Tag Archives: Kenshō

Love VII: 19

Left.
逢ふ事は苗代水を引き止めて通しはてぬや小山田の關

au koto wa
nawashiro mizu o
hikitomete
tōshihatenu ya
oyamada no seki
Can a meeting, like
The waters round the rice seedlings
Be stopped
In their endless flow
Past the Oyamada Barrier?

Kenshō
997

Right (Win).
衣手は清見が關にあらねども絶ゆるよもなき涙也けり

koromode wa
kiyomi ga seki ni
aranedomo
tayuru yo mo naki
namida narikeri
My sleeves as
The Barrier at Kiyomi
Are not, yet
Without cease
Are my tears…

Lord Tsune’ie.
998

The Right state: we are unfamiliar with the expression ‘Oyamada Barrier’ (oyamada no seki). The Left state: it sounds as if it is tears that are ceaseless at the Barrier at Kiyomi.

In judgement: the Left’s poem is stylistically tasteful, but with only ‘can a meeting, like the waters round the rice seedlings’ (au koto wa nawashiro mizu) the conception of love is weak is it not? The Right’s poem metaphorically has tears ceaseless at the Barrier at Kiyomi, and with the ta present, I accept the Left’s point to a certain extent, but this type of thing is not unusual in metaphorical poems.  In addition, there is little reason to imagine the waters round the rice-seedlings being blocked. As it has a stronger focus on Love, the Right wins.

Love VII: 13

Left (Tie).
聞きわたるありなれ河の水にこそ影を傡べて住まゝほしけれ

kikiwataru
arinaregawa no
mizu ni koso
kage o narabete
sumamahoshikere
Echoes cross
The Arinare River’s
Waters;
Bringing to mind the face
Of the one I would be with…

Kenshō
985

Right.
涙川逢ふ瀬も知らぬみをつくし丈越す程になりにけるかな

namidagawa
ause mo shiranu
miotsukushi
take kosu hodo ni
narinikeru kana
A river of tears:
I know no way for us to meet, so
The channel buoys, my soul,
Are flooded over –
That is how they be!

Nobusada
986

The Gentlemen of the Right state: we are not accustomed to hearing the expression ‘Arinare River’ (arinaregawa), and the ending of the poem is old-fashioned. The Gentlemen of the Left state: ‘are flooded over’ (take kosu hodo) sounds excessively modern.

In judgement: ‘Arinare River’ is unusual, and the final section of the Left’s poem is certainly old-fashioned. The ‘river of tears’’ (namidagawa) ‘channel buoys’ (miotsukushi) do seem to be enduring an excess of water, don’t’ they! The round should tie.

Love VII: 7

Left.
鯨取るさかしき海の底までも君だに住まば浪路しのがん

kujira toru
sakashiki umi no
soko made mo
kimi dani sumaba
namij shinoga
The whale-hunting
Savage sea’s
Depths: even there,
Should it be your dwelling,
Would I endure the waves…

Kenshō.
973

Right (Win).
石見潟千尋の底もたとふれば淺き瀬になる身の恨かな

iwamigata
chihiro no soko mo
tatoureba
asaki se ni naru
mi o urami kana
Iwamigata:
Your thousand fathom depths
I take as
A shallow shoal
For my despite.

Jakuren.
974

The Right state:  the Left’s poem leaves a fearsome impression, does it not? The Left state: we find no fault with the Right’s poem.

In judgement: The Left’s ‘whale hunting’ (kujira toran) I remember occurring in the Man’yōshū, but among many of that collection’s oddly-styled poems. However, it does sound extremely fearsome. When Emperor Qin Shihuang sought Mount Penglai, although he said to ‘shoot’ (iyo) great fish, I have not heard that he went so far as to ‘hunt’ (tore) them. Generally speaking, poems should evoke delicacy and charm, and what purpose is served, for the way of poetry, or for the individual, by frightening people deliberately? The Right’s Iwamigata and ‘For my despite’ (mi no urami kana) recalls an official complaining over being passed over for promotion. However, I cannot accept the Left’s poem. Thus, the Right wins.

Love VII: 1

Left (Tie).
年を經て茂るなげきをこりもせでなど深からん物思ひの山

toshi o hete
shigeru nageki o
kori mo sede
nado fukakaran
mono’omoi no yama
The years go by and
My ever verdant grief
Is never felled;
Why am I so deep
In mountains of gloomy thought?

Kenshō.
961

Right.
君にわれ深く心を筑波山しげきなげきにこりはてぬ哉

kimi ni ware
fukaku kokoro o
tsukubayama
shigeki nageki ni
korihatenu kana
You for me
Had deep thoughts once –
All gone now, yet on Tsukuba Mountain
My ever verdant grief
Remains unfelled…

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office.
962

The Right state: we are not familiar with the expression ‘mountains of gloomy thought’ (mono’omoi no yama) used in the Left’s poem. The Left state: the Right’s poem has nothing significant to say.

