@Belthazar’s poem research club for the betterment of everyone’s education: reading マンガ✖くり返しでスイスイ覚えられる百人一首

Can’t you just look at the results before voting, or vote and then adjust your vote accordingly?


The poll has an option “Results: Always visible” but I don’t know if that is what I’m looking for here.

Of course your solutions are good workarounds, but if I can go without workaround, I’d always prefer that XD

Edit: Oh, now I see. It works via the button “Show Results” hehe. That was too easy for me :woman_facepalming:


I think the target audience of this book club (kindof?) is significantly more advanced than me, so I will consider reading the poems (with a lot of looking up words) to be a success for my skill level. Also I’m planning to participate in レンタルお兄さん AB々C, which will be more appropriate to my skill level, and will have to give that precedence even though I’m quite interested in the content here.


I’m happy to do the research for the Yamabe Akahito poem. Unless someone desperately wants it and I’ll concede it to them.

I actually read the first two already and it’s a little bit easier than I first anticipated.

I guess (hope? :sweat_smile:) that we will have more people than poems, so it should not be an issue if several people want to research the same poem (as long as we get them all covered). Several people could post their findings individually or could work together even.


2 春過ぎて 夏来にけらし 白妙の 衣はすてふ 天の香具山(持統天皇)

I found some neat info on the literary significance of Ama-no-Kaguyama:

First of all, a quick introduction to the mountain: it is part of the “Yamamoto Sanzan” (大和三山), three mountains of particular importance to the ancient Japanese state of Yamamoto, which refers to Japan from its earliest beginnings and through the Asuka period at the end of which Empress Jitou reigned. The first emperor is said to have had his palace as well as place of burial on another of the three mountains, Unebi, and acc. to Wikipedia there is a legend in which he used soil from Mt. Ama-no-Kaguyama as part of a ritual to subdue some bandits. The whole area is designated a “Place of Scenic Beauty” by the government, and according to Google maps it is a 30 minute walk from where Empress Jitou moved the capital to.

This mountain seems to be associated with the practice of Kunimi/国見/realm viewing, in which one climbs a mountain to survey one’s country, and often also to extol it’s praise in song or verse. The second poem of the Manyoshu (a very famous collection of Japanese poetry from the Nara period) is such a poem, for which Ama-no-Kaguyama is the poet’s mountain of choice (translation here: https://www.japanpitt.pitt.edu/essays-and-articles/culture/poetry-and-power-ancient-japan?page=2). This seems to be an important example of Kunimi poetry, since I found several websites in English using it as an example while trying to research the practice itself. Since Emperor Jomei, the author of MYS 1:2, was Empress Jitou’s predecessor, I think the odds are decent she would have been familiar with the earlier poem.

I think it’s really cool to think of this poem as a kind of Kunimini as well, though perhaps a little less majestic and a little more domestic. If so, perhaps it is can function as a balance for Jitou herself and her turbulent reign, as described in the little 解説, as well as a wider evaluation of her time as a monarch? The changing of seasons could maybe be a metaphor for the big political changes in her reign too. She moved the capital and I’ve found several websites calling Jitou the woman who made Japan, and she achieved a lot of firsts. Changing seasons are sort of a staple of Japanese poetry and life, and societies are always changing, but I think the main support for such an interpretation still has some merit with the connection between the mountain in question and Yamamoto statehood/identity.

I think the main issue with the Kunimi interpretation is that this poem doesn’t have the direct description of climbing the mountain and looking that the Jomei poem does…perhaps I’m influenced by how she’s looking out the window in the comic in our book. Still, I think it’s a very cool thought that I was very excited to share.

This poem (百人一首#2) also seems to appear in the Manyoshu as poem 28. I feel cool having now read a poem from that collection.

Also, for those of you who like ukiyo-e, Hokusai, famous for the Great Wave off Kanagawa, did illustrations for a 27 of the 100 poems we’re looking at. Here’s the one for this poem: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/56967

The mental image I get from this poem is closer to that of the manga in our present book than what Hokusai presents (probably because I say the former first lol).


