Taiki: Kôji 2 {1143} 3.30 and 11.17 Entries on Studying History

Translated by Emily Warren


Kōji 2 3.30

Thirtieth Day. < Hinoto no i. 1 > I completed the eighteenth chapter of the Correct Meanings of the Zuo Commentary on the Spring and Autumn Annals during the Hour of the Rooster. All day long I looked over the Correct Meanings. < Because I was thinking about the meaning while reading, I did not get through even half a volume. > While I am eating and drinking, I will have the students recite The History of the Southern Dynasties. I have already had the students prepare excerpts for me. I am only studying the Classics and taking no breaks to study the Histories. I am wasting time not doing anything else while I am eating and drinking. During this time, I will have {the students} recite The History of the Southern Dynasties. The students and I will recite it three times.


Kōji 2 11.17

Seventeenth Day. < Tsuchinoto no mi. 2 > As of late, I have been studying the Classics, I did not have time to study the Histories 3 . This spring, I ordered five students to recite the key sections of The History of the Southern Dynasties whenever I ate or bathed. These efforts ended yesterday 5 . Today, they moreover quizzed me with the beginning {of the passages} 4 . If I knew the {latter half of the quotation}, I would say the end. If I did not know it, the students would recite the rest of it. Through this , {I determined} whether I knew {the text}, {as well as} whether I am sharp or dull. Within Book Seventy of the The History of the Southern Dynasties, altogether, the {number of passages} the students {and I} recited was 591. Of these, I knew 285 and did not know 306. That is not even half. I am deeply embarrassed. The next day I finished recitations.
  1. The twenty-fourth day in the sexegenary cycle.

  1. The sixth day in the sexegenary cycle.

  1. Here, Yorinaga refers to a general category of the famed Chinese histories. He has thus far focussed his efforts on the Classics, which would be philosophical teachings, poetry, and other topics.

  1. It is not clear what system they used to choose passages to quiz Yorinaga. The 70th book of The History of the Southern Dynasties 南史 does not contain enough marked lines or passages to make up Yorinaga’s testing regimen. They likely read the first half of a quotation, then waited for him to finish it.

  1. The timeline for this project—when he finished practicing, which days he was tested—is unclear.

Original Text 原文


Kundoku 訓読

三十日、<丁亥ひのとのい。>『春秋正義』巻第十八を了ぬ。酉の刻なり。この間、終日しゅうじつ『正義』を見る。<義を案ずるの間、一巻の半分にすぎず。>飲食の時、生徒をもって『南史』 1 を語らしむ。あらかじめ生徒に仰せて、これをしょうたてまつらしむ。もっぱら経を学び、史を学ぶ暇なきも、飲食の時、いたずら光景こうけいうつす。よって、その間『南史』を語らしむ。生徒・われ三遍語る。

Modern Japanese 現代語訳




Original Text 原文


Kundoku 訓読

十七日、〈己巳つちのとのみ。〉余、近年経 2 を学ぶも、史 3 を学ぶにいとまなし。これによりて今春より生徒五人に命じ、食物じきもつ及び沐浴の時、『南史』の要書をかたらしむ。〈三反。〉きのうそのこうを終える。今日、又さらに生徒等、其の始をう。もし事を覚らば、余、其のすえこたう。もし覚らざらば、その末、生徒なお語る。是れを覚るかいなかをもって、余のびんどんを知らん。『南史』伝七十巻の内、生徒語るところは、おおよそ五百九十一事 4 。其の中、覚るところは二百八十五。三百六は覚らず、半分に及ばず。深く恥となす。翌日これを語り了ぬ。

Modern Japanese 現代語訳

十七日。〈己巳つちのとのみ。〉私は、近年 努めを終えた。


  1. 中国の正史。二十五史の一つ。本紀一〇巻、列伝七〇巻からなる。唐の李延寿撰。高宗(在位六四九~六八三)の時成立。南朝の宋・斉・梁・陳四国の正史を改修した通史。南朝北朝の歴史がそれぞれ自国中心であるのを是正し、双方を対照し、条理を整えて編集したもの。(『日本国語大辞典』抜粋)

  1. 中国の古典である。

  1. 中国の歴史という意味。

  1. 頼長が覚えた『南史』の引用の数え方は不明。

Taiki: Kôji 2 {1143} 1.14 Entry

Translated by Niels van der Salm, Tatyana Kostochka, Yoshiko Kainuma, and Sachiko Kawai

Kōji 2 1.14 Entry

Fourteenth day. Mizunoe tora 1 . At the Hour of the Rooster , the Royal Secretary and Junior Controller of the Left 2 Minamoto no Moroyoshi 3 came. His message was conveyed to me: “This is about dismissing (Minamoto no) Narimasa 4 from his posts. First, I went to see the Minister of the Left [Minamoto no Arihito] 5 , but he had left for Ninnaji 6 , so I came to you 7 .” Quickly, I got dressed with a cap and dress cloak and met with him [Minamoto no Moroyoshi]. He said:

On the twelfth day [two days ago], in the guard post at Toba Detached Palace, Lieutenant 8 {and provincial Governor of Owari} Sir 9 Narimasa had a row with former provincial Governor of Yamashiro {Fujiwara no} Yorisuke 10 . Narimasa drew his sword and sliced up Yorisuke’s face. Not only is it no insignificant crime, but there has never yet been anyone at or above the fifth rank to have injured someone with a blade. Narimasa must be quickly dismissed.

