Tag Archives: tsukikage

Tametada-ke godo hyakushu 369


sueba ni musubu
shiratsuyu no
hikari no ma ni mo
sumeru tsukikage
In the groves of young broad-leaved bamboo
The leaf-tips are bound
With silver dewdrops:
In those bright fragments
Clearly shines the moonlight.

Fujiwara no Chikataka

SKKS IV: 422

On the moon passing over the plain, when he presented a fifty poem sequence.


yukusue wa
sora mo hitotsu no
musashino ni
kusa no hara yori
izuru tsukikage
Its destination:
The skies, one with
Musashi Plain, where
From among the fields of grass
Emerges moonlight.

The Regent and Prime Minister (Fujiwara no Yoshitsune)

Love V: 30

Left (Tie).

furusato ni
ideshi ni masaru
namida kana
arashi no makura
yume ni wakarete
My home
I left in floods
Of tears;
The wild wind round my pillow
Breaks us apart in dreams…

Lord Sada’ie


azumaji no
yowa no nagame o
miyako no yama ni
kakaru tsukikage
Upon the eastern roads
All night I turn my gaze –
Tell him that,
O moonlight, sinking
Toward the mountains round the capital!


Both Left and Right say they find no faults.

In judgement: the Left starts with ‘My home I left in floods’ (furusato ni ideshi ni masaru) and concludes with ‘the wild wind round my pillow breaks us apart in dreams’ (arashi no makura yume ni wakarete) – this is a form of words the quality of which I am entirely unable to convey with my own clumsy expressions, but the Right’s ‘O moonlight, sinking toward the mountains round the capital’ (miyako no yama ni kakaru tsukikage) is awash with a sense of tears, so it is most unclear which should win or lose. Both truly seem to reflect the conception of this topic ‘Love and Travel’ well. The poems have been so good every round that my brush is drenched with this old man’s tears, and I can find no other way to express it.


Autumn III: 29



ariake no
na bakari aki no
tsukikage ni
mushi no koe kana
Dawn it is in
Name alone; in autumn
The moonlight is
At its faintest
As are the insects’ songs…

Lord Sada’ie.


Right (Win).


aki no nagori mo
yama no ha ni
tsuki to tomo ni ya
ariake no sora
Turning to dusk,
Is there a memento of autumn, too,
Upon the mountains’ edge
Together with the moon in
The dawning skies?



The Right question the Left’s use of ‘Dawn it is in name alone’ (ariake no na bakari). The Left find no fault with the Right’s poem.

Shunzei’s judgement: I do not feel there is anything particularly wrong with ‘name alone; in autumn’ (na bakari aki no), but the Right’s ‘Together with the moon in the dawning skies’ (tsuki to tomo ni ya ariake no sora) seems most fine [yoroshikuhaberubeshi]. Thus, the Right wins.

Autumn II: 30

Left (Win).


kokoro ni wa
minu mukashi koso
tsuki ni nagamuru
hirosawa no ike
Within my heart
Unseen times of old
Gazing at the moon
Over Hirosawa Pond…

A Servant Girl.




nagamuru sora mo
hirosawa no
ike no kokoro ni
sumeru tsukikage
Drawing my gaze: the skies, and
Pond – right at the heart –
Bright moonlight.



The Right state that the Left’s poem is ‘extraordinarily accomplished’ [sugoburu yoroshi]. The Left have no criticisms to make of the Right’s poem.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s final section, ‘Gazing at the moon’ (tsuki ni nagamuru) is superb [yoroshiku haberi]. Thus, it must win.

Autumn II: 29

Left (Tie).


hirosawa no
ike saewataru
tsukikage wa
miyako made shiku
kōri narikeri
Upon Hirosawa
Pond, so brightly falls
The moonlight that
All up to the capital is spread
A sheet of ice, or so it seems.





tsuki kiyomi
miyako no sora mo
kumo sumite
matsukaze harau
hirosawa no ike
The moon, so clear;
The skies above the capital
Swept clean of cloud by
Winds rustling in the pines
Round Hirosawa Pond.



Both Left and Right state that their opinions are as in the previous round.

Shunzei’s judgement: I do wonder about ‘Upon Hirosawa Pond, so brightly falls’ (hirosawa no ike saewataru) followed by ‘All up to the capital is spread a sheet of ice’ (miyako made shiku kōri). ‘The skies above the capital swept clean of cloud by winds rustling in the pines’ (miyako no sora mo kumo sumite matsukaze harau) is elevated in expression [take aru sama], and although ‘the moon, so clear’ (tsuki kiyomi) is archaic diction [furuki kotoba], in this poem it may be difficult to judge it entirely appropriate [yoroshi to mo kikinashigataku]. Thus, this round should tie.