Tag Archives: yamazakura

Teiji-in uta’awase 05

Left (Win)

はるがすみたちしかくせばやまざくらひとしれずこそちりぬべらなれ

harugasumi
tachishi kakuseba
yamazakura
hito shirezu koso
chirinuberanare
If the spring haze
Has risen to conceal
The mountain cherries,
Then, indeed, will no one know
When they have seemed to scatter!

Tsurayuki
9

Right

たのまれぬはなのこころとおもへばやちらぬさきよりうぐひすのなく

tanomarenu
hana no kokoro to
omoeba ya
chiranu saki yori
uguisu no naku
Untrustworthy are
The blossoms’ hearts
I do think, so
While they are unscattered
Will the warbler sing.

Okikaze
10[i]

Both of these are the same—they tie.[ii]


[i] This poem is included in Shinshūishū (XI: 1549), attributed to Okikaze, with the headnote, ‘From Former Emperor Uda’s Poetry Contest’. It is also included twice in Kokin rokujō (I: 31) and (VI: 4395): in both cases the poem is attributed to Okikaze, but the first instance lacks a headnote, while the second is classified as a ‘Warbler’ poem. Finally, it is also included in Mandaishū (II: 254), again attributed to Okikaze, but this time with the headnote, ‘Topic unknown’.

[ii] Given that the Left’s poem here is marked as winning, presumably Uda means that both poems are equally worthy of a win—that is, that this is a yoki ji, a ‘tie of quality’.

Teiji-in uta’awase 02

Left

さかざらむものならなくにさくらばなおもかげにのみまだきみゆらむ

sakazaramu
mono naranaku ni
sakurabana
nao mo kage ni nomi
madaki miyuramu
Wishing not to bloom
Will not remain
The cherry blossom, but
Even so their shape alone
Swiftly, I would wish to see!

Mitsune
3

Right

やまざくらさきぬるときはつねよりもみねのしらくもたちまさりけり

yamazakura
sakinuru toki wa
tsune yori mo
mine no shirakumo
tachimasarikeri
When the mountain cherry
Has bloomed,
Earlier than usual
Clouds of white around the peak
Do rise spectacularly!

Tsurayuki
4[i]

The Left uses ‘wish’[ii] twice; the Right places the mountain cherries at a distance—that make the round a tie.


[i] This poem is included in Gosenshū (I: 118), with the headnote, ‘A poem from Former Emperor Uda’s Poetry Contest’.

[ii] Uda is objecting to Mitsune’s double usage of the auxiliary verb -ramu in his judgement here.

SZS II: 103

Composed when he had gone to Michinoku, and saw the flowers blooming at the barrier of Nakoso.

吹く風を勿来の関と思へども道もせに散る山桜かな

Fuku kaze wo
nakoso no seki to
omoFedomo
mitimose ni tiru
yamazakura kana
The gusting wind
Comes not to the barrier of Nakoso,
I thought, yet
The road is blocked with fallen
Mountain cherry blossom.

Minamoto no Yoshi’ie (1039-1106)
源義家

Love I: 24

Left (Win).

忘れずよほのぼの人を三嶋江のたそがれなりし蘆のまよひに

wasurezu yo
honobono hito o
mishimae no
tasogare narishi
ashi no mayoi ni
Never will I forget you
Who I glimpsed faintly
In the dusk of Mishima Bay
A single reed
Causes confusion.

A Servant Girl.

647

Right.

花の色に移る心は山櫻霞のまより思ひそめてき

hana no iro ni
utsuru kokoro wa
yamazakura
kasumi no ma yori
omoisometeki
A blossom’s hue
Has caught my heart;
A mountain cherry
Through the parted mists
Has set me on the path of love.

Lord Takanobu.

648

The Gentlemen of the Right state: saying simply ‘dusk’ (tasogare) when it should be ‘the hour of dusk’ (tasogare toki) sounds somewhat strange. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right’s poem is composed to recall the Kokinshū’s ‘A mountain cherry through the drifting mists’ (yamazakura kasumi no ma yori), but is inferior to the original.

Shunzei’s judgement: in regard to the Left’s poem, it is certainly the case that, even without the ‘hour’, ‘in the dusk’ is a standard expression. The Right’s poem sounds old-fashioned. The Left, though, does not sound unpleasant, even though its mentioning of ‘never will I forget’ (wasurezu yo) recollects ‘a tiled kiln’. It should win.

Spring I: 7

Left (Tie).

なを冴ゆるけしきにしるし山ざくらまだ冬ごもる梢なるらん

nao sayuru
keshiki ni shirushi
yamazakura
mada fuyugomoru
kozue naruran
Still so clear
Is the scene: it must be a sign that
Mountain cherries are
Yet sealed in winter,
Outstanding on the treetops…

Lord Suetsune

13

Right (Tie).

したふべき冬には雪のをくれゐて春ともいはず冴えわたるらん

shitaubeki
fuyu ni wa yuki no
okureite
haru tomo iwazu
saewataruran
How it must long for
Winter – the snow
Remains,
Though ‘tis spring, needless to say:
That is clear, indeed!

The Provisional Assistant Master of the Empress’ Household Office

14

The Right state that as the entirety of the topic is expressed in the first line of the Left’s poem, it lack care [nen nashi]. The Left respond that saying that the characters of the topic appear in the first line of our poem suggest the Right is unable to count correctly! As for the Right’s poem, we find no particular faults, but it is ordinary [mezurashiki ni arazu].

Shunzei’s judgement: The form of both poems is splendid [sugata wa yū ni koso haberumere]. In general, the mass of modern composition, whether or not it shows understanding of the form and diction of poetry [kinrai no utayomi no tomogara, sugata kotoba wa shireru ka shirazaru ka], also frequently fails to show enough attention to details of techique [bimyō no fūjō] and that I have cause to say this is certainly not laudable [kanshin serezaru koto]. However, the Right’s ‘the snow remains’ (yuki no okureite), seems somewhat contrived [sukoshi omoubeku], though the final one is excellent [yoroshikuhaberu]. Thus, it’s impossible to distinguish between the two poems.

Spring 12

Left (Tie).

名取河春の日數は顯て花にぞしづむせゞの埋木

natorigawa
haru no hi kazu wa
arawarete
hana ni zo shizumu
seze no mumoregi
The river Natori:
The days of spring have reached
Their span, and
Blossom swamps
The drowned tree upon the shoals.

23

Right

名もしるし峰のあらしも雪とふる山櫻戸のあけぼのゝ空

na mo shirushi
mine no arashi mo
yuki to furu
yamasakurado no
akebono no sora
It’s all in the name:
Storm winds from the peak
Scatter a snowstorm of blossom;
My mountain cherry door
Open upon a dawning sky.

24