Tag Archives: hail

MYS I: 65

A poem composed by Prince Naga, on the occasion of a visit to the Naniwa Palace in Kyōun 3 [707].

霰打 安良礼松原 住吉之 弟日娘与 見礼常不飽香聞


arare utu
sumiyosi no
otoiwotome to
miredo akanu kamo
Hail strikes
In Sumiyoshi
A pleasure girl
I see, yet cannot get my fill.

Prince Naga (?-715)

Winter II: 18



shiishba wa
fuyu koso hito ni
koto tou arare
nokosu kogarashi
The brushwood,
That ‘tis winter to folk
Does tell;
Hail raising cries from leave
Left by the freezing winds.

Lord Sada’ie.


Right (Win).


yū koekureba
shiishiba no
ureba ni tsutau
tama arare kana
Just on the edge of mountain deeps,
When evening has passed by,
The brushwood’s
Leaf-tips display
Gemstone hail!

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.


The Right state that the final section of the Left’s poem is ‘fierce’ [arashi]. The Left state that the Right’s ‘gemstone hail’ (tama arare) ‘sounds poor’ [kikiyokarazu].

Shunzei’s judgement: The Gentlemen of the Right have stated that the final section of the Left’s poem is ‘fierce’ – how can they say this? I would say that it appears perfectly pleasant [yoroshiku koso miehabere, ikaga]. However, the Right’s ‘when evening has passed by’ (yū koekureba) and ‘leaf-tips’ (ureba) seem a rather overblown style to me [kotogotoshiki fūtei ni miehaberi]. ‘Gemstone’ (tama), though, in addition to being a word used to praise something, is used in conjunction with ‘hail’, in ‘the echoes are chill as pearls falling one by one from a dragon’s jaw’ . There is nothing to criticise about it. Thus, the Right should win.

Winter II: 10

Left (Win).


suzu no karine ni
shimo saete
matsukaze hayashi
fukenu kono yo wa
Upon Mt Yoshino,
In fitful sleep upon a bed of bamboo,
The frost falls chill, indeed, and
The wind gusts through the pines,
With the fall of night.





shiba no amido wa
kaze sugite
arare yokogiru
matsu no oto kana
On the mountains’ edge
My woven brushwood door
Is pierced by the wind;
Hearing hail blown horizontal
Against the pines…



Both Left and Right are exaggerated in their insistence that the other’s poem lacks any faults.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s ‘Upon Mt Yoshino, in fitful sleep upon a bed of bamboo’ (yoshinoyama suzu no karine ni) would seem to suggest an ascetic who, having travelled into the mountains, has made himself a hut from bamboo and pillowed upon the tree roots, would it not? But here he seems to have simply cut them down, spread them out and lain upon them! In addition, ‘The wind gusts through the pines’ (matsukaze hayashi) fails to sound elegant [yū ni shi kikoezaru]. The Right, by starting with ‘On the mountains’ edge’ (toyamanaru), suggests that the poet is speaking of his own dwelling’s door in the mountains. ‘Hearing hail blown horizontal against the pines’ (arare yokogiru matsu no oto) also just does not sound appropriate. Both poems have an exaggerated feeling [kotogotoshikaran to wa kokorozashite], and I cannot grasp who they are referring to. However, the Left’s poem is, still, somewhat superior.

Winter 43

Left (Win).


asa yū no
oto wa shigure no
narashiba ni
itsu furikawaru
arare naruran
Morn and night
The sound of rain upon
Oaken boughs;
When, I wonder, did it change
To hail?




arare furi
shizu ga sasaya no
soyo sara ni
hito yo bakari no
yume o ya wa miru
Hailstones fall
Upon my mean bamboo roof;
Will I, at least,
Briefly this night
Catch a glimpse of dreams?