Tag Archives: plum blossom

Love V: 21

Left (Win).

kasanezu to
omou bakari zo
nioi wa sode ni
utsurinuru kana
No piled robes, but
All I do is long for her:
Her night-robe’s
Scent upon my sleeves
Does dwell….

Lord Suetsune


kozue bakari o
nasake nite
aruji wa tōki
yado no mume ga e
The scent drifting
From the treetops is my only
Consolation, for
Their master is as far away
As his dwelling’s plum blossom branches…


The Right state: the Left’s poem lacks any faults to indicate. The Left state: is the Right’s poem not composed upon the plum blossom of the house next door?

In judgement: for the topic of ‘Nearby Love’, poems composed where the lovers are in the same room are most likely winners. Even so, how close do their dwellings need to be? The Left’s latter section, ‘Her night-robe’s scent upon my sleeves’ (sayogoromo nioi wa sode ni) is certainly elegant. The Right’s poem has ‘Their master is as far away’ (aruji wa tōki). Simply because of this, it is certainly not composed on plum blossom. Still, the Left’s ‘night-robe’ (sayogoromo) seems a little superior to ‘The scent drifting from the treetops is my only consolation’ (nioikuru kozue bakari o nasake nite).


Spring 1

In the Second Month of the Fourth Year of Kenpô (1216), I selected and ordered two hundred of my own meagre works. In the Sixth Month of the following year, I took the order apart and rearranged it somewhat. In the Seventh Year of Kenpô, I secretly presented it to His Majesty, and received an Imperial judgement upon it.

Left (Tie)


kasugano ni
saku ya ume ga e
yukima yori
ima wa harube to
wakana tsumitsutsu
On Kasuga field,
O, branches of blooming plum blossom!
From the spaces in the snow,
‘Now Spring is come!’
Do we pluck fresh greens.




mata ya miyama o
wakana tsumu no mo
awayuki zo furu
Has it not gone, and yet
The mountains’ depths
Does bury?
Upon the fresh-green picking fields
A spume of snow falls on…


Sanekata Shū 280

When I was at the court of the Crown Prince during a Kōshin Rite at the beginning of the year, I composed the following with ‘the pointlessness of darkness’ as a topic:


niFoFi saFe
mume no Fana
woru ni mo ika ni
mono ukaramasi
Had they no scent
To fragrance them,
Plum blossoms
Plucked by touch alone
Would be a chore, indeed!

Ise Shū 34

When Her Majesty, the Empress, was known as the Consort who was Mother to the Crown Prince, she selected topics and ordered Ise to compose poems for a folding screen as follows:

There was a picture of a man visiting a woman and conversing with her. The man, using the pretext of plum blossom to begin a conversation with the lady, says:


misi Fito ni
mata mo ya aFu to
mume no Fana
sakisi atari ni
yukanu Fi zo naki
The maid I glimpsed,
I wonder, may I meet her more?
Plum blossom
Bloomed around about
Where the sun does ever shine.