The second poem in our series devoted to Valentine’s Day is this one:
|筑波嶺の||Tsukuba ne no||Like the Mina River|
|峰より落つる||Mine yori otsuru||that falls from the peak|
|みなの川||Minano-gawa||of Mount Tsukuba|
|恋ぞつもりて||Koi zo tsumorite||so my longing has collected|
|淵となりぬる||Fuchi to naru nuru||and turned into deep pools.|
According to commentaries, the poem, composed by Emperor Yōzei, was intended for “the princess of Tsuridono” who was Emperor Kōkō’s daughter. Sadly, Emperor Yōzei is better known for his severe mental instability in later years, and his other poetry was seldom never published.
Nevertheless, the analogy of Mount Tsukuba, pictured above, was an excellent choice. The mountain is famous in Japanese culture, especially for the two peaks: one called nantai (男体, “Man”) on the western side, and nyotai (女体, “Woman”) on the eastern side. It was a frequent topic used in love poetry back in the day. Even today, it is a very popular destination for tourists and nature lovers.
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