I gave my approval. Moroyoshi told me:

The ruling retired monarch [Toba] declared 11 : ‘Dismissal and suspension have the same result. Since dismissal is the harsher punishment, he should be ordered to be dismissed.’ The ruling retired monarch also said: ‘Having been dismissed, he will naturally no longer be allowed into the royal presence, but since this is an unprecedented event, {his name} should also be immediately stricken from the duty-board 12 .’ I , therefore, made a visit to the royal palace and struck his name from the duty-board of {the monarch’s 13 } royal intimates.

{I, Yorinaga, asked,} “Should he be removed from both of his posts? 14 ” He answered, “The regent directed that after a royal order to remove him from both of his posts is issued, Ruling Retired Monarch should ultimately make the decisions.” {So, I} sent to summon Senior Secretary of the Council of State Sir [Nakahara] Moroyasu and delivered this order. Moroyasu asked, “In a normal circumstance, a royal order should not be drafted, how about this time?” I answered, “This is an abnormal situation, so we should set an example by drafting a royal order to punish unruly subjects and dangerous nobles 15 .”

Moroyasu promptly drew up a royal order and issued it to the two ministries.

I asked, “According to my old memos〈which I recorded as reminders,〉is it not the job of secretaries of the Council of State to draft and issue royal orders to the two ministries, but in this kind of circumstance, should {someone else} also issue it to the two ministries?”

Moroyasu said, “That is an older procedure. Recently, secretaries of the Council of State issue royal orders to the two ministries.”〈the two ministeries here are meant as follows: when dealing with a civil official, {a royal order} should be issued to the Ministry of Personnel; when dealing with a military official, {a royal order} should be issued to the Ministry of Military Affairs.〉

Moroyoshi sent a messenger and informed me that “Ruling Retired Monarch ordered, ‘Remove him from both of his posts.’”

Sir Minamoto no Narimasa of the junior fourth rank lower, holding court posts lower than his rank 16 —Provisional Junior Captain of the Inner Palace Right Guards cum Owari Provincial Governor Inner Minister {Fujiwara no Yorinaga} orders. “I received a royal order saying ‘On the twelfth day {of this month}, the person above , by sword in his own hand, injured Sir Fujiwara no Yorisuke, who had court rank but no post 17 . Even by searching through past precedents, we cannot find such a crime {by a courtier of his rank}. Remove him from both of his current posts.’”

Kōji 2 1.14

Received by
Sir Nakahara Moroyasu, Director of the Grains Bureau 18 cum
Senior Secretary of the Council of State and
Assistant Professor {of the Bureau of the Palace University}

  1. The 39th day in the sexagenary cycle.

  1. William and Helen McCullough translate this title as “Lesser Controller of the Left.” We adopted most of this translation but changed “Lesser” to “Junior” for clarity. See William and Helen McCullough, A Tale of Flowering Fortunes (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1980).

  1. Minamoto no Moroyoshi 源師能 (dates unknown).

  1. Minamoto no Narimasa 源成雅 (dates unknown). Narimasa has a close relationship with the regental family. For example, his sister married Yorinaga. Furthermore, Narimasa’s aunt (his father’s sister) married Yorinaga’s father, Tadazane. (USC Kambun Workshop 2019)

  1. Minamoto no Arihito 源有仁 (1103-1147).

  1. Ninnaji is a Buddhist temple in Western Kyoto that belongs to the Shingon School. Construction began in 886 at the command of Kōkō Tennō and ended in 888 during the reign of Uda Tennō, who named it Ninnaji after the name of the current regnal era. The temple had close ties to the royal family until the 19th century because it became customary for a son of the reigning sovereign to take up the post of head priest of Ninnaji.

  1. The Minister of the Left is higher in rank than Yorinaga, who is a Palace Minister, so Yorinaga got this message because a person of higher rank was not available and he was the next highest ranking official.

  1. The lowest rank of general officer. (日本国語大辞典)

  1. Ason, the most coveted hereditary title of the time. (USC Kambun Workshop 2007)

  1. Fujiwara no Yorisuke 藤原頼輔 (1112-1186).

  1. Toba Tennō 鳥羽天皇 (1103-1156, r. 1107-1123). The character tei 帝, which is a signifier for the ruling monarch, is added to “retired monarch” in the Japanese text because Toba was serving in administrative capacity despite being officially retired. See Hashimoto Yoshihiko, “Hōtei to Hōōtei 法皇と法皇帝” in Heian kizoku shakai no kenkyū 平安貴族社会の研究 (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 1976), 487-491, for more information about ruling retired monarchs.

  1. The duty-board is a registry listing who holds what post and who has what kinds of permissions. Being dismissed did not automatically mean that the person’s name would be removed from the duty-board. Being dismissed and having his name removed constitutes a more severe punishment because it strips Narimasa of his membership in the government.

  1. Konoe Tennō 近衛天皇 (1139-1155, r. 1141-1155).

  1. These two posts here referred to those held by Narimasa, that of provisional junior captain of the Inner Palace Right Guards and the governorship of Owari Province.

  1. This is ranshin zokushi 乱臣賊士 in the original. According to the Digital Daijisen Dictionary, there is a compound noun, ranshin zokushi (乱臣賊子), which means “unruly subjects and children who harm their parents.” Based on this noun, Yorinaga possibly invented a new compound with the same pronunciation, 乱臣賊士, in order to fit this context. This sentence ends with the character 者, and although it often refers to hearsay, here it serves to close Yorinaga’s quotation. (USC Kambun Workshop 2019)

  1. There is a character gyō 行 between Narimasa’s court rank and two his posts. When gyō is used in someone’s title, it means that the person’s position is regarded to be lower than his rank. (USC Kambun Workshop 2008)

  1. Sanmi is a courtier who had rank but did not have an official post. (USC Kambun Workshop 2008)

  1. The Ōi no tsukasa or Ōi ryō 大炊寮 is often translated as the Palace Kitchen Bureau, but the bureau was specifically responsible for grains procurement. Other kitchen-related bureaus are frequented translated the same way, which can lead to confusion between the various offices, so it is more useful to call it the Grains Bureau. This translation is inspired by Francine Hérail’s, “Office de l’Approvisionnement en Grains” for Ōiryō. See Francine Hérail, La cour et l'administration du Japon a l'epoque de Heian (Genève: Librairie, 2006).

