Tag Archives: niwa

Love VI: 17


itsumo kiku
mono to ya hito no
konu yūgure no
akikaze no koe
Always do I hear
The same, is that what
He thinks?
This evening, when he has not come
Whispers the autumn wind.

A Servant Girl.

Right (Win).

kokoro araba
fukazu mo aranan
yoiyoi ni
hito matsu yado no
niwa no matsukaze
If you have any pity,
Then I would not have you blow
Night after night
While I wait for him, through my home’s
Garden pines, o, wind!


Both Left and Right state: we can grasp the sense of the opposing poem.

In judgement: I am unable to tell what it is that ‘does not come one evening’ (konu yūgure). ‘Whispers the autumn wind’ (akikaze no koe) is also perhaps rather novel. The Right’s ‘Garden pines, o, wind!’ (niwa no matsukaze) sounds pleasant. It should win.

Winter II: 3

Left (Win).


toekashi na
niwa no shirayuki
ato taete
aware mo fukaki
fuyu no ashita o
I would go a’calling;
In my garden the white snowfall
Has covered all the tracks;
How deep is my sorrow,
On this winter morning!

Lord Kanemune.




noki no uchi ni
suzume no koe wa
hito koso shiranu
kesa no shirayuki
From underneath the eaves
To the sparrows’ chirps
Have I grown accustomed, yet
No one noticed
This morning’s fall of snow so white…



The Right state that the Left’s initial line makes their poemsound like a reply. In addition, the final line is ‘overly forceful’ [itau tsuyoku]. The Left merely comment that the Right’s use of ‘sparrow’ (suzume) is ‘inappropriate’.

Shunzei’s judgement: Even though the Left’s poem is not a reply, starting with ‘I would go a’calling’ (toekashi na) is common in the reply style [zōtōtei]. In addition, ‘Winter Mornings’ is not a topic which one needs to approach obliquely. There are only the good and bad points of the poetry. ‘From underneath the eaves to the sparrows’ chirps have I grown accustomed’ (noki no uchi ni suzume no koe wa naruru) is not an expression much used about morning snow. However, the final section of the poem appears fine. ‘Sparrows’ chirps’ (suzume no koe) is, perhaps, somewhat colloquial [zoku no chikaku]. Despite the comment by the gentlemen of the Right that the final section of the Left’s poem is ‘overly forceful’, it is a better ‘Winter Morning’ poem.

Winter I: 8



itsu shika to
utsurou iro no
miyuru kana
yae no shiragiku
All at once
Your colours change
I see;
What a flower’s heart you have,
Eightfold chrysanthemum!

Lord Suetsune.


Right (Win).


hana naranu
nioi mo nochi wa
naki mono wo
niwa no shiragiku
Flowers are there none,
But a trace of scent
Of what’s gone
Leave trailed behind,
O, garden chrysanthemums!



The Right remark that the Left’s poem, ‘seems overly humorous’ [tawabure ni nitari]. The Left counter by wondering, ‘Whether it really is possible to separate flower and scent?’

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s poem, even though it has a ‘flower’s heart’ (hanagokoro) ‘changing’ (utsurou), seems to lack the conception of a poem on ‘lingering chrysanthumums’ [zangiku no kokoro sukunaku kikoyuru ni ya]. As for the Right’s poem, although it is true that flower and scent are not separate, there are poems composed on plum blossom, such as ‘The plum blossoms’/Scent, disturbingly,/Clings to my sleeves’ or ‘Leave behind your scent, at least’, so ‘a trace of scent’ (nioi mo nochi wa) does not seem to be a fault. ‘Leave trailed behind’ (utsuroinokore), too, is not unpleasant [yoroshikarazaru ni arazu]. The Right should win.

Winter I: 4



yamazato wa
kozue sabishiku
arashi no oto mo
niwa no kareba ni
In a mountain home
The treetops, desolately,
Are completely bare;
The storm-wind’s sound
Is in my garden’s withered leaves…

Lord Ari’ie.


Right (Win).


ko no ha chiru
toyama no kure o
sode ni arashi no
koe zo kudakuru
All the leaves are fallen, as
Through the distant mountain’s dusk
I make my way;
Upon my sleeves, the storm-wind’s
Cry is shattered.



The Right state that the Left’s poem ‘seems superficially appealing, but actually has nothing remarkable about it.’ The Left question how the poet can ‘make his way through the dusk’ (kure o wakeyuku) and ‘shatter’ (kudakuru) the wind.

Shunzei’s judgment: The lower section of the Left’s poem is charming [okashiku koso haberu], but the initial section is frequently used, and old fashioned [tsune no furugoto nite]. The Right’s shattering of the wind in ‘the distant mountains’ dusk’ is a questionable expression [obotsukanaki yō], but the Left’s initial section really does sound as if it lacks any artistry [muisugite kikoyu]. The Right’s total effect is most fine [sugata yoroshiku miehaberi]. It should win.

Winter I: 3



nagame mo utsuru
niwa no iro yo
nani o kozue no
fuyu ni nokosan
A slight regret I feel, as
My gaze shifts
With the garden’s hues;
What of the treetops
Will remain in winter?

Lord Sada’ie.




momiji kakiwake
iro sae fukaki
yamaji narikeri
Fallen in drifts,
Forging through the scarlet leaves
I come, and see
The depth of colour laid
Upon the mountain paths.

Lord Takanobu.


The Right state that the Left’s poem is lacking in conception [kokoro yukazu]. The Left respond that the Right’s poem, as in the previous round, is old-fashioned in both conception and diction [kokoro kotoba onaji yō ni furumekashi].

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s poem does seem to have some conception about it, despite the Right’s criticism of this as lacking. Although the Right’s ‘depths of colour’ (iro sae fukaki) appears easy to grasp, again, the round should tie.