Tag Archives: Teika

Love IX: 13

Left (Win)
主やたれ見ぬ世の色を写しをく筆のすさびにうかぶ面影

nushi ya tare
minu yo no iro o
utsushioku
fude no susabi ni
ukabu omokage
Who painted you?
Unseen in this present world, hues,
Reflected by
A comforting brush,
Bring her visage before me…

Lord Sada’ie
1105

Right
水茎の跡に堰きをく瀧津瀬をまことに落とすわが涙かな

mizukuki no
ato ni sekioku
taki tsu se o
makoto ni otosu
wa ga namida kana
Faint brush-strokes
Traces place a barrier, but
A cataract in torrents
Truly drops –
My tears…

Jakuren
1106

The Right state: the Left’s poem is rather casual about the person whom he loves. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults we can identify.

In judgement: the Gentlemen of the Right have stated that the Left seems somewhat blasé about the object of his affections, and this is certainly true. The Right’s poem, though, says that the poet is looking at a painting on something like a folding screen, where a waterfall is depicted, and he weeps in reality – this seems like he was simply moved by the painting. I feel that there is a stronger conception of love in seeing a painting and fondly recalling the face of one now long gone, than there is in being moved by the sight of a mountain stream.

Love IX: 7

Left (Tie)
昔聞く君が手馴れの琴ならば夢に知られて音をも立てまし

mukashi kiku
kimi ga tenare no
koto naraba
yume ni shirarete
ne o mo tatemashi
Long ago, I heard
Your favourite
Zither play – if that were me, then
In your dreams I would be known, and
Make a sound most sweet within your sleep…

Lord Sada’ie
1093

Right
わぎも子が心のひかぬ琴の音は我まつにこそ通はざりけれ

wagimoko ga
kokoro no hikanu
koto no ne wa
wa ga matsu ni koso
kayowazarikere
My darling’s
Heartstrings are not tugged
By my zither’s strains, so
Though I pine for her
‘Tis of no use at all…

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1094

The Right state: the Left’s poem gives the impression of being based on something – but what? The Left state: the Right’s poem has no faults to mention.

In judgement: there is nothing unusual about the Left’s poem. It simply seems to be in the conception of the Man’yōshū poem where, ‘a Japanese zither made from the wood of the parasol tree transforms into a maiden in a dream, and says “When will / The day come that / I shall sing / Making his lap / My pillow?”’ I also have the feeling that it is alluding to the subsequent poem, however. So, it is certainly not the case that it is not based on anything. The Right’s poem has ‘heartstrings are not tugged’ (kokoro no hikanu) and then the metaphorical ‘though I pine for her’ (wa ga matsu ni koso), so is certainly not lacking in conception either. They are equivalent and tie.

Love IX: 5

Left
笛竹のただ人ふしを契とてよよの恨を残せとや思ふ

fuetake no
tada hitofushi o
chigiri tote
yoyo no urami o
nokose to ya omou
A bamboo flute has
But a single joint – and for but one night
Did we join together, so
Night after night of despair
Did you think to leave behind?

Lord Sada’ie
1089

Right (Win)
はるばると浪路分来る笛竹をわが恋妻と思はましかば

harubaru to
namiji wakekuru
fuetake o
wa ga koizuma to
omowamashikaba
Along the distant
Sea-lanes, forging, came
A bamboo flute:
My own true love –
If only I could think it that!

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1090

The Right state: the Left’s poem lacks any faults to mention. The Left state: the Right’s poem has not faults to point out.

In judgement: ‘night after night of despair’ (yoyo no urami o) in the Left’s poem sounds profound, but in actual fact is quite prosaic. In the Right’s poem, ‘sea-lanes, forging, came a bamboo flute’ (namiji wakekuru takefue o) has, I think, the contemporary conception of ‘it has come forging through many waves’. It seems evocative. Thus, the Right must win.

Love VIII: 30

Left (Tie)
忘れじの契うらむる故郷の心も知らぬ松蟲の聲

wasureji no
chigiri uramuru
furusato no
kokoro mo shiranu
matsumushi no koe
Never will I forget you –
Despairing of that vow
At home
All unknowing of my feelings
Comes a bell cricket’s cry…

Lord Sada’ie
1079

Right
來ぬ人の秋のけしきやふけぬらん恨みによはる松蟲の聲

konu hito no
aki no keshiki ya
fukenuran
urami ni yowaru
matsumushi no koe
He comes not, so
Is all seeming done, as autumn
Does wear on?
How I envy the weakening
Bell cricket’s song…

Jakuren
1080

Left and Right: both poems are equally admirable.

