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Showing posts from December, 2012

Hyakunin Isshu: poem 4 (Yamabe no Akahito)

In episode 5 of Chouyaku Hyakuninisshu: Uta Koi Ono no Komachi mentioned Yamabe no Akahito and his poem composed as if gazing at Mount Fuji. The poem is number four Teika's Hyakunin Isshu.

No matter where I go on the shores of Tago, I can look up and see white snow, it keeps falling on the cap of Mount Fuji.田子の浦に
うちいでて見れば
白妙の
富士の高嶺に
雪はふりつつ

The poet of images...
Yamabe no Akahito was a poet of early Nara period. He was active from 724 to736 in the court of Emperor Shomu (r. 724-749, 45th Emperor of Japan), yet Akahito's exact dates are unknown and there are no references to him except in the prose headnotes to his poems, therefore he is believed to have been of low rank. Yet he is the most outstanding poet of the early eighth century. Ahakito composded choka (long poems) memorializing official journeys and other occasions. One of his signature characteristics is his descriprion of landscape. For this reason he is ofthen called the poet of images, while Kakinomoto no Hitomaro* was…