Tag Archives: ura

Entō ōn’uta’awase 01

Morning Haze

Round One

Left (Tie)


shiogama no
ura no higata no
akebono ni
kasumi ni nokoru
ukishima no matsu
At Shiogama
Bay uponn the tide-sands
With the dawn
Lingering in the haze are
The pines on Ukishima.

A Court Lady



haru no yo no
oborozukiyo no
nagori to ya
izuru asahi mo
nao kasumuran
A spring night’s
Misty moon—
Does it leave a keepsake in
The rising sun
Yet seeming hazed?

Ietaka, Junior Second Rank

Generally, for the judging of poetry, one chooses people who have been permitted to take this Way, who can distinguish the good from the bad among the reeds of Naniwa Bay and plumb the depths and shallows of the sea. And now I do so, when I have passed through the mulberry gate, but have no time for the Three Tiers and Nine Levels of Rebirth, or even for dipping into Tomi stream, and have but distantly heard the waves of Waka Bay these past sixteen springtimes, though I was wont, in the ancient blossom-filled capital, to string together a mere thirty-one syllables from time to time.

Though now I do not divert myself with this Way, Ietaka of the Junior Second Rank is a long-standing officer of the Poetry Office and a compiler of the New Ancient and Modern collection. His dewdrop life of almost eighty has begun to vanish now with the wind on Adashi Plain, but I thought to converse with him and just this once, debate over his deeply considered words and compare the configuration of his works. Thus, through the jewelled missives we exchanged, I had him assemble poems on ten topics by those from whom I am not estranged and write them down in pairs.

The numbers of such folk were not great, and among them are those who have only recently begun to have an interest in the learning the Six Principles. That the words of Shinobu’s sacred groves would be scattered by the wind and encounter hindrances here and there, I had thought, but in the end, I paid no heed to folk’s criticisms in order to avoid barriers on the path to rebirth. Among these, I match my own foolish compositions with those of Ietaka—it may not be an appropriate thing to do for the Way, but given our association, as ancient as Furu in Isonokami, I have done this out of special consideration for him.

Nevertheless, long ago I perused the poems of the Eight Anthologies from time to time, and they certainly have some spectacle about them, but yet many are now unclear. Indeed, among the poems of folk of modern times, over the past ten years I have not heard of even a single poem, for all that they are composed the same way, that it is possible to view as outstanding. Not only that, but as I approach my sixties and descend into my dotage, the signs of my own foolishness become increasingly apparent.

The first poem of the Left often wins, yet this has nothing remarkable about it. The Right’s poem, on the morning following a misty moonlit night, has a true link with the morning haze, and the sequencing of its diction and configuration are particularly charming. Nevertheless, the Left’s poem in the first round is in accordance with the matter, and I am thus not able to pick a winner or loser.

Jidai fudō uta’awase 116

Round One Hundred and Sixteen



hitori nuru
hito ya shiruran
aki no yo o
nagashi to tareka
kimi ni tsugetsuru
Sleeping alone
I know it all too well—that
An autumn night is
Long to someone
You’ve been telling!




minume no ura no
nami ni nomi ya wa
sode no nurekeru
I love him, yet
Unnoticed at Minume shore
Drifting with a sorry pillow
By the waves, alone,
Are my sleeves left drenched?


[1] Goshūishū XVI: 906: Around the time the Naka Chancellor had begun visiting her, on the morning following a night when he had failed to call, she composed this to say that this night’s dawn had been particularly hard to bear.

[2] This poem does not appear in any other collection in the canon.

SZS VII: 526

Composed on the conception of showers at a lodging on a journey, when people were composing for the Poetry Match at the Sumiyoshi Shrine.


sikitu no ura no
nezame ni Fa
sigure ni nomi ya
sode Fa nururan
Salt-seaweed grasses grow
On the beach at Shikitsu where
On waking is it
By the showers alone
That my sleeves have dampened?

Monk Shun’e

A kuzushiji version of the poem's text.
Created with Soan.

SKKS IV: 400

On the autumn moon by the sea, for the poetry match held at the Poetry Office on the night of the Fifteenth of the Eighth Month.


wasureji na
naniwa no aki no
yowa no sora
koto’ura ni sumu
tsuki wa miru tomo
Never would I forget
Naniwa’s autumn
Midnight skies, though
Clear above another distant bay
The moon I see…

Gishūmon’in no Tango

A kuzushiji version of the poem's text
Created with Soan.


During the reign of the Tamura Emperor, when he was confined to Suma in the province of Tsu for certain reasons, he sent this to someone in the capital.


wakuraba ni
toFu Fito araba
suma no ura ni
mosiFo taretutu
wabu to kotaFeyo
If of me
Folk should come enquiring, then as
On the beach at Suma
The seaweed ever drips,
I suffer—answer that!

Ariwara no Yukihira

Teiji-in uta’awase 28

Left (Tie)


hito no ue to
omoishi mono o
wa ga koi ni
nashite ya kimi ga
tada ni ya minuru
Upon me
The coals of passion have lain, yet
After my love has been
So clear, why, my lady
Do you seem so calm?




ashi mayou
naniwa no ura ni
hiku fune no
tsunade nagaku mo
koi wataru kana
Lost among the reeds
Of Naniwa Bay,
Pulling a boat with
Tug-ropes stretching long
As my love endures!