Original Text 原文


十四日、〈壬寅、〉酉刻蔵人左少弁源師能来、入令侍〔以人伝〕示云、成雅(源)解官事、先向左丞相(源有仁)之処、被向仁和寺了、因御〔所カ〕参也者、亦着冠直衣相逢、師能仰云、去十二日於院陣鳥羽、少将成雅朝臣〈兼尾張守、〉・山城前司頼輔(藤原)闘諍、成雅抜剣切破頼輔面了、所犯不軽之上、諸大夫以上品格者刃傷人、古今未有、成雅早可被解官、余承諾之、師能語云、法皇(鳥羽)帝〈為政被加帝也、〉宣曰、解官・停任同事也、然而以解官為重慎、可仰下解官之由也、又宣曰、被解官之人、自然止昇殿、然而於此事者未曾有、早々可削籍、仍先参内、削籍了、乍両官可解歟、答曰、摂政仰云、先乍両官可解之由宣下後、重法皇帝可 一定、即遣召大外記師安(中原)朝臣仰之、師安云、普通事不書宣旨、此事如何、余云、希有之事也、書宣旨、可懲後代之乱臣・賊士者、師安即書宣旨下二省、余云、如古記〈備忘、〉者、雖管領下二省、是外記之外亦下二省歟、師安云、是古礼也、近代只外記下二省也、〈々々者、文官者仰式、武官者仰兵、〉師能送使者云、重法皇帝仰云、乍両官可解官也、


 内大臣宣、奉 勅、件人去十二日於太上法皇御所辺、手自刃傷散位藤原朝臣頼輔、訪之 往代、未曾有之犯也、宜令解却見任両官者、

   康治二年正月十四日       大炊頭兼大外記助教中原朝臣師安奉

Kundoku 訓読


十四日、〈壬寅みずのえとら〉。とりの刻、蔵人くろうど 左少弁さしょうべん源師能もろよし来たる。人を以て伝え示して云わく、「成雅(源)の解官げかんの事、先に左丞相さじょうしょう(源有仁)に向かふの処、仁和寺にんなじに向かわれ了んぬ。因りて参るところなり」てえり。いそぎ、冠直衣かむりのうしちゃくして相逢あいあう。師能おおせて云わく、「去る十二日院の陣〈鳥羽〉に於て、少将しょうしょう成雅朝臣〈尾張守おわりのかみを兼ぬ〉、山城やましろ前司ぜんじ頼輔よりすけ(藤原)闘諍とうじょうするに、成雅剣を抜き頼輔のおもてを切り破り了んぬ。所犯しょはん、軽からざるの上、諸大夫しょだいぶ以上の品格の者の刃傷人にんじょうにんは、古今未だに有らず。成雅早く解官せらるべし」と。余、これを承諾しょうだくす。師能、語りて云はく、法皇帝ほうおうてい(鳥羽)〈まつりごとを為すにより、帝を加えらるなり。〉せんして曰わく、「解官・停任ちょうにん、同じ事なり。然れども、解官を以て重慎ちょうしんとなす。解官の由を仰せ下すべきなり」と。又宣して曰わく、「解官せらるるの人、自然に昇殿しょうでんとどむ。然れども、この事に於ては未だ曾つて有らず。早々そうそうに籍を削るべし。りて、先ず参内し、せきけずりおわんぬ。両官りょうかんながら くべきか。答へてわく、摂政、おおせて云わく、ず両官ながらくべきのよし宣下せんげの後、重ねて法皇帝 一定いちじょうすべし、と。すなわ大外記だいげき師安(中原) 朝臣をつかわしし、これを仰す。師安、云わく、普通の事は、宣旨を書かず。この事、いかん。、云わく、希けうの事なり。宣旨に書き、後代こうだい乱臣らんしん賊士ぞくしちょうずべし、てえり。師安、即ち宣旨を書き、二省にしょうに下す。余、云く、古記こき備忘ぶぼう〉のごとくは、二省に下すを管領かんりょうすといえども、これ、外記の外ほか、また二省に下すか。師安云わく、これ、古礼これいなり。近代、ただ、外記二省に下すなり。〈二省は、文官ぶんかんしきに仰せ、武官ぶかんひょうに仰す。〉師能、使者を送りて云く、重ねて法皇帝、仰せて云く、両官ながら解官すべきなり。

じゅしいぎょう右近衛権少将うこのえしょうしょうけん尾張守おわりのかみ源朝臣成雅  内大臣宣す。勅をうけたまわるに、件の人、去十二日、太上法皇御所辺に於て、手自てずから散位藤原朝臣頼輔を刃傷す。これを、往代おうだいに訪ぬるに、未曾有の犯なり。宜しく見任げんにん両官を解却げきゃくしむべし、てへり。

   康治二年正月十四日     大炊頭兼大外記助教中原朝臣師安うけたまわ

For the full kundoku notes, click here.

