Fujiwara no Mototoshi’s “This year too shall pass” (Hyakunin Isshu #75)

Translation
By Fujiwara no Mototoshi (1060-1142)
You made a pledge
With life like dew
Upon a plant:
Alas, another autumn
And this year too shall pass
Original Japanese
Pronunciation
藤原基俊
Fujiwara no Mototoshi
契りをきし
Chigiri okishi
させもが露を
Sasemo ga tsuyu wo
命にて
Inochi ni te
あはれことしの
Aware kotoshi no
秋もいぬめり
Aki mo inumeri
Literal Notes
Pledge [greatly/do/put/place/leave(behind)/get up/rise/occur]
[Moxa plant/mugwort/point/pledge/pierce/prick/insert/shine/tinged] dew
Mortal life
[Sorrow/grief/pity/Alas!/meet/encounter] this year ’s
Autumn also [about to pass]
This poem refers to a promise made and broken by the Regent to promote his son to a higher office. He is comparing the promise to dew on sasemo, a type of herbal plant similar to mugwort.

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