haru no tatsu kasumi no koromo ura mo naku toshi o hete koso hana no chirikere Spring does sew A robe of haze Without an underlay, The year passes by in A scattering of blossom
haru no no no yuki ma o wakete itsushika to kimi ga tame to zo wakana tsumitsuru Across the springtime meadows Do I forge between the snows, Eagerly, so eagerly, For you, my Lord, Have I gathered fresh herbs!
harugasumi kasumi kometaru yamazato wa kōri toku tomo kage wa mieji o The haze of spring Blurs all around A mountain retreat, Even were the ice to melt I could see no sign of it!
ume ga e ni ki’iru uguisu toshigoto ni hana no nioi o akanu koesuru Upon the plum tree’s branches Has come to rest the warbler; Every single year, that Of the blossoms’ scent He cannot get his fill he sings.
sakurairo ni hana saku ame wa furinu tomo chishio zo somete utsurou na sode Cherry-coloured Blossoms flower, as the rain Falls on, yet Dyed a thousand times Fade not, o, my sleeves!
aoyagi no ito harubaru to midori naru yukusue made mo omoi koso yare The willow’s Branches dangle lengthily So green Right to the very end Will I fondly think of you.
kyō mo nao
yuki wa furitsutsu
tateru ya izuko
wakana tsumitemu Still yet, today
Is the snow falling;
O, spring haze
Where do you arise?
For I would go and pluck fresh herbs!
In no hyakushu, shodo, Eighth Month Shōji 2 [September 1200]
ta ga tame wakete
kono kawa no
mukae no nobe ni
wakana tsumuran This film of morning ice:
For who’s sake do I break it?
On this river’s
Yonder side within the fields
Would I pluck fresh herbs…
Naidaijinke hyakushu, Ninth Month Kenpō 3 [October 1215]
ima ikuFi arite
wakana tumiten On Kasuga Plain,
O, warder of Tobuhi Plain,
Go out and see!
How many days must pass
’til we may pick fresh herbs…
A spring poem, presented in a hundred poem sequence during the reign of former Emperor Sutoku.
sode to zo miyuru
tobu hi no nobe no
yuki no muragie Plucking fresh herbs,
Sleeves do I seem to see
On the plain at Kasuga,
Where the sun dances in the fields
On the patchy snow…
Former Consultant Norinaga
miyama ni Fa
matu no yuki dani
miyako Fa nobe no
wakana tumikeri Deep within the mountains
Not even the snow upon the pines
Has gone, yet
In the fields around the capital
Fresh greens have been picked!
In the Second Month of the Fourth Year of Kenpô (1216), I selected and ordered two hundred of my own meagre works. In the Sixth Month of the following year, I took the order apart and rearranged it somewhat. In the Seventh Year of Kenpô, I secretly presented it to His Majesty, and received an Imperial judgement upon it.
saku ya ume ga e
ima wa harube to
wakana tsumitsutsu On Kasuga field,
O, branches of blooming plum blossom!
From the spaces in the snow,
‘Now Spring is come!’
Do we pluck fresh greens.
mata ya miyama o
wakana tsumu no mo
awayuki zo furu Has it not gone, and yet
The mountains’ depths
Upon the fresh-green picking fields
A spume of snow falls on…
furu yuki ni
nomori ga io mo
wakana tsumamu to
tare ni towamashi In the falling snow
Even the warden’s hut
‘Can we pick fresh herbs?’
To whom can we ask now?