Tag Archives: waves

Love X: 30

Left
年深き入江の秋の月見ても別惜しまぬ人やかなしき

toshi fukaki
irie no aki no
tsuki mitemo
wakare oshimanu
hito ya kanashiki
Late on in the year
Above the bay one evening,
Glimpsing the moon:
That he cares not at their parting –
Is that a source of sadness?

A Servant Girl
1199

Right (Win)
ともすれば別を知らぬ浪の上にかきなす音をも人は問けり

tomo sureba
wakare o shiranu
nami no ue ni
kakinasu ne o mo
hito wa toikeri
As ever,
In ignorance of our parting,
Upon the waves
The strains I pluck
Bring folk to ask me why…

Ietaka
1200

Both Gentlemen state: the poems are based on ‘The Song of the Lute’ and have no faults to mention.

In judgement: both the Left and the Right are based on ‘The Song of the Lute’ and the Left, beginning with ‘late on in the year’ (toshi fukaki) is pleasant, but ‘that he cares not at their parting’ (wakare oshimanu) and what follows seems rather insufficient, in addition to simply seeming to recall Xunyang River and lack a conception of the poet’s own love. The Right has ‘in ignorance of our parting’ (wakare o shiranu), while ‘bring folk to ask me why’ (hito wa toikeri) also has a slight conception that the lady has not asked why either. Thus, the Right should win.

Love X: 6

Left (Win)
誰となく寄せては返る浪枕浮きたる舟の跡もとどめず

tare to naku
yosete wa kaeru
namimakura
ukitaru fune no
ato mo todomezu
To no one
Cleaving, they return;
Pillowed on the waves
The drifting boats’
Wakes fail to linger long…

A Servant Girl
1151

Right
何方を見ても忍ばむ難波女の浮き寝の跡に消ゆる白浪

izukata o
mitemo shinobamu
naniwame no
ukine no ato ni
kiyuru shiranami
Whither
Should I look in longing?
With a girl from Naniwa
I slept briefly, but her
Wake vanishes among the whitecaps…

Jakuren
1152

Both Left and Right together state: neither poem is bad.

In judgement: both poems seem elegant in configuration and diction, but the Right’s ‘girl from Naniwa’ (naniwame) raises the same issue as ‘diving girl’, only more so – there is not even evidence on this from inclusion in the Collection of Poems to Sing, is there? The Left’s ‘cleaving, they return; pillowed on the waves’ (yosete wa kaeru namimakura) really does seem like a pleasure girl, so I must say it is superior.

Love X: 4

Left (Tie)
舟のうちにさしも浮きたる契までうらやむ程のえにこそ有けれ

fune no uchi ni
sashimo ukitaru
chigiri made
urayamu hodo no
e ni koso arikere
Within a boat
Such a brief
Bond is formed; yet
Do I envy it,
I really do!

Lord Ari’ie
1147

Right
その人と分きて待つらん妻よりもあはれは深き浪の上哉

sono hito to
wakite matsuran
tsuma yori mo
aware wa fukaki
nami no ue kana
There is her, and
My waiting
Wife:
Far fonder am I
Upon the waves!

Nobusada
1148

Left and Right state: neither has any fault.

In judgement: the configuration and diction of both poems sounds pleasant. I must make this a tie.

Love X: 1

Left
蘆間分け月にうたひて漕ぐ舟に心ぞまづは乗りうつりぬる

ashima wake
tsuki ni utaite
kogu fune ni
kokoro zo mazu wa
nori’utsurinuru
Parting the reeds, and
Singing to the moon,
Boats come rowing out –
My heart, it is, that is first
Aboard and carried away…

Kenshō
1141

Right (Win)
浪の上にくだるを舟のむやひして月にうたひし妹ぞ戀しき

nami no ue ni
kudaru o fune no
muyaishite
tsuki ni utaishi
imo zo koishiki
Upon the waves,
Her boat departs,
Vanishing into the mist;
That moon-sung
Girl is dear to me, indeed!

