[The Story of Hyakunin Isshu] No. 63: “Now I just have to say that I’m going to die” (Sakyo Daibu Michimasa)

No. 63: ``It's okay to say in a person's voice that you just have to lose your mind right now.'' (Sakyo Daibu Michimasa)

Sakyo Daifu Michimasa (Fujiwara no Michimasa) was Fujiwara Ishu's eldest son, and Gidou Sanshibo, No. 54, was his grandmother. When I look around at Hyakunin Isshu, I wonder why Teika placed Sei Shonagon in the front poem at the end of the Nyobo poem group, which should have historically preceded it. I guess they wanted to show the rise and fall of the Nakakanpaku family, starting from the beginning. So Michiga and Setsuna's catastrophe is completed.

Michiga's life coincides with the downfall of the Nakaguanpaku family, and all noblemen who cannot envision such a future follow a similar path. This is the same path that Narihira Ariwara and Imperial Prince Motoyoshi walked, but it also ended in ruin. It seems that Michiga committed a lot of bad deeds in his private life, and was known as the ``Ara and Evil Third Rank.'' It seems that he did not hold back when it came to relationships with women, and this Hyakunin Isshu poem shows that he had an affair with the princess (his son) of Sanjo-in, a Saigu temple*. However, it seems that this love did not come true, and as the emperor found out, they were no longer able to meet. That's why I'm thinking, ``I'd like to somehow convey my feelings, not just through personal communication.''

However, the reason why Michimasa was unable to leave behind a legend like Narihira's to future generations is probably because he lacked manliness. In that case, there is drama in the ``Old Man'' of Ise Monogatari who steals women without fear of authority, but there is no dream at all in the ``old man'' who is frightened and effeminate.

*Lyrics: ``I heard that you can secretly communicate with people who are able to climb up from the Saigu Watari in Ise, so if you have a guardian woman, etc., and if you are familiar with ninjas, you will be able to become an attendant.'' ”

(Written by Uchida Engaku, a poet)

List of “Hyakunin Isshu Stories”

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