Tag Archives: yoru

Love VII: 29


kazuragi ya
kumeji no hashi ni
taenuru naka wa
wataru mono ka wa
At Kazuragi
The bridge of Kumeji
It is not, yet
Can a relationship that’s done
Ever continue on?

Lord Suetsune

Right (Win).

kazuragi ya
watashi mo hatenu
iwabashi mo
yoru no chigiri wa
ari to koso kike
At Kazuragi lies
The unfinished
Bridge of stone:
A vow at night
There was, I hear!


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

In judgement: both poems refer to ‘the bridge of Kazuragi, while the Left has ‘a relationship that’s done’ (taenuru naka). As the bridge, from the very beginning, was never finished, it is not appropriate to say that it is ‘done’. ‘A vow at night’ (yoru no chigiri) seems to be referring to Kodaigimi’s ‘cannot endure’ (taenubeshi). The Right has certainly matched the conception of the bridge. Thus, I make the Right the winner.

KKS XII: 559

A poem from the Empress’ Poetry Competition held in the Kanpyō period.


suminoe no
kisi ni yoru nami
yoru saFe ya
yume no kayoFidi
Fitome yokuramu
As to Suminoe’s
Shore rush the waves
Why every night
Upon the path of dreams
Do I hide from other’s eyes?

Fujiwara no Toshiyuki

Love IV: 28

Left (Win).

tanomenu o
machitsuru yoi mo
turasa tojimuru
katashiki no toko
He did not say he’d come, and so
To waiting through the night
I have put an end,
Sealing my unhappiness
In a single bed…

Lord Sada’ie.


wa ga koi ya
eshi no taku hi to
yoru nomi hitori
moeakasu kana
Has my love, like
Conscripts’ kindled flame
Through the night alone

Lord Tsune’ie.

The Right state: we wonder about the appropriateness of both ‘sealing’ (tojimuru) and ‘a single bed’ (katashiki no toko). The Left state: it sounds as if the ‘conscripts’ kindled flame’ (eshi no taku hi) is alone.

In judgement: the Left’s poem, beginning with ‘to waiting through the night I have put an end’ (machitsuru yoi mo sugihatete) and then continuing with ‘sealing my unhappiness’ (tsurasa tojimuru) does not sound bad, but ‘single bed’ should surely have been ‘sleeve’ (sode). The ‘conscripts kindled flame’ would certainly not have been ‘burning alone’ (hitori moyu). The Left should win, it seems.

Love IV: 26

Left (Win).

madoromu hodo no
koi naraba
yoru sae mono wa
Feeling some relief,
Enough, at least, to doze:
If that was my love, then
Until the fall of night
I would wish to avoid these gloomy thoughts.

Lord Suetsune.


me ni mienu
yoru koso masare
amagumo no
yoso ni nariyuku
hito no tsurasa wa
When all goes unseen
At night, it overwhelms me:
The cloudy heavens’
Distance, where he has gone
So heartlessly.


The Right state: there are no faults to indicate. The Left state: we wonder about the suitability of the impression conveyed by ‘When all goes unseen at night’ (me ni mienu yoru) on hearing it.

In judgement: the poem of the Right, with its ‘The cloudy heavens’ distance, where he has gone’ (amagumo no yoso ni nariyuku) is elegant, but it is certain that ‘When all goes unseen’ (me ni mienu) recalls the expression from the Kokin Preface, ‘unseen gods and demons’. The Left’s poem sounds pleasantly realised from beginning to end. It should win.

Love II: 7

Left (Win).


kuzuragi ya
yoru no chigiri wa
munashiki ni
mono’omou hashi wa
nado ya todaenu
Just as Kuzuragi,
A night’s vow
Is empty, yet
My longing’s end:
Why does it never come?





tanomuru ni
tsuyu no inochi o
kono koto no ha zo
okidokoro naki
Trustworthy for
A dewdrop life’s
Length, but
These words of yours
Will find no place here…

Lord Tsune’ie.


The Gentlemen of the Right state: the Left’s poem contains a significant amount of less than desirable diction. The Gentlemen of the Left state: we have nothing in particular to mention.

Shunzei’s judgement: while the Left’s ‘Why does it never come?’ (nado ya todaenu) is certainly undesirable, the initial section is most tasteful [yū]. The Right’s ‘dewdrop life long’ (tsuyu no inochi o kaku) ‘words’ (koto no ha) seems hackneyed, so still, ‘Kuzuragi Bridge’ should stand as the winner.