Modern Japanese 現代語


十四日。壬寅。酉の刻に、蔵人左少弁源師能が来た。人づてに伝えて言うには、「[源] 成雅を解官することについて、最初に左丞相 [源有仁] に師能が語って言うには、「[鳥羽]法皇帝〈政治を行っている 籍を{当直の簡 (ふだ) から姓名を}削除しました。」両方の役職をともに解任すべきか。」{と聞いた}。 遣して大外記師安 [中原] 朝臣を呼び出して、その命令を伝えた。師安は、「通常の事では宣旨を書きません。今回の件は、どうしましょうか。」と言った。私は、「{今回のことは}異常事態なので、宣旨を書いて、後の時代の乱臣・賊子を懲らしめるべきである。」と答えた 1 。師安は、すぐに宣旨を書き、二省に下した。私は、「旧記〈忘れた時の備えとして記しておいたもの〉によると、二省に下すのは{外記が}管轄するが、このような場合は外記のほかにが『両方の役職を解任せよ』と命じられました。」と告げてきた。


 内大臣が伝える。「勅によると、『この人は去十二日、太上法皇の御所の辺りで、自身の手で散位 2 藤原朝臣頼輔を太刀で切りつけ傷を負わせた。これは、過去の例に鑑みても、未曾有の犯行である。現在ついている役職をどちらもを罷免せよ。』ということである。」

   康治二年正月十四日    大炊頭兼大外記助教中原朝臣師安がうけたまわった。
  1. ここにある「者」は、頼長はが自分のセリフを閉じるために用いており、伝聞を表すものではない。

  1. 散位(さんみ):律令制で、位階だけあって官職についていない者。蔭位おんいにより官位があって、役職のない者、または職を辞した者などの称。(『広辞苑』抜粋)

Taiki: Kōji 2 {1143} 7.22 Entry

Translated by Yumi Kodama , Emily Warren, Tatyana Kostochka, Sachiko Kawai, Jillian Barndt, and Jitsuya Nishiyama

Twenty-second Day. Hinotono ushi 1 . Sunny and cloudy with occasional rain. Today, in front of Confucius’s portrait, I held a lecture on The Commentary of Zuo on the Spring and Autumn Annals < It was a private ceremony. >

On the previous day, the doctor of the almanac 2 Norihide was ordered to determine through divination the time and day {for the ceremony}. After this, the ceremony is to be performed on The Day of the Rat < Confucius’s birthday. Moreover, this corresponds to my birth year in the sexagenary cycle 3 .> From the first time {it was performed}, an auspicious day and time was chosen.

In this ceremony, Confucius’s portrait is hung on the northern screen in the first eastern bay of the southern room in the northwestern corridor’s main chamber connected to the Shinden 4 . < Facing south, like in the Royal University Ceremony.> 5

The table was set and food presented in front {of the portrait}. < There was fish. 6 > The round mat for the lecturer 7 was arranged on the southern side. Then, my seat of Korean brocade was arranged. For the literati and discussants, two tatami were arranged in the third bay from the east.

Currently, I am not meeting with those wearing mourning clothes or menstruating women. I am not having sex with women. I need not abstain from fish, Chinese onion, and wild chives, or with monks and nuns, however, earlier today, {I performed my} obeisance to the Kamo Deity 8 < Such is my monthly custom >, so I could not meet with monks and nuns. I bathed at sundown.< I did not wash my hair 9 .>

At the Hour of the Dog , I put on formal clothes . First, I performed obeisance to the Kamo deity.< Even without performing obeisance to the Kamo deity, I would have had to bathe. 10 > Having taken my seat, I paid respects to Confucius . Then, moving one or two steps east, I paid respects to Yan Hui 11 < twice >.

On my order, the eight literati < including the lecturer and the discussants > took their seats. < All of them wore casual dress 12 and caps and sat in two rows of four, facing each other in ascending order 13 from west to east. >

Distinguished graduate of the Royal University’s literature department Fujiwara no Narisuke < who is well-versed in the great meaning of all the Confucian classics > took the first scroll of The Commentary of Zuo and proceeded to the lecturer’s seat. His speech was so superb—it was indescribable. Everyone listened to his words with admiration. The lecture lasted a bit over two hours.

When it was done, Former Provincial Governor of Yamashiro, Sir Minamoto no Sanenaga raised {his issue.} < Following the rules of the biannual Memorial Rites to Confucius ceremony and the stylized debates at the Royal Palace {the day following such ceremonies}, each discussant raises only one topic. Correspondingly, there is also only one topic per discussant. > He asked about {associating the beginning of} summer with the fifth month 14 in the entry from the 22nd year of Duke Zhuang. There were three rounds of back and forth suggestions.< The matter was scrutinized once more after two rounds, at my order. >

When we were finished, Former Provisional Governor of Noto Sir Fujiwara no Takayoshi asked a different question. Over two rounds of back and forth examination they discussed an entry from the 30th year of Duke Xiang about {the shape of} the character 亥 (gai) and the apparent lack of the character 六 (roku) in its lower part 15 . Takayoshi wanted to interrogate the matter a little further, and with my permission, he briefly debated with the lecturer .

Both discussants had assigned seats {among the other literati} but did not sit there {during the discussion part}. When the ceremony was all done, the lecturer returned to his original seat {with the other literati}.

The tray for composition submissions was put out. <{For this purpose, an upside down} cover of a writing box {was used}. The literati, starting with those of the lowest rank, each wrote a Chinese poem {about the talk} 16 >. Courtier-without-post Sir Fujiwara no Tōakira took a seat on the round mat < that was the lecturer’s seat >. This reading went as usual. My humble self was the presenter. This is because Confucius was the host 17 . After the presentation finished, everyone returned to their seats. An emolument was bestowed on the lecturer and each of the discussants. 18

For the lecturer: six folding fans, ten writing brushes, and eight [sticks of] ink. < Each of these were bundled in mulberry paper and placed on top of an open fan, which was included in the total number of fans. >

For each discussant: two fans, five writing brushes, and three [sticks of] ink.

