Tag Archives: sleeve

Saishō chūjō kuninobu no ie no uta’awase 15

Left (Win).

katasiku sode Fa
itu ka Fa imo ga
yume ni miekeru
Tortured with love
My single spread sleeve
I do reverse, yet
When will my darling
Appear in my dreams?

The Holy Teacher 闍梨
[Ryūgen 隆源]


wa ga kokoro
toki zo tomonaku
Fi dani kurureba
My heart
With every passing hour
Is more distraught, yet
Even when the day does dim
Love is my companion.

Bichū 備中
[Minamoto no Nakazane 源仲実]

Love V: 26

Left (Win).

miyako nite
narenishi mono o
hitori ne no
katashiku sode wa
nani ka sabishiki
In the capital
I grew accustomed to it, but
Sleeping alone
With only a single sleeve spread out
Is somehow sad…

Lord Suetsune


imo dani mo
matsu to shi kikaba
koyurugi no
isogu funaji mo
That girl of yours
Awaits you – were I to hear that,
From Koyurugi’s
Rocky shore in haste I’d go, even
The sea-lanes filled with joy!

The Provisional Master of the Empress Household Office.

The Right state: the Left’s poem lacks the essence of love on a journey, and even the sense of sorrow seems insufficient. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no particular faults.

In judgement: what do the Right mean by saying the Left ‘lack the essence of love on a journey’? And is it really right that ‘is somehow sad’ (nani ka sabishiki) is insufficient? The poem is composed to give an impression of someone fooling themselves. The Right’s ‘Koyurugi’ is certainly not an expression which I have not come across. However, the Left should win.

Winter II: 23

Left (Win).


uzumibi no
atari no matoi
akanu ma wa
yodoko no fusuma
yoso ni koso mire
A charcoal fire-pit,
And friendly folk gathered around:
While I would not have it end
My night time bedding
Seems of little point!

Lord Kanemune.




katashiki no
sode saewataru
fuyu no yo wa
toko ni fusuma no
kai mo naki kana
Just my single
Sleeve is so chill
On this winter’s night,
The blankets on my bed
Seem to do no good at all…

Lord Takanobu.


The Gentlemen of the Right state: we wonder about the use of ‘bedding of little point’ (fusuma yoso ni)? The Gentlemen of the Left state: we find no faults in the Right’s poem.

Shunzei’s judgement: Both poems are on ‘bedding’ (fusuma), with the Left saying that it seems of little purpose at a gathering around a charcoal fire-pit, and the Right, that it seems to be thin when the cold comes. So, we go from it doing no good, even if you do have it on, to it being pointless when you are happy and warm. What point are these poems trying to make, I wonder? The Left should win.

Summer II: 1

Left (Win).


ura mo naki
tamoto ni kaze wa
nao hedatekeri
By repute is
Summer garb,
But this sleeve to the wind
Does pose some hindrance.





hitoe naredomo
nakanaka ni
atsusa zo masaru
ura to narikeru
Summer garb
Is but a single layer, yet
This slight
Heat overpowers
To lie beneath it.



The Right team state that they ‘cannot comprehend the use of “by repute” (natachinagara)’, while the Left counter that they ‘do not understand the use of “slight” (nakanaka ni) before saying that the heat gets under one’s clothing.’

Shunzei responds by stating, ‘The Left’s “by repute” is simply a conventional companion to the statement that summer garb is but a single layer – that is just what one says. It would also seem to suggest the rise of a rumour about an affair, would it not? Nor is there any reason to be puzzled by the Right’s statement of heat beneath one’s clothes; I do wonder, though about “slight” in conjunction with “this heat” (atsusa zo). Thus, even though the rumour in the Left’s poem is unclear, its concluding line is most fine, and it should be the winner.’