Tag Archives: The Mother of Michitsuna

GSIS XV: 869

Composed when she had been conversing with the Lay Priest Regent [Fujiwara no Kane’ie 藤原兼家; 929-990], at about the time the moon of sleep-postponed came out, to ask if he would stay, when she had said that she expected him to do so.


ikaga sen
yama no Fa ni dani
kokoro no sora ni
iduru tuku wo ba
What am I to do?
Not even at the mountains’ edge
Does it pause, but
Into the heavens of my heart
Emerges the moon…

The Mother of Major Councillor Michitsuna.

The ‘moon of sleep-postponed’ (nemachi no tsuki 寝待の月) referred to the moon around the nineteenth day of the lunar month. This incident, when Michitsuna’s Mother is essentially saying to Kane’ie, ‘I’m sure I don’t want to detain you, if you don’t want to stay!’, is also mentioned in her diary, Kagerō Nikki, and so the poem can be dated to autumn, 957.

SKKS XIV: 1239

When the Lay Priest Regent had not come to see her for a long time, she composed this on seeing the water in a basin for washing her hair.


taenuru ka
kage dani mieba
toubeki ni
katami no mizu wa
mikusa inkeri
Is it all so hopeless?
Could I but see your face,
I would ask you, but
The water you have left behind
Is filled with water-weed.

The Mother of Major Captain of the Right, Michitsuna

GSIS XV: 894

The year after her mother died, one evening when she was thinking idly following the final service, she was firmly wiping the dust from her zither, not playing it, yet from time to time a note rang out; her aunt, living in the same house, heard the zither’s notes , and sent a note over saying how sad it made her feel; she composed this in reply.


nakibito Fa
otodure mo sede
koto no wo wo
tatisi tuki Fi zo
She, who’s died,
Has sent no word
Yet a zither’s notes-
Broken-days gone by
Brings back.

The Mother of Major Councillor [Fujiwara no] Michitsuna