Nijoin no Sanuki (二条院讃岐)

Nijoin no Sanuki (Sanuki of Nijoin, ca. 1141 - ca. 1217) was a poetess of the late Heian and the early Kamakura period. She is also called Uchi-Sanuki or Chugu Sanuki. Her father was MINAMOTO no Yorimasa and her mother was the daughter of MINAMOTO no Masayori.

She served the Emperor Nijo (Nijoin), and after his death she married FUJIWARA no Shigeyori.
By then she already had a good reputation as a poetess, and she was selected for 'kasen rakugaki.'
In around 1190, she returned to court to attend the Emperor Gotoba's empress, Ninshi KUJO (Gishumonin), but later she became a Buddhist nun. Even after she became a nun, she was welcomed by the waka circles of the Retired Emperor Gotoba and of the Emperor Juntoku. Some of her poems were selected for the 'Shoji ninen shodo hyakushu' (Hundred-Poem Sequence of the Shoji Era) and the 'Sengohyaku ban Uta-awase' (One thousand and five hundreds Set of Poetry Match). She has a personal collection "Nijoin no Sanuki Shu."

From "Ogura Hyakunin Isshu" (The Ogura Anthology of One Hundred Tanka-poems by One Hundred Poets)
My sleeves have not a moment to dry, just like the reefs lying offshore that cannot be seen even at low tide, although no one knows about it.

Her nickname 'Oki no ishi no Sanuki' (literally, "Sanuki of the offshore reefs") came from this poem.

The genealogy of 'Yo ni furu'

The following poem by Nijoin no Sanuki became the source of one after another poetic allusion:
Yo ni furu ha Kurushiki mono wo Maki no ya ni Yasukumo suguru Hatsu shigure kana

It means, 'It is hard to live a life connected with others. When I was thinking about such things on a winter night, the first early winter shower passed by, falling on the yew-thatched roof.
How easily the rain passes over the house of those having a difficult time.'

When the woman was feeling depressed over her love life, an early winter shower passed her by instead of her lover.

The core of this poem is the use of "furu" that entangles the poem with the atmosphere of a love song.'
Some say that the above interpretation is shallow, and that 'the heart of the poem' is actually in the comparison between human affairs and nature.

Poems afterwards
The sounds on the sparse yew-thatched roof shingles might be because of the leaves or an early winter shower that does not leak in.
Composed by FUJIWARA no Toshinari, "Senzai shu" (Collection of Japanese Poems of a Thousand Years)
When I sleep alone on a cold night, small hail falls on the yew-thatched roof shingles as if it were breaking my heart into pieces.
Composed by Yoshitsune KUJO, "Senzaishu"

Various renga (linked-verse) and haikai poems used this poem by Nijoin no Sanuki.

Time has passed, and again there is an early winter shower staying for a while.
Composed by the Emperor Gomurakami
The clouds are still an early winter shower in this bound world.
Composed by Shinkei
Time has passed, and again there is more early winter shower staying for a while.
Composed by Sogi
Staying in an early winter shower--it is as if I were Sogi with a beard.
Composed by Sodo
Time has passed, and again there is Sogi staying for a while.
Composed by Basho
Time has passed, and again there is Giku staying for a while.
Composed by Tantan
Time has passed, and again there is Basho's early winter shower.
Composed by Shiro INOUE
Oh, an early winter shower--just like my nights and those of the ancients.
Composed by Buson

[Original Japanese]