Tag Archives: Yoshino

Winter II: 10

Left (Win).


suzu no karine ni
shimo saete
matsukaze hayashi
fukenu kono yo wa
Upon Mt Yoshino,
In fitful sleep upon a bed of bamboo,
The frost falls chill, indeed, and
The wind gusts through the pines,
With the fall of night.





shiba no amido wa
kaze sugite
arare yokogiru
matsu no oto kana
On the mountains’ edge
My woven brushwood door
Is pierced by the wind;
Hearing hail blown horizontal
Against the pines…



Both Left and Right are exaggerated in their insistence that the other’s poem lacks any faults.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s ‘Upon Mt Yoshino, in fitful sleep upon a bed of bamboo’ (yoshinoyama suzu no karine ni) would seem to suggest an ascetic who, having travelled into the mountains, has made himself a hut from bamboo and pillowed upon the tree roots, would it not? But here he seems to have simply cut them down, spread them out and lain upon them! In addition, ‘The wind gusts through the pines’ (matsukaze hayashi) fails to sound elegant [yū ni shi kikoezaru]. The Right, by starting with ‘On the mountains’ edge’ (toyamanaru), suggests that the poet is speaking of his own dwelling’s door in the mountains. ‘Hearing hail blown horizontal against the pines’ (arare yokogiru matsu no oto) also just does not sound appropriate. Both poems have an exaggerated feeling [kotogotoshikaran to wa kokorozashite], and I cannot grasp who they are referring to. However, the Left’s poem is, still, somewhat superior.

Winter I: 19

Left (Win).


kaze samumi
kyō mo mizore no
furu sato wa
yoshino no yama no
yukige narikeri
A chill breeze brings
Sleet, today,
Falling as on the ancient estate on
Yoshino mountain
Did snows fall once…

A Servant Girl.




arashi fuku
konoha kokimaze
mizore furi
yama no oku kana
The storm wind blows
Leaves mixed in with
Falling sleet;
How lonely it is
Here within the mountains…



Neither team finds any fault with the other’s poem this round.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s ‘Sleet, today, falling as on the ancient estate’ (kyō mo mizore no furu sato wa), preceding ‘on Yoshino mountain did snows fall once’, reflects the conception of ‘Where once I lived, to the mount of Yoshino was so close’ (Furusato Fa yosino no yama si tikakereba) and seems splendid [ito yoroshiku miehabere]. The Right’s ‘How lonely it is here within the mountains’ (sabishikarikeru yama no oku kana) as a final section is most acceptable in terms of style [mottomo shokisubeki no tei], but the initial ‘leaves mixed in’ (konoha kokimaze) sounds as if this had been done with some human hand. Thus, the Left with matched initial and final sections, must win.

Spring 9

Left (Tie).


miyoshino wa
hana ni utsurou
yama nareba
haru sae miyuki
furusato no sora
When fair Yoshino is
Filled with fading flowers,
All across the mountain,
Still thick with spring snows are
The skies above my ancient home.




sakura iro no
niwa no haru kaze
ato mo nashi
towaba zo hito no
yuki to dani min
Cherry blossom hued
My garden has the spring breeze stained,
With not a dint upon it,
Should someone come calling,
He would swear snow had fallen.


Spring 7

Left (Tie)


sakinishi hi yori
yoshino yama
sora mo hitotsu ni
kaoru shirakumo
The cherry blossom
Bloomed, and from that day
The mount of Yoshino and
The sky above were as one:
Fragrant clouds of white.




mine no sakura no
kurenai kukuru
ama no kawanami
Veiled in haze
Cherries on the peak
At dawning:
Slipping through scarlet are
The whitecaps on the River of Heaven.


Ise Monogatari, Chapter 10

Long ago, a man went wandering in the province of Musashi. And, in that province lived a certain lady. Her father thought to match her with a common man, but for her mother, only a man of the highest rank would do. Her father was a man of low rank, but her mother was of the Fujiwara family. Thus it was that she wanted a man of high rank for her daughter. So, she composed a poem and sent it to the man. They lived in the district of Iruma on the Miyoshino estate.


miyosino no
tanomu no kari mo
FitaFuru ni
kimi ga kata ni zo
yoru to naku naru
In fair Yoshino,
Even the geese upon the rice fields,
For you do
Yearn and cry.

The man replied:


wa ga kata ni
yoru to naku naru
miyosino no
tanomu no kari wo
ituka wasuren
For me
Yearning and crying
In fair Yoshino
The geese upon the rice fields:
Can I ever forget them?

In the provinces they have still not ceased to do such things.

SKKS XVI: 1466

A blossom poem, composed in a hundred poem sequence after leaving the world.


ima wa ware
yoshino no yama no
hana o koso
yado no mono tomo
Now I,
Yoshino mountain’s
As my dwelling’s
I would see.

Master of the Dowager Empress’ Household Office Toshinari