In the Hyakunin Isshu, the 17th poem (found here) has me stumped. In the manga/anime ちはやふる, the title is written and pronounced as ちはやふる, but on the card for the game the manga revolved around (also found here) it is written as ちはやぶる in furigana. Is it pronounced as ちはやふる or ちはやぶる? If it's ちはやぶる, then why is the title of the manga ちはやふる?

EDIT: Saw on the second-to-last sentence I wrote ちはやふる twice... glad you guys knew what I meant :)

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    Small kana (e.g. ゃ vs. や) and (半)濁点 (i.e. まる or テンテン) have a shorter history than the full kana. – Earthliŋ Jul 2 '13 at 21:00
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    Wikipedia says 『この枕詞を現在は「ちはやぶる」と読むが、当時は「ちはやふる」と読んでいたという。』 and gives this page as a reference, which says 『今日では注釈書でもカルタでも「ちはやぶる…水くくるとは」となっていますが、江戸時代には「ちはやふる…水くぐるとは」と読んでいました。』. – snailplane Jul 2 '13 at 21:29

According to this, the original man'yougana version of this poem has ふ, but this particular makura-kotoba in other poems is written either with ぶ or with spellings that could be read either way. At some point in the past this poem's version ended up changed to match the rest, but whether or not the original was supposed to be ぶ anyway is unclear.

As for the correct Heian-jidai pronunciation, it would be probably either [tiɸajaɸuru] or [tiɸajaburu], depending on which was the actual original version. (ɸ is the modern Japanese f before u; j is what in English is typically spelled y; and u is the modern Spanish u rather than the modern Japanese u, which is more like [ɯ].)

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  • Or more simply, ティファヤフル – ithisa Jul 9 '13 at 12:29

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