Tag Archives: moonlight

Aru tokoro no uta’awase – Shōtai 4-nen 15-ya

Shinpen kokka taikan no.
Heian-chō uta’awase taisei no.12
Romanised TitleAru tokoro no uta’awase
Translated TitlePoetry Contest held in a Certain Place
Alternative Title(s)
DateNight, 15/8 Shōtai 4 [30.9.901]
Extant Poems2
Identifiable Participants

Only the date of this contest remains, along with two of its poems. Given the season, it would clearly have been an autumn-themed event and, as the 15th day of the Eighth Month was when conventionally the moon was at its brightest, it is not surprising that it seems to have been held at night, and contained at least some poems where the moon was a theme.

Of the two surviving poems, one was included in Fubokushō (XIV: 5840), while the other is only recorded here.


Furu no yasiro ni
haFu kuzu mo
aki ni shi nareba
iro kaFarikeri
In Isonokami
At the ancient shrine of Furu
Even the creeping kudzu vine
When the autumn comes
Does change its hues.




yama no Fa mo
momidite tirinu
tukikage no
kakururu tokoro
Along the mountains’ edge
Scarlet leaves have scattered
In the moonlight
A place concealed
Is there none, at all.


Love VII: 24

Left (Tie).

furusato ni
mishi omokage mo
fuwa no sekiya no
itama moru tsuki
Back home
I saw her face, and
It lodges here,
At the Barrier House at Fuwa,
In the moonlight leaking through the boards.

A Servant Girl


hito kouru
ware nagameyo
suma no sekiya no
ariake no tsuki
Loving you,
I will ever gaze,
I thought,
At the Barrier House at Suma
On the dawntime moon.


The Right state: the Left’s poem is good. The Left state: the Right’s poem lacks any faults to indicate.

In judgement: the Left’s ‘Barrier House at Fuwa’ (fuwa no sekiya) followed by ‘the moonlight leaking through the boards’ (itama moru tsuki) is truly charming. In addition, if one wonders why ‘I saw her face’ (mishi omokage mo) has been used, it is certainly reminiscent of the poem ‘The dawntime moon, too, lodges in the waters clear’, but an improvement on it. It is difficult to say, however, that the Right’s ‘At the Barrier House at Suma on the dawntime moon’ (suma no sekiya no ariake no tsuki) is in any way inferior.