In judgement: both poems use the wordplay of ‘ever verdant grief’ (shigeki nageki) and a ‘heart unfelled’ (korinu kokoro); they have no particular merits or faults. The round ties.

Love VI: 30

Left (Tie).
奈呉の海士の塩燒く煙空にのみ我名を立てゝやまんとやする

nago no ama no
shio yaku kemuri
sora ni nomi
wa ga na wo tatete
yaman to ya suru
At Nago the fisherfolk’s
Salt-burning smoke fills
The skies; is that all
My names is to be? Gossip
And then the end?

Kenshō.
959

Right.
山田守るかひ屋が下の煙こそこがれもやらぬたぐひなりけれ

yamada moru
kaiya ga shita no
kemuri koso
kogare mo yaranu
tagui narikere
Warding the mountain fields
Beneath the heated hut
The smoke
Smoulders without end –
And so do I!

Jakuren
960

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults. The Left state: we wonder about the usage of ‘beneath the heated hut’ (kaiya ga shita) with ‘warding the mountain fields’ (yamada moru). In reply: in the Man’yōshū ‘heated hut’ (kaiya), is written with characters meaning ‘deer-repelling fire hut’. In addition, in territories where they wish to drive the deer away from their mountain paddies, they take things which smell foul when burnt, such as hair, and burn them, and in order that the fires are not put out by the rain, they build a roof over them. The common folk of these places call these things ‘heated huts’ (kaiya). So, the Man’yōshū’s usage corresponds with actual practice. Again, a further criticism from the Left: the Master of the Crown Prince’s Household Office composed a poem on salting. Atsutaka also includes ‘heated hut’ in the section on mosquito fires. Such are the ideas of our forebears. That ‘heated hut’ is written in Man’yōshū with characters meaning ‘deer-repelling fire’ and ‘scented fire’ is no proof of anything. Might it not have been written this way so that it would be read to mean ‘keep’? One certainly cannot sweepingly say that it means ‘deer-repelling fire’. A further response from the Right: our forebears have presented no definite evidence, and so it is difficult to accept this argument. In addition, has it not long been accepted that ‘morning haze’ can be used to refer to the smoke from deer-repelling fires, when composing on the haze spreading? Furthermore, in the Hitomaroshū, there is the poem ‘On Kogane Mountain / Beneath the heated hut / Frogs call’. Thus, it appears that this composition must refer to mountain fields.

In judgement: the Left’s ‘At Nago the fisherfolk’ (nago no ama) links the initial and latter sections of the poem extremely well. There seems to be have been some discussion from both teams about the Right’s ‘beneath the heated hut the smoke’ (kaiya ga shita no kemuri). Prior to the to and fro about this poem, was there not a similar discussion about heated huts in the final section of spring poems about frogs? With the greatest respect, the discussion here seems little different. However, in regard to the Right’s poem, saying that love smoulders is the normal way of expressing matters. I do wonder about ‘smoulders without end’ (kogare mo yaranu), but this would certainly seem appropriate with the reference to a heated hut. The Left, in addition, with ‘salt burning smoke’ (yaku shio kemuri) lacks any faults to indicate, so with no clear winner or loser, I make this round a tie.

 

Love VI: 19

Left.
下とをる涙に袖も朽ちはてゝ着るかひもなき雨衣かな

shita tōru
namida ni sode mo
kuchihatete
kiru kai mo naki
amagoromo kana
Right through to below
With tears are even my sleeves
Quite rotted;
Putting it on would be pointless
This raincoat of mine!

Kenshō.
937

Right (Win).
戀ゆへに身を知る雨の年を經て心のうちにかき曇るらむ

koi yue ni
mi o shiru ame no
toshi o hete
kokoro no uchi ni
kakikumoruramu
For love
The rain knows how I feel full well
Down through the years
Within my heart
The clouds grow ever thicker…

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress Household Office.
938

The Right state: the Left’s ‘right through to below’ (shita tōruʼ) sounds as if the poet is passing below the palace! The Left state: in this poem it is not at all clear why it is that ‘the rain knows how I feel full well’ (mi o shiru ame).

In judgement: the Left, by using ‘right through to below’, has forgotten that ‘raincoat’ (amagoromo) evokes the sense of a salt-hut and, because there is nothing in the poem to suggest a location by the sea, amagoromo appears to be the clothing of a nun, or something similar. As for the Right’s ‘the rain knows how I feel full well’, it is simply ‘for love’. This seems plain to me. The Right wins.

