Tag Archives: kai


When the Nishi-shijō Ise Virgin[1] was still a princess, while there were some tender feelings between them, it was decided that she should become Ise Virgin,[2] so at dawn on the following day, he had this sent to her, attached to a branch of sakaki.


ise no umi no
tiFiro no Fama ni
FiroFu to mo
ima Fa nani teFu
kaFi ka arubeki
By the sea at Ise
Across a thousand yards of beach
Would I gather them, but
Now what use
Might be these seashells?

Lord Atsutada

A kuzushiji version of the poem's text.
Created with Soan.

[1] Imperial Princess Gashi 雅子 (910-954), the tenth daughter of Emperor Daigo.

[2] Gashi was announced as Ise Virgin on the 25th day of the Twelfth Month, Shōhei 承平 1 [4.2.932], dating this poem to 5th February 932.

GSS XVII: 1223

When a man who was Assistant Governor of Kii ceased to come to call, she sent this to the man’s elder sister to say how heartless this was and the sister sent this in reply, to say how she sympathized.


ki no kuni no
nagusa no Fama Fa
kimi nare ya
koto no iFukaFi
ari to kikituru
In the land of Ki
Might consolation upon Nagusa Beach
You find
A shell? Saying it has some point
Or so I have heard.


Kanpyō no ōntoki chūgū uta’awase 11


Round Eleven



shimo no ue ni
furu hatsuyuki no
tokemu hodo koso
Upon the frosts
Falls first snow, turning
Icy in the morning;
The time when it will melt is
Far away, indeed.


Right (Win)


itsu no ma ni
miyoshino no
yama no kai yori
kuzure’otsuru yuki
All of a sudden
Has it fallen and piled high
In fair Yoshino
The mountain passes are
Blocked by fallen snow.


[1] Kokin rokujō I: 696

MYS II: 153

A poem by Her Majesty, the Dowager Empress.

鯨魚取り 近江の海を 沖放けて 漕ぎ来る船 辺付きて 漕ぎ来る船 沖つ櫂 いたくな撥ねそ 辺つ櫂 いたくな撥ねそ 若草の 夫の 思ふ鳥立つ

isana tori
opomi no umi wo
oki sakete
kogikitaru pune
pe tu kite
kogikuru pune
oki tu kai
itaku na pane so
pe tu kai
itaku na pane so
wakakusa no
tuma no
omopu tori tatu
In the whale-hunting
Sea of Ōmi
From far off in the offing
Boats come rowing;
Nearing the shore,
Boats come rowing;
Off in the offing, oars
Beat not so hard!
By the shore, oars
Beat not so hard!
A fresh blade of grass –
My husband’s
Beloved birds you’ll start to flight!

Yamato Hime no Ōkimi

KKS XIX: 1067

Composed on the topic of monkeys howling from the mountain passes on a day when the Cloistered Emperor had gone to the Western River.


wabisira ni
masira na naki so
asiFiki no
yama no kaFi aru
keFu ni ya wa aranu
So sadly,
O Monkeys, howl not!
The mountain valleys are, yet
Today, there is no point!