This poem was particularly highly evaluated and so is included in numerous other anthologies (Kokin rokujō I: 125), exemplary collections (Shinsen waka 2) and senka awase – contests assembled from prior poems (Shunzei sanjū roku nin uta’awase 61; Jidai fudō uta’awase 49).
In judgement: the poem of the Left has ‘unconnected with fishing diver-girls at Shiga would I seem?’ (yoso ni ya wa tsuri suru shiga no ama o min) and the poem of the Right has ‘floating upon my heart is a diver-girl’s fishing boat!’ (kokoro ni ukabu ama no tsuribune): both have profound conception and their diction sounds pleasant, so it is difficult to divide them into superior and inferior works. Thus, I make this a tie.
The Right state: the Left’s poem is clichéd. The Left state: the Right’s poem is that of Shigeyuki.
In judgement: the Left’s poem is clichéd, but in addition to this uses ‘goes on and on’ (tsuzukite), which is not something one should say. The Right’s poem is, indeed, overly close to Shigeyuki’s, so both Left and Right poem are deficient and lacking in any element allowing a win.
Both Left and Right state that the opposing poem lacks a strong conception of the sea.
In judgement: I wonder whether the suggestion by both Left and Right that the poems lack a strong conception of the sea is correct. The Left has ‘the rising tide flooding the rocky shore’ (mitsu shio ni irinuru iso), while the Right has ‘crashing on the crags by the rocky shore’ (iwane utsu ara’iso). If these expressions do not strongly convey the conception of the sea, then I ask you, what would? I wonder, though, how one’s sleeves can get soaked if the waves, though high, are distant. The final section of the Left’s poem is elegant. It wins.
kaiya ga shita no
kogare mo yaranu
Warding the mountain fields
Beneath the heated hut
Smoulders without end –
And so do I!
The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults. The Left state: we wonder about the usage of ‘beneath the heated hut’ (kaiya ga shita) with ‘warding the mountain fields’ (yamada moru). In reply: in the Man’yōshū ‘heated hut’ (kaiya), is written with characters meaning ‘deer-repelling fire hut’. In addition, in territories where they wish to drive the deer away from their mountain paddies, they take things which smell foul when burnt, such as hair, and burn them, and in order that the fires are not put out by the rain, they build a roof over them. The common folk of these places call these things ‘heated huts’ (kaiya). So, the Man’yōshū’s usage corresponds with actual practice. Again, a further criticism from the Left: the Master of the Crown Prince’s Household Office composed a poem on salting. Atsutaka also includes ‘heated hut’ in the section on mosquito fires. Such are the ideas of our forebears. That ‘heated hut’ is written in Man’yōshū with characters meaning ‘deer-repelling fire’ and ‘scented fire’ is no proof of anything. Might it not have been written this way so that it would be read to mean ‘keep’? One certainly cannot sweepingly say that it means ‘deer-repelling fire’. A further response from the Right: our forebears have presented no definite evidence, and so it is difficult to accept this argument. In addition, has it not long been accepted that ‘morning haze’ can be used to refer to the smoke from deer-repelling fires, when composing on the haze spreading? Furthermore, in the Hitomaroshū, there is the poem ‘On Kogane Mountain / Beneath the heated hut / Frogs call’. Thus, it appears that this composition must refer to mountain fields.
In judgement: the Left’s ‘At Nago the fisherfolk’ (nago no ama) links the initial and latter sections of the poem extremely well. There seems to be have been some discussion from both teams about the Right’s ‘beneath the heated hut the smoke’ (kaiya ga shita no kemuri). Prior to the to and fro about this poem, was there not a similar discussion about heated huts in the final section of spring poems about frogs? With the greatest respect, the discussion here seems little different. However, in regard to the Right’s poem, saying that love smoulders is the normal way of expressing matters. I do wonder about ‘smoulders without end’ (kogare mo yaranu), but this would certainly seem appropriate with the reference to a heated hut. The Left, in addition, with ‘salt burning smoke’ (yaku shio kemuri) lacks any faults to indicate, so with no clear winner or loser, I make this round a tie.