Tag Archives: Nagara

Love VII: 28


ware ga mi ya
nagara no hashi no
koi ni kuchinan
na o ba nokoshite
Is my body as
The broken bridge at Nagara’s
Bridge pillars?
Eaten away by love
Is all they’ll say when I am gone…

Lord Kanemune

Right (Win).

itada no hashi mo
sa mo araba
are ware o koubeki
imo naraba koso
Collapsing is
The bridge at Itada:
Should that be, then
Love for me from
My darling will do the same!

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress Household Office

The Right state: clichéd from beginning to end. The Left state: the style of the Right’s poem is unattractive.

In judgement: the second and third lines are certainly old-fashioned. I also cannot call the poem tasteful, because the initial line of it is unattractive. The style of the Right’s poem is not particularly elegant, but the Left is old-fashioned, so the Right wins.

Love VII: 27


kaku koso wa
nagara no hashi mo
hashira bakari wa
nagori ya wa naki
And so it is that
The bridge at Nagara
Has ceased to be, yet
Are there not even pillars
In remembrance of what’s gone?

Lord Ari’ie

Right (Win).

ima mo nao
nagara no hashi wa
tsurenaki koi wa
ato dani mo nashi
Even now is
The bridge at Nagara
Being built?
Of this cruel love
Not even a trace remains…


The Right state: it is certainly possible to say that the ‘bridge at Nagara’ has ‘rotted’ (kutsu), but there are, we think, no other examples of it ‘ceasing’ (tayu). The Left state: we wonder about the appropriateness of saying ‘love not a trace’ (koi ni ato nashi).

In judgement: both poems refer to ‘the bridge at Nagara’ and, as has been mentioned by the Gentlemen of the Right in their criticism, the Left uses ‘has ceased to be, yet’ (taeshikado); there are many poems using ‘rotted’, because this is what happens to the pillars of bridges. After this bridge ceased to be, the pillars would still be rotting away. If you have the bridge ‘being built’ (tsukuru nari), why would you not then have it ‘ceasing’? That being said, I am only accustomed to hearing ‘bridge pillars’ (hashibashira), and having only ‘pillars’ (hashira) sounds completely lacking in logic. The Right’s poem uses ‘love not a trace’ (koi ato nashi): it is entirely natural for a variety of different things not to leave a trace. The current criticism must be due to there not being a prior example of this usage, but it is particularly difficult to say this about the initial section of the poem. The Right wins.

SZS XVI: 1030

When he went to Tennōji and, while at Nagara heard someone say that there used to be a bridge here.


yukusuwe wo
omoFeba kanasi
tu no kuni no
nagara no Fasi mo
na ga nokorikeri
What has befallen –
When I think on it, it is so sad that
In the province of Tsu
The bridge of Nagara
Has left behind its name, alone…

Minamoto no Shunrai


Composed at the bridge at Nagara.


nagarete no
na wo koso kikame
ato wo mimasi ya
These bridge pillars
Were there not at Nagara,
Should the current of the world
Bring the name to one’s ears,
Would one even see its traces?

Former Major Councillor Kintō


Composed to accompany a painting of the few remains of the bridge at Naraga on a folding screen for His Majesty, during the Tenryaku era.


asima yori
miyuru nagara no
mukasi no ato no
sirube narikeri
From between the reeds
Can one see at Nagara
The bridge pillars:
A trace from long ago
To guide us now…

Fujiwara no Kiyotada