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1142

The Right state: the Left’s poem lacks much of a conception of pleasure girls. In appeal: the poem was written in the conception of Mochitoki’s Chinese poem on pleasure girls ‘the reed-leaves are fresh in springtime’. The Left state: the Right’s poem has nothing worth mentioning.

In judgement: is the conception of pleasure girls really absent from the Left’s ‘parting the reeds, and singing to the moon’ (ashima wake tsuki ni utaite)? The case certainly cannot rely on ‘the reed-leaves are fresh in springtime’. A Chinese poem expresses its topic in its initial line. It is normal for the introduction of the topic to be vague. Japanese and Chinese poetry have aspects where they are similar, and aspects where they differ. Thus, it is not appropriate to cite a Chinese poem’s broaching of its topic as evidence for a Japanese poem’s content. There are certainly other examples by Mochitoki, such as his overlong line in ‘in a boat atop the waves, but I find the same pleasure in life’. The line about reed-leaves can in no way function as proof. Thus this poem, as ‘an old fisherman sings a single shanty’ could be said to be about an old man. As a result, given the lack of clarity in the poem, it is not possible to accept that it is about a pleasure girl. The Right’s poem concludes ‘that moon-sung girl is dear to me, indeed’ (tsuki ni utaishi imo zo koishiki). The final line seems to be almost pointlessly pedestrian, but the poem is certainly about love for a pleasure girl. The Right must win.

KKS I: 12

A poem from the Poetry Competition held in the reign of the Kanpyō Empress.

谷風にとくる氷のひまごとに打いづる波や春のはつ花

tanikaze ni
tokuru koFori no
Fimagoto ni
uti’iduru nami ya
Faru no FatuFana
In the valley’s breezes
Does melt the ice, and
From every crack
Do burst waves – are these
The first blooms of spring?

Minamoto no Masazumi
源当純

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: 2

Left (Win)
今はさはあはれと思へ菅の根の長き心の程は見つらん

ima wa sa wa
aware to omoe
suga no ne no
nagaki kokoro no
hodo wa mitsuran
Now, indeed, let you
Think fondly of me!
The grasses’ roots run
Long, my heart’s
Love will you see…

Lord Suetsune
1023

Right
世とゝもにかはくまもなき我袖や潮干もわかぬ浪の下草

yo to tomo ni
kawaku ma mo naki
wa ga sode ya
shioi mo wakanu
nami no shitagusa
With the passing time,
Not a moment dry
Are my sleeves;
Low tide does not reveal
The seaweed beneath the waves…

Lord Takanobu
1024

The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to indicate. The Left state: the Right’s poem is clichéd.

In judgement: the Right, in addition to being clichéd, can say no more than that love means wet sleeves. The Left’s ‘grasses’ roots’ (suga no ne) is certainly better.

Love VII: 30

Left (Win)
恋わたる夜はのさむしろ波かけてかくや待けん宇治の橋姫

koi wataru
yowa no samushiro
nami kakete
kaku ya machiken
uji no hashihime
Crossed in love
At night my mat of straw
Is washed by waves;
Is this how she waits,
The maid at Uji bridge.

A Servant Girl
1019

Right
いにしへの宇治の橋守身をつまば年経る恋を哀とも見よ

inishie no
uji no hashimori
mi o tsumaba
toshi furu koi o
aware tomo miyo
Ancient
Warden of Uji bridge,
If you pinch me,
How I have aged with love for you
Will you know, and pity me…

Jakuren
1020

Left and Right together state: we find no faults to mention.

In judgement: the style of both the Left’s ‘maid at Uji bridge’ (uji no hashihime) and the Right’s ‘Warden of Uji bridge’ (uji no hashimori) is pleasant, and the Left’s ‘Is this how she waits, the maid at Uji bridge’ (kaku ya machiken uji no hashihime) draws on the conception of a tale from long ago, and the configuration also seems deeply moving. Thus, the Left should win.