Sanekata Shū 279

At about the time I was made Governor of Michinoku, and was about to withdraw from court, as the pine torches were late in being lit, Middle Captain Michinobu (with Sanekata) said:


matu matu Fodo zo
Awaiting, our pining time
Has been long, indeed…

And Kodaigimi:


mitinoku ni
Fodo towokereba
takekuma no
For Michinoku
Is faraway as
The pine of Takekuma!

4 thoughts on “Sanekata Shū 279”

  1. Does the headnote refer to a different Michinobu than Sanekata’s cousin? Based on your notes in the introduction and for Sanekata Shū 76, Sanekata was appointed governor of Michinoku in the first month of 995, but by this time his cousin Michinobu had already died in the seventh month of 994.

    1. You are correct that Michinobu was dead before Sanekata went to Michinoku and so if the headnote is correct about the time of composition, he cannot be the composer of the line here. Scholarship, therefore, generally believes this to be an error in the original text and that the initial part of this poem is spoken by Sanekata.

    1. Yes. This woman had a variety of sobriquets, but is most commonly referred to as 小大君, which is read as either Kodaigimi, or Kodai no kimi. Her dates of birth and death are unknown, and details of her biography are somewhat scanty. She began her court career in service to Fujiwara no Kōshi/Teruko 藤原媓子 (947-979), the empress of Emperor En’yū 円融 (959-991; r. 969-984), and then in 986 entered the service of Crown Prince Okisada/Iyasada 居貞, the future Emperor Sanjō 三条 (976-1017; r. 1011-1013). By virtue of this association she is also known as 三条院女蔵人左近 Sanjōin nyokurōdo sakon (Sakon, Lady Chamberlain to Former Emperor Sanjō), or simply 東宮左近 Tōgū sakon (Sakon from the Palace of the Crown Prince). From references in headnotes to poems in various personal poetry collections, it seems she enjoyed close relations with a number of nobles of whom Sanekata is the most significant, but also included his uncle Naritoki, his cousin Michinobu, Fujiwara no Tametō 藤原為任 (?-1045) and Fujiwara no Asateru/Asamitsu 藤原朝光 (951-995). She is acknowledged as one of the superior poets of her age and is counted among the Thirty-Six Poetic Immortals, and her personal collection, Kodaigimi-shū 小大君集 is extant. Sanekata is mentioned in eight places in this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *