[The Story of Hyakunin Isshu] No. 13: “A man and a woman fall from the peak of Tsukuba-mine and fall into the deep water with the intention of falling in love” (Yosei-in)

No. 13: “A man and a woman fall from the peak of Tsukuba ridge, falling into the deep water with the intention of falling in love” (Yosei-in)

Finally, a love song that seems like a love song has appeared, and it is a poem by Yoseiin.
``Just as the rivers of men and women that flow down from the peak of Mt. Tsukuba eventually become a deep abyss, my love for you has become deep and unfathomable.''

Mt. Tsukuba is the main peak of the Tsukuba Mountains in Ibaraki Prefecture, and at an altitude of 877m, it is the lowest of Japan's 100 Famous Mountains, but for some reason it has been called "Fuji of the West, Tsukuba of the East" and is a symbol of the Kanto region. there was. It has been recited in many poems, including the Manyoshu*1, as well as the renga*2 of Wa Kenmei (Nippon Takeru) recorded in the Kiki, which became legendary, and eventually came to be referred to as the ``Tsukuba Road.''

The charm of Mt. Tsukuba is probably its double peaks (a mountain with two peaks). They are called Mt. Nantai and Mt. Nyotai, respectively, and it is said that in ancient times they were called ``Utagaki'' and held something similar to today's group parties.
The song ``Men and Women River'' is named for the river that flows from these two peaks, but I think Yoseiin's idea was to use ``Men and Women River'' rather than simply using the prologue to say that the water of the river becomes a deep pool. . The songs are full of luster and passion.

The lyrics of the collected later anthology read, ``I'm going to meet the princess of the Tsuriden.'' Perhaps this approach of using bold words was successful, and Yosei-in successfully won the heart of the princess. Quite an elegant person! However, in reality, Yoseiin was a problem child who ascended to the throne at the age of nine, but was deposed from the throne at the age of sixteen due to violent disorder in the imperial court. He was by no means an elegant gentleman, but rather a brave and honest person, as in the song.

However, this type of person usually loses out in politics. The person in power at the time was the regent Mototsune, and it is said that the formation of public opinion that led to Yoseiin's abdication was the work of Mototsune, who was at odds with Yoseiin and his mother Takako. However, he was unable to hand over the title to his own son (Prince Motonoshi) as the next emperor, and was usurped by Ninmei's son, Mitsutaka, who was 55 years old. At this point, the imperial line that had continued through Buntoku, Seiwa, and Yosei came to an end, and was replaced by the lineage that continued through Mitsutaka, Uda, and Daigo. What a tragedy!

From now on, Hyakunin Isshu enters a new chapter, ``Pureblooded nobleman disturbed by disappointment''!

*1 “Even in this watery world where the rocks of the Tsukuba ridge fall to the ground, there are no thoughts of mine.” (Author unknown)
*2 “Past the Shinji Tsukuba and sleep for several nights” (Waken no Mikoto), “Kaganabe, nine nights at night and ten days a day” (Okina)

(Written by: Katsuhiro Uchida, Engaku Kaso)

List of “Hyakunin Isshu Stories”

Learn the basics of waka poetry and try reciting it!

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季刊誌「和歌文芸」
令和六年冬号(Amazonにて版販売中)

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