Come See the Fall Leaves: Poem Number 26

November 15, 2011

Laszlo - Falling Leaves, 1895

Now that fall is full swing this poem seemed fitting:

小倉山 Ogurayama
峰のもみじ葉 Mine no mojijiba
心あらば Kokoro araba
今ひとたびの Ima hitotabi no
みゆきまたなむ Miyuki matanan

Which Professor Mostow translates as:

O autumn leaves
on the peak of Ogura Hill,
if you have a heart,
I would that you would wait
for one more royal progress.

Fujiwara no Tadahira was a scion of the Fujiwara clan, and his descendants because the powerful branch that ultimately monopolized power during the Heian Period through intermarriage with the Imperial Family.

As Mostow notes, this poem seems to describe an excursion to the Ōi River by Emperor Uda, with the latter commenting that his son (later Emperor Daigo), should visit too. Hence the author is beseeching the fall leaves to wait for Daigo’s arrival. This visit seems to have led to a seasonal tradition of visiting the Ōi River yearly by the Imperial Family, though I am not aware if that tradition still continues or not.

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