Tag Archives: kokoro

KYS VII: 379

Sent to a woman who had fled from him.


koFisu teFu
mozi no sekimori
iku tabi ka
ware kakituramu
kokoro dukusi ni
Love – with that
Word I am warden of the barrier at Moji;
How many times have
I written it?
To the utter exhaustion of my heart!

Fujiwara no Akisuke (1090-1155)

This poem is also: Akisuke-shū 顕輔集 (1155?) 5.

SZS XVI: 940

Composed as a Love poem, when His Majesty commanded a hundred poem sequence.


ima Fa tada
osaFuru sode mo
kokoro no mama ni
oturu namida ka
Now, simply
Have my wave-dashed sleeves
Rotted all away;
Is there nothing in my heart
But dripping tears?

Fujiwara no Suemichi

Love IV: 29


nezame made
nao kurushiki
ashi mo yasumenu
yume no kayoiji
Until I awaken
It is ever painful
Going back and forth
My feet not resting once
Upon the path of dreams.

Lord Ari’ie.


mi o ba omowade
tatsuta yama
kokoro ni kakaru
oki tsu shiranami
I think not on myself, but
On Mount Tatsuta
Dwells my heart
Whipped by whitecaps…


The Gentlemen of the Right: no faults to mention. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right’s poem does not have anything to say beyond what is contained in its origin poem.

In judgement: the Left’s poem takes the conception of Komachi’s poem ‘my feet don’t rest, constantly trailing to you, yet’ (ashi mo yasumezu kayoedomo) and skilfully adds ‘Until I awaken it is ever painful’ (nezame made nao kurushiki). The Right’s poem is based upon the poem ‘where, through night’s depths, my Lord’ (yowa ni ya kimi ga), but then says ‘Dwells my heart whipped by whitecaps’ (kokoro ni kakaru oki tsu shiranami), which sounds pleasant, too. They are comparable and should tie.

Love IV: 21

Left (Win).

aramashi ni
kokoro wa tsukinu
koyoi tote
mataba to omou
yūgure no sora
Wondering if it will it be
Has been the sole focus of my thoughts;
Tonight, he said –
‘If only you could wait,’ so thinks
The evening sky…

Lord Ari’ie.


kokoro sae
kakikurasu kana
tsukuzuku to
omoi irihi no
sora o nagamete
My very heart
Is sunk in darkness;
On and on,
Go my thoughts with the setting sun,
Gazing at the sky…

Lord Tsune’ie.

The Right state: we find no faults. The Left state: saying ‘on and on’ (tsukuzuku) seems somewhat weak.

In judgement: the final line of the Left’s poem sounds elegant. Again, I make the Left the winner.

Love IV: 16


tsuki o mite
shibashi omoi mo
hiruma zo koi no
nagusame wa naki
Gazing at the moon
Briefly my sadness
I did forget; but
In the daylight, love is
No consolation, at all.

Lord Suetsune.

Right (Win).

imo ga kokoro ni
hikage kana
nakazora ni nomi
mono’omoi shite
Not inclining is
My darling’s heart,
Just like this sunshine;
Upon the height of the heavens
Dwell my gloomy thoughts…


The Right state: the Left’s poem has only ‘daylight’ (hiruma) and no other associated images, which makes it unpleasant on the ear. The Left state: we wonder about ‘Not inclining is my darling’ (katabukanu imo).

In judgement: in addition to the lack of associated images with ‘daylight’, the content of the initial line seems insufficient. Although the Right’s ‘not inclining is my darling’ is a little unclear, it seems as if her feelings are unmoved in any way. This is certainly seems like the conception of the sun being fixed overhead at noon, so the Right should win.