Tag Archives: noki

Summer II: 22

Left (Win).


yūdachi no
kumo no mio yori
nokiba ni otsuru
taki no shiratama
An evening shower:
The clouds form channels
Trailing onto
My eaves’ edge and dropping
A cataract of silver droplets.

Lord Ari’ie.




narukami no
sora kakikurasu
yūdachi ni
kakaranu sato mo
ari to koso kike
Darkens the sky;
This evening shower:
A dwelling where it falls not
There is, I’ve heard…

Lord Tsune’ie.


The Right have no criticisms to make of the Left’s poem, while the Left merely wonder, ‘Where is the dwelling where the shower “falls not”?’

Shunzei: ‘“The eaves’ edge and dropping a cataract of silver droplets” is particularly well-formed. It must win.’

Summer II: 21

Left (Win).


azumaya no
noki ni shizuku o
hodo naku harenu
yūdachi no sora
On all four sides
From the eaves droplets
Yet hang;
Quickly clearing is
The evening shower from the sky.

Lord Suetsune.




yūdachi no
hodo koso shibashi
nagori mo suzushi
miyamagi no kage
The evening shower’s
Span, but briefly
Would I rest here;
Coolness, a memento
In the shade of mountain trees.

Lord Takanobu.


The Right query, ‘The use of “from the eaves droplets” (noki ni shizuku). Surely it should be “on the eaves droplets” (noki no shizuku)?’ The Left respond, ‘These are identical in meaning and have no real difference.’ They then wonder, ‘Whether the Right’s poem has not changed in topic to tree shade?’

Shunzei says simply, ‘Both Left’s latter section, and the Right’s initial section are particularly pedestrian in expression, but the Left’s “From the eaves droplets” is slightly superior.’

Summer II: 6

Left (Win).


tachibana no
nioi o kaze no
mukashi ni kaesu
yowa no sagoromo
Orange blossom
Scent upon the breeze
Me back to times gone by,
In my night-time garb…

Lord Ari’ie.




noki chikaki
hana tachibana ni
kaze sugite
nioi o nokosu
semi no hagoromo
Close by my eaves
The orange blossom
Brushed by the breeze
Leaves its scent upon
The cicada’s gossamer garb.

Lord Takanobu.


The Right team have no particular criticisms to make this round. The Left, however, say that, ‘the expression “the orange blossom brushed by the breeze” (hana tachibana ni kaze sugite) sounds old-fashioned. Furthermore, “cicada’s gossamer garb” (semi no hagoromo) seems somewhat unexpected.’

Shunzei seems to agree, simply saying, ‘The Left’s “urges me back to times gone by, in my night-time garb’ (mukashi ni kaesu yowa no sagoromo) seems particularly fine. It must win.’

Summer I: 10



natsu kite zo
nonaka no io wa
mado tojitekeri
noki no shitagusa
Summer has come, and
Out upon the plains, the hut
Has gone to ruin –
Windows sealed by
Grasses growing ‘neath the eaves.

Lord Ari’ie.


Right (Win).


wa ga yado no
yomogi ga niwa wa
fukashi dare
wakeyo to ka
uchi mo harawan
My dwelling’s
Garden is all overgrown
Deep as deep can be, but
With no-one to force a passage through
I’ll not sweep it back!

Lord Takanobu.


The Right have no criticisms to make of the Left’s poem. The Left, though, wonder, ‘What is the meaning of “sweep” (uchiharau) in relation to a garden?’

Shunzei comments: ‘The poems of both Left and Right are superb in configuration and diction [sugata kotoba yū ni haberi]. However, the Left, by saying “gone to ruin” (aremasaru) about a hut on the plains, gives the impression it is talking about the beginning of winter, just after the end of autumn. Furthermore, the poem also gives the impression of being composed on the topic of “Field Lodges” (notei). As for the Right, it is certainly possible to sweep away an overgrown garden, as well as the dust from one’s bed, so I see no problems with this usage. Saying “summer’s deep” is by no means unpleasant. The Right wins.”

Spring II: 20

Left (Win).


nani bakari naru
itoyū no
nokiba ni hito no
How unclear!
For what, do
The wavering hazes
Along the eaves’ edges folks’
Gaze interrupt?

Lord Kanemune.




sao hime ya
kasumi no koromo
haru nomi sora ni
asobu itoyū
Has the goddess of Spring
A garb of haze
‘Tis only in the springtime skies, that
The heat haze wavers…

Lord Tsune’ie.


Here, the Right say that, ‘it’s unclear what gaze it is the haze is interrupting,’ but the Left have no comments to make.

Shunzei, however, says, ‘It is not the case that there is no reason to say “For what, do the wavering hazes” (nani bakari naru itoyū). The Right’s poem has “A garb of haze a’woven?”. “A’woven” (oritsuran) does not seem to correspond with the conclusion of the verse. In general terms, it’s banal [kotogoto furinitarubeshi]. The Left’s conclusion is somewhat difficult to interpret [kikiwakigataki yō], but in construction the poem is superb [utazama masari].’

Miscellaneous 89

Left (Tie).


yo no naka o
omou nokiba no
iku yo no yado to
are ka hatenan
The everyday world stands
In my thoughts, as beneath my eaves,
The ferns, each one a frond of memory:
How many ages has my dwelling stood,
Now falling to desolation?


Right (Tie).


tamayura no
tsuyu mo namida mo
nakibito kōru
yado no akikaze
Dewdrops and tears both,
Stay not;
She who is gone loved so
This house, brushed by autumn winds…