Tag Archives: pillow

Minbukyō yukihira no uta’awase 9

Left
明けぬ間に箱根の山の時鳥二声とだに鳴き渡るらむ

akenu ma ni
Fakone no yama no
Fototogisu
Futakowe to dani
nakiwataruramu
Before the dawn no
Hakone Mountain
Cuckoos’
Twin calls simply
Seem to sing back and forth

17

Right (Win)
深山出でていづこも旅ぞ時鳥ここにを結べ草の枕は

miyama idete
iduko mo tabi zo
Fototogisu
koko ni wo musube
kusa no makura wa
Emerging from the mountains’ depths
Where does your journey take you,
O, cuckoo?
Here will I twine strands
Of grass for my pillow…

18

Saishō chūjō kuninobu no ie no uta’awase 14

Left (Win).
夜とともに玉散る床の菅枕見せばや人に夜半の景色を

yo to tomo ni
tama tiru toko no
sugamakura
miseba ya Fito ni
yowa no kesiki wo
Together with the night
Gemlets scatter on my bed’s
Sedge-filled pillow;
Should I show her
This midnight sight?

The Master 大夫
[Minamoto no Toshiyori 源俊頼]
27

Right.
波のよる岩根に立てる磯馴れ松また寝もいらで恋ひあかしつる

nami no yoru
iFane ni tateru
sonare matu
mata ne mo irade
koFi akasituru
The waves roll in
To the cliffs where stands
A hardy pine upon the rocks;
Once more sleepless
From love do I greet the dawn.

The Assistant Master 佐
[Fujiwara no Mototoshi 藤原基俊]
28

Love V: 30

Left (Tie).
故郷を出でしにまさる涙かな嵐の枕夢に別れて

furusato ni
ideshi ni masaru
namida kana
arashi no makura
yume ni wakarete
My home
I left in floods
Of tears;
The wild wind round my pillow
Breaks us apart in dreams…

Lord Sada’ie
899

Right.
東路の夜半の眺めを語らなん都の山にかゝる月影

azumaji no
yowa no nagame o
kataranan
miyako no yama ni
kakaru tsukikage
Upon the eastern roads
All night I turn my gaze –
Tell him that,
O moonlight, sinking
Toward the mountains round the capital!

Nobusada
900

Both Left and Right say they find no faults.

In judgement: the Left starts with ‘My home I left in floods’ (furusato ni ideshi ni masaru) and concludes with ‘the wild wind round my pillow breaks us apart in dreams’ (arashi no makura yume ni wakarete) – this is a form of words the quality of which I am entirely unable to convey with my own clumsy expressions, but the Right’s ‘O moonlight, sinking toward the mountains round the capital’ (miyako no yama ni kakaru tsukikage) is awash with a sense of tears, so it is most unclear which should win or lose. Both truly seem to reflect the conception of this topic ‘Love and Travel’ well. The poems have been so good every round that my brush is drenched with this old man’s tears, and I can find no other way to express it.

 

Love V: 28

Left (Win).
旅寢する我をば床の主にて枕に宿る小夜の面影

tabinesuru
ware oba toko no
aruji nite
makura ni yadoru
sayo no omokage
When sleeping on my travels
I of my bedding
Am master!
Lodging by my pillow is
A face from a night too brief…

Lord Ari’ie
895

Right.
まどろまぬその夜な夜なを數ふれば夢路も遠き草枕哉

madoromanu
sono yona yona o
kazoureba
yumeji mo tōki
kusamakura kana
Unable to even doze
Night after night
I count them up, and
The path of dreams gets more
Distant from my grassy pillow.

Lord Takanobu
896

The Right state: the Left’s poem seems fine. The Left state: we find no faults to mention.

In judgement: the Right’s ‘the path of dreams gets more distant’ (yumeji mo tōki) sounds elegant, but the Left’s poem has already been assessed as ‘fine’ in the comments by the gentlemen of the Right. This round I will leave the judgement in their hands and make the Left the winner.

 

Love V: 25

Left (Win).
枕にも跡にも露の玉散りてひとり起きゐる小夜の中山

makura ni mo
ato ni mo tsuyu no
tama chirite
hitori oki’iru
sayo no naka yama
Upon my pillow and
My foot prints both, dew
Drops have fallen
Awakening alone in
Sayo-no-Nakayama.

A Servant Girl
889

Right.
草枕ひとりあかしの浦風にいとゞ涙ぞ落ちまさりける

kusamakura
hitori akashi no
ura kaze ni
itodo namida zo
ochimasarikeru
Pillowed on the grass,
Alone at dawn in Akashi,
The breeze from the bay
Makes even more tears
Fall.

Lord Tsune’ie.
890

The Right state they have no criticisms of the Left’s poem. The Left merely say that the Right’s poem is ‘old-fashioned’.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s ‘dew drops’ (tsuyu no tama) falling so widely at Sayo-no-Nakayama one can surmise to be deeply expressive of the concept of travel. The Right’s Akashi Bay is a place strongly associated with the sad sound of the wind and the waves, but the final ‘makes even more fall’ (ochimasarikeru) is insufficient. Thus, the Left should win.

Love V: 18

Left (Tie).
戀しとは便りにつけていひやりつ年は返りぬ人は歸らず

koishi to wa
tayori ni tsukete
iiyaritsu
toshi wa kaerinu
hito wa kaerazu
I love you,
I put in a letter, and
Sent it off;
The years have gone by, but
He has not returned.

A Servant Girl
875

Right.
遥かなり幾草枕結びてかその下紐の解けんとすらん

harukanari
iku kusamakura
musubite ka
sono shitahimo no
token to sururan
A great distance –
How many times pillowed on the grass?
Tied tight
My under-belt –
I wonder when I will undo it?

Nobusada
876

The Right state: the Left’s poem seems comic. The Left state: the initial line of the Right’s poems does not seem to have much to say.

In judgement: I wonder if it really is comic? It’s just a poem in one particular style. The conception of the poem ‘I do not await / The new year, yet it is here; / The Winter plants’ is especially charming. As for the Right, the Gentlemen have stated that the first line ‘has nothing much to say’, but I feel it is appropriately placed. Furthermore, I wonder what to think about the final ‘my under-belt’ (sono shitahimo), but, then again, the configuration of ‘How many times pillowed on the grass’ (iku kusa makura) is evocative. The poems are comparable, and again, they tie. Alas, my judgement here suggests I know nothing of poetry. It is most difficult when one realises how times have changed. How sad it is…

MYS V: 810

Poems respectfully presented by Ōtomo no Tabito, to accompany a Japanese zither made from wood taken from the top of a parasol tree growing on Yuishi in Tsushima:

I dreamed this zither transformed into a maiden who said to me, ‘I placed my roots in the care of the sacrd heights of a distant island; my trunk was dried by the peaceful light of the ninefold sun. Ever was I enveloped by the smoky haze drifting from the mountain streams, and beheld from afar the winds and the waves, finding myself between a tree and a goose. Yet, after a hundred years, I was afraid I would simply be left to rot away in a moat or a ditch somewhere, but by good fortune I met a talented craftsman, who shaped my wood into this meagre zither. My form may be coarse, and my sound grating, but I hope that I may rest, as my Lord’s zither, at his left hand.’ Then, she composed.

いかにあらむ日の時にかも声知らむ人の膝の上我が枕かむ

ika ni aramu
pi no toki ni kamo
kowe siramu
pito no piza no pe
wa ga makurakamu
When will
The day come that
I shall sing
With his lap
For my pillow?