Tag Archives: sleet

Winter I: 21



hitome koso
kare mo hatename
yamazato ni
hikage mo miezu
mizore furu koro
The bustle of folk
Seems so far away,
In a mountain home
Where no sunlight but
Sleet does fall…

Lord Ari’ie.


Right (Win).


mizoruru sora ya
kōri mo hatenu
shigure naruran
Gathering clouds,
Sleeting, fill the sky;
The first chill of
Endless ice
In the coming shower…



The Right state that they are unable to understand the point of ‘Sleet does fall’ (mizore furu koro). The Left state that ‘sleeting’ (mizoruru) is grating on the ear [kikinikushi]. In addition, the initial 5-7-5 structure is inconsistent [kiregire nari].

Shunzei’s judgement: In the Left’s poem what is the problem with understanding ‘sleet does fall’? However, what I would want it to say next is that the sunlight always falls. In the Right’s poem, one could have said ‘sleeted sky’ (mizoreshi sora), but ‘sleeting sky’ is also unproblematic [nan ni oyobubekarazu]. ‘Endless ice in the coming shower’ (kōri mo hatenu shigure naruran) is an unusual conception [kokoro mezurashiku], and ‘the first chill’ (saesomete) is also well positioned. The Right is slightly better and should win.

Winter I: 20



tare mo miyo
kore wa mizore no
sora naran
chirikuru hana wa
ame ya majirishi
Behold, one and all!
This is a sleet-filled
Sky, indeed!
Flowers falling,
Mixed with rain?

Lord Suetsune.


Right (Win).


kaze wataru
hana no atari no
harusame wa
fuyu no sora ni mo
arikeru mono o
The breeze blows
Around the blossom
In spring showers;
The winter skies, too,
Have such things…



The Right wonder about the appropriateness of ‘mixed’ (majirishi). The Left complain that the Right’s poem ‘does not contain an expression from the topic [dai no ji]’ and wonder about the appropriateness of this in a poetry competition.

Shunzei’s judgement: ‘This is a sleet-filled sky, indeed!’ (kore wa mizore no sora naran) is charming, but the latter section of the poem, saying that blossoms fall during a shower is quite pedestrian [tsune no koto ni aran]. I also wonder about the appropriateness of ‘mixed with rain?’ (ame ya majirishi) as a choice of poetic diction [uta kotoba]. Having ‘Around the blossom in spring showers’ (hana no atari no harusame wa), and then ‘The winter skies, too, have such things…’ (fuyu no sora ni mo arikeru mono o) is extremely charming. Even without the explicit reference to the topic, one can certainly glimpse the sleet. The Right should win.

Winter I: 19

Left (Win).


kaze samumi
kyō mo mizore no
furu sato wa
yoshino no yama no
yukige narikeri
A chill breeze brings
Sleet, today,
Falling as on the ancient estate on
Yoshino mountain
Did snows fall once…

A Servant Girl.




arashi fuku
konoha kokimaze
mizore furi
yama no oku kana
The storm wind blows
Leaves mixed in with
Falling sleet;
How lonely it is
Here within the mountains…



Neither team finds any fault with the other’s poem this round.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s ‘Sleet, today, falling as on the ancient estate’ (kyō mo mizore no furu sato wa), preceding ‘on Yoshino mountain did snows fall once’, reflects the conception of ‘Where once I lived, to the mount of Yoshino was so close’ (Furusato Fa yosino no yama si tikakereba) and seems splendid [ito yoroshiku miehabere]. The Right’s ‘How lonely it is here within the mountains’ (sabishikarikeru yama no oku kana) as a final section is most acceptable in terms of style [mottomo shokisubeki no tei], but the initial ‘leaves mixed in’ (konoha kokimaze) sounds as if this had been done with some human hand. Thus, the Left with matched initial and final sections, must win.