Saturday, 5 January 2013

Kokinshu #350

Saturday, 5 January 2013 16:40
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
Written the day a celebration was held in Ôi for fortieth birthday of Prince Sadatoki's aunt.

    The white-gem droplets
of the cascade that tumbles
    over the boulders
of this Turtletail Mountain:
the count of your thousands of years?

—4 Jan 2013

Original by Ki no Koreoka. Nothing is known about Koreoka aside from that he has this single poem in the Kokinshu. ¶ Back to more pedestrian felicitations. Sadatoki was a son of Emperor Seiwa (born 870 to a daughter of Fujiwara no Mototsune, see previous) who had a villa on the bank of the Ôi River (see #312) near the foot of Mt. Kame-no-o ("turtle's tail"), now called Kameyama, in western Kyoto; neither the aunt nor the occasion's date has been identified, aside from that it probably took place after 890. Turtles are symbols of longevity throughout east Asia.

kame-no-o no
yama no iwane o
tomete otsuru
taki no shiratama
chiyo no kazu kamo



Warning: contents contain line-breaks.

As language practice, I was translating classical Japanese poetry -- most recently, book 11 (love part 1) of the Kokinshu anthology. This project is, however, on hiatus. Past translations are archived here. Suggestions, corrections, and questions always welcome.

There's also original pomes in the journal archives.

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