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).