[The Story of Hyakunin Isshu] No. 20: “If I were to be happy, I would still be able to meet you even if I were to do the same thing in Namba.” (Prince Motoyoshi)

Number 20: ``If I were to be happy, I would still be able to meet you even if I did the same thing in Namba.'' (Prince Motoyoshi)

The last of the tragic nobles is Prince Motoyoshi, number 20. His father was Yoseiin, the first prince born seven years after the abdication, but he had no connection to that position because the imperial line had passed to the Mitsukyo line.
A nobleman who has lost his future wanders down a certain path, which is the path of a love whose destination is unknown. Prince Motoyoshi is also known for his love of sex, but his love affair with Fujiwara no Yoko is particularly noteworthy. Hisako was the favorite consort of Emperor Uda, and Motoyoshi had an affair with such a woman, and Motoyoshi had many meetings with her. Genji and Fujitsubo, Narihira and Takako, and Motoyoshi and Tomoko are ``dangerous love affairs'' that classic fans should remember.

Now, the Hyakunin Isshu poem is a song related to Hoko. The lyrics say, ``After the affair is over, I will be sent to Kyogoku's palace,'' which shows that the affair was well known, but Motoyoshi still sent the song. ``Even if I do my best'' was not a half-hearted phrase.

There are several scenes in which waka is composed, but the most common ones are folding screen poems and uta-ai, and Hyakunin Isshu contains many recognizable poems. That's why the songs of Prince Motoyoshi stick with you, songs of true love, and it's rare in waka poetry to have the opportunity to touch on the real aspiration of human beings. In fact, Prince Motoyoshi left behind only this inner truth*; he was not a poet, but a rare man of style.

*“The dusk waits for more and more, and now it is a very slow morning.” (Prince Motoyoshi)

(Written by: Engaku Uchida)

List of “Hyakunin Isshu Stories”

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