When finished, the lecturer and discussants wrote down the questions and answers. < These were written in different styles. > These texts were placed in a cabinet for future reference.

The following is the format for recording a poem.

In early autumn 19 , inspired by the lecture given in the presence of Confucius's image, I wrote:
A Poem on The Commentary of Zuo. 〈I wrote this line the same length as the first line. {This is} the convention of the House of Ōe. Because I am a disciple of the late Head of the Crown Prince’s Household (Minamoto no Moroyori), I followed the convention of the Ōe . other participants did not do the same.〉
   Inner Palace Minister Senior Second Rank Sir Fujiwara no Yorinaga 20

I omit the details {of the poetry} here. you should be able to imagine it.

Commentary of Zuo
Commentary of Gongyang
Commentary of Guliang
Book of Rites
Rites of Zhou
Book of Etiquette and Ceremonial
Book of Poems
Book of Documents
Book of Changes
Analects of Confucius
Book of Filial Piety
Laozi and Zhuangzi to be excluded.〉 21

For these, we will meet every time on the Day of the Rat.
  1. This is the fourteenth day in the sixty day cycle.

  1. The doctor of the almanac, or rekihakaze 暦博士, was calendrical specialist from the Yin-Yang Bureau.

  1. This corresponding year in the sexagenary zodiac cycle is called the honmyōnichi 本命日.

  1. This “master quarters of the palace” or the Shinden, is a central hall in a palace built in the shinden mode (shinden zukuri). It functioned both as a ceremonial location and living quarters. This translation is adapted from Mimi Yiengpruksawan, “Phoenix Hall and Symmetries of Replication,” The Art Bulletin Vol. 77, No. 4 (Dec. 1995): 7.

  1. The university held biannual Memorial Rites to Confucius (Sekiten). These rites were “one of the most purely Chinese of court rituals, which even involved animal sacrifices.” Officials performed memorial rites and then someone lectured on a select text. See Robert Borgen, Sugawara no Michizane and the Early Heian Court (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1986), 95.

  1. There is a possibility that the fish’s inclusion here is an established custom based on the Kongzi Jiayu. There is one story that famously concerns Confucius receiving a rotten fish from a fisherman and still emphasizing the value in performing sacrifices with it. For an analysis of the passage, see Roel Sterckx, “Confucius Eats” in Of Tripod and Palate: Food, Politics, and Religion in Traditional China, ed. Sterckx (New York: Palgrave, 2005), 51.

  1. The word for lecturer here is kōkyō 講経.

  1. He likely did such obeisances at home, not a shrine.

  1. The Heian nobleman wore oils in his hair and it was sculpted to go with the cap of his rank. It would have been troublesome for Yorinaga to wash his hair, given that he was going to participate in the ceremony soon after.

  1. In this case, Yorinaga would have had to bathe for the lecture and discussion event, even if he didn’t have a ceremony scheduled.

  1. Yan Hui’s name is not explicitly mentioned in the original text. The term that is used there can refer to any past teacher. However, in combination with Confucius and in the context of this ceremony, the term denotes Yan Hui specifically. Yan Hui (c. 521-481 BCE) was Confucius’s favorite disciple and is one of the most important figures in Confucianism. While there was an image of Confucius hanging at this ceremony, it is likely that there was no corresponding image of Yan Hui. So, Yorinaga moving to bow to Yan Hui was a symbolic gesture as if there had been such a portrait.

  1. Kariginu technically means hunting clothes but in the Heian period, kariginu became standard casual clothing for the nobility because of how relatively not restrictive it was.

  1. There are a number of different interpretations available here. It is possible that the literati are lined up in terms of official rank. It is also possible that they are lined up based on their expertise with the Chinese classics. It may even be a mix of the two types of orderings.

  1. The Commentary of Zuo mentions the beginning of the summer as the fifth month even though it would have made more sense to say it was the fourth month.

  1. The lower part of the character.

  1. Although this is not made clear in the text, Kurata Minoru suggests that the poems are about the preceding lecture. See Kurata Minoru, Ouchoubito no kon’in to shinkou 王朝人の婚姻と信仰 (Tokyo: Shinwasha, 2010), 289.

  1. Presenters are typically of lower rank. Even though Yorinaga is very highly ranked, he took on this responsibility as a way to pay respect to the fact that the celebration was being carried out in honor of Confucius.

  1. A gift given to participants of a ceremony—something between payment and a gift. (Kambun Workshop 2007)

  1. Specifically the seventh month of the lunar calendar.

  1. This is the signature on his poem. The signature comes before the poem, rather than after it.

  1. Yorinaga was not interested in Daoist teachings, although such works were required reading in the university. It is likely Yorinaga chose to exclude them to his own personal interests.

Original Text 原文











左伝  公羊  穀梁  礼記  周礼  儀礼
詩   書   周易  論語  孝経 〈除老・荘、〉


Kundoku 訓読



余、今日、服者ぶくしゃ及び月水女げっすいにょわず。身は女犯にょぼんせず。但し 魚・おおみらひる等は憚はばからず、僧尼そうにはばからず。但し今日は先に賀茂拝かもはいあり。〈毎月の恒例事こうれいじ、〉仍って僧尼に逢わず。日昏ひぐれて浴す。〈もくすることなし。〉






For full Japanese notes, click here.

