Tag Archives: yūbe

MYS I: 64

When he visited the Naniwa Palace in Kyōun 3 [706]

葦邊行 鴨之羽我比尓 霜零而 寒暮夕 和之所念


asibe yuku
kamo no pagapi ni
simo purite
samuki yupube pa
yamato si omopoyu
Huddled in the reeds
Upon the ducks’ folded wings
Frost falls and
In the evening’s cold
My thoughts dwell upon Yamato.

Prince Shiki

Love IV: 23

Left (Win).

kimi mo mata
yūbe ya wakite
wasurezu harau
ogi no kaze kana
Are you, once more, my darling,
Spending this evening
On thoughts of love?
Faithfully sweeps
The wind across the silver-grass…

A Servant Girl.


toki shi mo are
omoi kana
aki no yūbe ni
hito wa wasureji
Of all the times there are, now
Does sadness
Most fill my thoughts;
On an autumn evening
Unable to forget her…


The Right state: we wonder about the appropriateness of ‘faithfully sweeps’ (wasurezu harau). The Left state: while the Right’s poem is in keeping with the conception of the topic, it seem as if the reference to ‘evening’ serves little purpose.

In judgement: the Left’s ‘Spending this evening on thoughts of love’ (yūbe ya wakite nagamuran) is appropriate, but I find ‘The wind across the silver-grass’ (ogi no kaze) somewhat problematic. The initial section of the Right’s poem, too, is not bad, but saying ‘On an autumn evening unable to forget her’ (aki no yūbe ni hito wa wasureji) suggests that forgetting is the norm, and I wonder about that. The Left wins on account of its initial section.

Love IV: 11


kumo kakari
kasanaru yama o
koe mo sezu
hedate masaru wa
akuru hi no kage
Trailed with cloud,
The layered mountains
I have not gone beyond, but
What stands between us most is
The light of the brightening sun.

Lord Sada’ie.

Right (Win).

isa inochi
omoi wa yowa ni
yūbe mo mataji
aki no akebono
I know not what’s to become of my life!
All my thoughts of love in the hours of night
Are quite exhausted, and
I cannot wait for evening
On this autumn dawn…


The Right state: from ‘Trailed with cloud’ (kumo kakari) to ‘The light of the brightening sun’ (akuru hi no kage), all is entirely unacceptable, is it not? The Left state: we wonder about the acceptability of ‘I know not what’s to become of my life’ (isa inochi).

In judgement: the Right have said that the Left’s poem is unacceptable from beginning to end, but can one really go so far as to say that? Furthermore, the Left query whether ‘I know not what’s to become of my life’, but I wonder whether I can recall this phrase being that bad. However, one is accustomed to saying that ‘this spring dawn’ (haru no akebono) is elegant, and although ‘this autumn dawn’ (aki no akebono) is a modern expression, the faults of the Left’s poem are particularly problematic, so the Right should win.

Autumn III: 23



hatsujimo ya
aki o kometemo
kesa iro kawaru
noji no shinohara
Have the first frosts
In the midst of autumn
This morning has brought a change of hue
To the arrow-bamboo groves in Noji!

Lord Kanemune.


Right (Win).


ika ni mata
aki wa yūbe to
hana ni shimo oku
nobe no akebono
How much more striking
Than an autumn evening
Spent gazing, is
The frost fallen on the flowers
In the fields at dawn!



Neither team finds any fault with the other’s poem this round and say as much.

Shunzei’s judgement: The Left’s ‘frost’ (shimo) on the ‘arrow-bamboo groves in Noji’ (noji no shinohara) is certainly elegant [yū ni wa haberubeshi]. The Right’s ‘frost fallen on the flowers’ (hana ni oku shimo) is, too; although there is no difference in formal quality [uta no sama wa ikuhodo sabetsu naku] between them, ‘frost fallen on the flowers’ at ‘dawn’ (akebono) is more arresting [midokoro ya haberu] than ‘arrow-bamboo groves’.