Tag Archives: tamoto

Love VIII: 16


tamazusa no
taedae ni naru
tagui kana
kumoi ni kari no
miemi miezumi
His jewelled missives
Have become intermittent
It seems, just like
The geese up in the skies,
Glimpsed, and then not seen at all…

Lord Ari’ie

Right (Win)

yowa no tamoto ni
kaze fukete
namida no kawa ni
chidori nakunari
Unable to bear my love,
At midnight my sleeve is
Stirred by the wind, and
Upon a river of tears
The plovers are crying…


The Gentlemen of the Right state: we find no faults to mention in the Left’s poem. The Gentlemen of the Left state: we wonder about the reason for emphasising ‘upon a river of tears the plovers’ (namida no kawa ni chidori).

In judgement: the Left on a lover’s letters becoming intermittent, and saying ‘the geese up in the skies, glimpsed, and then not seen at all’ (kumoi ni kari no miemi miezumi) has a charming conception, and elegant diction. The Right, saying ‘at midnight my sleeve is stirred by the wind’ (yowa no tamoto ni kaze fukete) and continuing ‘the plovers are crying’ (chidori nakunari) has a configuration and diction which sounds fine, too. The criticisms of the Gentlemen of the Left are nothing more than ‘a fisherman fishing beneath his pillow’! Although the conception of the Left’s poem is charming, the configuration of the Right’s poem is slightly more notable, so it should win.

SIS II: 81

When former emperor Reizei was Crown Prince, and ordered that a hundred poem sequence be presented.


Fana no iro ni
somesi tamoto no
koromo kaFe uki
keFu ni mo aru kana
The blossoms’ hue
Has dyed my sleeves,
So I do regret
The sorrow of changing clothes
On this day today…

Minamoto no Shigeyuki

Love III: 2

Left (Win).


tamoto wa hayaku
koi zo namida ni
Unable to dry
My sleeves have already
Rotted away;
Love, with tears
Is revealed.

Lord Kanemune.




omoi o ima wa
yoso no hitome to
nagekubakari zo
My hidden
Love is known, now, but
When I am forgotten
Others’ gazes will
Only cause me grief.



The Right state that the Left’s poem sounds ‘very hackneyed’ [ito, furumekashi], while the Left complain that they cannot hear the link between ‘when I am forgotten’ (wasuraren) and the subsequent material [tsuzukite mo kikoezu].

Shunzei’s judgement: While the Left’s poem may sound hackneyed, there is not a previous example which it resembles closely [sashite sono uta to wa kikoezu]. At the same time, it is extremely tasteful in form [utazama wa yū narubeshi]. Thus, the Left wins.