Tag Archives: Yoshitsune

Spring I: 12

Left (Win).


sora wa nao
kasumi mo yarazu
kaze saete
yukige ni kumoru
haru no yo no tsuki
The skies are still
Untouched by haze;
The wind clearly brings
A sense of snow to cloud
The moon, this springtime night.

A Servant Girl




ume ga e no
nioi bakari ya
haru naran
nao yuki fukashi
mado no akebono
Is a branch of plum’s
Scent alone
Still the snows lie deep
Outside my window this dawn.



Neither team has any criticisms to make of the other’s poem in this round.

Shunzei comments that both poems are simply and beautifully constructed in both form and phrasing, and the final two lines of both poems are equally charming. He feels, though, that the beginning of the Right’s poem would have been improved if, instead of ‘a branch of plum’ (ume ga e), which focuses the audience’s attention on the branch, and not the blossom, it had begun ‘Is the plum beneath my eaves’ (noki no ume), instead. In addition, while reluctant to discount ‘outside my window this dawn’ (mado no akebono), he cannot help but feel that ‘the moon, this springtime night’ (haru no yo no tsuki) is a more superlative conclusion, and so has to award victory to the Left.

Spring I: 1

Left (Tie).


aratama no
toshi o kumoi ni
mukau tote
kyô morobito ni
miki tamau nari
To the fresh-jewelled
Year does the cloud-borne Palace
This day, on many folk
Will the esteemed draught be bestowed!

A Servant Girl

Right (Tie).


momoshiki ya
haru o mukauru
sakazuki ni
kimi ga chitose no
kage zo utsureru
Hundred-fold, the Palace, to
Spring does turn!
Within the wine cups,
His Majesty’s one thousand years
Does show its form!


The Right find no faults in the Left’s poem this round. The Left state that the conception [kokoro] of the Right’s poem is incorrect for the topic of Festivals on New Year’s Day. It suggests, rather, the Migusuri rites.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s poem starts with ‘To the fresh-jewelled’ (aratama no) which is approprate for the first poem in the first round, but concludes with ‘Will the esteemed draught be bestowed!’ (miki tamau nari), which is extremely pedestrian diction [muge ni tada kotoba ni haberan]. The Left have stated that the Right’s poem lacks the conception of the festivals [en no kokoro naki]. That may be the case, but still I wonder if it is lacking as a festival poem? It does refer to celebration. The round should tie.