Tag Archives: obana

SKKS X: 929

Composed on the conception of snow at one’s lodgings when travelling.


matsu ga ne ni
obana karishiki
yo mo sugara
katashiku sode ni
yuki wa furitsutsu
Upon the pine tree’s roots
Reaped silver grass I’ve spread, and
All through the night
Atop my single spread sleeves
The snow is ever falling…

Master of the Palace Repairs Office Akisue

A kuzushiji version of the poem's text.
Created with Soan.

MYS VIII: 1637

A poem by His Majesty, the Retired Emperor [Genshō].

波太須珠寸 尾花逆葺 黒木用 造有室者 迄萬代


obana sakapuki
kuroki moti
tukureru muro pa
yoroduyo made ni
Grass, reversed, for thatch, and
With unbarked lumber
Made, this rude dwelling
For ten thousand generations, surely will endure…

MYS VIII: 1538

[One of] two poems composed by Yamanoue no Okura listing the flowers of the autumn fields.

芽之花 乎花葛花 瞿麦之花 姫部志 又藤袴 朝皃之花


pagi no pana
wobana kudupana
nadesiko no pana
mata pudibakama
asagapo no pana
Bush clover blooms,
Silver grass and kudzu,
And fujibakama,
Morning glory blooms.

Yamanoue no Okura

Autumn I: 28

Left (Win).


hagi no ha ni
kawarishi kaze no
aki no koe
yagate nowaki no
tsuyu kudakunari
Bush clover leaves
Brushed by the breeze
Speak of autumn;
Swift comes the gale,
Scattering dewdrops…

Lord Sada’ie.




obana ga sue ni
nami koete
mano no nowaki ni
tsuzuku hamakaze
Miscanthus fronds
At Mano in the gales
Born from breezes off the beaches.



The Left’s ‘speak of autumn’ (aki no koe) and the Right’s ‘born from’ (tsuzuku) are each found unsatisfactory by the opposing team.

Shunzei states, ‘Both the poems of the Left and Right have been found unsatisfactory by a number of modern poets, and is this not reasonable? However, the Left’s “Brushed by the breeze speak of autumn” (kawarishi kaze no aki no koe) is particularly fine. The Right’s “born from” is not a turn of phrase which could be considered pleasant; starting with “streaming” (nabikiyuku) and then continuing to “breezes off the beaches” (hamakaze) which lead to “Mano in the gales” (mano no nowaki ni) suggests an implicit meaning, but the Left’s upper and lower sections are finer. It should win.’

Autumn I: 23

Left (Win).


hitori nuru
ashi no maruya no
shimo tsuyu ni
toko o narabete
uzura nakunari
Sleeping singly
In a reed-roofed hut,
Dripped with dew,
Beside my bed
The quails are crying.

A Servant Girl.




akikaze ni
nabiku obana no
yūzuyu ya
uzura ga neya no
ame to chiruramu
In the autumn breeze
Flutter fronds of silvergrass,
Scattering dewdrops
On the quails’ roost –
How like rain…

The Provisional Master of the Empress’ Household Office.


The Right state that the Left’s poem has no faults. The Left state that, ‘“On the quails’ roost – how like rain” (uzura ga neya no ame) suggests that this is what it actually is.’

Shunzei disagrees: ‘It is not the case that uzura ga neya no ame definitely implies that it is actually rain, particularly with the scene set by dew on silvergrass. However, “beside my bed” (toko o narabete) is particularly attractive in expression. It should win.’