Tag Archives: mountain cherry

SZS II: 103

Composed when he had gone to Michinoku, and saw the flowers blooming at the barrier of Nakoso.


Fuku kaze wo
nakoso no seki to
mitimose ni tiru
yamazakura kana
The gusting wind
Comes not to the barrier of Nakoso,
I thought, yet
The road is blocked with fallen
Mountain cherry blossom.

Minamoto no Yoshi’ie (1039-1106)

Love I: 24

Left (Win).


wasurezu yo
honobono hito o
mishimae no
tasogare narishi
ashi no mayoi ni
Never will I forget you
Who I glimpsed faintly
In the dusk of Mishima Bay
A single reed
Causes confusion.

A Servant Girl.




hana no iro ni
utsuru kokoro wa
kasumi no ma yori
A blossom’s hue
Has caught my heart;
A mountain cherry
Through the parted mists
Has set me on the path of love.

Lord Takanobu.


The Gentlemen of the Right state: saying simply ‘dusk’ (tasogare) when it should be ‘the hour of dusk’ (tasogare toki) sounds somewhat strange. The Gentlemen of the Left state: the Right’s poem is composed to recall the Kokinshū’s ‘A mountain cherry through the drifting mists’ (yamazakura kasumi no ma yori), but is inferior to the original.

Shunzei’s judgement: in regard to the Left’s poem, it is certainly the case that, even without the ‘hour’, ‘in the dusk’ is a standard expression. The Right’s poem sounds old-fashioned. The Left, though, does not sound unpleasant, even though its mentioning of ‘never will I forget’ (wasurezu yo) recollects ‘a tiled kiln’. It should win.

Spring I: 7

Left (Tie).


nao sayuru
keshiki ni shirushi
mada fuyugomoru
kozue naruran
Still so clear
Is the scene: it must be a sign that
Mountain cherries are
Yet sealed in winter,
Outstanding on the treetops…

Lord Suetsune


Right (Tie).


fuyu ni wa yuki no
haru tomo iwazu
How it must long for
Winter – the snow
Though ‘tis spring, needless to say:
That is clear, indeed!

The Provisional Assistant Master of the Empress’ Household Office


The Right state that as the entirety of the topic is expressed in the first line of the Left’s poem, it lack care [nen nashi]. The Left respond that saying that the characters of the topic appear in the first line of our poem suggest the Right is unable to count correctly! As for the Right’s poem, we find no particular faults, but it is ordinary [mezurashiki ni arazu].

Shunzei’s judgement: The form of both poems is splendid [sugata wa yū ni koso haberumere]. In general, the mass of modern composition, whether or not it shows understanding of the form and diction of poetry [kinrai no utayomi no tomogara, sugata kotoba wa shireru ka shirazaru ka], also frequently fails to show enough attention to details of techique [bimyō no fūjō] and that I have cause to say this is certainly not laudable [kanshin serezaru koto]. However, the Right’s ‘the snow remains’ (yuki no okureite), seems somewhat contrived [sukoshi omoubeku], though the final one is excellent [yoroshikuhaberu]. Thus, it’s impossible to distinguish between the two poems.

Spring 12

Left (Tie).


haru no hi kazu wa
hana ni zo shizumu
seze no mumoregi
The river Natori:
The days of spring have reached
Their span, and
Blossom swamps
The drowned tree upon the shoals.




na mo shirushi
mine no arashi mo
yuki to furu
yamasakurado no
akebono no sora
It’s all in the name:
Storm winds from the peak
Scatter a snowstorm of blossom;
My mountain cherry door
Open upon a dawning sky.


SKKS II: 103

When people were composing poems on blossom at the house of Princess Yūshi (1038-1105).


hana no iro ni
amagiru kasumi
tachi mayoi
sora sae niou
yamazakura kana
The blossoms’ hue within the
Sky-shading mist
Does swirl;
The very heavens glow
With mountain cherry.

Provisional Major Councillor[Fujiwara no] Naga’ie (1005-1064)

SKKS II: 102

Composed on the spirit of desiring mountain blossoms, when he was Great Minister of the Centre.


shirayuki no
tanabiku yama no
izure o hana to
yukite oramashi
Snow, white,
Trails across the mountain’s
Knowing which are blossom
I would go, and pluck them.

The Former Kyōgoku Regent and Prime Minister [Fujiwara no Morozane (1042-1101)]