Tag Archives: lanterns

SZS XIX: 1211

Composed when he was on a pilgrimage to worship Kannon at thirty-three places, and saw oil emerging at Tanigumi, in Mino.[1]


yo wo terasu
Fotoke no sirusi
mada tomosibi mo
kienu narikeri
Shining light upon the world,
This Buddha, a sign
Does give:
As yet, the lanterns
Never have gone out!

Former Archbishop Kakuchū

[1] This poem was composed at the Kegonji 華厳寺 temple on Mount Tagumi (Tagumisan 谷汲山) in the middle of what is now Gifu 岐阜 prefecture.

Autumn I: 10

Left (Win).


akigoto ni
taenu hoshiai no
sayo fukete
hikari naraburu
niwa no tomoshibi
Each and every autumn,
For the eternal meeting of the stars
Night falls, and
Lights align with
The palace garden lanterns.

Lord Sada’ie.




tsuyu fukai
niwa no tomoshibi
kazu kienu
yo ya fukenuran
hoshiai no sora
Deep dewfall
Upon the garden lanterns
Extinguished a number;
Has night fallen, I wonder,
Upon the sky wherein stars meet?



The Right have no comments to make about the Left’s poem this round, while the Left simply say the Right’s poem has ‘major faults’. (Criticising the use of the completive marker nu twice in quick succession: kienu, fukenuran.)

Shunzei ignores this point, simply saying, ‘The expression “Has night fallen, I wonder, upon the sky wherein stars meet?” (yo ya fukenuran hoshiai no sora) is splendid, but there is no reason for beginning the poem with “deep dewfall” (tsuyu fukaki). The Lefts’ poem has no faults – thus, it must win.’