Prince Motoyoshi

Prince Motoyoshi
Prince Motoyoshi in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu.

Prince Motoyoshi

Prince Motoyoshi (元良親王) was a member of the Imperial Family and son to Emperor Yōzei, living from 890-943AD.

During his lifetime he was known to have been a great gallant and appears in several episodes of the Tales of Yamato.

20 of his poems appear in Imperial Anthologies as well as having his poems collected in the Motoyoshi shinnō-shū.1

One of his poems also appears in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (No.20) and goes as follows:

Japanese text2
Romanized Japanese1
English translation1
わびぬれば
今はた同じ
難波なる
身をつくしても
逢はむとぞ思ふ
Wabinureba
ima hata onaji
Naniwa naru
mi-o-tsukushite mo
awan to zo omou
I'm so desperate, it's all the same.
like the channel markers of Naniwa
whose name means 'self-sacrifice'
let me give up my life
to see you once again.

Footnotes

1. MacMillan, P. (2018) ”One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each: A Treasury of Classical Japanese Verse”. St. Ives: Penguin Classics.
2. Suzuki, H. et al. (1997) ”Genshoku: Ogura Hyakunin Isshu”. Tokyo: Bun’eidō.

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