Tag Archives: Shunzei


On the conception of the beginning of spring, composed for a hundred poem sequence for the Lay Priest and former Regent and Chancellor, when he was Minister of the Right.


kyō to ieba
morokoshi made mo
yuku haru o
miyako ni nomi to
omoikeru kana
On this day, the spring that
Even unto Cathay
Will travel is
In the capital alone
I feel!

Master of the Dowager Empress’ Household Office Shunzei


Composed in the conception of hidden love after a vow, when the gentlemen were composing poetry at the Hosshōji at around time of the offering of flowers in the Fifth Month.


nobe no michishiba
natsu fukashi
mozu no kusaguki
Trusting her, I have come
To the overgrown plains, where
Summer lies deep;
Where can
The shrike be hiding in the grasses?

Master of the Dowager Empress Household Office, Shunzei



iwama ni tatamu
ikadashi ya
nami ni nuretemo
kure o matsuran
At the river Tonase
Bursting from between the rocks
The raftsman
If he would be wet with waves
Should surely wait for evening?

Fujiwara no Toshinari
From ‘The Hundred Poem Sequence Composed at the House of the Minister of the Right’ (1172)

SKKS XX: 1968

On the sound of waves at dawn, as they near the Coast of Gold in Paradise.


inishie no
onoe no kane ni
nitaru kana
kishi utsu nami no
akatsuki no koe
In times long gone
Tolled the bell of Onoe
Similar, I think, to
Waves breaking upon the shore,
The sound coming with the dawn.

Master of the Dowager Empress’ Household Office Toshinari

SKKS XX: 1967

When he had occasion to compose poems for pictures of the Six Hours of Paradise for the Bifukumon’in Empress, he composed this on the hour of listening to great teachings and gratefully praising the Buddha.


ima zo kore
irihi o mite mo
mida nomi kuni no
yûgure no sora
Now, at this
Though I gaze upon the setting sun,
Fond within my thoughts
In the Land of Amida, alone,
Is the evening sky.

Master of the Dowager Empress’ Household Office Toshinari

SKKS XX: 1966

When the Taikenmon’in Middle Councillor, at various people’s urging, composed poems on the 28 verses [of the Lotus Sutra]: on the spirit of saving all mankind, beyond measure, from the first verse.


kazu mo kagiranu
ika ni tatekeru
chikai naruran
We must pass over
Numbers without limit
Of bridge-pillars–
How can they remain standing (How can He
Make his vow?)

Master of the Dowager Empress’ Household Office Toshinari

SKKS XIX: 1898

In the conception of the gods, when composing in a hundred poem sequence at the house of the Lay Priest and Former Regent and Grand Minister.


kasuga no no
odoro no michi no
mumore mizu
sue dani kami no
shirushi arawase
Lost under Kasuga Fields’
Overgrown trails are
Hidden waters–as am I, yet
To my posterity at least may the Gods
Give blessing.

Master of the Dowager Empress’ Household Office Toshinari

SKKS XIX: 1889

Composed for a picture of the Rinji Festival at the Kamo Shrine on a folding screen prepared for the entrance of a Junior Consort to the palace in the 6th year of Bunji (1190).



tsuki sayuru
mitarashigawa ni
kage miete
kori ni sureru
yama’ai no sode
Clear, the moon,
Upon the Mitarashi River
Shines, seeming as
A design of ice upon
Indigo sleeves.

Master of the Dowager Empress’ Household Office Toshinari

SKKS XIX: 1882

From a hundred poem sequence composed at the house of the Lay-Priest and former Regent.


kami kaze ya
isuzu no kawa no
iku chi yo sume to
Is it the Gods’ own wind?
By the river Isuzu
The shrine pillars-gods all-
Will stand for many thousand years-
Starting to stir the waters?

Master of the Dowager Empress’ Household Office Toshinari