Nunobiki Falls (布引の滝 Nunobiki no Taki?) is a set of waterfalls near downtown Kobe, Japan, with an important significance in Japanese literature and Japanese art. In Japan, Nunobiki is considered one of the greatest "divine falls" together with Kegon Falls and Nachi Falls.
Nunobiki waterfalls comprises four separate falls: Ondaki, Mendaki, Tsusumigadaki, and Izumoki.
A well-known section of the Tales of Ise describes a trip taken by a minor official and his guests to Nunobiki Falls. They begin a poetry-writing contest, to which one of the guests, a commander of the guards, contributes:
- Which, I wonder, is higher-
- This waterfall or the fall of my tears
- As I wait in vain,
- Hoping today or tomorrow
- To rise in the world.
The minor official offers his own composition:
- It looks as though someone
- Must be unstringing
- Those clear cascading gems.
- Alas! My sleeves are too narrow
- To hold them all.
- Translation by Helen McCullough, quoted in Morse, 42.
- Art & Artifice: Japanese Photographs of the Meiji Era – Selections from the Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, with essays by Sebastian Dobson, Anne Nishimura Morse, and Frederic A. Sharf (Boston: MFA Publications, 2004), 42.
- Hometown Homepage; 'Nunobiki Waterfalls, an Oasis in the City'. Accessed 11 April 2006.
- Morse, Anne Nishimura. 'Souvenirs of "Old Japan": Meiji-Era Photography and the Meisho Tradition'. In Art & Artifice: Japanese Photographs of the Meiji Era – Selections from the Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston: MFA Publications, 2004).
- The New York Public Library, s.v. "Nunobiki". Accessed 11 April 2006.
- David Farrah, Michio Nakano, The Poems of Nunobiki Falls (『布引の滝のうた 詩歌・和歌・俳句』), Shinbisha (審美社), November 1998, in Japanese charters, Roma-ji (Romanized form), and their English translations, ISBN 4-7883-7078-6
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nunobiki Waterfalls.|
- Tale: Sarasvati of Nunobiki Waterfall  @ Kobe city
- Tale: Ariwara-no-Yukihira, Ariwara-no-Narihira and Nunobiki Waterfall  @ Kobe city
- Tale: En-no-Gyoja and Nunobiki Waterfall  @ Kobe city
- Tale: Mysterious Palace at the Bottom of the Waterfall Basin  @ Kobe city
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