Tag Archives: koto

MYS IV: 727

[One of] two poems sent by Ōtomo sukune Yakamochi to the Elder Maiden of the House of Sakanoue (a love poem to say that though they had been parted for many years, he hoped they would meet again).

忘れ草我が下紐に付けたれど醜の醜草言にしありけり

wasuregusa
wa ga sitapimo ni
tuketaredo
siko no sikokusa
koto ni shi arikeri
A forgetful day-lily
To my under-belt
Is bound, yet
This annoying weed
Is so in name alone!

Ōtomo no Yakamochi
大伴家持

Minbukyō yukihira no uta’awase 2

Left (Win)
おぼつかな音羽の山の時鳥さすがにいはぬ言な頼めそ

obotukana
otoFa no yama no
Fototogisu
sasuga ni iFanu
koto na tanome so
I wonder about
Wingbeats on Otowa Mountain,
The cuckoo:
Truly in unsaid
Words place no trust!

3

Right
誰とかは言はかたらふ時鳥まづ我が聞くにいはで渡るは

tare to ka Fa
koto Fa kataraFu
Fototogisu
madu wa ga kiku ni
iFade wataru Fa
To whom is it that
Tales you tell,
O, Cuckoo?
When first I listen,
Wordless, do you fly back and forth…

4

SIS XVII: 1141

During the Tenryaku era, when people had gathered at Ise’s house, to say that she was coming.

時雨つゝふりにし宿の言の葉は掻集むれど止らざりけり

siguretutu
Furinisi yado no
koto no Fa Fa
kakiatumuredo
tomarazarikeri
Ever does the drizzle
Fall at my home –
My leaves of words
I sweep all together, but
Never does it end.

Nakatsukasa (?912-?991)
中務

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.

SIS VIII: 451

On a night when the Ise Vestal was conducting the Kōshin rite at the shrine in the fields, she composed this on the topic of the wind in the pines sounding a zither’s strings when blowing at night.

ことのねに峯の松風かよふらしいづれのをよりしらべそめけん

koto no ne ni
mine no matukaze
kayoFurasi
idure no wo yori
sirabe someken
The zither’s strains
With wind from pines atop the peak
Do sound;
Which string is it
That may start me on my way?

The Ise Vestal Consort 斎宮女御
[Princess Yoshiko/Kishi 徽子女王] (929-985)

MYS XVI: 3799

あにもあらぬおのが身のから人の子の言も尽さじ我れも寄りなむ

ani mo aranu
ono ga mi no kara
hito no ko no
koto mo tsukusaji
ware mo yorinamu
There is nothing to
An inconsequential girl like me;
As all the others,
I’ll not use all my words, but
I, too, will yield to him!

MYS V: 811

So, I composed in reply to her.

言とはぬ木にはありともうるはしき君が手馴れの琴にしあるべし

koto topanu
ki ni pa aritomo
urupasiki
kimi ga tanare no
koto ni siarubesi
No speech
Has a tree, yet
A glorious
Lord’s favourite
Zither will you certainly be!

The zither maid replied, ‘I thank you for your kind words. I am truly and humbly grateful.’ I swiftly awoke and moved by the words of the maiden in my dream, I could not remain silent, so I entrusted this zither to an official bound your way, that he might deliver it to you.

Sent by messenger on the 7th day of the Tenth Month Tenpyō 1 [645], to his Most Glorious Excellency of the Inner Palace Guards.

MYS V: 810

Poems respectfully presented by Ōtomo no Tabito, to accompany a Japanese zither made from wood taken from the top of a parasol tree growing on Yuishi in Tsushima:

I dreamed this zither transformed into a maiden who said to me, ‘I placed my roots in the care of the sacrd heights of a distant island; my trunk was dried by the peaceful light of the ninefold sun. Ever was I enveloped by the smoky haze drifting from the mountain streams, and beheld from afar the winds and the waves, finding myself between a tree and a goose. Yet, after a hundred years, I was afraid I would simply be left to rot away in a moat or a ditch somewhere, but by good fortune I met a talented craftsman, who shaped my wood into this meagre zither. My form may be coarse, and my sound grating, but I hope that I may rest, as my Lord’s zither, at his left hand.’ Then, she composed.

いかにあらむ日の時にかも声知らむ人の膝の上我が枕かむ

ika ni aramu
pi no toki ni kamo
kowe siramu
pito no piza no pe
wa ga makurakamu
When will
The day come that
I shall sing
With his lap
For my pillow?