Tag Archives: momoshiki

Spring I: 30

Left (Tie).

もゝしきや射手引く庭の梓弓昔にかへる春に逢ふかな

momoshiki ya
ite hiku niwa no
azusa yumi
mukashi ni kaeru
haru ni au kana
Hundred fold, the palace, where
Archer draw, within the gardens
Bows of catalpa wood:
Olden times are recalled
And meet again, this springtime.

Lord Sada’ie

59

Right (Tie).

梓弓春の雲井に引つれてけしきことなるけふの諸人

azusa yumi
haru no kumoi ni
hikitsurete
keshiki kotonaru
kyô no morobito
Catalpa bows:
In springtime to the cloud-borne palace
They are brought;
How exceptional the scene:
A crowd of noble folk, this day.

Ietaka

60

The Right query why in the Left’s poem an annual festival should ‘recall olden times’, to which the Right respond that it is normal to compose poems about annual observances as if they had been discontinued and then revived. The Left make no comment about the Right’s poem.

Shunzei’s judgement is that, indeed, the Left’s poem had been composed as if an ancient rite had been revived and, furthermore with the reference to an ‘exceptional scene’ the intent had probably been to praise court festivals. Nevertheless, he has to adjudge the round a tie.

Spring I: 28

Left (Win).

もゝしきに引つらなれる梓弓はるも鞆音の珍しき哉

momoshiki ni
hikitsuranareru
azusa yumi
haru mo tomone no
mezurashiki kana
By the hundredfold palace
Arrayed,
Catalpa bows:
Sprung in springtime, bowstring on bracer:
How rare the sound!

Lord Suetsune

55

Right.

舎人子が鞆うち鳴らす梓弓射手引わたる春は來にけり

toneriko ga
tomo uchinarasu
azusa yumi
ite hikiwataru
haru wa kinikeri
The guardsmen lads’
Bracers sound;
Catalpa bows,
Drawn by archers:
Springtime is here, indeed!

Lord Takanobu

56

Again, the Right team have no comments to make about the Left’s poem this round, but the Left say the initial line of the Right’s poem is ‘unsatisfactory’. Shunzei, once again, agrees, remarking that, ‘the initial line sounds like the name of the tree used when referring to adding water to an ink-stone. Again, the Left is the winner.’ What he means by this is that toneriko, ‘guardsmen lads’ was homophonous with the word for ‘ash tree’. The old Japanese extracted a wax from ash trees, which was used to ease the running of sliding doors and shutters, and so by association, toneriko was used in poetry to refer to adding water to an ink-stone so that the ink, produced in solid sticks, would slide over it more easily. This image is inappropriate for a poem about the New Year Archery festival, and so the poem is of inferior quality, compared to the Left’s offering.