Tag Archives: matsumushi

Love VIII: 30

Left (Tie)

wasureji no
chigiri uramuru
furusato no
kokoro mo shiranu
matsumushi no koe
Never will I forget you –
Despairing of that vow
At home
All unknowing of my feelings
Comes a bell cricket’s cry…

Lord Sada’ie


konu hito no
aki no keshiki ya
urami ni yowaru
matsumushi no koe
He comes not, so
Is all seeming done, as autumn
Does wear on?
How I envy the weakening
Bell cricket’s song…


Left and Right: both poems are equally admirable.

In judgement: the Left’s poem, with ‘all unknowing of my feelings comes a bell cricket’s cry’ (kokoro mo shiranu matsumushi no koe) is fine. The Right, with ‘is all seeming done, as autumn does wear on’ (aki no keshiki ya fukenuran), is too, so both Left and Right do truly move the heart, do they not? I have no way of distinguishing superior from inferior here, so thus must make the round a tie.

Love VIII: 29

Left (Win)

naka koso arame
hagiwara ya
shita matsumushi no
koe o dani toe
Cold will
Our bond, no doubt, become, but
Among the bush clover
Eagerly awaiting, the bell-cricket’s
Call is all that I would ask…

A Servant Girl


yo mo sugara
hito matsu mushi no
naku koe o
wa ga mi no ue ni
yosoete zo kiku
All through the night
A cricket pines –
The song it sings
Upon myself does
Seem to dwell – or so it sounds…

Lord Tsune’ie

The Gentlemen of the Right state: we have no reason to mention any faults in the Left’s poem. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right’s poem is pedestrian.

In judgement: both poems refer to ‘bell crickets’, with the Left saying, ‘our bond, no doubt, become’ (naka koso arame), then ‘call is all that I would ask’ (koe o dani toe), and ‘eagerly awaiting, the bell cricket’ (shita matsumushi) – all of these are extremely difficult to grasp, however, the Right’s poem is pointlessly pedestrian. So, the Left wins.

Love 62

Left (Tie).


wasureji no
chigiri uramuru
furusato no
kokoro mo shiranu
matsumushi no koe
Never to forget,
He vowed – how hateful!
Around my aged home,
All unknowing of my heart,
The pine crickets sing their song…


Right (Tie).


konu hito o
matsuo no ura no
yūnagi ni

yaku ya moshio no
mi mo kogaretsutsu
For one who fails to come,
I pine; within the bay of Matsuo
In the evening calm,
Burns seaweed salt,
As does my breast with longing.


Ise Shū 28

Her Majesty, the Empress, had such a limitlessly refined nature, that there was no one in the world who was her equal. Ise’s chamber had a most beautiful garden planted before them and, in autumn, when she had returned to her dwelling for a while, Her Majesty wrote, ‘Why have you not returned yet? It seems that you will be so late in coming that the pine crickets before your chamber will have ceased to sing and the flowers will, no doubt, be past their best.’ Ise replied:


matu musi mo
nakiyaminu naru
aki no no ni
tare yobu tote ka
Fanami ni mo komu
The pining crickets
Have ceased to sing
In the autumn fields;
Who calls from there, I wonder,
Will she come to view the flowers…

SKKS XVI: 1560

When he was considerably over eighty, he was commanded to compose a hundred poem sequence, so he composed this and presented it.


shime okite
ima ya to omou
aki yama no
yomogi ga moto ni
matsumushi no naku
‘Tis there I’ll rest–
And wonder if now is the time–
In the Autumn mountains
Beneath the mugwort
Await the chirping pine-crickets.

Master of the Dowager Empress’ Household Office Toshinari