Yugen and Snow Falling Through the Branches: Lyricism of Kokinshu


When you are waiting for someone to come so long and getting so nervous that every tiny bit of sign seems to indicate the arrival. At the times when aristocratic houses were not fully enclosed by the walls, the wintertime was especially hard to get through. People took note of any signs indicating warmer springtime. The following is a cute description of taking snowflakes for blossoms.


ふゆごもり おもひかけぬを このまより
はなとみるまで ゆきぞふりける

Everything is curled up in the winter cold
There you see falling snow through the branches
As flowers are always a joy to behold

Describing the act of watching snow falling on and on, the song conjures up all the relating imagery: the cold wind that finds its way into the room, the sunlight glaring off the snow and ice, snowflakes drifting down from the trees and snow occasionally plopping onto the ground.

“Yugen” is a concept that is defined as the enigmatic profoundness or simple, tranquil beauty that avoids gaudiness and is implicitly discerned in an austere but refined manner.

All the hustle and bustle of the New Year’s are a bit away and silence brooded on. Reality gets dissolved into the silence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *