Tag Archives: ninefold

Kinkai wakashū 2

Poems on the beginning of spring


kokonoe no
kumoi ni haru zo
ōuchiyama ni
kasumi tanabiku
In ninefold layers of
Cloud does springtime
Seem to rise;
Across Ōuchi Mountain[i]
Trails haze.


A kuzushiji version of the poem's text.
Created with Soan.

[i] Ōuchi Mountain (ōuchiyama 大内山) lies to the north of the Ninnaji 仁和寺 temple in the north-west of Kyoto, and was the site of a detached palace belonging to Emperor Uda 宇多 (866-931; r. 887-897).

Autumn I: 8

Left (Win).


kuretake ni
suguru akikaze
sayo fukete
matsuru hodo ni ya
hoshiai no sora
When the black bamboo
Is brushed by autumn breeze, and
Night falls,
Is it time to celebrate?
Stars meeting in the heavens…

Lord Kanemune.




kokonoe ni
kyō matsuru oba
tanabata no
tada hito yo ni mo
ureshi to ya miru
Within the Ninefold Palace walls
This day we celebrate,
The lovers on
Just a single night:
Are they pleased, I wonder?

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.


The Right state, ‘“Is it time to celebrate? Stars meeting in the heavens” (matsuru hodo ni ya hoshiai no sora) – the one does not seem to follow from the other. The Left wonder, ‘why we have an annual rite describe as “a single night” (tada hito yo), and not “but one night a year” (toshi ni hito yo)?’

Shunzei merely remarks, ‘“Is it time to celebrate? Stars meeting in the heavens” – this certainly does follow on, and there is nothing wrong with it. The point about “a single night” is well made. The Left wins.’