Tag Archives: years

Kinkai wakashū 30

Plum blossom at an ancient estate.


toshi fureba
yado wa arenikeri
ume no hana
hana wa mukashi no
ka ni nioedomo
The years have passed, so
The house has into ruin fallen, yet
The plum’s blossoming
Flowers, as in days long gone
Scent the air with fragrance.


An AI generated image of a ruined old Japanese house surrounded by blossoming plum trees.
Image created with Adobe Firefly.
A kuzushiji version of the poem's text.
Created with Soan.

GSS XV: 1119

When the Kyōgoku Lady of the Bedchamber became a nun and, saying she wished for him to administer her vows, came over to the Ninna Temple.


Fitori nomi
nagamete tosi wo
furu sato no
aretaru sama wo
ika ni miruran
All alone
Have I gazed these years
Past upon my retreat’s
Ruined appearance, but
How must it appear within your sight?

Prince Atsumi

GSS XV: 1077

When Ki no Tomonori had not yet been bestowed with any official position, in connection with this when he was asked how old he was and replied that he was forty.


ima made ni
nado ka Fa Fana no
yoso tose amari
tosigiri Fa suru
Up to this moment
Why is it that blossoms
Have yet to bloom?
After as much as forty years
Absent a year they are…

The Posthumous Chancellor


A poem from the Poetry Contest held by the Empress Dowager during the Reign of the Kanpyō Emperor.


toshi o hete
moyu chō fuji no
yama yori mo
awanu omoi wa
ware zo masareru
Through all the passing years
Burns Fuji;
Far more than the mountain,
Not meeting you, the flames of passion,
Burn brightly in me.


Horikawa-in enjo awase 2

The same Major Counsellor, writing vertically upon delicate scarlet paper.


toshi futomo
iwade kuchinuru
umoregi no
shita no kokoro wa
furinu koi kana
The years pass by, yet
Without a word, has rotted
The drowned tree—
Beneath it, my heart
Has grown old with love!


In reply


minase no kawa no
umoregi wa
shita no koiji wa
toshi furinu tomo
There’s no depth to
The River Minase, where
Drowned trees lie—
Beneath, the paths of love
Have grown old in years, and yet…

Chikuzen, Daughter of Prince Yasusuke

San’i minamoto no hirotsune ason uta’awase 16

Cranes in a garden (庭上鶴馴)



niwa no omo ni
hito ni naretaru
ashitazu wa
yowai o kimi ni
Upon this garden’s face stands,
Accustomed to folk,
A crane;
His years to my Lord
Will he bestow, no doubt!

A Court Lady



chitose furu
yado no keshiki ya
migiwa no tazu no
narenikeru kana
Is it that a thousand years old
This dwelling does appear?
For to the muddy
Water’s edge the cranes
Have become accustomed!

A Court Lady