Tag Archives: Love at the Dawn

Love IV: 6

Left (Win).

tsuki ya sore
honomishi hito no
omokage o
ariake no sora
Was the moon her?
So briefly glimpsed, her
I bring to mind, but simply see
The dawning sky…

A Servant Girl.


kurushiki koi ni
kokoro mayoi ya
akegure no sora
All night long
From the pains of love
Have I had no relief;
Does the tumult in my heart reflect
The shading of the dawning sky?

Lord Tsune’ie.

The Right state: we find no faults in the Left’s poem. The Left state: the initial section of the Right’s poem sounds a little clumsy.

In judgement: both the Left’s ‘dawning sky’ (ariake no sora) and the Right’s ‘shading of the dawning sky’ (akegure no sora) sound pleasant, but the Left’s conception of commencing with ‘Was the moon her?’ (tsuki ya sore) and following it with ‘I bring to mind, but simply see the dawning sky’ (shinobikaeseba ariake no sora) appears particularly profoundly appropriate for the topic. Thus, the Left must win.

Love IV: 4


tsurenasa no
tagui made ya wa
tsuki o mo medeji
ariake no sora
Heartless on parting are you,
And just so is the
Moon – no more will I care for it! –
In the sky at dawn.

Lord Ari’ie.

Right (Win).

au to miru
nasake mo tsurashi
akatsuki no
tsuyu nomi fukaki
yume no kayoiji
We met, I saw, and
How fond were you, but how cruel
The dawn, when
I was drenched with dew alone from
The path of dreams…

Lord Takanobu.

The Gentlemen of the Right state: if the Left allude to the poem ‘At the dawning / How cruel it seemed / To part’, then this poem refers to the cruelty of a lover, but their poem suggests that the moon is the cruel one. Is this appropriate? In response: ‘At the dawning / How cruel it seemed’ can also be interpreted as referring to the moon. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right use the diction ‘fond’ (nasake), but the sense of this does not follow in the poem.

In judgement: the Left builds on the poem which starts ‘At the dawning / How cruel it seemed / To part, but’ and then says more than the lover’s heartlessness, ‘The fading moon / Cared not at all.’ So, given that this is the case, it’s not really saying anything different from ‘No more will I care for the moon!’ As for the Right, it sounds as if the lover’s fondness appears in the ‘dream’ (yume), but the final section seems good. The Right’s poem is somewhat superior.

Love IV: 3


kinuginu ni
ima ya naran mo
aramashi ni
awanu toko sae
oki zo yararenu
The time to dress, and part
Is now and
So it must be,
Even from my lonely bed
I find I cannot rise…

Lord Suetsune.


akenu tote
wakareshi sora no
kane no oto wa
otozururu sae
urameshiki kana
Dawn has come and
Our parting to the skies
The bells do sound;
That they have rung –
I hate it!


Left and Right both have nothing particular to say.

In judgement: One would have no reason to force oneself from a ‘lonely bed’ (awanu toko) would one [shiite okubekarazu ya]? The Right’s ‘that they have rung’ (otozururu sae) sounds insufficient
[orokani kikoyu]. So, the round should tie.

Love IV: 2


wa ga kokoro ni mo
tagueba ya
aware o souru
akegure no sora
Sunk in lonely thought
Does my heart
Match it?
Traced with sorrow, is
The sky at dawn.

Lord Kanemune.


urami wabi
kaesu koromo no
shirushi dani
naki akatsuki wa
ikaga kanashiki
In despite and sorrow,
I reversed my garb, but
To no effect;
Thus, this dawn
Is so much more sad…

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.

The Right state: the use of the question in the Left’s poem, means that the comparison is not made sufficiently forcefully. The Left state: we find no faults worth mentioning in particular in the Right’s poem.

In judgement: neither poem seems to have any qualities which make them worthy of a win, or a loss.

Love IV: 1

Left (Win).

yo o fukami
shibanaku kake wa
ware gotoku
netemo sametemo
koi ya subenaki
At the close of night
The cock crows from time to time,
Just as I
Both sleeping and waking,
Won’t a thought of love console me?



aimite wa
uki orifushi mo
tori no ne ni
A meeting always
Brings a painful parting, but
The cock’s crow
Brings back memories
Of the one I love…


The Right state: we cannot comprehend a cock feeling thoughts of love when asleep. The Left state: the initial section of the Right’s poem is incomprehensible. The second section is antiquated.

In judgement: the Left’s ‘cock crows from time to time’ (shibanaku kake) and ‘Won’t a thought of love console me?’ (koi ya subenaki) are expressions the style of which I am unable to accept. Moreover, I don’t feel that cocks really have thoughts of love while they are asleep. But, I have wondered, when hearing them crow so vigorously at dawn whether, ‘just as I, both sleeping and waking, they are thinking of love’? The Right’s poem is somewhat naïve in style, and suggests that after having met, and parted from, a lover, subsequently hearing the cock crow brings back mixed feelings of love and sorrow, but the initial impression it gives is that because a meeting has brought about painful feelings, something has happened – but what this is is left unclear. The Left’s poem is certainly not out of keeping with one in this style. Thus, the Left should win.