Tag Archives: Minase

Horikawa-in enjo awase 2

The same Major Counsellor, writing vertically upon delicate scarlet paper.


toshi futomo
iwade kuchinuru
umoregi no
shita no kokoro wa
furinu koi kana
The years pass by, yet
Without a word, has rotted
The drowned tree—
Beneath it, my heart
Has grown old with love!


In reply


minase no kawa no
umoregi wa
shita no koiji wa
toshi furinu tomo
There’s no depth to
The River Minase, where
Drowned trees lie—
Beneath, the paths of love
Have grown old in years, and yet…

Chikuzen, Daughter of Prince Yasusuke

Kanpyō no ōntoki kiku awase 1

The Chrysanthemum Match during the reign of the Kanpyō Emperor.

The Gentlemen of the Left. For the chrysanthemum in the initial round, Kotategimi, a young courtier lad, was dressed as a woman, and brought in the flower, hiding his face with it. A further nine blooms were planted in a suhama. The form of the suhama was certainly very charming. The chrysanthemums had their names written on long strips of paper, which were twined about them in places to show them to their best advantage.

Initial Round: a chrysanthemum from Minase in Yamazaki


uchituke ni
minase Fa nioFi
wori Fito kara ka
Fana no tune kamo
Minase, with scent
Superb is filled –
Is it from a lady there, or
Are the blooms ever so?


Love VII: 17


hito kokoro
sa nomi wa ikaga
ware ni wa asaki
chigiri naruramu
Her heart
Is just like it; why as
The Minase River
So shallow for me
Should her feelings be?

Lord Suetsune

Right (Win).

ika ni shite
kage o mo mimashi
sode tsuku hodo no
chigiri naritomo
No matter what
I would see her face in
The River Sawada,
Even if my sleeves get drenched
By my feelings…


Both Left and Right together state: there are no faults to indicate.

In judgement: using ‘the Minase River’ (minasegawa) preceded by ‘is just like it; why as’ (sa nomi wa ika ni) sounds charming in style, but ‘should her feelings be?’ (chigiri naruramu) means the end of the poem is a bit dry! ‘The River Sawada, even if my sleeves get drenched’ (sawadagawa sode tsuku hodo no) sounds pleasant. Thus, the Right wins.

SZS XV: 915

Composed on the conception of Love at a poetry competition held at the residence of Middle Councillor Kuninobu.


nani wo tanomite
sese no FuruguFi
In your heart
How can I place my trust?
For as Minase River’s
Fishing weir’s ancient stakes
Has it rotted all away…

Fujiwara no Mototoshi

SKKS I: 36

Composed on the desires of Spring in a village by the water, when the gentlemen of the court were composing Chinese poems and Japanese to match them.


yama moto kasumu
yūbe wa aki to
nani omoiken
When I gaze across
The haze-shrouded mountains’ feet, to
The river Minase:
The evening is Autumn time –
I wonder why I felt so…

The Retired Emperor [Gotoba (1180-1239; r. 1183-1198)]