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The Chief Vice-Official in Attendance on the Dowager Empress Impu (p. 90)

A Hundred Verses from Old Japan

(The Hyakunin-isshu)

translated by William N. Porter


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This is a collection of 100 specimens of Japanese Tanka poetry collected in the 13th Century C.E., with some of the poems dating back to the 7th Centry. Tanka is a 31 syllable format in the pattern 5-7-5-7-7. Most of these poems were written about the time of the Norman Conquest and display a sophistication that western literature would not achieve for a long time thereafter. These little gems are on themes such as nature, the round of the seasons, the impermanence of life, and the vicissitudes of love. There are obvious Buddhist and Shinto influences throughout. Porter's notes put the poems into a cultural and historical context. Each poem is illustrated in this edition with an 18th century Japanese woodcut by an anonymous illustrator.

Production Notes: The original book has Japanese and English on facing pages, each of which are numbered according to the poem. This means that there are two duplicate page numbers per poem. The preface and index have no page numbers. In this text I have put the Japanese, English and the notes on one virtual page per poem, and supplied page numbers for the apparatus.

--John Bruno Hare, 9/19/2004

Title Page
1. The Emperor Tenchi: Tenchi Tennō
2. The Empress Jitō: Jitō Tennō
3. The Nobleman Kaki-no-Moto: Kaki-no-Moto no Hitomaro
4. Akahito Yamabe: Yamabe no Akahito
5. Saru Maru, A Shinto Official: Saru Maru Taiu
6. The Imperial Adviser Yakamochi: Chū-nagon Yakamochi
7. Nakamaro Abe: Abe no Nakamaro
8. The Priest Kizen: Kizen Hōshi
9. Komachi Ono: Ono no Komachi
10. Semi Maru
II. The Privy Councillor Takamura: Sangi Takamura
12. Bishop Henjō: Sōjō Henjō
13. The Retired Emperor Yōzei: Yōzei In
14. The Minister-of-the-Left of the Kawara (District of Kyōto): Kawara no Sadaijin
15. The Emperor Kwōkō: Kwōkō Tennō
16. The Imperial Adviser Yuki-hira Ariwara: Chū-Nagon Ariwara no Yuki-hira
17. The Minister Nari-hira Ariwara: Ariwara no Nari-hira Ason
18. The Minister Toshi-yuki Fujiwara: Fujiwara No Toshi-yuki Ason
19. The Princess Ise: Ise
20. The Heir-Apparent Moto-yoshi: Moto-yoshi Shinnō
21. The Priest Sosei: Sosei Hōshi
22. Yasuhide Bunya: Bunya No Yasuhide
23. Chisato Ōye: Ōye no Chisato
24. Kwan-ke
25. The Minister-of-the-Right of the Sanjō (District of Kyōto): Sanjō Udaijin
26. Prince Tei-shin: Tei-shin Kō
27. The Imperial Adviser Kanesuke: Chū-Nagon Kanesuke
28. The Minister Mune-yuki Minamoto: Minamoto no Mune-yuki Ason
29. Mitsune Ōshi-kōchi: Ōshi-kōchi No Mitsune
30. Tadamine Nibu: Nibu no Tadamine
31. Korenori Saka-no-Uye: Saka-no-Uye no Korenori
32. Tsuraki Harumichi: Harumichi no Tsuraki
33. Tomonori Kino: Kino Tomonori
34. Oki-kaze Fujiwara: Fujiwara No Oki-kaze
35. Tsura-yuki Kino: Kino Tsura-yuki
36. Fuka-yabu Kiyowara: Kiyowara no Fuka-yabu
37. Asayasu Bunya: Bunya no Asayasu
38. Ukon
39. The Privy Councillor Hitoshi: Sangi Hitoshi
40. Kanemori Taira: Taira no Kanemori
41. Tadami Nibu: Nibu no Tadami
42. Moto-suke Kiyowara: Kiyowara no Moto-suke
