Tag Archives: koto

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?

Autumn I: 12

Left (Win).

定め置く星合の空のしるしとて秋の調べに琴柱たつ也

sadameoku
hoshiai no sora no
shirushi tote
aki no shirabe ni
kotoji tatsu nari
Set,
The stars meet within the heavens
Signified by
The rhythms of autumn
Sounding ‘cross the zithers’ bridge.

Kenshō.

323

Right.

七夕の逢ふ夜の庭に置く琴のあたりにひくはさゝがにの糸

tanabata no
au yo no niwa ni
oku koto no
atari ni hiku wa
sasagani no ito
At Tanabata,
On the night of meeting, in the garden
Are the zithers placed;
All around for plucking are
Strands of spiders’ webs.

Jakuren.

324

The Right say, ‘“Set” (sadameoku) just does not sound very good.’ The Left: ‘ “Spiders” (sasagani no) seems to appear rather abruptly in the poem.’

Shunzei: ‘“Spiders’ webs” (sasagani no ito) would seem to be being used to evoke the playing of the zithers. Is “set” really all that bad in form? The Left’s “rhythms of autumn” (aki no shirabe) gets the victory.’

Autumn I: 9

Left (Tie).

七夕は今日貸す琴は何ならで逢ふにのみこそ心ひくらめ

tanabata wa
kyō kasu koto wa
nani narade
au ni nomi koso
kokoro hikurame
For the Weaver Maid
That this day the zithers play
Means nothing;
‘Tis her meeting, alone,
That plucks upon her heart.

Lord Ari’ie.

317

Right (Tie).

薫物の匂ひも貸しつ七夕に思ふ思を空に知れとて

takimono no
nioi mo kashitsu
tanabata ni
omou omoi o
sora ni shire tote
Incense
Scent I proffer
To the Weaver Maid;
The burning thoughts within my heart,
Let it carry to the heavens!

Lord Takanobu.

318

The Right state that ‘the expression “alone” (nomi) in Left’s poem is grating,’ while the Left have no particular criticisms of the Right.

Shunzei simply remarks, ‘The Left has a zither plucking the heart; the Right, the scent of burning incense carrying thoughts. Equally good word association. A tie.’