In judgement: the Left’s poem, with ‘all unknowing of my feelings comes a bell cricket’s cry’ (kokoro mo shiranu matsumushi no koe) is fine. The Right, with ‘is all seeming done, as autumn does wear on’ (aki no keshiki ya fukenuran), is too, so both Left and Right do truly move the heart, do they not? I have no way of distinguishing superior from inferior here, so thus must make the round a tie.

Love VIII: 21

Left (Win)
うらやまず臥す猪の床はやすくとも歎も形見寢ぬも契りを

urayamazu
fusu i no toko wa
yasukutomo
nageku mo katami
nenu mo chigiri o
I do not envy
The boar lounging in his bed:
He may be at ease, yet
Grief, too, is a memento;
Lying sleepless marks our bond…

Lord Sada’ie
1061

Right
いかにわれ臥す猪の床に身をかへて夢の程だに契結はん

ika ni ware
fusu i no toko ni
mi o kaete
yume no hodo dani
chigiri musuban
Somehow I
To a boar lounging in his bed
Would change myself, and
For just a brief dream’s length
Would form a bond with you…

Lord Takanobu
1062

The Gentlemen of the Right state: the initial line of the Left’s poem sounds poor. The sense of the ending, too, is difficult to grasp. The Gentlemen of the Left state: we wonder about the appropriateness of changing oneself into a bed.

In judgement:  both Left and Right refer to ‘a boar lounging in his bed’ (fusu i no toko), and it has been mentioned that the initial line of the Left’s poem sounds poor, and that its ending is difficult to grasp. There really are a number of unacceptable aspects to this poem, are there not, so I cannot add any further words to what has been said. The Right’s poem is not suggesting that one change oneself into a bed. It is saying that one should briefly become a boar, that one might dream briefly of love. How can one possibly see the dream of a boar lying asleep? It certainly seems inferior to ‘not envying a lounging boar’.

Love VIII: 18

Left (Win)
鴨のゐる入江の浪を心にて胸と袖とにさはぐ戀かな

kamo no iru
irie no nami o
kokoro nite
mune to sode to ni
sawagu koi kana
Ducks flock on
The inlet’s waves
Within my heart, so
My breast and sleeves both
Are raucous with love!

Lord Sada’ie
1055

Right
佐保川の霧のまよひの程だにも妻もとむとて千鳥鳴夜を

saogawa no
kiri no mayoi no
hodo dani mo
tsuma motomu tote
chidori naku yo o
To the vernal river:
The mist brings confusion
And in its midst,
Seeking a mate,
A plover cries at night…

Jakuren
1056

The Gentlemen of the Right state: we wonder about the appropriateness of ‘my breast and sleeves both are raucous’ (mune to sode to ni sawagu)? The Left, in appeal, state: there is ‘the river-mouths of my sleeves’ (sode no minato) and ‘when I think, upon my breast’ (omoeba mune ni) so linking ‘breast’ and ‘sleeve’ is entirely uncontroversial. The Gentlemen of the Left state: we find no faults to mention in the Right’s poem.

In judgement: I understand the views of the Left’s poem held by both teams. It has also been said that the Right’s poem lacks faults. However, in ‘seeking a mate, a plover cries at night’ (tsuma motomu tote chidori naku yo o) only the two words ‘at night’ (yo o) have any conception of love. The remainder of the poem is simply about plovers, so there is little of love about it. ‘Breast and sleeves both’ (mune to sode to) should win.

Love VIII: 8

Left
戀死なば苔むす塚に栢古りてもとの契に朽ちやはてなん

koi shinaba
kokemusu tsuka ni
kae furite
moto no chigiri ni
kuchi ya hatenan
Should I have died of love and
Upon my moss-hung tomb
An aged cypress be
Would those vows from long ago
Have rotted quite away?

Lord Sada’ie
1035

Right (Win)
かくばかり思と君も白樫に知らじな色に出でばこそあらめ

kaku bakari
omou to kimi mo
shirakashi ni
shiraji na iro ni
ideba koso arame
That so much
I long for you,
Evergreen,
You know not; for what hues
Might I show?

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress Household Office
1036

The Gentlemen of the Right state: ‘tomb’ (tsuka) and ‘cypress’ (kae) are frightening. The Gentlemen of the Left state: ‘evergreen’ (kashi) is the same, is it not?

