Tag Archives: paths of love

Horikawa-in enjo awase 5


koiji ni mayou
shirube ni wa
namida bakari zo
saki ni tachikeru
Suffering with passion, and
Lost upon the paths of love
My guide is
Simply my tears that
Set out before me.

Consultant and Middle Captain Tadanori

The reply, written in a style to blend in with the picture on the paper, of a many-petalled safflower, and attached to a stem of bellflower, made from metal.


koiji oba
fumi dani miji to
omou mi ni
nani ka wa kakaru
namida naruran
Upon the path of love
I’ve not seen you take even one step
I feel, so
Why might you show such
Tears, I wonder?

Kii, in service to the former Kamo Virgin

A picture of a safflower.
Safflower. Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Horikawa-in enjo awase 2

The same Major Counsellor, writing vertically upon delicate scarlet paper.


toshi futomo
iwade kuchinuru
umoregi no
shita no kokoro wa
furinu koi kana
The years pass by, yet
Without a word, has rotted
The drowned tree—
Beneath it, my heart
Has grown old with love!


In reply


minase no kawa no
umoregi wa
shita no koiji wa
toshi furinu tomo
There’s no depth to
The River Minase, where
Drowned trees lie—
Beneath, the paths of love
Have grown old in years, and yet…

Chikuzen, Daughter of Prince Yasusuke

Love X: 19

Left (Win)

koiji ni wa
kaze ya wa sasou
asa yū ni
tani no shibabune
Along the path of love
Does the wind beckon me?
Morning and evening
Along the valley boats of brushwood
Go back and forth, yet…

A Servant Girl


mashiba koru
shizu ni mo aranu
mi naredomo
koi yue ware mo
nageki o zo tsumu
Cutting kindling as
A mountain man is not
My lot, yet
For love do I
Stack up my grief in logs!

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office

Left and Right together state: there is no reason to make any criticisms here.

In judgement: although ‘beckon’ (sasou) in the Left’s poem should be ‘send’ (okuru), it is certainly elegant how it evokes thoughts of Captain Cheng travelling along the valley. The Right, beginning with ‘kindling’ (mashiba) and then having ‘grief in logs’ (nageki) sounds a little too similar, I think. The Left should win.