[The Story of Hyakunin Isshu] Eighty-Ichiban ``If you look at the chirping vine, only the moon of Ariake will remain.'' (Gotokudaiji Minister of the Left)

Eighty-Ichiban: ``If you look at the chirping vine, you will only see the Ariake moon remaining.'' (Gotokudaiji Minister of the Left)

``When I looked in the direction where the fireflies were chirping, there was Ariake's moon.'' It's just a song without any twists. The title of the song is ``Listening to the Duke of Guo at Dawn'', and the song is actually just a copy of the title. The only ingenuity is that the scenery changes from the visual in the upper verse to the auditory in the lower verse. However, the rhetoric of ``tada'' seems contrived and it is a very ordinary song... Why did Teika choose it as Hyakunin Isshu?

I see the point of this song in the title itself. In fact, ``Hototogisu'' is an extremely important word in waka. Dynasty poets said that with a single voice of ``Hototogisu,'' they could ``know the arrival of summer,'' ``promote love,'' and ``guide the way to the mountain of death.'' The words and scenery that layered these diverse images were ``Hototogisu.'' That's it. In other words, the title ``Dawn of Guo Gong'' was inspired by the emotion of the silence at dawn, when I finally heard the first sound I had been waiting for all night.

Although ``Hototogisu'' is so important, it only appears in the 81st poem in Hyakunin Isshu. This is really strange, for example, if you look at the Kokin Wakashu's ``Summer'', 28 of the 34 poems contain hototogisu. In other words, ``Hototogisu'' is a symbol of summer in Japanese poetry. There are four summer songs in Hyakunin Isshu, and this can be seen from the fact that all but 80 Ichiban require the character ``summer''.

“Spring has passedsummer``In the coming days, the robes of Hakutae and Hoshifuten's Kaguyama'' (Emperor Jito)
"summerAlthough it is still early evening, the moon shines in the shadows of the clouds.'' (Kiyohara Shinya Father)
``If the wind is blowing, the evening light on the stream is misty.summer``The sign becomes a curse'' (Junior Second Rank Ietaka)

The reason Teika chose Sanesada Tokudaiji's out of the many ``Hototogisu'' may be the result of paying attention to Sanesada's lack of individuality and prioritizing the lyricism of ``Hototogisu'' itself.

Now, Sanetsada Tokudaiji, a man with no individuality, is the second-rank Minister of the Left and an elite among the elite. It is said that he was a well-educated man of culture who excelled in poetry and orchestra, but on the other hand, in ``Tsurezuregusa 10th Dan'', Saigyo, a member of Tokudaiji Temple, said, ``It is only because of the will of this lord (Jetsada).'' There are also writings that criticize Jitsusada, which is a rather questionable evaluation for him as a cultural figure, which is understandable if you look at this 81st poem.

(Written by Uchida Engaku, a poet)

List of “Hyakunin Isshu Stories”

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