Utajuku Monthly Song Contest “Early Winter” (November 2020) *Includes judge review

Utajuku is a school for learning ``modern classical Japanese poetry.'' We look up to the Kokin Wakashu, the first imperial anthology, and refine our studies every day, and once a month we compose poems for each other based on a specific theme.
"Utajuku" for reciting waka poems

At the November 2020 poetry gathering, the following poems were received. I would like to introduce some excerpts.

Title: “Early Winter”

"Russell's red wings open and cry as he waits for the snow to come."

Judge's review: "Russell" is not a bird but a snowplow, and "Red Feather" is a wing that pushes out snow. The story of Russell's trial run, which heralds the arrival of winter, is written in a funny way.

``The surface of a pond that is closed and reflects the freezing sky under a pine bird.''

Judge's review: Beautiful scenery in the freezing winter. However, it is difficult to understand ``Niho-ri-no-shita-kayo-hi-ji''. The song is reminiscent of a ``hidden heart'' that is hidden from the public eye, but the song is not about love.

“If you just let the wind take its course and shake it off, the cranes will fly across the winter sky.”

Judge's review: A long winter view. When people encounter this kind of scenery, they will feel glad to be alive. If I wanted to add a twist to the idea, I might also associate the song ``to the sound of the wind'' with the cry of a crane for the first time.

``The plovers that come to Hamamatsu also take on the color of Mijiba, and the Yamagiras shine.''

Judge's review: ``The color of the maple leaves added by the plover is mixed with the colorless pines on the beach.'' The novel idea is impressive. The ending, ``Morasu'', can be clearly expressed as ``Winter is suppressed''.

``The pure white flowers that add color to the clear, dry fields may be frost flowers.''

Judge's review: A scene from a freezing winter morning. In Japanese poetry, ``frost'' is a scenic feature that emphasizes loneliness, but here it has been changed to ``beautiful flowers,'' giving it a fresh feel. The first haiku, ``Saekataru,'' has a strong sense of the ending, and it's a bit difficult to explain, so ``In the field of winter's dryness'' or ``In the field of still dawn in the morning'' is sufficient.

“I wonder if the frost disappears on the bamboo leaves on a winter morning when the sky is clear.”

Judge's review: The scenery on a freezing winter morning is beautiful. Since the frost is already frozen, it is better to conclude with "remaining frost".

“The moon rises in winter, floating in the sky, and clothed in its clothes, soaking up the cold.”

Judge's review: A beautiful winter scene, perhaps the moon visible behind the winter mist. Even in summer, clothing is ``matofu'', so why not layer it up? Also, since ``Shinogu'' is not often heard in Japanese poetry, it may be best to sum it up as ``Cold Temperature Furamu'' based on current speculation.

``Perhaps it's an autumn makeup for tonight, with the falling autumn leaves and the shadow of the moon.''

Judge's review: ``Autumn leaves are spraying on the moon, giving it an autumn look'' is a truly wonderful idea. If we write the fourth verse as ``tonight'', it becomes ``tonight's last fall makeup'', which makes it a song about late autumn, so we would like to use ``tonight's autumn makeup'' as ``tonight'' (autumn seen in winter). ``Makeup'' is read aloud but is allowed.

``When the moon is full, the sound of the bells of a hundred temples continues as a boat rows across the ocean.''

Judge's review: Under the full moon, the bells of a hundred temples ring across the ocean. Let's set sail! A quaint scene that will take your breath away. I wonder if this song has something to do with Chinese poetry.

``In the winter snow, the grass and trees dream of spring flowers.''

Judge's review: ``If it snows, the grass and trees that stagnate in winter will bloom in spring with unknown flowers (Ki Tsurayuki).'' In Tsurunoei, ``snow'' and ``grass and trees'' are different things, but here, ``grass and trees'' are dreaming about their future.

``On the evening of my sleep, I sleep in a small night and sleep in a hermitage alone.''

Judge's review: Sleeping alone in a lonely winter, the feeling of loneliness is at its peak. The cold scenery is fully expressed in the above poem, so I would like to include some humanity in the conclusion, such as ``Wabi Shirikerukeru.''

``Awakening of the dream of the leaves of the trees and the leaves of Hatsushimono''

Judge's comment: Is "Sonohara", the scene of a dreary winter morning, a proper noun? It has a mysterious appearance, but on the other hand, the connection between the upper and lower verses is weak.

``Nishiki Tomomitoshi holds the wind blowing in thousands of colors in his sleeves and sleeps for a while.''

Judge's review: Autumn at the end of Fuga no Hito. I think the tense would be more appropriate if I said "I can see", and I would like to make the meaning of the song clear by using the closing phrase as "reminiscing about autumn".

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)

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