Tag Archives: Shitahimo

MYS IV: 727

[One of] two poems sent by Ōtomo sukune Yakamochi to the Elder Maiden of the House of Sakanoue (a love poem to say that though they had been parted for many years, he hoped they would meet again).

忘れ草我が下紐に付けたれど醜の醜草言にしありけり

wasuregusa
wa ga sitapimo ni
tuketaredo
siko no sikokusa
koto ni shi arikeri
A forgetful day-lily
To my under-belt
Is bound, yet
This annoying weed
Is so in name alone!

Ōtomo no Yakamochi
大伴家持

Love VII: 23

Left.
逢ひ見じと思かたむる中なれやかく解けがたき下紐の関

aimiji to
omoikatamuru
naka nare ya
kaku tokegataki
shimohimo no seki
Never to meet
Has she hardened her heart –
Is that to be our bond?
As hard to undo as
The barrier at Shitahimo!

Lord Suetsune
1005

Right (Win).
恋しともかくは人にも知られなんと思ふ心や文字の関守

koishitomo
kaku wa hito ni mi
shirarenan to
omou kokoro ya
moji no sekimori
The letters for love, should
I write, would she my feelings
Then understand, I
Wonder? Does her heart have
A barrier warden at Moji?

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1006

The Right state: ‘hardened her heart’ (omoikatamuru) is grating on the ear. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to indicate.

In judgement: regardless of whether the Left’s poem sounds poor or not, having both ‘hardened’ (katamuru) and ‘hard’ (kataki) is a fault. So, ‘a barrier warden at Moji’ (moji no sekimori) wins.

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…

Yoshinobu-shū 257

現とも夢とも見えぬ程ばかり通はばゆるせ下紐の関

ututu tomo
yume tomo mienu
Fodo bakari
kayoFaba yuruse
sitaFimo no seki
If it’s a dream, or
If it’s real, I know not, so
While I am unsure
If I should come, permit me
The barrier of  Shitahimo – your under-belt!

Ōnakatomi no Yoshinobu (921-991)
大中臣能宣

SKS VI: 184

When Lord Tachibana no Tamenaka left to become Governor of Michinoku, this was presented from pantry of the Grand Empress Dowager, without any mention of who had sent it.

東路のはるけき道を行かへりいつかとくべき下紐の関

adumadi no
Farukeki miti wo
yukikaFeri
ituka tokubeki
sitaFimo no seki
On Eastern paths
So distant
Will you go, and then return
When, indeed, will you undo
The barrier of Shitahimo – my under-belt again?

Anonymous