kaiya ga shita no
kogare mo yaranu
Warding the mountain fields
Beneath the heated hut
Smoulders without end –
And so do I!
The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults. The Left state: we wonder about the usage of ‘beneath the heated hut’ (kaiya ga shita) with ‘warding the mountain fields’ (yamada moru). In reply: in the Man’yōshū ‘heated hut’ (kaiya), is written with characters meaning ‘deer-repelling fire hut’. In addition, in territories where they wish to drive the deer away from their mountain paddies, they take things which smell foul when burnt, such as hair, and burn them, and in order that the fires are not put out by the rain, they build a roof over them. The common folk of these places call these things ‘heated huts’ (kaiya). So, the Man’yōshū’s usage corresponds with actual practice. Again, a further criticism from the Left: the Master of the Crown Prince’s Household Office composed a poem on salting. Atsutaka also includes ‘heated hut’ in the section on mosquito fires. Such are the ideas of our forebears. That ‘heated hut’ is written in Man’yōshū with characters meaning ‘deer-repelling fire’ and ‘scented fire’ is no proof of anything. Might it not have been written this way so that it would be read to mean ‘keep’? One certainly cannot sweepingly say that it means ‘deer-repelling fire’. A further response from the Right: our forebears have presented no definite evidence, and so it is difficult to accept this argument. In addition, has it not long been accepted that ‘morning haze’ can be used to refer to the smoke from deer-repelling fires, when composing on the haze spreading? Furthermore, in the Hitomaroshū, there is the poem ‘On Kogane Mountain / Beneath the heated hut / Frogs call’. Thus, it appears that this composition must refer to mountain fields.
In judgement: the Left’s ‘At Nago the fisherfolk’ (nago no ama) links the initial and latter sections of the poem extremely well. There seems to be have been some discussion from both teams about the Right’s ‘beneath the heated hut the smoke’ (kaiya ga shita no kemuri). Prior to the to and fro about this poem, was there not a similar discussion about heated huts in the final section of spring poems about frogs? With the greatest respect, the discussion here seems little different. However, in regard to the Right’s poem, saying that love smoulders is the normal way of expressing matters. I do wonder about ‘smoulders without end’ (kogare mo yaranu), but this would certainly seem appropriate with the reference to a heated hut. The Left, in addition, with ‘salt burning smoke’ (yaku shio kemuri) lacks any faults to indicate, so with no clear winner or loser, I make this round a tie.
The Right state: the Left’s poem has no faults. The Left state: we wonder about the use of ‘rise’ (agaru) in the Right’s poem.
In judgement: both poems have ‘die for love’ (koishinan), and there are no particular features of either which warrant a victory or a loss, but ‘touch my eyes’ (me ni tatsu) seems a little finer than the Right’s ‘rise’ (agaru) ‘towards’ (kata e zo).
The Right state: we would have preferred it to have been ‘is it that my heart drifts?’ (ukinuru kokoro ya). The Left state: the Right’s poem lacks faults.
In judgement: the final sections of both poems seem fine. For strict correctness, the Left should have had ‘my drifting heart does seem confused’ (ukinuru kokoro wa mayourashi), but because this would not fit with the poem, he has left it as ‘in seeming confusion’ (mayouran). The poem is fine as it is, without introducing ‘is it that my heart’ (kokoro ya). I don’t know what to make of the expression ‘to your home’ (kimigari), but ‘how may layers must the clouds pass though on the heavenly paths?’ (kumo wa iku e zo sora no kayoiji) is charming. Then again, the Right’s ‘buries my heart beneath the evening skies?’ (kokoro o uzumu yūgure no sora) has a gentle beauty about it. Thus, the round should tie.
The Right state: the central line of the Left’s poem is stiff. The Left state: the Right’s poem has no particular faults.
In judgement: the statements in regard to both poems are at variance with my own opinion. I will refrain from expressing that here, although I do regret that, somewhat. If, indeed, a central line is core, then it is better for it to lack connection with the remainder of the poem. In the case of the Left’s poem, however, it seems well linked with what follows. As for the Right’s poem, ‘bedchamber the flooding moon’ (neya moru tsuki) is not phrasing which is acceptable to me. However, the Left’s initial section seems pleasant, and the Right’s final section is elegant. Thus, the round is a tie.