Love Separated by Distant Roads 隔遠路恋
miyakobito koishiki made ni oto senu wa nakoso no seki o sawaru ni ya aran My lady in the capital Is more dear than Words can tell, so Why should the Barrier at Nakoso, Close by, stand between us?
saki no yo ni
mi no usa ya
kimi ga sekimori In a previous life
We made no vow –
Is that why all’s so cruel?
On the Mount of Meeting Hill
Barrier wardens stand before you!
mada koenu ma wa
seki mo na koso no
kokochi koso sure However much I hope
While I have yet to cross
Barrier, of Nakoso does it
Just remind me!
The Right state: we wonder about the use of ‘Barrier wardens stand before you’ (
kimi ga sekimori). The Left state: the Right’s poem lacks any faults to indicate.
In judgement: both Left and Right’s ‘Meeting Hills’ lack faults or merits. Thus, the round ties.
At around the the time the Kanpyō Emperor took Holy Orders, ladies were only permitted to serve him from beyond his curtains, and being unable to approach him closely, she wrote this and fastened it to his screen.
kage Fumu bakari
tare ka nakoso no
seki o suweken If I were to approach,
I would simply step upon your shadow;
I am so close, yet
Who is it Nakoso – Come not –
That barrier has placed between us?
The Kohachijō Miyasudokoro 小八条御息所
[Minamoto no Sadako 源貞子]
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)
Composed in the conception of spring having come from the East.
nakoso no seki mo
aru mono wo
ikadeka Faru no
koetekituran Upon the Eastern roads
Come not to the barrier of Nakoso,
They say, so
How is it that Spring
Has crossed to come to here?
Minamoto no Morokata (1035-1081)
aFusaka yori mo
oto ni kiku
nakoso o kataki
seki to siranan Struggling to pass
Meeting Hill – more,
As the name suggests –
Difficult is Nakoso – Come not!
A barrier you should know!
The Mother of Michitsuna
When she was asked about the possibility of a meeting.
ama no yukikau
nakoso no seki mo
ware wa suenu o Gathering seaweed
The fisherfolk go back and forth
Along the harbour ways;
Come not to the barrier of Nakoso –
I have not placed it there, so…
Ono no Komachi
This poem is also
Komachi-shū 小町集 (late. C9th) 5.
kimi kozu Fa
sidenoyama ni zo
sibasi nakoso no
seki wo suwemasi With you not come, my Lord,
Upon the Mount of Shide will
A while by Nakoso
Barrier halted be.
nakoso no seki no
kimi ga nesame ni
madu zo kikamasi A cuckoo,
Were the hindering barrier of Nakoso
On waking, my Lord,
Would be the first sound to your ears.
omoFu kokoro Fa
nakoso no seki wo
tutumaruru kana Of visiting you:
Such thoughts, my heart
Do fill, yet
The Barrier at Nakoso