Love VI: 15

Left.
心あひの風いづかたへ吹かぬらん我には散らす言の葉もなし

kokoro ai no
kaze izukata e
fukanuran
ware ni wa chirasu
koto no ha mo nashi
This pleasant
Breeze: whither
Does it blow?
To me not one scattered
Leaf or word has it delivered.

Kenshō.
929

Right (Win).
色に出し言の葉もみなかれはてゝ涙を散らす風の音哉

iro ni idashi
koto no ha mo mina
karehatete
namida o chirasu
kaze no oto kana
The bright hues of passion
In these leaves and your words
Have all withered away;
Tears scattering with
The sound of the wind…

Lord Takanobu.
930

The Right state: ‘Breeze: whither’ (kaze izukata e) seems lacking. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to indicate.

In judgement: in the Left’s poem, I wonder whether ‘breeze: wither’ really is lacking. ‘This pleasant’ (kokoro no ai) would seem to be an expression deriving from ‘At the head of the road’. I seem to recall it coming after ‘In Kofu in Takefu / Will I be’, but that is not a suitable source. The Right’s poem, as the Gentlemen of the Left have said, appears to have no faults. It should win.

Love VI: 7

Left.
入日さす豊旗雲も何ならず月なき戀の闇し晴れねば

irihi sasu
toyohatagumo mo
nani narazu
tsuki naki koi no
yamishi hareneba
The setting sun shines
On fluttering cloudy pennants, but
Comes to nothing;
With no moon, my love
From darkness will never escape…

Kenshō.
913

Right (Win).
いかなれば心も空に浮雲のかゝる戀する身となりにけ

ika nareba
kokoro mo sora ni
ukigumo no
kakaru koisuru
mi no nariniken
For some reason
My heart, as with the skies
Drifting clouds
Does hang; such a lover
Have I become…

Lord Tsune’ie.
914

The Right state: ‘with no moon, my love’ (tsuki naki koi) sounds poor. The Left state: there is nothing remarkable about this.

In judgement: the Left’s ‘fluttering cloudy pennants’ (toyohatagumo) sounds as if it is introducing something significant, but the conclusion‘from darkness will never escape’ (yamishi hareneba), is restricted. Whilethe Right’s poem, indeed, has nothing remarkable about it, it is elegant. It should win.

Love VI: 1

Left (Win).
なぐさめし月にもはてはねをぞ泣く戀やむなしき空に滿つらん

nagusameshi
tsuki ni mo hate wa
ne o zo naku
koi ya munashiki
sora ni mitsuran
Comforted was I once by
The moon, but at the end
My sobs
For love, the vast spaces of
The heavens do seem to fill…

Kenshō
901

Right.
月よなをくまこそなけれかきくらす戀の涙は雨と降れども

tsuki yo nao
kuma koso nakare
kakikurasu
koi no namida wa
ame to furedomo
O, Moon! Before
You there is not a cloud, yet
Dimmed
With tears for love
The rain does fall…

Lord Takanobu.
902

The Right state: we find no faults to mention in the Left’s poem. The Left state: in the Right’s poem ‘O, Moon! Before’ (tsuki ya nao) is somewhat grating on the ear. In addition, the final section is clichéd.

In judgement: in the Left’s poem, ‘The moon, but at the end’ (tsuki ni mo hate wa) is certainly elegant. The Right’s poem begin’s ‘O, Moon!’ (tsuki yo) but lacks anything connected to it at the end. Thus, the Left must win.

Love V: 29

Left (Tie).
象潟や妹戀ひしらにさ寢る夜の磯の寢覺に月傾きぬ

kisakata ya
koishirani
sanuru yo no
iso no nezame ni
tsuki katabukinu
In Kisakata and
In love;
I sleep the night away, and
Awaking on the rocky shore
Behold the moon descending.

Kenshō
897

Right.
清見潟岩敷く袖の浪の上に思ふもわびし君が面影

kiyomigata
iwa shiku sode no
nami no ue ni
omou mo wabishi
kimi ga omokage
At Kiyomigata
Sleeves spread atop the rocks,
Waves breaking atop them;
Heart filled with pain
At the memory of your face…

Jakuren
898

Left and Right both state that the opposing poem is pretentious.

In judgement: the Left’s poem seems well-constructed in its initial and final sections. However, as in Mototoshi’s poem long ago, ‘breaking a stem of miscanthus on the beach at Ise’, this seems to be a case of poetic allusion. The Right’s ‘Sleeves spread atop the rocks, waves breaking atop them’ (iwa shiku sode no nami no ue) seems to have been newly composed and seems elegant, but the final section is somewhat inferior. The Left has beginning and end matching. The Right has a superior initial section, but an inferior final one. Thus, the round ties.