Where Nintoku used to hunt

Emperor Nintoku – / at Mozuno, hunting pheasant / for his amusement (Michio)P1090790-

Gist: Fourteen Hailstones fell on Mozuno 百舌鳥野, Sakai, in south Osaka, to view the largest tomb in Japan (her ‘Great Pyramid’, from the air ‘keyhole-shaped’ and now completely overgrown with forest) – that of 4th century emperor, Nintoku 仁徳天皇.

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Some of Japan’s earliest tanka were written by his first wife, Empress Iwanohime 磐之媛, and at the poem monument there, Michio read us some of her verse.

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The walk around the tumulus is nearly two miles, so after completing the first quarter, we ricocheted into Mozuno restaurant for a kukai instead (topics: ancient history and the moon). Below are some of the haiku composed and shared.

A vase, full / Of early summer trees – / Nintoku’s tomb (Tito)

the triple-moated imperial tumulus – / a balmy breeze / swaying it freely (Mizuho)

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Summer wind blowing / Down the huge wooded mound – / A memory of ancient sweat (Toshi)

everlasting love / of the empress’s poems: / around his tumulus / ripples gently spread (Keiko)

over the dark moat   a lit dragonfly (Hisashi)

her love poem inscribed / on a giant rock – / summer moon (duro)

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Gist: Later, some of the stones rolled on to Mozu Hachimangu shrine, famous for its autumn moon-viewing festival and sacred 800-year-old camphor tree.

On the way back home, many miles away, five of us held an impromptu Yodogawa riverbank moonrise party… before finally melting away into the night.

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Moon rising … / many jewels / brightening quietly / in the ancient tomb (Kaoru)

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My pillow, your arm

White as the radishes dug up

With wooden spades

By the women of mountainous Yamashiro:

Only if this had not been so

Could you truly say

You know me not.

(Emperor Nintoku to Iwahime in 342)

One Response to “Where Nintoku used to hunt”

  1. このエクスカーションを企画してくださった森さん、佐野さんにまずはお礼を!
    中学生時代の教科書でしか見たことのない仁徳稜、当日正面鳥居から見上げた時、さすがに厳粛な気分になりました。古代の遺跡と思うだけで、圧倒されます。ひるがえって、現代人である自分の軽さ、薄っぺらさ!
    「百舌野」という地名・呼称は今も残っているようですが、当日は歌枕的な雰囲気を感じることはできませんでした。もっと時間をかけて歩けば、堺市のどこかにそんな所が残っているかも?もしご存じの方があれば、このHPで教えてください。

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