Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

Let me die in the spring
beneath
the cherry blossoms
  in the Second Month
  when the moon is full

Saigyō Hōshi

Shinkokinshū, Miscellaneous 2. This is one as Saigyō’s most famous poems, but during the process of compilation it was removed from the Shinkokinsyū and remained only in a variant edition. Kisaragi no Mochizuki no koro means the full moon of the fifteenth day of the second lunar month, which correspond to late March in the solar calendar. This would be the peak of the cherry blossoms that Saigyō loved so much, as well as the day of the Buddha’s death and entrance into nirvana. It was natural for Saigyō, who was a Buddhist monk, to hope to die on that day, but surprisingly enough, he actually did die on the sixteens day of the second lunar month, 1190.

ねがはく(Negawaku)(wa)(hana)(no)もと(moto)(ni)(te)(haru)死なむ(shinamu)その(sono)如月(kisaragi)(no)望月(mochizuki)(no)ころ(koro)

西行法師(さいぎょうほうし)

『新古今集』雑下。西行の作中特に有名な歌だが、『新古今集』完成の中途で切り出し(削除)措置を受け、異本にのみ残された。「如月の望月のころ」は二月十五日(満月)をいう。太陽暦では三月末に当たる。西行の熱愛した桜の花盛りの時期に当たるが、また釈迦入滅の日でもある。出家の身として、とりわけその日に死にたいという願いをこめた歌だが、驚いたことに、彼は願った通り、河内の弘川寺で、建久元年二月十六日に没した。