Tag Archives: tera

Autumn III: 2



miru ni nao
sumamahoshiki wa
iroiro ni
tsuta hau koya no
yosome narikeri
Gazing, again
Would I dwell there:
Ivy creeping round the hut,
Seen from afar.



Right (Win).


toshi o hete
koke ni mumoruru
furu tera no
noki ni aki aru
tsuta no iro kana
The years pass by and,
Buried in moss,
The ancient temple’s
Eaves in autumn take
On ivy’s hues…



The Right say, ‘If by Koya the Left means the place Koya in the Province of Tsu, there are no other connections in the poem. If, however, it is just referring to a hut (koya), we wonder about that composition [sayō ni mo yomamu ni ya].’ The Left respond, ‘It is perfectly normal when referring to a hut, to just have “hut” in the poem! In the Right’s poem, though, “Buried, the ancient temple” (mumoruru furu tera) sounds unpleasant [kikiyokarazu].’

Shunzei’s judgement: In the Left’s poem, if it is not referring to Koya in the Province of Tsu, I have no recollection of it being normal to just refer to a hut in a poem. Even if there was an earlier poem for evidence of this, the word ‘hut’ has no connections within anything in this poem, either. The Right’s ‘buried in moss’ (koke ni mumoruru) is splendid [yū ni koso habere]. As for ‘ancient temple’ (furu tera), although it is splendid in Chinese poetry to write [shi ni kaku wa yū ni haberedo] phrases like ‘the ancient temple, situated on the mountaintop’, this is not particularly elegant in waka [uta ni wa en narazaru]. However, besides the use of koya being poor, ‘eaves in autumn’ (noki ni aki aru) sounds charming [okashiku kikoyu]. The Right must win.

MYS XVI: 3840

A poem composed by Lord Ikeda, mocking Lord Ōmiwa, the Governor of Oki:


teradera no
megaki mawosaku
opomiwa no
wogaki tabarite
sono ko umapamu
All the temples’
Hungry ghost girls call, and
To Ōmiwa
The starving man wed them!
What child would then be born?