Tag Archives: mume

Genzon waka rokujō 607

Bird cherry.


yuki fukaki
kakine no mume no
ika ni shite
nao uzumorenu
ka ni wa sakuran
Deep with the snow is
The plum blossom by my brushwood fence:
O, what will become of it—
Still buried
Will its fragrance bloom forth?

The Former Kinugasa Minister of the Centre [Kinugasa no Ieyoshi 衣笠家良 (1192-1264)]

Kanpyō no ōntoki kisai no miya uta’awase 64



shigure fururashi
saoyama no
masaki no kazura
iro masarikeri
In the Godless Month
Showers fall, it seems, for
On Sao Mountain
The evergreen arrowroot’s
Hues are fine, indeed.




fuyu kureba
mume ni yuki koso
izure no e o ka
hana to wa oramu
When the winter comes
Upon the plum tree, truly, does snow
Fall and cling;
From which branch, I wonder
Should I pick the blossom?


[1] Shinkokinshū VI: 574

MYS V: 815

On the 13th day of First Month Tenpyō 2, there was a gathering at the residence of the Governor General for a banquet. That year the month was truly a perfect example of early spring, with a sublime atmosphere and gentle breezes. The plum blossom bloomed with the whiteness of the powder one applies before a mirror; the orchids gave off a scent like that trailed behind one from a perfumed sachet. Moreover, in the morning the clouds moved across the peaks, and capped the pine trees with a silken gauze. Then with the evening mists rose from the mountain caverns, and birds, lost in the silken folds, flew in confusion through the woods. In the garden, new-born butterflies danced, while in the skies, geese flew homeward. Thus, with the heavens to cover us, and the land spread out before, we sat with knees close together and the wine-cups flew back and forth. All of us together quite forgot our words, and allowed our hearts to fly free in the beautiful scene. Truly, there is no way to measure the emotions of the time, so filled with pleasure were we. Were it not for poetry, how could we record our feelings? In the poetry of Cathay, there are volumes on the fallen blossoms, but what difference is there between those ancient compositions and those of the present? And so, and so, shall we not compose short poems on this garden of blossoming plum?


mutuki tati
paru no kitaraba
kaku shi koso
mume wo manekitutu
tanosiki opeme
The First Month appears and
With the coming of spring
Beckoned by plum blossom
Will we exhaust ourselves with joy!

Senior Assistant Governor General, Lord Ki

KKS I: 38

Breaking off a branch of plum blossom, he sent it to a certain person.


kimi narade
tare ni ka misen
mume no Fana
iro wo mo ka wo mo
siru Fito zo siru
If not to you
Then to whom should I present
Plum blossoms?
For their shades and their scent both,
It is you who know them best of all…


Love V: 21

Left (Win).

kasanezu to
omou bakari zo
nioi wa sode ni
utsurinuru kana
No piled robes, but
All I do is long for her:
Her night-robe’s
Scent upon my sleeves
Does dwell….

Lord Suetsune


kozue bakari o
nasake nite
aruji wa tōki
yado no mume ga e
The scent drifting
From the treetops is my only
Consolation, for
Their master is as far away
As his dwelling’s plum blossom branches…


The Right state: the Left’s poem lacks any faults to indicate. The Left state: is the Right’s poem not composed upon the plum blossom of the house next door?

In judgement: for the topic of ‘Nearby Love’, poems composed where the lovers are in the same room are most likely winners. Even so, how close do their dwellings need to be? The Left’s latter section, ‘Her night-robe’s scent upon my sleeves’ (sayogoromo nioi wa sode ni) is certainly elegant. The Right’s poem has ‘Their master is as far away’ (aruji wa tōki). Simply because of this, it is certainly not composed on plum blossom. Still, the Left’s ‘night-robe’ (sayogoromo) seems a little superior to ‘The scent drifting from the treetops is my only consolation’ (nioikuru kozue bakari o nasake nite).