Teishi-in – onna shichi no miya uta’awase

Shinpen kokka taikan no.
Heian-chō uta’awase taisei no.22
Title亭子院・女七宮歌合
Romanised TitleTeishi-in – onna shichi no miya uta’awase
Translated TitlePoetry Contest held by the Seventh Princess of Former Emperor Uda
Alternative Title(s)
Date13/8 Engi 13 [15.9.913]
Extant Poems2
SponsorImperial Princess Kaishi 誨子内親王 (?-953) or Imperial Princess Ishi (Yoriko) 依子内親王 (895-936)
Identifiable Participants
JudgementsN
Topicsgarden streams (yarimizu 遣水); high crags (iwao 巌)

As can be seen from the table above there remains uncertainty about the identity of the sponsor of this contest, as both Kaishi and Ishi (Yoriko) are referred to as Uda’s ‘Seventh Princess’ (onna shichi no miya 女七宮) in different texts and thus either could have been the formal sponsor of this contest. Little else is known about it, due to the fact that only two of its’ poems have survived, although the headnote suggests that the contest took place as part of the celebrations of the princess’ mogi 裳着 (‘skirt wearing’) ceremony. This was an event which functioned as a rite-of-passage for noble women when they put on adult clothing for the first time, and was generally conducted at the same time as another ceremony, kamiage 髪上 (‘lifting of the hair’), when they unbound their hair from its childish style and allowed it to flow freely behind them. Combined, these ceremonies indicated that a girl had become an adult and was thus ready for marriage. The mogi ceremony had no fixed age, but was usually carried out between the ages of twelve and sixteen.

These poems are from the evening of the Seventh Princess mogi celebrations, when Her Highness led her gentlemen retainers as participants in the competition.

Garden streams

岩分けて流るる水の底にこそひさしき影はみるべかりけれ

iFa wakete
nagaruru midu no
soko ni koso
Fisasiki kage Fa
mirubekarikere
Passing through the rocks
The flowing waters,
Indeed, hold beneath
An everlasting face which
We will behold!

1

High crags

かぞへつつ君がみるべき岩のうへに影さしならべ生ふる姫松

kazoFetutu
kimi ga mirubeki
iFa no uFe ni
kage sashinarabe
oFuru Fimematu
Constantly count them and,
My Lady, you will surely see
Atop the crags,
Forms all arrayed,
Full grown princess pines!

2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.