Tag Archives: Fukakusa

KKS XVI: 832

Composed when the Horikawa Grand Minister had died, after the cremation on Mount Fukakusa was over.


Fukakusa no
nobe no sakura si
kokoro araba
kotosi bakari Fa
sumizome ni sake
At Fukakusa
In the meadows, had the cherry trees
Any heart at all,
For just this year
Would they bloom in charcoal hues.

Kamutsuke no Mineo

Winter II: 5



sabishisa no
hajime to zo miru
asa madaki
hadarejimo furu
ono no shinohara
The loneliness
Has begun, I feel,
Early in the morning, with
The dusting frost
On the arrow bamboo groves…

Lord Suetsune.


Right (Win).


asado akete
miyako no tatsumi
yuki no kozue ya
fukakusa no sato
Opening my door one morning, and
South-east of the capital
Turning my gaze,
The snow-laden treetops recall
The depths of the estate at Fukakusa.

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.


Both teams say the other’s poem ‘isn’t bad’ [ashikaranu].

Shunzei’s judgement: Although I feel that this topic of ‘Winter Mornings’ should express the conception of the latter half of winter [fuyu no nakaba sugitaru kokoro], the Left’s poem sounds like one from the beginning of winter, and I wonder about that. ‘South-east of the capital’ (miyako no tatsumi) is taken from the poem by Kisen on Mt Uji, which states ‘South east of the Capital, and so I dwell’ (miyako no tatsumi sika zo sumu). This conception [kokoro] of being there and ‘gazing south-east of the capital’ (miyako no tatsumi nagamureba) to the Fukakusa Estate, is charming [okashiku haberu]. Snow on the treetops in the morning, too, sounds pleasant [yoroshiku kikoyu]. Thus, the Right should win.

Autumn II: 22

Left (Tie).


akekata ni
yo wa narinu to ya
sugawara ya
fushimi no tai ni
shigi zo tachikeru
Is it that dawn
Has come to break the night,
That from the sedge-lined
Fields of Fushimi
The snipe have started?

Lord Suetsune.




akenuru ka
shigi no hanegaki
neya sugite
sode ni tsuki moru
fukakusa no sato
Has dawn come?
The snipe’s wingbeats
Cross my bedchamber,
Sleeves lit by lonely moonlight
In the overgrown depths of Fukakusa…

Lord Takanobu.


The Right state, ‘There is no precedent for the addition of “fields” (tai) to “sedge-lined Fushimi” (sugawara ya fushimi). In addition, using ya at the end of both the second and third lines is grating on the ear.’ The Left merely remark, ‘“Fukakusa” is now, perhaps more commonly associated with quail.”

Shunzei’s judgement: ‘In regard to the Right’s poem, although one would really like there to be a precedent, and there are doubtless rice fields in “sedge-lined Fushimi”, I do still feel that “fields” here is a little outre, is it not? While the Left’s “sleeved lit by lonely moonlight” (sode ni tsuki moru) is superlative, I would prefer “quail” to be associated with “Fukakusa”. If snipe call for a place name, it is not Fukakusa, but Yamada, I would think. Both poems are excellent, but with faults, and for this reason the round ties.’

Summer I: 9



natsukusa no
nojima ga saki no
asagiri o
wakete zo kitsuru
hagi no ha no suri
Summer grass grows high
On Nojima Point;
Through the morning mists
Have I come forging,
Robes patterned with bush-clover leaves.



Right (Win).


shigekino to
natsu mo nariyuku
fukakusa no
sato wa uzura no
bakari zo
Ever thicker grow the grasses and
With the summer’s passing, too,
At Fukakusa – deep within the greenery –
The quails
Let out not a cry – that’s all…



The Right have no criticisms to make of the Left’s poem. The Left, however, say, ‘Using “summer’s passing, too” (natsu mo) appears to suggest a foundation upon something definite. What is it, however?’ The Right reply, ‘As the source poem is “A quail I shall become and cry” (udura to narite nakiworan), the impression given is of Autumn. Thus, “summer’s passing, too”.’

Shunzei judges, ‘The Left’s poem has as its final line, “Robes patterned with bush-clover leaves” (hagi no ha no suri), and before it, where one would expect to find the reason why the poet is forging across Nojima Point, is only “summer grass” (natsukusa no). This is repetitive. The Right’s poem, though, commencing with “ever thicker grasses” (shigeki no) is particularly fine in terms of configuration [sugata yoroshiki ni nitari]. Thus, it is the winner, this round.’

Winter 48

Left (Tie).


yuki ore no
take no shitamichi
ato mo nashi
arenishi nochi no
fukakusa no sato
Bamboo trails
Bear no tracks
After the storm
At the estate of Fukakusa.




ōtomo no
mitsu no hama
matsu tomo mieji
uzumu shirayuki
In Ōtomo
Upon the beach at Mitsu, wind,
Blow clean
The pines, for they seem unlike themselves,
Buried in drifted snow.


SKKS XV: 1337

From the Minase 15 Love Poem Poetry Competition.


mi wa fukakusa no
aki no tsuyu
tanomeshi sue ya
kogarashi no kaze
Dwelling on my thoughts
At Fukakusa, deep among the grasses,
The autumn’s dewfall comes
With your broken promises?
Or the chill and bitter wind…

Fujiwara no Ietaka

SKKS IV: 293

From the Poetry Contest in 1500 Rounds.


fukakusa no
tsuyu no yosuga wo
chigiri nite
sato o ba karezu
aki wa kinikeri
Deep within the grasses of Fukakusa,
The dewfall links to
Your fate:
No parting from this house-
Autumn has come, I hear.

The Regent and Grand Minister [Fujiwara no Yoshitsune] (1169-1206)

SZS IV: 259

Composed as an Autumn poem, when he presented a hundred-poem sequence.


yuFu sareba
nobe no aki kaze
mi ni simite
udura naku nari
Fukakusa no sato
When the evening comes
The Autumn wing across the fields
Pierces my breast, and
I hear the quails crying
In this Fukakusa home.

Master of the Dowager Empress’ Household Office [Fujiwara no] Toshinari


When making preparations to return to the capital after he had been living at Fukakusa for a while, he composed this poem and sent it to someone there.


tosi wo Fete
sumikosi sato wo
idete inaba
itodo fukakusa
no to ya narinamu
The years have passed
Dwelling in this house;
Were I to leave and go away
How lush and thick would the grasses of Fukakusa-
Returning to fields-become?

Ariwara no Narihira