Modern Japanese 現代語訳

二十二日、<ひのとうし。>晴れたり曇ったり、そして雨も時々降った。今日、文宣王ぶんせんのう[孔子] の{御}影の前で、『春秋左氏伝』を講じ論じた。<内々の儀式である。>前もって、暦博士憲栄 [賀茂]に日時{の吉凶}を調べさせた。これ以後は、毎度、子の日<孔子が生まれた日である。しかも私の生まれた年の干支に当たる>にこの儀を行うべきである。{しかし今回は}初めてなので、吉日に行う。<{釈奠の}まつりは丁ひのとの日におこなわれる。{この講経は釈奠と同じように}丁寧に行う。>




それが終わって、私と烏帽子の格好で、東を上座として 向かい合って座った。〉次に、文章得業生で〈中国の古典全ての重要な意義に精通している。〉藤原成佐が『左伝』の第一巻を持ち、言葉を失った。参加者達は耳をそばだてて、感嘆し賛美した。経書の講説が二時間余りあった。


次に、儀式で講経の人の座であったところである。〉に着席した。詩を読み上げるやり方等は、いつもの通りである。小生は講師{= 詩を読み上げる役}を担当した。が主席だったからである。詩を読み終わって、それぞれが座に戻った。講師と問者に禄を渡した。

講師こうじには扇 六枚・筆 十本・墨八個。〈それぞれ檀紙だんしで包み、扇の上に置いた。その扇は六枚の内に含まれる。〉問者にはそれぞれ扇二枚・筆五本・墨三個。




 左氏伝・公羊伝・穀梁伝・礼記・周礼・儀礼・詩経・書経・周易・論語 ・孝経〈老子・荘子は除外する。〉

Taiki: Kōji 1 {1142} 8.6 Entry

Translated by Emily Warren and Jillian Barndt

Kōji 1 8.6 Entry

Sixth Day. Hinoe tora 1 . This morning, I had Minor Superintendent 2 Kakusei <{who is living in} Nara 3 > carry out the dedicatory rites {for my statue} of a Thousand Armed Kannon 4 , of which was begun on the sixteenth day of the previous month 5 . It is to be sent to the Nakagawa Holy Man Jippan 6 and installed, with prayers to heal my skin disease 7 . In boyhood, I kept a cat that became sick and to address this, I immediately drew the Thousand-Armed Kannon, praying that {my cat} would soon recover from illness and live to be ten years old. My cat recovered and died after reaching ten years old. <{I had the cat} wrapped in cloth and placed in a chest to be buried.> I know this bodhisattva to be miraculously efficacious 8 . So petitionary prayers are to be offered to this buddha in particular for my skin disease.

As regards to the horse which was {given for} the Kashima envoy 9 {Yorinaga’s houseman, Fujiwara no Norichika}, I am delighted. I had (Fujiwara no) Tamezane tell this to Lord (Fujiwara no) Akiyori 10 . The contents {of my message} were: “{My gratitude} should be conveyed directly to the retired monarch, Toba 11 . This 12 was not something that I wished for, nor was it directly communicated to me. Conveying {my gratitude} to him directly would be impolite. If you have the occasion to do so, please relay my thanks {to Toba} in an appropriate manner.

Today were the prayers for the Uji nun and primary wife (of Fujiwara no Tadazane) (Minamoto no Shishi) 13 . There was chanting of the Yakushi sutra 14 at the Central Hall {of Enryakuji}. Fudō Myōō’s prayers were intoned using prayer beads at Mudōji 15 . The Master of Discipline Kanshō was ordered to carry out these rituals. Starting today, they chant the Thousand-Armed Kannon’s short mantra 16 every day.
  1. The third day of the sexagenary cycle.

  1.  The minor superintendent position 少僧都 was a position in the Office of Monastic Affairs below the superintendent of monks 僧正. The position was intended to aid important priests and be in charge of monks and nuns. (日本国語大辞典, Digital Dictionary of Buddhism)

  1.  Southern capital (nankyō) 南京, which appears here, is another name for Nara, but in this case specifically refers to Kōfukuji. (日本国語大辞典)

  1.  Kuyō 供養 in this case refers to dedicatory rites to a statue that transforms it from a mere statue to a holy object. (日本国語大辞典, Digital Dictionary of Buddhism). Kuyō can also refer to a broad spectrum of memorial rights.

  1.  Senju kannon 千手觀音is one form of Avalokitêśvara, a bodhisattva depicted with multiple arms. (Digital Dictionary of Buddhism)

  1. Nakagawa is located in the forested mountains outside Nara.  Here, Yorinaga calls Jippan a shōnin 聖人, which means that he is an enlightened person who eschews typical temple practice, perhaps engaging with the lay populace or mountain ascetics similar to a hijiri 聖. A miracle worker.  Jippan 実範 (d. 1144) was a late Heian scholar monk of esoteric Buddhism who founded the temple of Kawanodera 川寺 in Yamato province. He was the fourth child of Fujiwara no Akizane 藤原顕実. He had the confidences of Fujiwara Yorinaga and Fujiwara Munetada, among others. “Nakagawa” might be referring to his temple here.(日本国語大辞典) See also Marc Bujinsters, “Jichihan and the Restoration and Innovation of Buddhist Practice” Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 24, 1-2, (1999):39-82. 

