[The Story of Hyakunin Isshu] No. 35: “People do not even know their hearts, but the flowers of their hometown smile at the scent of the past.” (Ki Tsurayuki)

No. 35: ``People don't even know their hearts, but the flowers of their hometowns make them smile at the scent of the past.'' (Ki Tsurayuki)

Tsurayuki is one of the most representative poets of Kokinshu and classical waka, but in this story of ``Hyakunin Isshu,'' he is a poet who represents ``the counterattack of the fallen clan.''

Although the ideal of the Ritsuryo system was established in the Asuka and Nara periods, the reality was that ``If you are not a member of the Fujiwara clan, you are not a noble.'' The Otomo clan, which originally flourished as warriors, and the Ki clan are ancient clans. Although it was a scheme symbolized by the ``Otenmon Incident'', it fell into disrepair. Tsurayuki tried to make a comeback with a single song, and was eventually appointed to compile the Chokusenshuu, so it is no wonder that his impressions are expressed in the ``Kana-jo''. However, since Fujiwara will control the field of singing in future generations, he cannot continue to do so.

Now, even if such a classical master is asked by the master of the modern Meiji era, Shiki Masaoka, ``Tsurayuki's bad poetry makes the Kokinshu a worthless collection,'' and ``People's hearts are broken.'' ``Shirazu'' means ``shallow words, knee-jerk and existence.'' (Again, the book that gives rise to poetry), and the main reason for this is that it is a so-called ``intellectual'' song. This will be a great relief to the young people who preached that people should ``sketch'' what they saw.

I personally believe that Tsurayuki's wisdom laid the foundation for classical waka poetry, but this Hyakunin Isshu poem is completely unlike Tsurayuki. Isn't this a song of sketching, a song that comes from pure experience, with no techniques such as ``hanging words'' or ``engo'' that are typical of Tsurayuki, and no hint of the ``byobu-uta'' that he was good at?
By the way, byobu-uta is a song that was written to go along with the picture folding screens of the houses of rich aristocrats. Therefore, there was no such thing as realism, and ``songs of intellect'' were mass-produced that seemed to have been taken for granted. Tsurayuki is said to have composed approximately 1,600 poems during his lifetime, of which 500 were byobu poems. Tsurayuki was an excellent professional poet who had a constant stream of clients.

This Hyakunin Isshu song has lyrics.

``If you stay for a long time in the house of a person who takes shelter every time you visit Hatsuse, and if you can return after a while, the master of that house, then surely there will be a shelter for you.'' , fold the plum blossoms that can be placed there and sing a poem.”

In other words, it's a song that expresses a bit of sarcasm towards the owner of the inn that he hasn't visited in a while.
By the way, in the ``Tsunayuki Collection,'' there is a poem written that appears to be the master's response to Tsurayyuki's song.

``I know the heart of the person who plants the flowers, just like the heart of a flower.'' (Yomi Hitoshiro)

Well, it would be normal to think that these sarcastic exchanges are a betrayal of intimacy, and are directed at women rather than men. I think it's a pretty elegant exchange, but the hard-headed young people of the Meiji era dismiss it as ``shallow words.'' What do you think?

By the way, there is a song like this by Tsurayuki in the Kokinshu's Elegies.

[Lyrics] I look at the plum blossoms in the house of someone who is taking care of me and I read them.
“I miss the shadows of people who can instill color and fragrance into the past and into the world.” (Ki Tsurayuki)

No evidence is given at all. However, I think it's only natural that people would feel the same way about the ``hostess'' who stayed at the inn during the Hatsuse pilgrimage to this ``planter'' who has passed away.

(Written by Uchida Engaku, a poet)

List of “Hyakunin Isshu Stories”

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