Skip to main content


Showing posts with the label Mashima Taichi (Chihayafuru)

Hyakunin Isshu: poem 40 (Taira no Kanemori・shinoburedo)

Since I could not hide my love, people would ask if I was pining for someone.
しのぶれど Shinoburedo 色に出にけり iro ni idenikeri 我が恋は wa ga koi wa ものや思ふと mono ya omou to 人の問ふまで hito no tou made
Kanemori… Taira no Kanemori 平兼盛 (died 990) was a middle-rank courtier, a descendant of Emperor Kōkō (光孝天皇Kōkō tennō; 830–887, poem 15). It is believed by some that he was the biological father of Akazome Emon 赤染衛門 (dates unknown; poem 59).
As a courtier, Kanemori was not particularly successful, only rising to Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade (従五位上ju goi no jō) and ending his career as a governor of Suruga 駿河, modern-day Shizuoka 静岡.
As a poet, however, Kanemori is considered a representative poet of Gosenshū後撰集 (Gosen wakashū 後撰和歌集; Later Collection of Japanese Poems, 951) period and is one of Fujiwara no Kintō's 藤原公任 (966–1041; poem 55) Thirty-six Poetic Immortals 三十六歌仙 (Sanjūrokkasen).  
84 of his poems are officially included in imperial anthologies: 38 in Shūishū 拾遺集 (Shūi Wakashū拾遺和歌集; Collection of Gleanings,…

Hyakunin Isshu: poem 48 (Minamoto no Shigeyuki・kaze wo itami)

When winds send waves crashing against the rocks, I recall how my own efforts were in vain.
Kaze wo itami 岩うつ波の
iwa utsu nami no おのれのみ
onore nomi くだけてものを
kudakete mono wo 思ふころかな
omou koro kana
Shigeyuki Minamoto no Shigeyuki 源重之 lived in the second half of 10th century. His dates are unknown, although he seems to have died in 1001. He was a great-grandson of Emperor Seiwa (清和天皇Seiwa tennō; 850–881) and an associate of Taira no Kanemori 平兼盛 (d. 999; poem 40) and Fujiwara no Sanekata 藤原実方 (d. 998; poem 51).
Shigeyuki himself was a governor of Sagami 相模 (modern-day Kanagawa 神奈川). When in 995 Sanekata was appointed gorvernor of Mutsu 陸奥 (modern-day Aomori), Shigeyuki accompanied him. Both Sanekata and Shigeyuki remained in Mutsu until death. 
As a poet, Shigeyuki is considered one of Thirty-Six Poetic Immortals (三十六歌仙Sanjūrokkasen), as selected by Fujiwara no Kintō 藤原公任 (966–1041). He has 67 poems in the third imperial anthology Shūishū (拾遺集Collection of Gleanings)and later imperial poetry collec…

Hyakunin Isshu: poem 16 (Ariwara no Yukihira・tachi-wakare)

Note that though we may be apart, if I am to hear that you pine for me as Inaba mountain pines, I shall return to you.
Tachi-wakare いなばの山の
inaba no yama no 峰に生ふる
mine ni ouru まつとし聞かば
matsu to shi kikaba 今帰り来む
ima kaheri-kon
Yukihira Ariwara no Yukihira 有原行平 (818–893) was a son of Prince Abo (阿保親王Abo Shinnō; 792–842), grandson of Emperor Heizei (平城天皇Heizei Tennō; 773–824), and an older half-brother of Ariwara no Narihira 有原業平 (825–880; poem 17). 
Unlike his younger half-brother, Yukihira was a relatively successful courtier. In 855 he was appointed as governor of Inaba 因幡 province, by 882 he rose to the position of Middle Counselor or Chūnagon 中納言, from 883 to 887 he served as Minister of Popular Affairs (民部卿Minbukyō). During this time he sponsored the oldest known poetry contest or uta-awase歌合– Zai minbukyō no ie no utaawase在民部卿家歌合(Minister of Popular Affairs Contest). 
His poetry in Chinese is mentioned in the Chinese preface (真名序Mana-jo) of Kokinshū古今集(Kokin wakashū古今和歌集Collection of Early a…

Hyakunin Isshu: poem 46 (Sone no Yoshitada・yura no to wo)

Like a boatsman adrift at the mouth of Yura, I do not know where this love will take me. 由良のとを
Yura no to wo 渡る舟人
wataru funa-bito かぢをたえ
kaji-wo tae 行くへも知らぬ
yukue mo shiranu 恋の道かな
koi no michi kana

Yoshitada in Tango... Sone no Yoshitada 曽禰好忠 was active in mid-Heian period (平安時代Heian jidai;794–1192), in  the second half of 11th century. Nevertheless, little is known about him, except for the fact that he was a secretary (掾) in Tango 丹後 province. This led to him sometimes being called Sotan 曽丹– a nickname with a hint of belittling.
Both Yoshitada’s poetry and personality were eccentric. The first led to his poetry remaining largely underappreciated during his time, the second gave rise to many anecdotes. One of such anecdotes tells of how Yoshitada, although uninvited, marched into a poetry contest (歌合 uta-awase) and insisted that there was no way a distinguished poet like him would not be invited. Finally, he ended up pulling out his collar that he was holding between his fingers (Genshoku Hyaku…