Tag Archives: Iwata no Ono

Autumn III: 12

Left (Win).


toki wakanu
nami sae iro ni
hahaso no mori ni
arashi fukurashi
Ever unchanging,
Even the waves have coloured
On Izumi River;
In the oak groves
Have the wild winds blown.

Lord Sada’ie.




aki fukaki
iwata no ono no

shitaba wa kusa no
tsuyu ya somuran
Autumn’s deep at
In the oak groves
Have the lower leaves by grass
Touched dewfall been dyed?



Neither team has any criticisms to make of the other’s poem.

Shunzei’s judgement: The total effect of the Left’s ‘even the waves have coloured on Izumi River’ (nami sae iro in izumigawa) is most superior [sugata wa yū narubeshi]. However, there does not appear to be any element linked to the final section’s ‘wild winds’ (arashi) in the initial part of the poem. The Right has ‘have the lower leaves by grass touched dewfall been dyed?’ (shitaba wa kusa no tsuyu ya somuran), without, in the initial section having an expression like ‘treetops stained by showers’ (kozue wa shigure somu), and I wonder about having the lower leaves on the trees touched by ‘dewfall on the grass’ (kusa no tsuyu). The Left’s ‘have the wild winds blown’ should win.

Autumn III: 10



matsu kage ni
ikade shigure no
iwamoto hahaso
hatsu momijiseri
Beneath the pine trees’ shade
Why has the shower
Drenched all?
The oak tree, at the crag-foot
Has its first scarlet leaf.





yamashina no
iwata no ono ni

aki kurete
kaze ni iro aru
hahasowara kana
In Yamashina
At Iwata-no-Ono
Autumn is almost done
Its hues are in the wind
Upon the oak groves.

Lord Takanobu.


The Right ask whether the Left can cite a poem as a precedent for the expression ‘oak tree, at the crag-foot’ (iwamoto hahaso). The Left respond that they cannot bring one to mind immediately. However, ‘crag-foot’ is often used about a range of plants of various kinds. Thus, where is the fault in using it? The Left have no criticisms to make of the Right’s poem.

Shunzei’s judgement: It is not particularly important whether there is a precedent for the Left’s use of ‘oak tree, at the crag-foot’ [shōka no yūmu ni oyobubekarazu]. The final section, ‘has its first scarlet leaf’(hatsu momijiseri), however, given that what comes before is a standard poem [tsune no uta], is somewhat over-explicit [niwaka ni kotogotoshiku haberumere]. The Right’s poem has nothing particular to say. Starting with ‘Yamashina’ sounds overly blunt [amari ni tashika ni kikoetaru]. In addition, the final section displays no deep thought [munen narubeshi]. So, again, the round is a tie.

Autumn III: 9



aki zo kashi
wata no ono no
hahaso ga hara ni
momiji ya wa sen
It’s Autumn!
At Iwata-no-Ono,
Needless to say,
The oak groves, all,
Are turning to scarlet leaves.

Lord Ari’ie.




usuku koku
koto wa kawaredo
kozue ni kozoru
aki no iro kana
First dark, then light
They change, yet,
Upon the oak groves’
Treetops gather
All the hues of autumn…

The Provisional Master of the Empress Household Office.


The Right find no fault with the Left’s poem. The Left state that they find ‘gather’ (kozoru) ‘grating on the ear’ [kikiyokarazu] and ‘clumsy’ [tezutsu].

Shunzei’s judgement: Starting a poem with ‘It’s Autumn!’ is a usage of diction which I must hope will be considered charming [kotobazukai okashikaran to shokiseru narubeshi]! The Right’s ‘treetops gather’ (kozue ni kozoru) is somewhat unexpected wording [sukoshi wa omoikakenu kotoba ni wa haberedo], yet one cannot call it ‘clumsy’. So, with nothing superlative or at fault with either poem, the round ties.