  1.  Rekiyō 癧瘍 is a disease affecting skin on the face and body. (日本国語大辞典)

  1.  Reigen 霊験 refers to the miraculous ability or efficacy of buddhas and other deities to answer prayers. (Digital Dictionary of Buddhism)

  1.  Kashima jingu 鹿島神宮, located in Hitachi province (modern-day Ibaraki prefecture). The Fujiwara clan was connected with the shrine since the 7th century, when the Nakatomi clan (which would later become the Fujiwara) oversaw the shrine as it came to prominence under royal edict in 645. 

  1.  1094-1148, full title is Former Provisional Middle Councilor. Served as a confidant to the retired monarch Toba. 

  1.  1103-1156, r. 1107-1123, served as retired sovereign 1129-1156. One of his wives was Fujiwara no Taishi (1095-1156), Yorinaga’s sister. 

  1.  Unclear if its a permanent gift or something he is only being lent, thus we have left it as “honor” to maintain the uncertainty. 

  1. Minamoto no Shishi 源師子 (1070−1149) was the daughter of Minamoto no Akifusa 源顕房 and worked in the back palace of Shirakawa Tennō. After becoming pregnant, she married Fujiwara noTadazane and gave birth to Kakuhō Hōshinnō. With Tadazane, she had Kaya no In 高陽院, who would go on to be the queen consort of the retired monarch Toba, and she had Fujiwara Tadamichi. She lived to be seventy-nine years of age. (日本人名大辞典) 

  1.  Medicine Buddha Sutra is the abbreviated name of the Original Vows of the Medicine-Master Tathāgata of Lapis Light Sutra (Skt. Bhaiṣajyaguru-vaiḍūrya-prabhā-rāja Sūtra). It is a Mahayana sutra that details the twelve and merits of Medicine Buddha. These vows including healing all diseases, including ignorance. (Digital Dictionary of Buddhism)

  1.  Located in the Enryakuji complex on Mt. Hiei.

  1.  Different Buddhist deities typically have different mantras dedicated to them. Additionally, there are shorter and longer versions of these set mantras. In case of the Thousand-Armed Kannon, the short mantra is Om Basara Daruma Kiri Sowaka (in the Japanese pronunciation). 

Original Text 原文





Kundoku 訓読

六日。〈丙寅ひのえとら。〉去る月の十六日に始めたてまつる所の千手観音せんじゅかんのん、今朝、少僧都しょうぞうず 1 覚晴かくせい南京なんきょう 2 〉をして、供養くよう 3 せしめ了ぬ。中川聖人なかがわしょうにん実範じっぱん 4 もとに遣わし、これをくうぜしむ。癧瘍れきよう 5 平癒へいゆを祈る。僕、少年にして猫をやしなう。猫、しつ有り。すなわち千手像をえがく。祈りて曰わく、請い願わくば、疾の速く除愈じょゆ 6 せんことを、又猫をして十歳にみたさしめんことを。猫即ち平愈し、十歳に至りてす。〈衣に裹みひつに入れほうむるなり。〉ここに知る、此の菩薩の霊験れいげんあらたなることを。よりて此の癧瘍れきようことに此の仏に祈請きしょうするものなり。

鹿島使かしまづがい 7 の馬の事、喜悅きえつの由、(藤原)為実ためざねを以て、(藤原)顕頼あきより卿にしめす。其のことばに曰わく、すべからくじきに院に申すべし。然而しかれども所望しょもうの事にあらず。又余のもとに仰せられず。じきに申さしむるは無礼ぶれいる。便宜べんぎの時、しかるべきのよう披露(ひろうすべきなり。

今日宇治うじ尼北政所あまきたまんどころ源師子みなもとのしし、藤原忠実の室)の御祈おいのりとして、中堂ちゅうどう薬師経やくしきょう御読経みどきょうと、無動寺むどうじ 8 不動ふどう御念珠ごねんじゅ、〈おのおの僧三口さんく。〉律師りっし寬勝かんしょうおおせて修せしむ。今日より毎日、千手の小呪しょうじゅを満たす。
  1. 少僧都(しょうそうず):僧綱の一員。僧正の下にあって、大僧都を助けて僧尼を統率する僧官。(『日国』抜粋)

  1.  南京(なんきょう): 平城京の別称。平安京を北京(ほっきょう)と呼ぶのに対する。南都。(『日国』抜粋)

  1.  供養(きょうよう):僧の三宝または死者の霊などに対して諸物を供えて回向すること。孝養(きょうよう)。くよう。(『日国』抜粋)

  1.  (?−1144)平安時代後期の顕密の学僧、戒律の復興者。(『国史』抜粋)

  1.   癧瘍(れきよう):顔面および身体にできる皮膚病。(『日国』抜粋)

  1. 除愈(じょゆ):病気がなおること。(『日国』抜粋)

  1.   鹿島使(かしまづかい):茨城県鹿島神宮に遣わされた奉幣使。鹿島神宮は皇室の崇敬もあつく、藤原氏も氏神として仰いだので、平安時代初期春日祭の整備に伴い、祭使(奉幣使)が遣わされる例が始まり、これを鹿島使とよんだ。春日祭の当日たる二月上申日に藤原氏氏長者が勧学院の学生(六位以上の者)を選定し、これに祭使の宣旨を下し内印官符を賜い、内蔵寮史生一人を相添え、常陸に発遣する例であった(『類聚符宣抄』『北山抄』『朝野群載』など)。王朝の衰退とともに、朝廷に代わって常陸国司代常陸大掾家より一族の者に命じて毎年七月中旬鹿島使として参向させる例となり、応永年間(一三九四―一四二八)まで続き、その後は断続的に行われて文亀三年(一五〇三)に至った。(『日本史大辞典』抜粋)

