The late Master of the Right Capital Office was Lord Muneyuki. While he was fretting over when he might achieve advancement, His Majesty, the Cloistered Teishi Emperor was presented with a stone with seaweed clinging to it from the province of Ki, and various people presented poems on the topic. The Master of the Right Capital Office composed
oki tsu kaze fukei no ura ni tatsu nami no nagori ni sae ya ware wa shitsuman From the offing the wind blows Upon the beach at Fukei; Are the breaking waves Indeed a memento I might keep?
katao ka ni hi no hana bana ni mietsuru wa konomo kanomo ni tare katsuketsuru Upon the hillside The fires as flowers Do appear— Here and there, Who has kindled them?
watatsumi no oki na ka ni hi no hana re’idete moyu to miyuru wa ama tsu hoshi kamo Across the broad sea sweep Upon the offing, fires In the distance Burn it seems— Stars within the heavens, perhaps…
omoiwabi keburi wa sora ni tachinuredo warinaku mo naki koi no shirushi ka Suffering from passion’s fire, Smoke into the skies Has risen, yet Of a not unreasonable Love is this a sign?
hito o omou kokoro no oki wa mi o zo yaku keburi tatsu to wa mienu mono kara Loving her The coals within my heart Do burn my flesh, though Of smoke arising Is there no sign at all…
akikaze no fukikuru koe wa yama nagara nami tachikaeru oto zo kikoyuru The autumn breeze’s Cry comes gusting; And in the mountains, The sound of waves washing back and forth Comes to my ears.
suminoe no matsu o akikaze fuku kara ni koe uchisouru oki tsu shiranami At Suminoe The pines by the autumn breeze Are blown, so The sound lies atop The whitecaps in the offing.
Composed on plovers.
oki tsu shio sashide no iso no hama chidori kaze samukarashi yowa ni tomo yobu From the offing the tides Strike the shore at Sashide; On the beach plovers, Chilled by the wind Call for their mates at midnight.
Supernumerary Middle Counsellor [Fujiwara no] Nagakata (1139-1191)
kumotsu yori susu megurisuru koshibune no oki kogisakaru honobono ni miyu From Kumotsu Around to Susu go The boats from Koshi, Rowing further into the offing Only faintly to be seen.
Cathay Folk 唐人
unabara ya hakata no oki ni kakaritaru morokoshibune ni toki tsuguru nari Across the seabed To the offing by Hakata Have trailed Ships from far Cathay and There will they spend some time.
Cathay Folk 唐人
tatsu nami ni tsuzumi no koe o uchisoete karabito yoseku oki no shimamori With the breaking waves Drumming roar For company Cathay folk draw near to The warder of the isles offshore.
nami tatete karu to bakari wa kikoyuredo kaeru mo miezu oki no shira’ishi Waves breaking, then Dryly departing is all I hear, yet Their return goes unseen by White stones in the offing…
wa ga mi yamagi no
tsuranaru eda mo
ari to koso kike In despair
Am I: hidden among the mountain trees
Is my love;
Though once branches lay atop each other
I did hear…
namida ni wa
uki fukayamagi mo
oki tsu kojima no
hisaki naranedo Among my tears,
Drift, despairing, trees from the mountain deeps,
Rotting all away, though
On islets in the offing
On bush-covered beaches, they are not…
Both Left and Right state: we find no faults.
In judgement: both Left and Right use the image of ‘trees from the mountain deeps’ (
fukayamagi), and neither is superior, or inferior, to the other in this, but I would have to say that the Left’s ‘though once branches lay atop each other I did hear…’ ( tsuranaru eda mo ari to koso kike) is somewhat better than the Right’s ‘on bush-covered beaches, they are not…’ ( hisaki naranedo).