Fujiwara no Tadamichi’s “A sky of waves in frothy white” (Hyakunin Isshu #76)

Translation
By Hosho Temple Lay Priest / Retired Prime Minister
(Fujiwara no Tadamichi, 1097-1164)
Coming out
From fields of sea
The clouds and sky appear—
But I wonder… the distant sea…
A sky of waves in frothy white
Original Japanese
Pronunciation
法性寺入道関白太政大臣
Hoshoji no Nyudo Kanpaku Dajodaijin
わたの原
Wata no hara
こぎ出でて見れば
Kogi idete mireba
久方の
Hisakata no
雲井にまよふ
Kumoi ni mayoo
おきつしらなみ
Okitsu shiranami
Literal Notes
Sea/cotton/guts/bowels ’s Field/plain
[to go out] see/view when
Sky/moon ’s
[Sky/cloud/distant place/imperial court] [waver/hesitate/lose control]
[Open sea/rise high into sky] [white waves / wavecaps]
Fujiwara no Tadamichi was Prime Minister during the Hogen Rebellion (1156) in which his faction won. He was known for his intrigues and later retired to the Hoshoji Buddhist temple and became a lay priest.

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