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A Hundred Verses from Old Japan (The Hyakunin-isshu), tr. by William N. Porter, [1909], at

p. 14




  Michinoku no
Shinobu moji-zuri
  Tare yue ni
Midare-some nishi
Ware naranaku ni.

AH! why does love distract my thoughts,
  Disordering my will!
I'm like the pattern on the cloth
  Of Michinoku hill,—
  All in confusion still.

The old capital of Kyōto was divided into right and left districts, and the above is only an official title; the poet's name was Tōru Minamoto, and he died in the year 949. At Michinoku, in the Province of Iwashiro, in old times a kind of figured silk fabric was made, called moji-zuri, embroidered with an intricate pattern, which was formed by placing vine leaves on the material, and rubbing or beating them with a stone until the impression was left on the silk. There is a hill close by, called Mount Shinobu, and a small temple, called Shinobu Moji-zuri Kwannon. Shinobu can also mean 'a vine', 'to love', or to 'conceal (my love)'. The meaning of this very involved verse appears to be, that his thoughts are as confused with love as the vine pattern on the embroidered fabric made at Mount Michinoku. The picture seems to show the lady with whom the poet was in love.

Next: 15. The Emperor Kwōkō: Kwōkō Tennō