d dry / How should I do so? / Seven days still damp…’  and:

行く水のうへにいはへる河社河浪高くあそぶなるかな

yuku mizu no
ue ni iwaeru
kawa yashiro
kawa nami takaku
asobunaru kana
The waters run, and
Above them in celebration is
A river shrine;
The river’s waves rise high,
Taking pleasure in their play!

This latter is a poem from a folding screen with pictures of each of the moons of the year, painted in the Tenryaku Era. Moreover, in a work by Lord Toshiyori, he says, ‘There is no one today who knows what a “river shrine” is. All we can do now is guess. So people say that it was a shrine on top of the water, where sacred music was performed in summer. The latter poem certainly does not seem to have this meaning. The former makes no mention of sacred music, and simply talks of clothing one has wanted to dry for a long time not drying.’ In addition, I have questioned a member of a household familiar with sacred music about this matter, and been told, ‘Where summer sacred music is concerned, there is a particular way of it. It is definitely absent from the records.’ Furthermore, Toshiyori played the double-reed flute. He would clearly have known all about sacred music, and around this time wrote, ‘first of all, there is no one who knows of this,’ and yet the Left’s response simply states, ‘it appears in the records about sacred music.’ This is something which requires greater proof. If the gentleman of the Left is able to provide some now, this would be a fine thing for the Way of Music! These, in brief, are my thoughts on this matter and, of course, the Left’s response.

First, it is a mistake to say that the river shrine is necessarily connected with summer sacred music. Summer sacred music is just what it sounds like: in summer, sacred music is performed, but not in any fixed way. However, here summer sacred music is done before a river shrine. Kawa yashiro shino ni is an old term for widely or ordinarily. It appears to have been used this way in the Collection of a Myriad Leaves. Orihaete has the same meaning. In the phrase ‘drying a robe / seven days undrying’ (hosu koromo / nanoka hizu) seven, or eight, days is simply a poetic convention for conveying that something was not dry after a long time. The ‘robe’ is not really a piece of clothing, but something which resembles it, and which is not dry. Ise said of the so-called Ryūmon Waterfall, ‘So why should the mountain’s princess rinse her cloth’ (nani yama hime no nuno sarasuramu) and also there are expressions such as ‘Nunohiki Falls’. Thus we have the Left’s argument for the summer sacred music platform, and then Lord Toshiyori’s writings; further, on the term shino ‘bamboo hung from the shelf as an offering to the gods’ and ‘clothing has the conception of damp clothing’. This is a remarkable way of interpreting the poem, indeed! The only way to settle the matter would be with the presentation of definite proof. So, this is certainly something which His Grace should request for review. In short, the Left’s poem, beginning with the idea that lovers’ clothing is to pray at a river shrine, and then saying ‘it has no effect’ (shirushi mo nami ni) seems like everlasting bitterness. The Right’s poem says ‘my night time garb inside out I turn’ (yowa no koromo o kaeshitemo), which is quite ordinary. In the absence of definite proof for the Left’s contentions, the Right must win.

Ietaka-kyō hyakuban jika’awase 2

Left
けふも猶雪はふりつつ春霞たてるやいづこ若菜つみてむ

kyō mo nao
yuki wa furitsutsu
harugasumi
tateru ya izuko
wakana tsumitemu
Still yet, today
Is the snow falling;
O, spring haze
Where do you arise?
For I would go and pluck fresh herbs!

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In no hyakushu, shodo, Eighth Month Shōji 2 [September 1200]

Right
朝氷たがため分て此川のむかへの野べに若菜つむらん

asagōri
ta ga tame wakete
kono kawa no
mukae no nobe ni
wakana tsumuran
This film of morning ice:
For who’s sake do I break it?
On this river’s
Yonder side within the fields
Would I pluck fresh herbs…

4
Naidaijinke hyakushu, Ninth Month Kenpō 3 [October 1215]

Love VIII: 16

Left
玉章のたえだえになるたぐひかな雲井に雁の見えみ見えずみ

tamazusa no
taedae ni naru
tagui kana
kumoi ni kari no
miemi miezumi
His jewelled missives
Have become intermittent
It seems, just like
The geese up in the skies,
Glimpsed, and then not seen at all…