43. The Imperial Adviser Yatsu-tada: Chū-nagon Yatsu-tada
44. The Imperial Adviser Asa-tada: Chū-Nagon Asa-tada
45. Prince Ken-toku: Ken-toku Kō
46. The Priest Ne-yoshi-tada: Sō Ne-yoshi-tada
47. The Priest Ye-kei: Ye-kei Hōshi
48. Shige-yuki Minamoto: Minamoto no Shige-yuki
49. The Minister Yoshi-nobu, of Priestly Rank: Ōnakatomi no Yoshi-nobu Ason
50. Yoshitaka Fujiwara: Fujiwara no Yoshitaka
51. The Minister Sanekata Fujiwara: Fujiwara no Sanekata Ason
52. The Minister Michi-nobu Fujiwara: Fujiwara no Michi-nobu Ason
53. The Mother of Michi-tsuna, Commander of the Right Imperial Guard: Udaishō Michi-tsuna no Haha
54. The Mother of the Minister of State: Gidō-sanshi no Haha
55. The First Adviser of State Kintō: Dai-Nagon Kintō
56. Izumi Shikibu
57. Murasaki Shikibu
58. Daini no Sammi
59. Akazome Emon
60. Lady-in-Waiting Ko-shikibu: Ko-shikibu no Naishi
61. The Lady Ise: Ise no Taiu
62. The Lady Sei: Sei Shō-nagon
63. The Shinto Official Michimasa, of the Left Side of the Capital: Sakyō Taiu Michimasa
64. The Assistant Imperial Adviser Sada-yori: Gon Chū-nagon Sada-yori
65. Sagami
66. The Archbishop Gyōson: Daisōjō Gyōson
67. The Lady-in-Waiting Suwo: Suwo no Naishi
68. The Retired Emperor Sanjō: Sanjō In
69. The Priest Nō-in: Nō-in Hōshi
70. The Priest Riyō-zen: Riyō-zen Hōshi
71. The First Adviser of State Tsune-nobu: Dai-Nagon Tsune-nobu
72. The Lady Kii, of the House of Princess Yūshi: Yūshi Naishinnō Ke Kii
73. The Assistant Imperial Adviser Masafusa: Gon Chū-nagon Masafusa
74. The Minister Toshi-yori Minamoto: Minamoto no Toshi-yori Ason
75. Mototoshi Fujiwara: Fujiwara no Mototoshi
76. The Late Regent and Prime Minister, the Lay Priest of the Hōshō Temple: Hōshō-ji Nyūdō Saki no Kwambaku Daijōdaijin
77. The Retired Emperor Sutoku: Sutoku In
78. Kanemasa Minamoto: Minamoto no Kanemasa
79. The Shinto Official Aki-suke, of the Left Side of the Capital: Sakyō no Taiu Aki-suke
80. Lady Horikawa, in Attendance on the Dowager Empress Taiken: Taiken Mon-in Horikawa
81. The Minister-of-the-Left of the Tokudai Temple: Go Tokudai-ji Sadaijin
82. The Priest Dō-in: Dō-in Hoshi
83. Toshi-Nari, A Shinto Official in Attendance on the Empress Dowager: Kwō-tai-kōgū no Taiu Toshi-nari
84. The Minister Kiyo-suke Fujiwara: Fujiwara No Kiyo-suke Ason
85. The Priest Shun-ye: Shun-ye Hōshi
86. The Priest Saigyō: Saigyō Hōshi
87. The Priest Jaku-ren: Jaku-ren Hōshi
88. An Official of the Dowager Empress Kwōka: Kwōka Mon-in no Betto
89. Princess Shikishi: Shikishi Naishinnō
90. The Chief Vice-Official in Attendance on the Dowager Empress Impu: Impu Mon-in no Ōsuke
91. The Regent and Former Prime Minister Go-kyō-goku: Go-kyō-goku Sesshō Saki no Daijōdaijin
92. Sanuki, in Attendance on the Retired Emperor Nijō: Nijō In Sanuki
93. The Minister of the Right District of Kamakura: Kamakura Udaijin
94. The Privy Councillor Masatsune: Sangi Masatsune
95. The Former Archbishop Jiyen: Saki No Daisōjō Jiyen
96. The Lay-Priest, a Former Prime Minister of State: Nyūdō Saki Daijōdaijin
97. The Assistant Imperial Adviser Sada-iye: Gon Chu-Nagon Sada-iye
98. The Official Iye-Taka: Jūnii Iye-taka
99. The Retired Emperor Gotoba: Gotoba no In
100. The Retired Emperor Jun-toku: Jun-Toku In