In judgement: What might ‘upon my moss-hung tomb an aged cypress be’ (kokemusu tsuka ni kae furite) mean? Maybe the poet had in mind the part of the Scribe’s Records, where Duke Wen of Jin, on parting from his wife in Di, says, ‘If you wait for me for twenty-five years and I have still not returned, then marry again,’ but his wife laughs and says, ‘After ageing for twenty-five years, a cypress will be growing upon my tomb!’ The Right’s ‘evergreen’ (shirakashi) must simply serve to introduce to ‘you know not; for what hues might I show?’ (shiraji na iro ni ideba koso arame). However, both ‘cypress’ (kae) and ‘evergreen’ (kashi) lack admirable qualities. The round should tie.

Love VIII: 6

Left (Tie)
いはざりき我身古屋の忍ぶ草思ひたがへて種を播けとは

iwazariki
wa ga mi furuya no
shinobugusa
omoitagaete
tane o make to wa
I did not tell you:
My aged home’s
Fond ferns
To think so lightly of
That you scatter seeds about!

Lord Sada’ie
1031

Right
ながめする心の根より生ひそめて軒の忍ぶは茂る成るべし

nagamesuru
kokoro no ne yori
oisomete
noki no shinobu wa
shigerunarubeshi
Consoled,
My heart’s depths
Have grown old, as
Beneath my eaves the ferns
Have grown thick, indeed.

Nobusada
1032

The Gentlemen of the Right state: we wonder about the appropriateness of sowing seeds beneath eaves? The Left, in appeal: why not compose a poem in this manner, given ‘even the grass seeds, forgotten’? The Left state: this seems little different from Toshiyori’s poem, ‘Beneath the eaves, my thoughts run wild / As the growing plants…’ (omoinoki yori ouru narikeri).

In judgement: both poems refer to ferns, and the conception of ‘my aged home’ (wa ga mi furuya no) and ‘my heart’s depths’ (kokoro no ne yori) both sound suitable. I make this a tie.

Love VII: 26

Left.
人心緒絶えの橋に立かへり木の葉降りしく秋の通ひ路

hito kokoro
odae no hashi ni
tachikaeri
ko no ha furishiku
aki no kayoiji
Our hearts
On the broken bridge at Odae
Do stand;
Fallen leaves swept along
The autumn paths back and forth…

Lord Sada’ie.
1011

Right.
思はずに緒絶えの橋と成ぬれどなを人知れず戀わたるかな

omowazu ni
odae no hashi to
narinuredo
nao hito shirezu
koi watarukana
Unthinkingly
To the broken bridge of Odae
Have we come, yet
Still, unknown to all,
Might our love make a crossing?

Lord Tsune’ie.
1012

The Gentlemen of the Right state: we wonder about the purpose of ‘fallen leaves swept along’ (ko no ha furishiku) in the Left’s poem. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right’s poem is pedestrian.

In judgement: Both the poems of the Left and of the Right use ‘bridge of Odae’ (odae no hashi) which is tasteful. The Left’s ‘fallen leaves swept along’ must be following Ise Monogatari. The gentlemen of the Right must surely be pretending ignorance! The poem of the Right, too, has an elegant total configuration, but ‘unknown to all’ (hito shirezu) is at odds with the emotional overtones. Thus the Left’s ‘fallen leaves swept along the autumn paths back and forth’ is better. I make it the winner.

Love VII: 20

Left (Tie).
身に堪へぬ思ひを須磨の関据ゑて人に心をなどとどむらん

mi ni taenu
omoi o suma no
seki suete
hito ni kokoro ni
nado todomuran
Unable to endure
This love; at Suma
By the barrier am I placed;
Within my heart why
Does she remain so firmly?

Lord Sada’ie
999

Right.
逢坂の関のこなたに名をとめてこれより過ぐる嘆せよとや

ausaka no
seki no konata ni
na o tomete
kore yori suguru
nageki seyo to ya
On Meeting Hill
Barrier’s inner side
Must I stay, they say;
Ever pass your days
In grief! Is that your only message?

Lord Takanobu
1000

The Right state: ‘This love; at Suma’ (omoi o suma) sounds antiquated. In addition, how can one be placed by the barrier? The Left state: in the Right’s poem what is the ‘passing grief’ (suguru nageki)?

In judgement: the Gentlemen of the Right’s criticism of wondering ‘how one can be placed by the barrier’ suggests they have never been installed as Barrier Wardens! Both ‘at Suma by the barrier’ and ‘Meeting Hill Barrier’ are of the same quality. The round should tie.