Tag Archives: Love and Pleasure Girls

Love X: 2

Left (Tie)
浪の上にうかれてすぐるたはれめも頼む人には頼まれぬかは

nami no ue ni
ukarete suguru
tawareme mo
tanomu hito ni wa
tanomarenu ka wa
Atop the waves, and
Carried along helplessly,
Is even a pleasure girl
To a loving man
Unable to respond?

Lord Kanemune
1143

Right
波の上に結ぶ契のはてよりも戀に沈まん身こそうかれめ

nami no ue ni
musubu chigiri no
hate yori mo
koi ni shizuman
mi koso ukareme
Atop the waves
Form bonds
So brief – but more
Drowned in love
Am I, suffering so helplessly!

Lord Takanobu
1144

Left and Right together state: we find no faults to mention.

In judgement: both poems are certainly focused on the topic, with ‘atop the waves’ (nami no ue) and ‘helplessly’ (ukareme). The round ties.

Love X: 1

Left
蘆間分け月にうたひて漕ぐ舟に心ぞまづは乗りうつりぬる

ashima wake
tsuki ni utaite
kogu fune ni
kokoro zo mazu wa
nori’utsurinuru
Parting the reeds, and
Singing to the moon,
Boats come rowing out –
My heart, it is, that is first
Aboard and carried away…

Kenshō
1141

Right (Win)
浪の上にくだるを舟のむやひして月にうたひし妹ぞ戀しき

nami no ue ni
kudaru o fune no
muyaishite
tsuki ni utaishi
imo zo koishiki
Upon the waves,
Her boat departs,
Vanishing into the mist;
That moon-sung
Girl is dear to me, indeed!

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1142

The Right state: the Left’s poem lacks much of a conception of pleasure girls. In appeal: the poem was written in the conception of Mochitoki’s Chinese poem on pleasure girls ‘the reed-leaves are fresh in springtime’. The Left state: the Right’s poem has nothing worth mentioning.

In judgement: is the conception of pleasure girls really absent from the Left’s ‘parting the reeds, and singing to the moon’ (ashima wake tsuki ni utaite)? The case certainly cannot rely on ‘the reed-leaves are fresh in springtime’. A Chinese poem expresses its topic in its initial line. It is normal for the introduction of the topic to be vague. Japanese and Chinese poetry have aspects where they are similar, and aspects where they differ. Thus, it is not appropriate to cite a Chinese poem’s broaching of its topic as evidence for a Japanese poem’s content. There are certainly other examples by Mochitoki, such as his overlong line in ‘in a boat atop the waves, but I find the same pleasure in life’. The line about reed-leaves can in no way function as proof. Thus this poem, as ‘an old fisherman sings a single shanty’ could be said to be about an old man. As a result, given the lack of clarity in the poem, it is not possible to accept that it is about a pleasure girl. The Right’s poem concludes ‘that moon-sung girl is dear to me, indeed’ (tsuki ni utaishi imo zo koishiki). The final line seems to be almost pointlessly pedestrian, but the poem is certainly about love for a pleasure girl. The Right must win.