Tag Archives: kaze

Summer I: 14

Left (Tie).


mukashi yori
kimi to kami to ni
kyō no aoi wa
futaba narikeri
Ever between
My Lord and the God
Has my loyalty been split;
Thus the hollyhocks, today,
Have leaves in pairs…



Right (Tie).


mukashi yori
itsuki no miya ni
kyō wa suzushiki
kamo no kawakaze
Long since upon
The princess of purity
Has it begun to blow;
Today, so cool is
The breeze from Kamo River…



The Right have no particular comments to make about the Left’s poem, but the Left complain that the Right’s, ‘does not seem that clearly connected with the Kamo Festival. Moreover, “princess of purity” (itsuki no miya) properly refers to the Princess at Ise; the Kamo Princess should be “lady of purity” (itsuki no in), should it not?’

Shunzei states, ‘Both Left and Right this round begin with a reference to the past (mukashi yori) and then continue with “my Lord and the God” (kimi to kami ni) and “the priestess of purity has it begun to blow” (itsuki no miya ni fukisomete) respectively; both are charming in form and spirit, but the gentlemen of the Left have criticised the failure to use “lady” (in). In poetry, though, how could we to use this word? Both the priestess at Ise and the priestess at Kamo are Imperial Princesses. Why, therefore, is it problematic to use the expression? Furthermore, Lord Sanekata composed a poem with the line, “Sleeping on my way to the princess of purity” (itsuki no miya no tabine ni wa), and at the Unrin Temple, in the Tale by the old man, Yotsugi, in praise of Princess Senshi it says, “although there were many princesses of purity in the world…”. This round must tie.’

Summer I: 12



natsu kusa no
moto mo harawanu
furusato ni
tsuyu yori ue o
kaze kayounari
The summer grasses
Are yet uncut
At this ancient home of mine;
Over the fallen dewdrops,
The sound of gusting wind…

A Servant Girl.


Right (Win).


natsu kusa no
naka o tsuyukemi
wakuru no wa
wa ga furusato no
kakine narikeri
Within the summer grasses
Dewy depths,
Forging ‘cross the plain and
My ancient home’s
Brushwood fence appears.



The Right team query, ‘How is it that the wind can pass “over the fallen dewdrops” (tsuyu yori ue o)?’ The Left content themselves with saying that the Right’s poem is ‘difficult to grasp’.

Shunzei, though, remarks, ‘The Left’s “over the fallen dewdrops” is a wonderfully charming expression. It is the initial “are yet uncut” (moto mo harawanu) which is extremely difficult to understand. The Right’s configuration and diction seem particularly fine [sugata kotoba yoroshiku koso haberumere], though, so it is, just, the winner.’

Spring III: 20



oikaze ni
sudaku kawazu no
morogoe mo
nami mo yorikuru
ide no kawamizu
Carried on the wind
The swarming frogs’
Chorus, too,
Comes with the waves
To the waters of Idé.

Lord Ari’ie.


Right (Win).


fune sae toyomu
horie no kawazu
koe shikirunari
Rowed too far,
Even the boat echoes,
it does seem;
The Horie frogs
Crying all together.

The Assistant Master of the Empress’ Household Office.


The Right remark that as the Left’s poem contains “carried on the wind” (oikaze ni), it would have been desirable for it to also contain “boat”. The Left content themselves with saying that the reference to “frogs crying” seems “bombastic”.

Shunzei judges, ‘It is as the Right have stated with regard to “carried on the wind.” “Comes with the waves” (nami mo yorikuru) and its associated section, too, sounds impressive, but is really not so. There is logic in the criticism of the Right’s poem for “frogs crying”, but this is how the Horie frogs sound. Thus, the Right should win.’

Spring I: 16

Left (Tie).


haru kaze ni
ike no kôri ya
matarenu nami no
hana o miru kana
In the breath of spring
Will the ice upon the pond
Unanticipated blossom touched
Waves come into view…

Lord Kanemune.


Right (Tie).


uguisu no
namida no tsurara
koe nagara
tayori ni sasoe
haru no yama mizu
The bush warbler’s
Tears of ice,
And song,
Issue an invitation!
To the mountain waters this springtime…



The Right team have no comments to make about the Left’s poem this round, but the Left wonder whether the essence of the poem, of the warbler’s ‘tears of ice’ and song inviting the waters, might not be a bit much?

Shunzei remarks that the form and phrasing of the Left’s poem is ‘certainly charming’, and echoes their criticism of the Right’s poem, as having an ‘impossible essence’. He then goes on to say, ‘The Left is placidly charming; the Right’s essence must be excessive. They are equivalent and I judge this round a tie.’

Spring I: 9

Left (Win).


shigaraki no
toyama wa yuki mo
kienishi o
fuyu o nokosu ya
tani no yūkaze
From Shigaraki’s
Mountains, the snow
Has gone, yet
Does winter remain in
The valleys’ evening breeze?





haru kaze wa
fuku to kikedomo
shiba no ya wa
nao samushiro ni
i koso nerarene
The spring breeze
Blows, I hear, yet
My twig-roofed hut is
Yet chill: beneath a threadbare blanket
I cannot fall asleep.

Lord Tsune’ie


Shunzei states the first part of the Left’s poem is ‘elevated in tone’, but that the final line is problematic: a reference to ‘morning’ might have been better, or just to the ‘valleys’ breeze’, but this would not have fitted the syllable count. If the intention had been to add a sense of ‘darkness’ to the poem, an expression such as ‘the valleys, shadowed by the crags’ would have been better. As for the Right’s poem, the image of the ‘twig-roofed hut’ is lonely, but the overlaying of the ‘cold’ with ‘blanket’ (in the original poem ‘samushiro’ is a play-on-words with both senses) is pedestrian, and so the Left’s poem, despite its faults, is adjudged the winner.

Love 80

Left (Tie).


suma no ama no
sode ni fukikosu
shio kaze no
naru to wa suredo
te ni mo tamarazu
Among the Suma fisher-folks’
Sleeves blows
The brine-filled tidewind:
Well-used to it, yet
My hand can hold it not.


Right (Tie).


yasurai ni
idekeru kata mo
shiratori no
tobayama matsu no

ne ni nomi zo naku
Pained with parting and
Whence you went unknowing,
As a white dove on
Toba Mountains’ pine tree
Roots am I, constantly crying.


Love 52

Left (Win).


matsu ga ne o
isobe no nami no
utsutae ni
sode no ue kana
The pine trees’ roots
By stony shore bound waves
Are struck, and
Must stand revealed
Upon my sleeves.




hatsukari no
towataru kaze no
tayori ni mo
aranu omoi o
tare ni tsutaen
The first, returning goose,
Borne before the gate of heaven, of the unseen wind
Is no harbinger;
Just so the fires of my love:
To whom should I reveal them?