The Moon: Lyricism of Kokinshu

『古今集(古今和歌集)』和歌「このまより もりくるつきの かげみれば こころづくしの あきはきにけり」英語訳

The moon is one of the most typical subjects to describe deepening autumn. Seeing the moon in the autumn sky arouses pain and sadness. The technique is not as explicit as in the following Waka.

このまより もりくるつきの かげみれば こころづくしの あきはきにけり
konomayori morikuru tsukino kage mireba kokorodukushino akiwa kinikeri

The moonbeams flickering
Through the branches of trees
The herald of pensive fall
I lapse into melancholy

When I see moonbeams shining through the branches of trees, I notice that autumn has come, which put me into a pensive mood.

“Autumn=Melancholy” This equation is not found in earlier anthologies like Manyoshu, the first anthology of Japanese poems, and it was said to be newly brought from ancient China. Poets from the age of Kokinshu put new term in this equation. That is the moon.

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