Tag Archives: years

KKS I: 52

When he was in the presence of the Somedono Empress[1] and, seeing that Her Majesty had placed some cherry blossom in a vase, he composed:

年ふればよはひは老いぬしかはあれど花をし見れば物思もなし

tosi Fureba
yoFaFi Fa oinu
sika Fa aredo
Fana wo si mireba
mono’omoFi mo nasi
The years have passed, and
Aged I have become;
That is so, and yet
When these blossoms I see
Regrets have I not a one.

The Former Grand Minister[2]


[1] Fujiwara no Akirakeiko (Meishi) 藤原明子 (829-900). Daughter of Fujiwara no Yoshifusa, and consort of Emperor Montoku.

[2] Fujiwara no Yoshifusa 藤原良房 (804-872).

MYS XIX: 4159

Poems composed on the ninth day of the Third Month, at the end of spring, when on the way to the village of Furue to oversee the distribution of seed rice to the poor, and observing blossom by the roadside. Poems composed at places of interest and put together.

A poem composed on seeing a tree upon the crags when passing the point at Shibutani. The tree was a tsumama.

礒の上のつままを見れば根を延へて年深からし神さびにけり

iso no upe no
tumama wo mireba
ne wo papete
tosi pukakarasi
kamu sabinikeri
When upon the stony shore
A hardy evergreen I see,
Roots extending
The length of its years,
How venerable it is!

Ōtomo no Yakamochi
大伴家持

Love VIII: 25

Left
起きもゐで年ふる戀はをのづから常世の神やしるし見すべき

oki mo ide
toshi furu koi wa
onozukara
tokoyo no kami ya
shirushi misubeki
Unable to arise
From love these many years,
May I
By the eternal gods
Be shown a sign!

Kenshō
1069

Right (Win)
獨臥すながながし夜のかなしきを語らひあかすきりぎりす哉

hitori fusu
naganagashi yo no
kanashiki o
katarai akasu
kirigirisu kana
Lying alone,
So long, long the night’s
Sorrow;
Lightening it with chatter
Are the crickets!

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office
1070

The Gentlemen of the Right state: what is the meaning of ‘the eternal gods’ (toko no kami). In appeal, the Left: in the Chronicles of Japan, insects are worshipped under the name of ‘the eternal gods’ and made to seem like men. The Left state: what can an insect chatter about?

In judgement: in regard to the Left’s poem, while it is true that insects were worshipped, a poem on ‘Love and Insects’ with no insect is lacking something from the start. This poem would seem to be more a case of ‘Love and Prayers’. Thus, this is nothing enduring. A prior example has been contrived, but this is ineffective. It does not seem as if this insect’s nature has any relation to the topic. The Right’s poem has a commonplace cricket. Where is the fault in having it lighten one’s mood with chatter? Thus, the Right must win.

Love VII: 1

Left (Tie).
年を經て茂るなげきをこりもせでなど深からん物思ひの山

toshi o hete
shigeru nageki o
kori mo sede
nado fukakaran
mono’omoi no yama
The years go by and
My ever verdant grief
Is never felled;
Why am I so deep
In mountains of gloomy thought?

Kenshō.
961

Right.
君にわれ深く心を筑波山しげきなげきにこりはてぬ哉

kimi ni ware
fukaku kokoro o
tsukubayama
shigeki nageki ni
korihatenu kana
You for me
Had deep thoughts once –
All gone now, yet on Tsukuba Mountain
My ever verdant grief
Remains unfelled…

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office.
962

The Right state: we are not familiar with the expression ‘mountains of gloomy thought’ (mono’omoi no yama) used in the Left’s poem. The Left state: the Right’s poem has nothing significant to say.

In judgement: both poems use the wordplay of ‘ever verdant grief’ (shigeki nageki) and a ‘heart unfelled’ (korinu kokoro); they have no particular merits or faults. The round ties.