Tag Archives: Ietaka

Spring I: 17



yamakawa no
kōri no kusabi
ishi ni kudakuru
mizu no shiranami
The mountain stream’s
Icy wedges
Are melting;
Broken on the rocks
In white-capped waves of water.

Lord Ari’ie


Right (Win).


harukaze ni
shita yuku nami no
kazu miete
nokoru tomonaki
usukōri kana
With the breath of spring,
Flowing beneath, waves
In numbers can be seen;
Hardly any remains – just
A coating of ice.



Neither team have any comments to make about the other’s poem.

Shunzei remarks that the opening of the Left’s poem seems ‘old-fashioned’ (and hence is cliched). The conclusion is splendid, but would have been improve by the substitution of ‘crags’ (iwa) for ‘rocks’ (ishi). The Right’s poem, in the spirit of clarifying the numbers of waves of water flowing under a thin sheet of ice, ‘seems exceptional’, and so the latter poem is ‘slightly superior.’

Spring I: 8

Left (Tie).


haru kitemo
nao shimikōru
yamazato wa
kakehi no mizu no
otozure mo nashi
Though spring has come,
Yet chill seeps within
My mountain home:
Water from the pipes
Makes no sound at all…

Lord Kanemune


Right (Tie).


haru kitemo
yuki furu sora o
kasumi mo sayuru
kokochi koso sure
Though spring has come
When on the sky, full of falling snow,
I gaze,
Even the haze of spring is clearly cold
I feel.



The Right team here disapprove of the Left’s use of shimikōru, calling it, ‘grating on the ear’ – Shunzei disagrees, saying that neither component, shimi or kōru, is ‘vulgar’. Both poems, he feels, start well, and the fourth line of the Right poem, kasumi mo sayuru, is particularly fine, but, once again, the round must be adjudged a tie.

Spring I: 3

Left (Win).


hatsu haru no
kyō wa kashikoki
nobeyo to chiyo no
shirushi zo oku
At the start of spring
Today, the awesome
Imperial Word
Announce! For a thousand generations
The signs are placed.

Lord Ari’ie



morobito no
tachi’iru niwa no
sakazuki ni
hikari mo shirushi
chiyo no hatsuharu
Where the courtier crowds
Sit and stand within the gardens,
Upon the wine cups
Light is e’en a sign, of
A thousand generations, at the start of spring.


Neither team finds any fault in the other’s poem this round.

Shunzei’s judgement: The conception [kokoro] of the Left’s ‘Announce! For a thousand generations the signs are placed’ (nobeyo to chiyo no shirushi zo oku) is fine [yoroshiku haberubeshi]. The configuration of the Right’s poem, too, is splendid [sugata wa yū ni haberu], but ‘wine cups’ (sakazuki) seems rather abrupt. ‘Light’ (hikari) could beimagined as coming from the moon, but its origin is not entirely clear. Thus, as a result, the Left must win.