  1.  無動寺(むどうじ):大津市坂本本町の比叡山東塔無動寺谷にある。天台回峰修験の根本道場。円仁の弟子相応によって創められ、『山門堂舎記』には貞観七年(八六五)相応和尚建立とある。無動寺谷は叡南あるいは南山などとも称せられ、青蓮院門跡所蔵の『門葉記』の絵図編に、相応常住の南山房と明王堂(無動寺本堂)の指図がある。南山房は南面した東西に長い建物で、相応が南山房で八十八歳の生涯をとじると、ここに相応の影像が安置され、御影堂的性格をもつようになる。明王堂は南面する五間四面の建物で、内陣中央須弥壇(しゅみだん)上に秘仏不動明王の厨子を中心に脇侍の不動二躯と二童子、壇の四隅に四大明王を配している。明王堂は延喜十四年(九一四)枇杷殿大臣藤原仲平によって造替され、爾来三間の堂になったと伝える。(『国史』抜粋)

Modern Japanese 現代語訳




Teikin Ôrai 1: A Letter of the First Month

Translated by Dan Sherer, Chris Bovberg, and Kaitlin Forgash

The Teikin Ôrai is a Muromachi (1333-1573) period collection of fictional letters intended to serve as an example for students studying phrases, seasonality, terms, and calligraphy.

A New Year’s greeting card design featuring archery equipment. “Bow, Arrows, Target, and Other Outfits for Archery,”  from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Ca. 1814. (Creative Commons)

A New Year’s greeting card design featuring archery equipment. “Bow, Arrows, Target, and Other Outfits for Archery,” from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ca. 1814. (Creative Commons)

A letter of the first month (missive)

Felicitations on the beginning of the year. First of all I would like to offer my best wishes to you. I am overjoyed that you have so much fortune and prosperity. I had meant to offer my new years greetings to you in person on the first day of the year, but having been invited to various people’s Day of the Rat festivities 1 , I have sadly been delayed. Like the valley bush warbler (uguisu) that forgets the eave flowers {as the best place for it} or the little butterfly that plays in the shadows {when it should be in the sun}, this strongly goes against my true feelings. Moreover, these days, I am holding various demonstrations of martial skill, including competitions of small willow bows (yōkyū) and small sparrow bow (suzume no koyumi) 2 , meets of shooting at a straw hat from horseback (kasagaki) and paper target on a stick (kogushi), as well as games of grass-stuffed deer targets (kusajishi), round targets (marumono), three-three-nine mounted archery with arrows in hand (sansanku no tabasami) 3 , and the eight types of targets (yatsumato), one after another. If you were to decide to invite some capable archers and skilled mounted archers, {and come to this event}, it would be the fulfilment of my deepest wish. It is difficult to convey my feelings {in this letter}. I look forward to the next time we meet. My poor brush cannot express the specifics. With awe and respect,

 First month, fifth day        Third-Level Manager of the Left Gate Guards 4 Fujiwara

Humbly Submitted {to the}    Lord Governor of Iwami
A warrior shoots a straw hat target 笠懸 ( kasagaki ) from horseback in the  Illustrated Scroll of Obusuma Saburo . Ca. 13th century. (Creative Commons)

A warrior shoots a straw hat target 笠懸 (kasagaki) from horseback in the Illustrated Scroll of Obusuma Saburo. Ca. 13th century. (Creative Commons)

  1. This is a new year’s event, and is one of the 年中行事 (nenjūgyōji) celebrations.

  1. Small bow generally made with small bamboo or similar wood.

  1. A type of mounted archery (yabusame). It is uncertain whether this refers to shooting at a target from 9 (or three) shaku away, three sets of three targets, or the targets being of three shaku in height (90 centimeters)

  1. 左衛門尉 Third-level manager of the 左衛門府 (saemonfu), left gate guard headquarters/office.

Original Text 原文


 正月五日     左衛門尉藤原

謹上 石見守殿

Kundoku 訓読

正月状 ゆき

春の始めの御悦びおんよろこび貴方きほうに向かいまず祝い申し候いおわんぬ。富貴ふうき万福ばんぷく、猶以て幸甚こうじん々々。そもそも としの初めの朝拝ちょうはいは、朔日さくじつ元三がんさん之次いでを以て、急ぎ申すべき之処、人々の子日ねのひの遊びに駈りかり催さるるもよおさるる之間、思いながら延引えんいんす。谷のうぐいす檐の花を忘れ、その小蝶こちょう日影ひかげに遊ぶに似たり。頗る本意に背き候いおわんぬ。はたまた、楊弓ようきゅう雀小弓すずめのこゆみの勝負、笠懸かさがけ小串こぐしの会、草鹿くさじし円物まるものの遊び、三々九手夾さんさんくのたばさみ八的やつまと等の曲節きょくせつ、近日打ち続き、これ経営す。尋常じんじょう射手いて馳挽はせびき達者たっしゃ、少々御誘引ごゆういんありて、思し食し立ち給わば、本望なり。心事尽くしがたし。参会の次いでをさんとす。委しくはくわしくは腐毫ふごう能わず。恐々謹言きょうきょうきんげん

正月五日     左衛門の尉さえもんのじょう藤原

謹上きんじょう 石見いわみ守殿
A scene from the first letter of the year in Hokusai’s illustrated Teikin Ôrai, located in the  British National Museum collections . Meiji Period (1868-1912) copy. ( Creative Commons )

A scene from the first letter of the year in Hokusai’s illustrated Teikin Ôrai, located in the British National Museum collections. Meiji Period (1868-1912) copy. (Creative Commons)

Modern 現代語訳



 正月五日     左衛門尉藤原

謹上 石見守殿