Tag Archives: shika

SZS V: 315

Composed in the conception of hearing stags while staying overnight at a port.


yobune kogi’iduru
oFikaze ni
sika no kowe saFe
seto watarunari
At Minato River
The night boats row out
Carried on the wind
Do even the stags’ cries
Carry across the straits?

Dōin (1090-1182)

Love I: 16

Left (Win).


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.




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.



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.

FGS V: 522


kaze samumi
hadarejimo furu
aki no yo wa
yamashita toyomi
shika zo nakunaru
How chill the wind
Dusting frost
On this autumn night;
The foothills echoing with
The belling of the stags…

Fujiwara no Mototoshi

This poem is also included in the Horikawa Hyakushū.

Winter I: 16

Left (Win).


shimo karuru
nohara ni aki no
kokoro no uchi ni
shika zo nakinuru
Burnt by frost
The fields autumn
Bring back to me, and
Within my heart
A stag cries out.

Lord Suetsune.




shika no oto mo
mushi mo samasama
koe taete
miyagino no hara
The sound of stags and
All the insects varied
Cries are gone;
Completely burned by frost is
The plain of Miyagino.



The Right say that the Left’s poem is ‘fine, perhaps’ [yoroshiki ka]. The Left reply that the Right’s ‘lacks any faults.’

Shunzei’s judgement: Both poems are on the topic of ‘withered fields’ and the Right has a fine final section with ‘the plain of Miyagino’ (miyagino no hara), but the initial section with ‘stags’ and ‘insects’ sounds as if the poet is enumerating members of list [kazoetatetaru yō ni ya kikoyu]. The Left, with its ‘The fields autumn bring back to me’ (nohara ni aki no shinobarete), followed by ‘Within my heart a stag cries out’ (kokoro no uchi ni shika zo nakinuru), is most fine. The Left should win.

Autumn III: 27

Left (Tie).


aki kurenu to wa
saoshika no
oto sede hito ni
Unable to bear
The end of autumn
The stag
Falls silent, and to man
The end relates…





asu yori ya
ogi no ha aezu
aki o ba yume to
From tomorrow
The fronds of silver-grass, unbearably,
Will be frost-burned;
That Autumn is but a dream
Will be clear to all.

The Provisional Master of the Empress Household Office.

Neither Left nor Right have any criticisms to make this round.

Shunzei’s judgement: Neither team has identified any faults with the other’s poem this round. However, the Left’s ‘The stag falls silent, and to man the end relates’ (oto sede hito ni tsuguru) is unclear, isn’t it? [obotsukanaku ya] The Right’s ‘fronds of silver-grass, unbearably’ (ogi no ha aezu) is also impossible to understand [ekokoroehaberanu]. Thus, the round must tie.

Autumn II: 7

Left (Win).


aki wa nao
kiri no nabiki ni
shika nakite
hana mo tsuyukeki
yū narikeri
It truly is autumn –
Through the fluttering mist
Comes the belling of a stag, and
The blooms, too, are dew-drenched
At even time…

Lord Kanemune.




aware o ba
ika ni seyo tote
iriai no
koe uchi souru
shika no ne naran
More sad
Than this there’s nothing!
The evening bell
Tolling, accompanied by
The belling of a stag.

Lord Tsune’ie.


The Right wonder, ‘In the expression “the blooms, too”, what does the “too” (mo) connect with? In addition, simply finishing the poem “At even time” (yū narikeri) shows a lack of conception.’ The Left counter that, ‘In the Right’s poem, expressions such as “more sad” (aware o ba) and “the belling of a stag” (shika no ne naran) are feeble. In addition, what of having iriai (“evening [bell]”), without explicitly including “bell” (kane)?’

Shunzei’s judgement: While I do wonder about the expression, ‘at even time’, with the inclusion of ‘too’ in the phrase ‘the blooms, too’, there is the impression of unspoken emotional overtones to the poem. The configuration of the first phrase, too, is particularly tasteful. As for the Right’s poem, it is not the case that iriai must always be accompanied by kane (‘bell’) – one can hear the bell in the phrase. However, overall, the Left’s poem gives a stronger impression, and so wins.