Tag Archives: asa

Winter II: 2

Left (Win).


yadogoto ni
taenu asake no
kemuri sae
fuyu no keshiki wa
From every house
Unending is the breakfasts’
Smoke – and even that
Makes a winter scene
All the more lonely.

Lord Ari’ie.




asa madaki
arashi wa niwa o
yuki ni wa ato mo
tsukanu narikeri
Early in the morning
The storm wind, o’er my garden
Gusts, yet
Upon the fallen snow no trace
It leaves.

Lord Tsune’ie.


The Right say the Left’s poem ‘isn’t bad’ [ashikarazu]. The Left say the Right’s poem is ‘commonplace’ [tsune no koto nari].

Shunzei’s judgement: Although the Left’s ‘unending is the breakfasts’ smoke – and even that’ (taenu asake no kemuri sae) is lacking in poetic qualities [utashina no naku wa haberedo], the gentlemen of the Right have judged it not to be bad. As for the Right, if a storm blows through a garden, even if there is no snow, surely there would be some trace of it, wouldn’t there? The Left should win.

Spring II: 18



haru hi ni wa
sora ni nomi koso
hibari no toko wa
are ya shinuran
The springtime sun
Alone, into the skies
Does seem to lift
The skylark: his nest,
I wonder, if ‘tis in disarray?



Right (Win).


ko o omou
sudachi no ono o
asa yukeba
agari mo yarazu
hibari nakunari
Caring for her chick,
Starting from the nest into the meadow,
With the coming of the morn,
Without taking flight,
The skylark gives call.



The Right team state that the initial and central stanzas of the Left’s poem are ‘grating on the ear’, while the Left snap back that they ‘don’t understand the meaning’ of ‘caring for her chick, starting from the nest’ (ko o omou sudachi), and moreover, having both ‘starting from the nest’ (sudachi) and ‘take flight’ (agari) in one poem is clumsy technique as the meanings are too similar.

Shunzei judges that the initial stanza of the Left’s poem is ‘truly awful’. And, ‘in general, from what we know of how skylarks live, there is no reason to expect that they would heedlessly fly off after fouling their nests. In spring, they raise their young in the fields, and when the evenings are warm, or the spring sun is bright, they remain flying in the sky and look down on their chicks from above. They are birds which swoop and soar. Thus, one cannot say that they heedlessly foul their nests. The Right is in keeping with the skylark’s nature, and in form the poem also appropriately poetic, but because of the distance of the first stanza from the last, it is possible that one might not grasp the sense of the poem on first hearing. “Starting from the nest” (sudachi) and “take flight” (agari) are, though, too similar. However, as the Left’s poem has an unpleasant line, and is contrary to the essence of skylarks, despite its faults, the Right’s poem must win.’


Topic unknown.


oFoaraki no
mori no sitakusa
koma mo susameszu
karu Fito mo nasi
In Oaraki
Forest the undergrowth
Has grown so old
It does not tempt my mount,
Nor will any come to reap it.
sakura asa no
woFu no sitakusa
koma mo susameszu
karu Fito mo nasi
Cherry hemp
Growing, the grass beneath it
Has grown so old
It does not tempt my mount,
Nor will any come to reap it.



A summer poem, from when she presented a hundred poem sequence to retired Emperor Sutoku.


sakura asa no
ou no shitakusa
shigere tada
akade wakareshi
hana no na nareba
Cherry hemp
Growing, the grass beneath it
So lush! Simply
Never sating – as parting
Is in this blossom’s name….

Lady Asa of the Taikenmon Palace