Tag Archives: sign

SZS XIX: 1211

Composed when he was on a pilgrimage to worship Kannon at thirty-three places, and saw oil emerging at Tanigumi, in Mino.[1]


yo wo terasu
Fotoke no sirusi
mada tomosibi mo
kienu narikeri
Shining light upon the world,
This Buddha, a sign
Does give:
As yet, the lanterns
Never have gone out!

Former Archbishop Kakuchū

[1] This poem was composed at the Kegonji 華厳寺 temple on Mount Tagumi (Tagumisan 谷汲山) in the middle of what is now Gifu 岐阜 prefecture.

MYS II: 115

A poem sent by Princess Tajima, when Prince Hozumi was despatched to the Shiga mountain temple in Ōmi, by imperial command.

遺居<而> 戀管不有者 追及武 道之阿廻尓 標結吾勢


koitutu arazu pa
miti no kumami ni
sime yupe wa ga se
Left behind and
Ever in love, am I not, so
I shall follow you;
At every turn along your road
Leave me tied a sign, o, darling.

Kanpyō no ōntoki kisai no miya uta’awase 72



shimo no ue ni
ato fumitsukuru
yukue mo nashi to
naki nomi zo suru
Upon the frost
Treading out tracks are
Plovers on the beach;
With no place to go,
They simply sing!




mi nagu bakari no
fuchi wa aredo
kōri tokeneba
kage mo yadoranu
My river of tears,
Is fit to drown me in
It’s depths, yet
Should the ice not melt,
No sign will linger on…


Love VIII: 25


oki mo ide
toshi furu koi wa
tokoyo no kami ya
shirushi misubeki
Unable to arise
From love these many years,
May I
By the eternal gods
Be shown a sign!


Right (Win)

hitori fusu
naganagashi yo no
kanashiki o
katarai akasu
kirigirisu kana
Lying alone,
So long, long the night’s
Lightening it with chatter
Are the crickets!

The Supernumerary Master of the Empress’ Household Office

The Gentlemen of the Right state: what is the meaning of ‘the eternal gods’ (toko no kami). In appeal, the Left: in the Chronicles of Japan, insects are worshipped under the name of ‘the eternal gods’ and made to seem like men. The Left state: what can an insect chatter about?

In judgement: in regard to the Left’s poem, while it is true that insects were worshipped, a poem on ‘Love and Insects’ with no insect is lacking something from the start. This poem would seem to be more a case of ‘Love and Prayers’. Thus, this is nothing enduring. A prior example has been contrived, but this is ineffective. It does not seem as if this insect’s nature has any relation to the topic. The Right’s poem has a commonplace cricket. Where is the fault in having it lighten one’s mood with chatter? Thus, the Right must win.