Sacred Texts  Japan  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book on Kindle

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

p. 8




  Waga iho wa
Miyako no tatsumi
  Shika zo sumu
Yo wo Uji yama to
Hito wa iu nari.

MY home is near the Capital,
  My humble cottage bare
Lies south-east on Mount Uji; so
  The people all declare
  My life's a 'Hill of Care'.

The priest Kizen lived on Mount Uji, which lies south-east of Kyōto, at this time the Capital. The word uji or ushi means 'sorrow'; so he says that, as he lives on Mount Sorrow, his friends say his life is 'a mountain of sorrows '. Notice also the two words yama to in the fourth line, which, if read as one word, form the ancient name of Japan. In the picture we see the priest sitting alone in his little hut, his poverty being shown by the patches on the roof.

Next: 9. Komachi Ono: Ono no Komachi