obotsukana aki kuru goto ni fujibakama ta ga tame ni toka tsuyu no somuran How strange, that Whenever autumn comes Grow orchids— For whose sake, I wonder, Does the dewfall dye them?
oku shimo ni iku shio somete fujibakama ima wa kagiri to sakihajimuran The dewfall with Many dippings dyes The orchids— Now that all is done Might they begin to bloom.
omoiwabi shio tarenureba ama no sumu ashi no maruya no kemuri to zo naru Burning with the pain of love, Salt drips down, so Where fisherfolk dwell In huts of reeds—as that Smoke have I become!
This is vague, isn’t it?
akiyama wa karakurenai ni narinikeri iku shio shigure furite someken The autumn mountains To Cathay scarlet Have turned; How many dippings with drizzle Have fallen to dye them so?
aki kinu to me ni wa sayaka ni mienedomo kaze no oto ni zo odorokarenuru That autumn has come With my eyes, clearly, I cannot see, yet The sound of the wind Has startled me.
Fujiwara no Toshiyuki 14
 Shokugosenshū VII: 429
 This poem was particularly highly evaluated and so is included in numerous other anthologies ( Kokin rokujō I: 125), exemplary collections ( Shinsen waka 2) and senka awase – contests assembled from prior poems ( Shunzei sanjū roku nin uta’awase 61; Jidai fudō uta’awase 49).
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)
ōmi no umi michikuru shio mo naki mono o tare karasaki to iihajimeken The sea at Ōmi Swelling tides Does lack, so Who was that to Karasaki – a pointless point – Did first give the name, I wonder?
yoso ni ya wa tsuri suru shiga no ama o min makura no shita o shirase dani seba Unconnected with Fishing diver-girls At Shiga would I seem? When what lies beneath my pillow Is revealed…
Lord Ari’ie 1173
shio taruru sode ni aware no fukaki yori kokoro ni ukabu ama no tsuribune Tide-spattered Sleeves: my sorrow is So deep that Floating upon my heart is A diver-girl’s fishing boat!
Left and Right together state: no faults.
In judgement: the poem of the Left has ‘unconnected with fishing diver-girls at Shiga would I seem?’ (
yoso ni ya wa tsuri suru shiga no ama o min) and the poem of the Right has ‘floating upon my heart is a diver-girl’s fishing boat!’ ( kokoro ni ukabu ama no tsuribune): both have profound conception and their diction sounds pleasant, so it is difficult to divide them into superior and inferior works. Thus, I make this a tie.
ima wa sa wa
aware to omoe
suga no ne no
nagaki kokoro no
hodo wa mitsuran Now, indeed, let you
Think fondly of me!
The grasses’ roots run
Long, my heart’s
Love will you see…
yo to tomo ni
kawaku ma mo naki
wa ga sode ya
shioi mo wakanu
nami no shitagusa With the passing time,
Not a moment dry
Are my sleeves;
Low tide does not reveal
The seaweed beneath the waves…
The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults to indicate. The Left state: the Right’s poem is clichéd.
In judgement: the Right, in addition to being clichéd, can say no more than that love means wet sleeves. The Left’s ‘grasses’ roots’ (
suga no ne) is certainly better.
From the beach at Ajiro in Ise.
iso ni saku
aziro no wogiku
tama to zo tomemu
nami no sitagusa Blooming on the rocks
Ajiro’s tiny chrysanths
Between the tides are
Gems that I would seek,
Weeds beneath the waves…
Rarely Visited Love
Firu siFo no
todomi narazu Fa
uramisemasi ya Salt drying
Backwaters these are not:
On all the many islands
If only broken into pieces were
The shorelines, as my despair…
Minamoto no Toshiyori
wata tsu umi no
mono’omoi kana Beyond the clouds
My gaze goes on and on;
The endless sea:
What lies beyond is unknown
As my gloomy thoughts…
ise no umi no
shiose ni sawagu
kudakete mono o
omou koro kana The sea at Ise:
Raging rapids with the tides,
Filling my thoughts these days…
The Right state: the Left’s poem is clichéd. The Left state: the Right’s poem is that of Shigeyuki.
In judgement: the Left’s poem is clichéd, but in addition to this uses ‘goes on and on’ (
tsuzukite), which is not something one should say. The Right’s poem is, indeed, overly close to Shigeyuki’s, so both Left and Right poem are deficient and lacking in any element allowing a win.