Tag Archives: tani

Love I: 17

Left (Win).


tani fukami
haruka ni hito o
kiku no tsuyu
furenu tamoto yo
nani shioruran
Deep within the valley,
Of her, a distant
Word; no dew from the chrysanthemum
Has touched my sleeves, so
Why are they so damp?

A Servant Girl.




kimi o nomi
kokoro zukushi ni
kiku no ike
ii’idenu yori
sode zo nurenuru
Only you do
Fill the whole of my heart;
Word of the waters of Kiku Pond,
A mere mention and
My sleeves are soaked….

Lord Tsune’ie.


The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left’s poem is without fault. The Gentlemen of the Left state: while the Right’s ‘Kiku Pond’ (kiku no ike) does have something novel about it, ‘a mere mention’ (ii’idenu) is pedestrian.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s ‘chrysanthemum valley’ (kiku no tani) and the Right’s ‘chrysanthemum pond’ (kiku no ike) both along the same lines and seem to sound charming [okashiku koso kikoehaberumeredomo]; still, ‘no dew from the chrysanthemum has touched my sleeves’ (kiku no tsuyu furenu tamoto yo) seems a little more elegant to me now.

Winter II: 12

Left (Win).


shimizu moru
tani no toboso mo
kōri o tataku
mine no matsukaze
Where spring waters flow
From out the valley mouth
Is stopped;
Against the ice strikes
The wind from off the pine-filled peaks.

A Servant Girl.




kozue ni mo
yowa no shirayuki
oto yowariyuku
mine no matsukaze
The treetops, too,
Within the snows tonight
Are buried, it seems:
The sounds have softened of
The wind from off the pine-filled peaks.



Neither Left nor Right find any fault.

Shunzei’s judgement: The phrasing of both poems, such as ‘wind from off the pine-filled peaks’ (mine no matsukaze), ‘Against the ice strikes’ (kōri o tataku) and ‘sounds have softened’ (oto yowariyuku), has not particular strong or weak points [kōotsu nakuhaberedo], but still, ‘against the ice strikes’ seems a little superior.

Spring I: 15



oto su nari
asaji ga shita no
kōrishi hodo wa
shirarezarishi o
The sound is heard
From beneath the sparse strands of cogon grass:
Forgotten streamlets which,
When frozen,
Were all unknown.

Lord Suetsune


Right (Win).


mine no arashi ni
itsushika to
otozure kawaru
tani no shitamizu
Well accustomed to the howl
Of storm-winds round the peaks,
The sound does change:
To waters running on the valley floor.

Lord Takanobu


The Right team have no comments to make about the Left’s poem this round, but the Left wonder whether storm-winds really blow in spring?

Shunzei comments that the opening of the Left’s poem is ‘extremely charming’. As for the criticism that storm-winds do not blow in spring, it’s ‘not the case that they do not blow at all’ at that time. After the end of spring, when storm-winds become gentler and their voice fainter, is when one must have poems in the spirit of rising waters flowing through the valleys. He also feels that ‘The sound does change:/To waters running on the valley floor.’ (otozure kawaru/tani no shitamizu) is superior to the Left’s ‘When frozen,/Were all unknown.’ (kôrishi hodo wa/shirarezarishi o), and so gives the Right the victory this round.