Tag Archives: Nearby Love

Love V: 24


ashigaki no
ue fukikoyuru
yūkaze ni
kayou mo tsuraki
ogi no oto kana
The rush-wood fence is
Brushed over
By the evening breeze;
So hard, its coming
In the sound of the silver grass…

A Servant Girl

Right (Win).

ashigaki no
majikaki hodo ni
sumu hito no
itsuka hedatenu
naka to narubeki
The rush-wood fence:
So near
She lives;
When will unblocked
Our bond be?

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults. The Left state: the Right’s poem is old-fashioned.

In judgement: both poems start with ‘rush-wood fence’ (ashigaki); the Left’s sound of the silver grass passed over by the evening wind sounds pleasant, but simply saying that the sound is hard means that the conception of Love in the poem is weak. While the initial section of the Right’s poem does sound antiquated, it is quite normal for this to be the case, and the lower section is certainly elegant. The conception of Love also seems clear, so the Right should win.

Love V: 23

Left (Tie).

magaki no shima no
warinasa ni
sumu kai nashi ya
chika no shiogama
Barring our way is
The fence – Magaki Isle:
So unreasonable
That living close is pointless, as if
We were at Chika’s salt-kilns!



narabu nokiba no
yūgure ni
omoi o kawasu
sasagani no ito
A weeping fern lies
Between our almost touching eaves;
In the evening
Love will pass
Along the spider’s thread.


The Right state: the Left’s ‘Magaki Isle’ (magaki no shima) and ‘Chika’s salt kiln’s’ (chika no shiogama) do not seem that nearby, do they? They only evoke closeness through wordplay. The Right state: we find no faults to indicated in the Left’s poem.

In judgement: the Left’s ‘Magaki Isle’ and ‘Chika’s salt kilns’, even if they are not that close, do not display a lack of technique in the conception of the current composition. I do wonder what to think about ‘so unreasonable’ (warinasa ni), though. The Right’s weeping ferns, with the spider’s behaviour transmitting the feelings of love, does not seem unreasonable either. This round, too, the poems are comparable and should tie.

Love V: 20

Left (Win).

ika nareba
hodo naki naka no
kayoiji mo
aiminu yowa wa
Why is it that
We are so close in love
And distance, yet
Those nights we cannot meet
Are so painful still?

Lord Kanemune


omoi koso
tōki hodo dani
shirube nare
te mo kayoi nan
naka no hedate wa
Love’s flame
Across a distance far
Is a beacon; though
An outstretched hand
Is our only separation…

Lord Takanobu

As the previous round.

In judgement: the Right sounds as if the lovers are exceedingly close. The Left, that even when the distance separating you is not that great, it is still painful, is, indeed, the case. Thus, the Left wins.


Love V: 19

Left (Tie).

kite wa kokoro mo
koe no kayou wa
kai nakarikeri
Familiar to the ear
It comes, but my heart
Has no consolation;
The interplay of voices is
Pointless, indeed.

Lord Ari’ie


mutsugoto no
kayowanu naka to
koe wa kikedomo
kai nakarikeri
Sweet words do we
No more, so
Even if I hear your voice, it is
Pointless, indeed.

Lord Tsune’ie

Left and Right both state: no faults.

In judgement: the conception of both poems ‘interplay of voices’ (koe kayou), is of the same quality.