About Kazuyo Higuchi (Natsuko)’s song

Kazuyo Higuchi studied poetry, calligraphy, and classical literature such as The Tale of Genji at the poetry school ``Hagi-no-sha,'' run by the poet Utako Nakajima. The writing style of ``eclectic eclectic style'' and the underlying theme of ``unrequited love'' that are common to Kazuyo's works had their foundation in the classical education she learned at Hagi no Sya.

Utako Nakajima learned singing from Chinami Kato, a poet of the Keien school (a branch of the Nijo school), and the style of Ichiyo's poetry naturally follows that direction. In other words, it is a traditional Kokinshu tune, and you can easily understand it by looking at the following few poems.

  • "Even though I'm a weak hearted person, I'm a terrible ninja for leaking information."
  • ``Maybe I'll row a boat through the crowded reeds or have a love affair with many obstacles.''
  • "I pray that I'll meet you in my dreams, and when I wake up, I'll miss you even more."
  • “I am stained with the color of the flowers of the moving hearts of people, and I am fleeting.”
  • ``What would I do for my life today if I didn't have this jewel badge?''
  • ``I don't know about the heart that grows in front of me, and I can't wait for another day tomorrow.''
  • ``We thought we were going to break up, but sadly, we never met again.''
  • ``No matter how sad your thoughts or love are, you won't be able to forget them.''
  • ``If I die with you, I will pray that I will die.''

Please take a look at the comparison between representative poems such as ``Hyakunin Isshu'' and the ``Ichiyo Ei'' above.

  • ``My love is a thing, a thought, and a question of a person.'' (Kanemori Taira)
  • ``Let's pass this world together in the reeds of Namba Lagoon.'' (Ise)
  • “If you go to sleep thinking about it, you will wake up knowing that you are dreaming of seeing someone else.” (Ono Komachi)
  • ``Things that are bright and hollow can be found in the hearts of people all over the world.'' (Ono Komachi)
  • ``If we don't meet each other enough, it's easy to resent people and ourselves.'' (Chunagon Tomotada)
  • ``As long as the jade cord dies out, there will be a new wave of creeping.'' (Prince Shikiko)
  • “I wonder if you will struggle for a long time to realize the life you are saving” (Yoshitaka Fujiwara)
  • ``The memories of this world are filled with memories of other times, and now we are meeting again.'' (Izumi Shikibu)

It is easy to understand that Ichiyo Higuchi's poems were composed based on the so-called ``form'' of classical love songs. In other words, a love ninja prays for Aise and entrusts her to his dreams, but is betrayed, separated, and ends with a grudge left behind...

Love songs in Japanese poetry are about risking, or even having to risk, one's life for a love that will never come true. *This can be said to be an expression of the absurdity of women who can only "wait", which has not changed since the Heian period.

How do you view such a formal one-leaf song?

Ichiyo Higuchi passed away in 1899 (at the age of 24). On the other hand, Masaoka Shiki released his ``Uta Yomi ni Yofuru Sho,'' which sparked a revolution in the Meiji poetry world, in 1903. In other words, Ichiyo was a pre-revolutionary poet and a typical classical poet.

However, even if Ichiyo Higuchi were still alive after ``Uta-yomi,'' I feel that she would not have composed any poems that departed from the classical literary perspective that she was deeply committed to. And I believe that such a classic song is definitely a song by Kazuyo Higuchi.

→Related article “Reiwa New Song Pillow ~Tokyo Edition “Yoshiwara”~ Ichiyo Higuchi and her literature

(Written by Uchida Engaku, a poet)

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!