Lord Ari’ie
1051

Right (Win)
思かぬる夜はの袂に風ふけて涙の河に千鳥鳴くなり

omoikanuru
yowa no tamoto ni
kaze fukete
namida no kawa ni
chidori nakunari
Unable to bear my love,
At midnight my sleeve is
Stirred by the wind, and
Upon a river of tears
The plovers are crying…

Nobusada
1052

The Gentlemen of the Right state: we find no faults to mention in the Left’s poem. The Gentlemen of the Left state: we wonder about the reason for emphasising ‘upon a river of tears the plovers’ (namida no kawa ni chidori).

In judgement: the Left on a lover’s letters becoming intermittent, and saying ‘the geese up in the skies, glimpsed, and then not seen at all’ (kumoi ni kari no miemi miezumi) has a charming conception, and elegant diction. The Right, saying ‘at midnight my sleeve is stirred by the wind’ (yowa no tamoto ni kaze fukete) and continuing ‘the plovers are crying’ (chidori nakunari) has a configuration and diction which sounds fine, too. The criticisms of the Gentlemen of the Left are nothing more than ‘a fisherman fishing beneath his pillow’! Although the conception of the Left’s poem is charming, the configuration of the Right’s poem is slightly more notable, so it should win.

MYS XVII: 4003

A poem with two envoys, composed in respectful response to Tachiyama.

朝日さし そがひに見ゆる 神ながら 御名に帯ばせる 白雲の 千重を押し別け 天そそり 高き立山 冬夏と 別くこともなく 白栲に 雪は降り置きて 古ゆ あり来にければ こごしかも 岩の神さび たまきはる 幾代経にけむ 立ちて居て 見れども異し 峰高み 谷を深みと 落ちたぎつ 清き河内に 朝さらず 霧立ちわたり 夕されば 雲居たなびき 雲居なす 心もしのに 立つ霧の 思ひ過ぐさず 行く水の 音もさやけく 万代に 言ひ継ぎゆかむ 川し絶えずは

asapi sasi
sogapi ni miyuru
kamu nagara
mina ni obasesu
sirakumo no
tipe wo osiwake
ama sosori
takaki tatiyama
puyu natu to
waku koto mo naku
sirotape ni
yuki pa puri okite
inisipe yu
arikinikereba
kogosikamo
ipa no kamusabi
tama kiparu
ikuyo penikemu
tatiwite
miredomo ayasi
minedakami
tani wo pukami to
otitagitu
kiyoki ka puti ni
asa sarazu
kiri tati watari
yupu sareba
kumowi tanabiki
kumowi nasu
kokoro mo sino ni
tatu kiri no
omopi sugusazu
yuku midu no
woto mo sayakeku
yoroduyo ni
ipitugi yukamu
kapa si taezu wa
The morning sun shines
At my back,and
Divine
Your great name links:
Clouds of white
In a thousand layers, you pierce, and
Tower into the heavens,
Tall Tachiyama!
In winter and, in summer both
Indistinguishably are you
Clad in mulberry white
Fallen drifts of snow;
Since ancient days
Ever has been your estate,
Fastened round with
Crags divine;
‘til all souls end
Have countless ages passed!
Standing here,
I see you, yet am awed by
Your lofty peak and
Valley’s deep, where
Plunge seething cataracts of
Waters pure to pools where
Morning never leaves –
Mists rise and roll across, and
When the evening comes
Clouds trail in and
Cover all,
Even, with sadness, my heart, so
The rising mists
Never leave my thoughts, and of
Your running waters’
Clear, pure sound
Through ten thousand ages
Will I ever tell
Unending as a river’s flow…

Ōtomo no Ikenushi
大伴池主

Kanpyō no ōntoki kiku awase 10

A chrysanthemum from the barrier at Meeting Hill.
この花は尽きぬらし関川のたえずも見よと折れる菊の枝

kono Fana Fa
tukinurasi
sekikaFa no
taezu mo miyo to
woreru kiku no e
These flowers
Do never seem to end, as
The river past the barrier gate
Endless appears to flow, so too is
A plucked chrysanthemum stem.

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