[The Story of Hyakunin Isshu] No. 34: “Even the pine tree in Takasago that grows close to someone who knows someone is no longer an old friend” (Fujiwara Kofu)

No. 34: “Even the pine tree of Takasago that grows close to someone who knows someone is no longer an old friend” (Kofu Fujiwara)

Everyone knows that pine trees, especially the Takasago pine tree, are a symbol of good fortune. For my generation, it's already just a joke, but there seems to have been a time when it wasn't uncommon for people to say "Takasago ya~" as a congratulatory message at a wedding. By the way, the Noh song "Takasago" has several so-called "jouka", and the famous "Takasago ya~" is sung at the end (climax), so if it is sung at the beginning of the wedding ceremony, Those who follow will be in trouble.

By the way, why is the pine tree a symbol of good fortune? This is because the trees do not shed their leaves and continue to retain their same color despite the changing seasons. In waka poetry, the word ``matsu'' is often used as a metaphor for its eternity, or as a word for ``wait'' (or both).

Naturally, Kofu's Takasago no Matsu is written in this context, but the author's feelings are by no means happy. Who on earth should I make my closest friend? Even the eternal pine tree isn't my old friend. Longevity must have been a long-awaited human desire, but when you come across a song like this, it makes you think about what true happiness is.

By the way, if we continue talking about the Noh song ``Takasago'', we will mention another famous pine spot, ``Sumiyoshi no Matsu''. The pine trees of Takasago and Sumiyoshi are called ``Aioi no Matsu,'' and each has a spirit living in them, and it is said that they are a married couple. Therefore, it is suitable for a wedding. In addition, it is revealed that Takasago is the era of the ancient Manyoshu, and Sumiyoshi is the current era, that is, the era of Engi (Emperor Daigo), when the Kokinshu was written. This is an episode from a passage in the Kana Preface to the Kokinshu, and it turns out that Zeami entrusted the long-lasting prosperity of waka poetry to one song, ``Takasago.'' If you are a fan of waka poetry, this song "Takasago" is a must-see.

(Written by Uchida Engaku, a poet)

List of “Hyakunin Isshu Stories”

Learn the basics of waka poetry and try reciting it!

We are holding a "Utajuku" with the goal of learning from representative classical works and being able to compose traditional "Waka" on an individual basis!

季刊誌「和歌文芸」
令和六年冬号(Amazonにて販売中)

en_USEnglish