Sakurabana sakeruonoewa tohkutomo yukamukagiriwa naoyukitemin
(Mitune-collection・Byobu (a holding screen), Ōshikōchi no Mitsune (male), 415, 9C)
Translation into modern Japanese
Even though the place where Sakura has bloomed on the top of a mountain is far a way, I wish to go there if I can.
Detailed explanation of the contents
The spring icon is Sakura (in Japan) – this culture has started since Heian eara (794 - 1185). The author is Mitsune, Ōshikōchi no Mitsune. He is one of the selectors for ¨Kokin Waka syuu (Collection of Ancients and Modern Poems).” Please learn how to read his name and remember it. This waka is called: ¨Byobu poem”, the waka theme was to compose poems by looking at the pictures drawn on a byobu (holding screen). The byobu was not the one at home but was specially prepared absolutely gorgeous ones by a rich nobleman. The composed waka for this event were being printed on beautiful pieces of paper and were stuck on the byobu. This maybe look like those word leaves in Manga. People enjoy both the pictures and the waka on the byobu. It seems to Sakura on a mountain in a distance was drew on the byobu for this waka theme, therefore the author did not watch actual Sakura flower in front of him when he composed the poem.
¨Yukamukagiriwa naoyukitemin,” how much he likes the Sakura! He would go wherever far places for Sakura if he can..., I say what? are you leaving all your jobs for it? For him (Sakura lover), nothing matters but to see Sakura flowers. He wanted, just like a pure child, to just go to see Sakura wherever it was. Moblelemen in Heian era were managed by attendance records, so they couldn't have done such selfish acts like going to see Sakura whenever they wanted. But still, spring means Sakura (for some Japanese). This waka well expresses this Japanese Sakura culture of which people wish to enjoy living in the world of Sakura colour. I can imagine how Mitune was exited in the Sakura season from this poem. Beyond a thousand years, the spring Mitune loved has just started again (in this year, 2015).
By the way, this waka appears only in Mitune-collection but not in any other literature records – does this mean the waka was not appreciated? I think this waka should be more appreciated as it has given such a depth to the two dimensional byobu picture art world.
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