Winter I: 21



hitome koso
kare mo hatename
yamazato ni
hikage mo miezu
mizore furu koro
The bustle of folk
Seems so far away,
In a mountain home
Where no sunlight but
Sleet does fall…

Lord Ari’ie.


Right (Win).


mizoruru sora ya
kōri mo hatenu
shigure naruran
Gathering clouds,
Sleeting, fill the sky;
The first chill of
Endless ice
In the coming shower…



The Right state that they are unable to understand the point of ‘Sleet does fall’ (mizore furu koro). The Left state that ‘sleeting’ (mizoruru) is grating on the ear [kikinikushi]. In addition, the initial 5-7-5 structure is inconsistent [kiregire nari].

Shunzei’s judgement: In the Left’s poem what is the problem with understanding ‘sleet does fall’? However, what I would want it to say next is that the sunlight always falls. In the Right’s poem, one could have said ‘sleeted sky’ (mizoreshi sora), but ‘sleeting sky’ is also unproblematic [nan ni oyobubekarazu]. ‘Endless ice in the coming shower’ (kōri mo hatenu shigure naruran) is an unusual conception [kokoro mezurashiku], and ‘the first chill’ (saesomete) is also well positioned. The Right is slightly better and should win.

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