Wowee that’s a wall of text. Should I be making them shorter?

Nope, that’s perfect! If you are worried about the “scrollability” of the thread, you can put it under a detail section.


Like this. Cogwheel -> hide details

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Thank you! I will aim to design my next long post with that sort of organization.

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I think that’s an interesting thing to point out. Maybe I’m reading too much into it but I got the vibe when I read it that she was observing others living life rather than experiencing it herself.

Maybe instead of viewing this poem as a type of Kunimini it could be viewed as its opposite.


What would you describe its opposite as? Being the land observing its people?

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Not a literal opposite haha.

Rather than going up the mountain and observing her country she’s observing her country going up the mountain.

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You mean as she goes up the mountain? Or the whole country literally going up the mountain? (I’m 99% sure you mean the former, but…)

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I don’t have the book to hand right now but from what I remember she is seeing people from a distance going up the mountain to dry clothes. She’s not going up the mountain she’s seeing her country, or her people, going up the mountain. :sweat_smile:


Aaaah! That makes a lot more sense. Yeah, I think I think I agree with that logic and had something similar in mind.


Sorry about the confusion, I really should refrain from posting so late at night. :sweat_smile:

On my first read through of that particular poem when I read the description it wasn’t clear to me actually who was hanging the robes on the mountain so I did think it was the author, but I came across another source that mentioned the robes refer to those of priestesses (巫女).

Edit number 157:
That source may or may not have been the book actually.


I haven’t started my research yet (how is it already starting day? Where did the time go) but you can bet that if I can find that much information on my poem, I’ll certainly be writing that much.


I just saw this thread and I definitely want to join. I’m in a kyogi karuta club (on hiatus right now because of current events). I’ll be joining late since I need to order the book and that will probably take a while. (I know my karuta sensei owns it and I wish I could borrow it from her).


Okay, so here we go. I chose #5 because I thought the manga was hilarious xD

奥山に 紅葉ふみ分け なく鹿の 聲きく時ぞ 秋は悲しき (猿丸大夫)

It's not a lot, because of course I chose the one with barely any information to be found, but here goes:

As is mentioned in the book, there is not much information to be found about the poet. It seems that the poem in question was submitted to a poetry contest held by Prince Koresada in 893, which earned 猿丸 a legendary status as a waka poet of the Heian period. He is also a member of 三十六歌仙, the Thirty Six Poetic Sages (a group of Japanese poets of the Asuka, Nara and Heian periods, selected by Fujiwara no Kinto as exemplars of Japanese poetic ability).
There are some suspicions as to his identity; some believe him to have never existed, others believe him to have been Prince Yamashiro no Oe. However, considering said prince committed suicide in 643, that would either mean his poem was submitted post mortem, or his death was a clever way to finally live in peace and leave the shackles of prince hood behind. Who knows, right?

As for the poem itself, it seems to be surprisingly hard to interpret. It is unclear whether the one doing the 踏む-ing is actually the deer or the poet himself. Based on the speculation that the poet is an aristocrat, and walks in the woods aren’t often part of an aristocrat’s day to day life, whereas watching deer do so seems much more likely, there seems to be a higher chance of the former being true.
Deer have enjoyed the privilege of being an integral part of Japanese poetry since early times, often symbolising sadness or melancholy, as in this particular example.
Fun fact for you: The zodiac animals are often depicted as poets, whose work is then judged by none other than our very own deer. I thought it was interesting that an potentially non-existent, but most definitely anonymous poet writes about an animal that judges other poems.

Obviously, feel free to add to it or tell me how wrong I am whenever. I like history, but I’m really not great at it, and I get easily confused, so chances are I’ll be slightly off on some points.


Sounds good to me, but the 意味 section makes it pretty clear that it’s the deer doing the trampling. :slightly_smiling_face:

I did find one resource that said some commentators have hypothesised that the deer is a metaphor for an actual human woman, but I confess I’m not entirely sure whether walking through the mountains crying for a man is someting that women typically get up to.

On a side note, if you want to hear any of the poems read out in proper style, I found this playlist: