Tag Archives: pond

MYS VII: 1276


ike no pe no
wotuki no sita no
sino na kari so ne
sore wo dani
kimi ga katami ni
mitutu sinopamu
Beside the pond,
Beneath the young zelkova tree,
Reap not the arrow bamboo!
For that, alone,
Is my keepsake of you, and
I would gaze on it and remember what is gone…

Hitomaro kashū

MYS XVI: 3835

A poem presented to Imperial Prince Niitabe.


katumata no
ike pa ware siru
patisu nasi
sika ipu kimi ga
pige naki gotosi
Pond, I do know well:
It has no lotus;
And you say so, my Lord,
Have no beard, either!

A certain person has told me they had heard the following about this poem: Prince Niitabe had left the precincts of the capital for a pleasure trip and, on seeing Kasumata Pond, was deeply moved. On his return, his interest in the pond did not abate. Then, he said to a lady, ‘If you saw Katsumata Pond, where I went today, words could not describe the sight of the light reflecting brilliantly from the surface of the waters, and special beauty of the lotus flowers, which were in full bloom.’ Then the lady composed this humourous poem and sang it to him.


When he had first gone to the residence of the former Regent and Rokujō Minister, and people were composing on the conception of long clear pond waters.


kotosi dani
kagami to miyuru
ikemidu no
tiyo Fete sumamu
kage zo yukasiki
Especially this year
A mirror it does seem:
This pond water –
Clear through the passage of a thousand ages,
How I long for its light!

Fujiwara no Norinaga

Spring III: 24

Left (Tie).


morogoe ni
itaku na naki so
samo koso wa
ukinu no ike no
kawazu naritomo
O, that in such a chorus
They would not sing!
However much
A swamp the pond of
Frogs may be!

Lord Kanemune.


Right (Tie).


yo to tomo ni
nami no shita nite
naku kawazu
nani yue fukaki
urami naruran
With nightfall from
Beneath the wavelets
Call the frogs;
For what are such depths
Of despair…

Lord Takanobu.


Once again, neither team has anything special to say this round.

Shunzei’s judgement is, ‘Both poems are similar in expression, mentioning “frogs” (kawazu), “swamp” (ukinu) and “depths of despair” (fukaki urami). The round should tie.’

Spring I: 16

Left (Tie).


haru kaze ni
ike no kôri ya
matarenu nami no
hana o miru kana
In the breath of spring
Will the ice upon the pond
Unanticipated blossom touched
Waves come into view…

Lord Kanemune.


Right (Tie).


uguisu no
namida no tsurara
koe nagara
tayori ni sasoe
haru no yama mizu
The bush warbler’s
Tears of ice,
And song,
Issue an invitation!
To the mountain waters this springtime…



The Right team have no comments to make about the Left’s poem this round, but the Left wonder whether the essence of the poem, of the warbler’s ‘tears of ice’ and song inviting the waters, might not be a bit much?

Shunzei remarks that the form and phrasing of the Left’s poem is ‘certainly charming’, and echoes their criticism of the Right’s poem, as having an ‘impossible essence’. He then goes on to say, ‘The Left is placidly charming; the Right’s essence must be excessive. They are equivalent and I judge this round a tie.’