Tag Archives: Otowa

Minbukyō yukihira no uta’awase 2

Left (Win)
おぼつかな音羽の山の時鳥さすがにいはぬ言な頼めそ

obotukana
otoFa no yama no
Fototogisu
sasuga ni iFanu
koto na tanome so
I wonder about
Wingbeats on Otowa Mountain,
The cuckoo:
Truly in unsaid
Words place no trust!

3

Right
誰とかは言はかたらふ時鳥まづ我が聞くにいはで渡るは

tare to ka Fa
koto Fa kataraFu
Fototogisu
madu wa ga kiku ni
iFade wataru Fa
To whom is it that
Tales you tell,
O, Cuckoo?
When first I listen,
Wordless, do you fly back and forth…

4

SIS VIII: 445

Written on the rocks by the waterfall at Provisional Middle Councillor Atsutada’s mountain retreat at Nishi-sakamoto.

音羽川せき入れて落す瀧つせに人の心のみえもするかな

otoFagaFa
seki’irete otosu
taki tu se ni
Fito no kokoro no
mie mo suru kana
On Otowa River
A barrier is placed to drop
A cataract in torrents
And, your heart, perhaps,
Reveal!

Ise
伊勢

Love I: 16

Left (Win).

名に立てる音羽の瀧も音にのみ聞くより袖の濡るゝ物かは

na ni tateru
otowa no taki mo
oto ni nomi
kiku yori sode no
nururu mono ka wa
The name is known:
Otowa Falls
Sounds forth; and just
Hearing that
Is enough to soak my sleeves? Surely not!

Lord Ari’ie.

631

Right.

鹿の音も嵐にたぐふ鐘の音も聞くよりこそは袖は濡れしか

shika no ne mo
arashi no taguu
kane no oto mo
kiku yori koso wa
sode wa nureshika
The braying of the stags, and
With the storm wind
The tolling bells:
Hearing alone
Does soak my sleeves.

Nobusada.

632

The Gentlemen of the Right state: there is nothing worth mentioning in the Left’s poem. The Gentlemen of the Left state: using ne (‘braying’) and oto (‘sound’) in the same poem is a fault [yamai].

Shunzei’s judgement: Both poems are tasteful in form [utazama wa yū] , but the Right’s does contain a fault, as the Left have stated. Thus, the Left should win.

Winter I: 2

Left.

いかばかり散積もればか大井河流れもやらぬ紅葉なるらむ

ika bakari
chiritsumoreba ka
ōikawa
nagare mo yaranu
momiji naruramu
How many
Have fallen altogether upon
Ōi River?
That its flow is stopped
With scarlet leaves…

Kanemune.

483

Right.

紅に關の小川は成にけり音羽の山に紅葉散るらし

kurenai ni
seki no ogawa wa
narinikeri
otowa no yama ni
momiji chirurashi
Scarlet
Has the stream by the barrier
Become.
On Otowa Mountain
The leaves must be falling…

Lord Tsune’ie.

484

The Right state that the Left’s use of –ba ka is grating on the ear [kikinikushi], and query whether saying the ‘flow is stopped’ (nagare mo yaranu) is appropriate. The Left simply say the Right’s poem ‘seems old-fashioned’ [furumekashi].

Shunzei’s judgement: The diction used in the Left’s poem, -ba ka, is simply old-fashioned, and the Right’s criticism is misplaced [sama de arubekarazu]. In addition, I am dubious of their criticism of the latter part of the poem. A somewhat pretentious use of ‘falling leaves’, perhaps? In the Right’s poem, it is inappropriate to combine ‘Otowa Mountain’, ‘stream by the barrier’ and –rashi [because it is an archaic word]. It certainly does not resemble, for example, ‘Mountain dwellings of the gods scarlet leaves look to be falling’ (mimuro no yama ni momiji chirurashi). In addition, ‘Scarlet has the stream by the barrier become’, would mean an excessive fall of leaves, indeed! The Left’s ba ka should win.

Autumn II: 25

Left (Win).

眺めやる心のはては廣澤の池より遠ちに出る月影

nagameyaru
kokoro no hate ha
hirosawa no
ike yori ochi ni
izuru tsukikage
Gazing out
My heart goes
From Hirosawa
Pond somewhere far away
With the moonlight…

Lord Suetsune.

409

Right.

廣澤の池には沈む月影の音羽の山に立ちのぼる哉

hirosawa no
ike ni wa shizumu
tsukikage no
otowa no yama ni
tachinoboru kana
Into Hirosawa
Pond sinks
Moonlight:
Above Mount Otowa
Does it rise again?

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.

410

The Right can find no fault with the Left’s poem this round. The Left, on the other hand, say that the Right’s poem, ‘is more redolent of Otowa Mountain than Hirosawa Pond’.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Right seem to be gazing too far away. The Left must win.

Summer I: 4

Left.

影ひたす水さへ色ぞみどりなるよもの木ずゑのおなじ若葉に

kage hitasu
mizu sae iro zo
midorinaru
yomo no kozue no
onaji wakaba ni
Steeped in shade
Even the water’s hue
Has turned to green:
All around, the treetops
Loft the same new leaves…

Lord Sada’ie.

187

Right (Win).

をしなべて緑に見ゆる音羽山いづれか花のこずゑなりけむ

oshinabete
midori ni miyuru
otowayama
izure ka hana no
kozue narikemu
All has
Turned to green on
Otowa mountain;
Which were the blossomed
Treetops, I wonder?

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.

188

The Right state, ‘The use of “steeped” (hitasu) is not at all laudable,’ to which the Left reply that it is ‘in the spirit of “shade-steeped southern mountain”’, referring to a line in a famous xinyuefu (新楽府; ‘new ballad’ – a Chinese poetic form), ‘Kunming Spring’ (昆明春). They then continue, ‘Why the particular reference to Otowa Mountain? In addition, doesn’t the poem seem redolent of a reversal of Lord [Minamoto no] Yorimasa’s “the cherries do appear in bloom” (sakura wa hana ni arawarenikeri)?’ The Right, rather tersely reply, ‘Such things are only to be expected.’

Shunzei acknowledges the Chinese model for the Left’s poem: ‘ “Shade-steeped southern mountain” appears in the Baishiwenji, yet in this poem it appears to give an inappropriate emphasis [on the water rather than the trees]. In the Right’s poem, Otowa Mountain could certainly be any mountain. As for the reference to Lord Yorimasa’s poem – this type of technique is becoming increasingly common nowadays. The Right should win.’

SKKS VI: 668

Composed when the gentlemen of the court were composing in the conception of yearning after mountain snow just before dawn.

をとは山さやかに見ゆる白雪をあけぬとつぐるとりのこゑかな

otowa yama
sayaka ni miyuru
shirayuki o
akenu to tsuguru
tori no koe kana
Mount Otowa
Appears clearly:
Snow’s whiteness
Brightening-announced by
The cock’s crow.

Retired Emperor Takakura (1161-1188; r. 1168-1180)