Kakinomoto no Asomi Hitomaro

(662 - 710 / Japan)

Jewelled Seaweed - Poem by Kakinomoto no Asomi Hitomaro

Jewelled seaweed,
Province of Sanuki:
Is it your nature that
The sight of you will never sate?
Is it that your guardian god
Is paramount?
With heaven and earth,
And sun and moon,
May you endure.
Toward one divine face,
We continue on our journey,
Out the rivermouth at Naka,
Floating in our boat.
As we come rowing,
The seasonal wind
Blows from the distant sky;
From offshore, I see
The crashing breakers;
I see the coast,
Among the roaring white caps;
Hunting whales
The sea, I fear it.
Our bobbing boat,
Warps its oars.
All around
There are many islands, yet
On the famous
Isle of Samine,
On the rocky, wave-wracked sea coast
We make landfall and see
Among the waves' sound
Ever on the seashore,
A folded mulberry-cloth
Pillow have you made,
On a rough and rocky bed
You lay down:
If I knew your home
I would go and tell them;
If your wife knew
She would come inquiring;
Jeweled spear straight
Your path, though she knows it not;
Is she waiting, loving you
That darling wife of yours

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 6, 2010

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