弓 が や の
は れ ゆ し 々
り も ふ ま ふ
の あ し の の
＊（月） へ ほ う
ぬ に ら
yashima no ura no
nagare mo aenu
yumihari no (tsuki)
(The Moon Above the Ocean)
The bow-shaped [half] moon*
Reminds me of the brave warrior
In the battle of Yashima Bay
Who would not let
His bow float away in the tide.
* The character for moon is replaced by a painting of the half moon
The bow shaped moon reminds Rengetsu of the bow of Yashima Bay. This refers to a famous story in the Tale of the Heike. During a fierce battle at Yashima Bay, one of the warriors dropped his bow in the sea. He dived in the deep water to retrieve it. When the other samurai asked him why he risked his life for a bow, he said, "The bow was strung for a weak archer, and if it washed up on the enemy's shore, they would get the impression that our entire force was weak. I could not dishonor our side like that."
Age: Edo - Meiji Period 19th Century
Size: board 5-3/8" x 6-5/8"; framed 11-1/2" x 12-1/4"
Media: Ink on wood
This work of art is currently framed