Tag Archives: Ōhara

Entō ōn’uta’awase 02

Round Two

Left (Tie)


ōhara ya
oshio no sato no
yukiki ni nareshi
haru zo wasurenu
In Ōhara
At Oshio estate among
The morning haze
Accustomed to go back and forth,
Never will I forget that springtime!

The Former Minister of the Centre



urabito no
shio yaku sato no
haru no mono to ya
wakade miruran
Folk dwelling by the bay
Roasting salt in their village:
The morning haze
From a scene in spring ‘tis
Hard to distinguish, is it not?[1]


The Left’s poem composes ‘Oshio estate among the morning haze accustomed to go back and forth’ and, in addition to seeming to have some feeling in it, displays fine configuration and diction, while the Right’s poem ‘From as scene in spring ‘tis hard to distinguish, is it not?’ recollects Narihira’s poem ‘a scene from spring: ever-falling rain to gaze upon all day’ and has a gentle air about it, so both are difficult to distinguish from each other. I make this a tie.

[1] An allusive variation on KKS XIII: 616.

Tsurayuki-shū 717

Composed on the night when coming-of-age ceremonies were held for the son and daughter of the Captain of the Outer Palace Guards, in the Twelfth Month, Shōhei 5 [935].


ōhara ya
oshio no yama no
haya kodaka kare
chiyo no kage min
In Ōhara
On Oshio Mountain
Among the young pine groves
Fly swiftly, fledgling hawk,
For you will see the light of a thousand generations!

Ki no Tsurayuki


When Lord Yoshinobu had gone to Ōharano, he met someone whom it seemed strange to find living in such a mountain retreat; when Yoshinobu asked him how he had come to be there:


yo no naka o
somuki ni tote wa
nao uki koto wa
ōhara no sato
“The mundane world
I will abandon,” I said and
Came here, yet
Still are there many sorrows
In this estate at Ōhara.


GSS XX: 1373

When the gentlemen and ladies of the household of the Minister of the Left were getting dressed for a coming-of-age ceremony.


oFoFara ya
wosiFo no yama no
haya ko takakare
tiyo no kage mimu
At Ōhara,
On Oshio Mountain
The young pine saplings
Will grow swiftly into mighty trees and
See a thousand generations pass!

Ki no Tsurayuki

Winter I: 25



ōhara ya
nobe no miyuki ni
tokoro ete
soratoru kyō no
mashirō no taka
Plain for an Imperial Progress is
Most apt;
Catching prey a’wing this day
Is a white banded hawk!



Right (Win).


saga no hara
hashiru kigisu no
kata ato wa
kyō no miyuki ni
kakurenaki kana
On the field of Saga
Racing, the pheasants’
Today’s Imperial Progress
Will not come at all…



The Right state that ‘most apt’ (tokoro ete) is rarely heard in poems. The Left reply that ‘track’ (kata ato) is the same.

Shunzei’s judgement: The poem of the Left sounds grandiose, but there is something dubious about it. When starting with Ōhara (ōhara ya), one expects it to be followed by ‘Oshio Mountain’, as it suggests the field of Ōhara. Without that following Oshio Mountain, when one encounters Ōhara, on recollects both ‘misty clear waters’ and ‘waters of a pure, peaceful well’, and does not know to which the Ōhara refers. There is no precedent at all for Imperial vists to the Ōhara which lies at the foot of Mount Hiei. There are, however, for visits to Mount Oshio. In the poem on ‘waters of a pure, peaceful well’, it states that ‘though there are no birds, we visit for our pleasure’, so it would be impossible for the ‘white banded hawk’ to take prey a’wing there. I have heard ‘tracks’ before, but the poem has little sense of truly knowing ‘Saga Field’, yet there have, without doubt, been Imperial visits there, so ‘tracks’ must be the better poem.