Tag Archives: setting sun

Koresada shinnō-ke uta’awase 29


irihi sasu
yama to zo miyuru
momijiba no
aki no kotogoto
terasu narikeri
The setting sun shines
On the mountains, and it seems
The scarlet leaves
All of autumn
Do illuminate.



hisakata no
tsuki no katsura mo
aki  wa nao
momiji sureba ya
On the eternal
Moon the silver trees too
In Autumn
Change their hues;
Is that why you shine so bright?


[1] This poem was included in Kokinshū (IV: 194), where it is attributed to Mibu no Tadamine.

San’i minamoto no hirotsune ason uta’awase 11

Round Eleven: The scent of blossom in the fields at dusk



miyagino ya
shiruku mo niou
yū magure kana
To Miyagi Plain
Have come visiting
The asters?
So startling their scent
In the twilight dusk!

Ōe no Masasuke, Student of Law[1]



ima yori wa
isogi mo yukaji
irihi sasu
noyama no hana zo
More than this moment
There seems no purpose in haste, as
The setting sun shines
The blossom in the mountain meadows
Has a scent sublime.

Lord Tadamoto

[1] Ōe no Masasuke 大江盛佐. The identity of this individual remains uncertain, as he does not appear in the genealogy of the Ōe family. There was, however, a Fujiwara no Masasuke 藤原盛佐, who was appointed to the position of Senior Secretary of the Echizen province on the 23rd day of the First Month Kōji 康治 1 [10.2.1142], some forty years after this contest was held. The title used for Masasuke here, Student of Law (myōbōshō 明法生) indicates that he was enrolled in the Law department of the imperial university (daigakuryō 大学寮) at the time, and so would have been a young man. It is possible that for a minor noble it could take decades to gain an appointment to a provincial administration, so it is possible that this is Fujiwara no Masasuke, but this remains speculation. In any case this is his sole poem in a poetry competition.

Love VI: 7


irihi sasu
toyohatagumo mo
nani narazu
tsuki naki koi no
yamishi hareneba
The setting sun shines
On fluttering cloudy pennants, but
Comes to nothing;
With no moon, my love
From darkness will never escape…


Right (Win).

ika nareba
kokoro mo sora ni
ukigumo no
kakaru koisuru
mi no nariniken
For some reason
My heart, as with the skies
Drifting clouds
Does hang; such a lover
Have I become…

Lord Tsune’ie.

The Right state: ‘with no moon, my love’ (tsuki naki koi) sounds poor. The Left state: there is nothing remarkable about this.

In judgement: the Left’s ‘fluttering cloudy pennants’ (toyohatagumo) sounds as if it is introducing something significant, but the conclusion‘from darkness will never escape’ (yamishi hareneba), is restricted. Whilethe Right’s poem, indeed, has nothing remarkable about it, it is elegant. It should win.

Love IV: 21

Left (Win).

aramashi ni
kokoro wa tsukinu
koyoi tote
mataba to omou
yūgure no sora
Wondering if it will it be
Has been the sole focus of my thoughts;
Tonight, he said –
‘If only you could wait,’ so thinks
The evening sky…

Lord Ari’ie.


kokoro sae
kakikurasu kana
tsukuzuku to
omoi irihi no
sora o nagamete
My very heart
Is sunk in darkness;
On and on,
Go my thoughts with the setting sun,
Gazing at the sky…

Lord Tsune’ie.

The Right state: we find no faults. The Left state: saying ‘on and on’ (tsukuzuku) seems somewhat weak.

In judgement: the final line of the Left’s poem sounds elegant. Again, I make the Left the winner.

Summer II: 24



narukami wa
nao murakumo ni
irihi ni haruru
yūdachi no sora
Among the crowding clouds yet
Sounds, and
The setting sun shines from a clearing
Sky of evening showers.



Right (Win).


kore mo ya to
hito sato tōki
katayama ni
yūdachi suguru
sugi no muradachi
Could that be it?
Far from human dwellings
In the distant mountains
Passed o’er by evening showers:
A grove of cedar trees…



The Right wonder whether, ‘it is not overly similar to have both “thunder” (naru) and “sound” (todoroku) in a single poem?’ The Left have no comments to make.

Shunzei states, ‘The Left’s poem does seem to have some sort of style about it, but the Right’s “Could that be it?” (kore mo ya) contains many possible meanings, and the phrasing is also pleasant, as is “a grove of cedar trees” (sugi no muradachi), and thus, it must win.’

Summer II: 23



yūdachi wa
nagori mo miezu
izura ogawa no
oto bakarishite
The evening shower
Leaving no trace
Has cleared;
Where is the stream?
Amidst the sound of trickling water…

Lord Kanemune.


Right (Win).


irihi wa sasedo
sugawara ya
fushimi no sato wa
yūdachi no sora
From Hatsuse Mountain
The setting sun does shine, yet
Above Sugawara and
The estate of Fushimi
Evening showers fill the sky.

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.


Neither Left nor Right has anything to say this round.

Shunzei simply says, ‘The Right’s “The estate of Fushimi evening showers fill the sky” is particularly fine. The Right must win.’