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Karuta - Ogura Hyakunin Isshu - Niban no Uta

Yo guys! Ascendant here with the second poem (actually the first) from the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu!

Illustration for article titled Karuta - Ogura Hyakunin Isshu - Niban no Uta

It’ll be in three forms, Japanese, Romaji, and also English, using my own translation. I’ll also share some of the history and thoughts I have on the poem.

Of the Autumn Rice Field


秋の田の かりほの庵の 苫をあらみ わが衣手は 露にぬれつつ


あきのたの かりほのいおの とまをあらみ わがころもでわ つゆにぬれつつ


Aki no ta no/Kariho no io no/Toma o arami/Waga koromode wa/Tsuyu ni nure tsutsu


The rough padding of the autumn paddy shacks shelter me, as my sleeves are wet with dew.



This poem is supposed to have been written by Emperor Tenji, but it is believed that this was edited from an anonymous poem in the Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves. A paddy shack is a small cabin for farmers. When the farmers rest under the rough roof of sedge and strew, They discover that their sleeves are wet with dew. So Fujiwara no Teika may have started with this poem to convey the idea of an ideal emperor who understand the hard work of the farmers. - Oe Kanade


Personal Interpretation

Supposedly written by an Emperor, it was meant to convey the ideal of an understanding ruler. It’s significance as the first poem in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu brings to light this ideal, that we must always be aware of the ones below us, even if they are lesser. This is because we stand to learn from others, even if we do not think we have anything to learn. I believe it is also a poem about growth and maturity, because you have to have a semblance of maturity to understand others, and maturity comes through growth.


That’s it for the second poem, out of a hundred and one! I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and learned something! Feel free to come up with your own interpretations, I’ll be sure to add it to this post!


Check out the first:


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