Winter I: 15



iroiro no
hana yue nobe ni
nagame made koso
Many were the shades
Of blossom in the fields
I went to see;
Even that view, now, is completely
Burned by frost.

Lord Ari’ie.


Right (Win).


fuyu fukuru
nobe o miru ni mo
kokoro no uchi wa
hana zo iroiro
In the depths of winter
Gazing o’er the fields
What I recall
Within my heart
Are the blossoms’ many hues.

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.


The Right wonder about the appropriateness of having a ‘view’ (nagame) of frost burn. The Left suggest that ‘depths of winter’ sounds a poor expression [kikiyokarazu] [because ‘depths of night’ was a more standard usage].

Shunzei’s judgement: Both poems refer to the many colours (iroiro) of the blooms of autumn, and this is certainly not lacking in taste [yūnarazaru ni wa arazu]. When gazing over the frost-burned winter fields, saying ‘even that view’ (nagame made) is not a fault as such [toga nakarubekeredomo], but I feel it would be better to avoid encompassing everything within a ‘view’. On ‘depths of winter’ (fuyu fukuru), we have the same old opinion that it ‘sounds poor’ but, I ask you, what sounds poor about it? What is to be criticised in ‘depths of winter’? As a piece of diction, ‘depths’ (fukuru) can be used about anything. Thus, the Right must win.

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