Tag Archives: Love and Parting

Love II: 30

Left (Win).


wasureji no
chigiri o tanomu
wakare kana
sora yuku tsuki no
sue o kazoete
Not to forget
I promised – trust that
On our parting.
The moon’s transit through the sky
Is the number of our meeting.

A Servant Girl




kaze fukaba
mine ni wakaren
kumo o dani
arishi nagori no
katami to mo miyo
If the wind should blow,
Parting from the peak,
Even the clouds
My memories
Seem to represent!



The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left’s poem is most moving. The Right’s poem, the Gentlemen of the Left state, is fine.

Shunzei’s judgement: the Left’s poem has one counting to the end of the moon’s transits through the sky, while the Right has clouds parting from a mountain peak being the poet’s thoughts given form. Both poems are elegant in configuration and diction, but the Right’s ‘even the clouds’ (kumo ni dani) does not fit with the ending. The Left maintains its connections from beginning to end. Thus, I make it the winner.

Love II: 29

Left (Tie).


omoe tada
tada yosoyoso no
hito dani mo
wakaruru michi wa
kanashikarazu ya
Just think:
From a simple
Stranger, too,
The path of parting
Is sad, indeed, is it not?

Lord Kanemune




kureba mata
omoishi hodo no
wakare dani
nagori wa ikeru
kokochi ya wa seji
‘With sunset, once again,’
I thought then, and
Even that parting’s pain
Lingered, living,
In my heart – but no more…

Lord Takanobu


The Gentlemen of the Right state: we find no faults in the Left’s poem – other than the excessive repetition! The Gentlemen of the Left state: we find no faults in the Right’s poem.

Shunzei’s judgement: the Left demonstrates the sadness of the present parting compare to that from a stranger, while the Right expresses the pain of the present parting by comparison with a morning after. Once again, these are of the same quality, lacking particular faults or noteworthy elements, and thus the round ties.

Love II: 28

Left (Tie).


tsure mo naku
au ni inochi no
kyō wa wakare ni
kawarubeki kana
How cruel it is, that
Through meeting life
Continued on, and yet
From today to parting
It must change…

Lord Ari’ie




au made no
omou wa koto no
kazu narade
wakare zo koi no
Until the point of meeting
One’s thoughts are
Nothing special;
It is on parting that love
Finds its true beginning!



The Gentlemen of the Right state: we find no faults in the Left’s poem. The Gentlemen of the Left state: if one followed the pattern of the Right’s poem, there would seem to be little love at all!

Shunzei’s judgement: the style of both poems is elegant. They must tie.

Love II: 27

Left (Win).


kaware tada
wakaruru michi no
nobe no tsuyu
inochi ni mukau
mono mo omowaji
O, change
Upon our parting! The path
Through the dew dropped fields –
How like life:
I would not think such thoughts!

Lord Sada’ie 




wakareji no
arikeru mono o
ōsaka no
seki o nani shi ni
The path after parting
Is such a thing, so
Why to Meeting Hill’s
Barrier Gate do we
Rush to pass in haste?

Lord Tsune’ie


The Gentlemen of the Right state: the diction in the Left’s poem fails to link. The Gentlemen of the Left state: what novelty there is in the Right’s poem!

Shunzei’s judgement: in the Left’s poem it does not appear to me that the diction of the initial section links poorly. ‘How like life’ (inochi ni mukau) does, indeed, appear in the Man’yōshū and other works, but it does not seem that desirable. As for the Right, while it seems that the appearance of Meeting Hill is well understood, saying ‘why to the barrier gate’ (seki o nani shi ni) is inferior to ‘how like life’.

Love II: 26



nani ka ware
kesa nagori o
kaenu hodo naku
kururu hi naraba
Why should I
This morning for my keepsake
Have only grief?
If but a while from leaving
The sun sets once again…

Lord Suetsune


Right (Win).


kesa no wakare ni
mitsuru kana
kokoro gawari no
yukusue no yume
For just a while
At this morning’s parting
Did I see it:
Your change of heart
In a prescient dream…

Lord Nobusada


The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left’s poem is entirely in the conception of a morning after poem. This does not match the conception of this topic. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the sense of the Right’s poem is difficult to grasp. The use of ‘dream’ (yume) does not fit with the remainder of the poem’s contents.

Shunzei’s judgement: in terms of the Left’s poem, the morning after is also a parting. What fault can be found in this? However, the Right’s ‘change of heart in a prescient dream’ sounds charming. Thus, the Right wins.

Love II: 25



ori wa ayashiku
oboeshi o
sareba yo tsui ni
yuke shirasenu
He came not last night;
At the time it was strange
I thought, but
Indeed, it was so, and in the end
I knew not where he was…



Right (Win).


wasureji to
chigiru bakari
katami nite
yoso ni narinan
koto zo kanashiki
‘I never will forget’
He promised, but that is
My only keepsake;
That now we will be distant
Brings me only sorrow.

The Provisional Master of the Empress Household Office


The Gentlemen of the Right state: the conception of parting is not clearly expressed in the Left’s poem. The Gentlemen of the Left state: it’s without thought.

Shunzei’s judgement: the Left’s poem is in a style which expresses the emotions unusually, but charmingly. The Right’s poem is exactly on topic. It can only win.