Lady Murasaki’s “A chance encounter” (Hyakunin Isshu #57)

My Translation By Lady Murasaki Shikibu (~ 973-1014) A chance encounter, Seeing a vanished friend— Or was it? The cloud-covered Midnight moon Original Japanese Pronunciation 紫式部 Murasaki Shikibu めぐりあひて Meguri aite 見しやそれとも Mishi ya sore to mo わかぬ間に Wakanu ma ni 雲がくれにし Kumo-gakure ni shi …

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Hyakunin Isshu #55, “Waterfall’s sound”

My Translation By Chief Counselor Kinto (966-1041 AD) Waterfall’s sound: Though it died Long ago Its name flows, Continuing to be heard Original Japanese Pronunciation 大納言公任 Dainagon Kinto 滝の音は Taki no oto wa 絶えて久しく Taete hisashiku なりぬれど Narinuredo 名こそ流れて Na koso nagarete なほ聞えけれ Nao kikoe …

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Hyakunin Isshu #54, “If it’s my future fate”

My Translation By the Mother of Gido Sanshi If it’s my future fate That you will find it hard To remember me— I wish my life Confined to today Original Japanese Pronunciation 儀同三司母 Gido Sanshi no Haha 忘れじの Wasureji no 行末までは Yukusue made wa 難ければ …

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Masaoka Shiki — “The Emperor’s Era”

The Emperor’s era Is now two thousand Five hundred fifty four years! 紀元二千五百五十四年なり Kigen ni-sen- Go-hyaku-go-juu-yon Nen nari Literal Era two-thousand Five-hundred-fifty-four Year becomes Japan’s first Emperor is said to have begun his reign in 660 BC. Shiki wrote this haiku for the New Year …

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Hyakunin Isshu, “Do you know that feeling?”

My Translation By the Mother of Right Imperial Guard Michitsuna (~937-995) Sighing continuously I find myself sleeping In an empty room Through the long dawn— Do you know that feeling? Original Japanese Pronunciation 右大将道綱母 Udaisho Michitsuna no Haha なげきつつ Nageki tsutsu ひとりぬる夜の Hitori nuru yo …

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Hyakunin Isshu, “I Still Curse the Light of Day”

My Translation By Courtier Fujiwara no Michinobu It’s dawn and though I know The night’s love scene Will play again— I still curse The light of day Original Japanese Pronunciation 藤原道信朝臣 Fujiwara no Michinobu Ason 明けぬれば Akenureba 暮るるものとは Kururu mono to wa 知りながら Shiri nagara …

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Hyakunin Isshu, “Etched by Fire and Drawn to Skin”

Translation By Courtier Fujiwara no Sanekata How little you know Of the burning jolt I feel— As moxa grass Etched by fire And drawn to skin Original Japanese Pronunciation 藤原実方朝臣 Fujiwara no Sanekata Ason かくとだに Kaku to dani えやはいぶきの E-ya-wa i-buki no さしも草 Sashi-mogusa さしも知らじな …

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