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Showing posts from July, 2012

Hyakunin Isshu: poem 9 (Ono no Komachi)

So the flower has wilted during the long spring rains, just as my beauty has faded during my forlorn years in this world. 花の色は
ながめせしまに Ono no Komachi 
Ono no Komachi...
The poem was composed by Ono no Komachi. Her lifespan dates are unknown but it is most likely that she was active in the mid-ninth century.
Ono no Komachi was a granddaughter of Ono no Takamura (poem 11), though some say she was his adopted daughter, so this part is not quite clear. She was active during the reigns of Emperors Montoku and Seiwa. The only woman of Tsurayuki's* Six Poetic Geniuses and one of Kinto's** Thirty-Six Poetic Geniuses, she only has twenty-one poems in the Kokinshū and Gosenshū that are considered authentic.
There are many legends concerning the life of Ono no Komachi. Monk Henjo (poem 12) was rumoured to have a love affair with Ono no Komachi, back then he was known as Yoshimine no Munesada (or Yoshimune no Munesada) and Yoshiko was yet to make herself a name of On…

Hyakunin Isshu: poem 22 (Fun'ya no Yasuhide)

Gust of wind carries leaves from the trees, giving the name of storm to the mountain wind.   吹くからに 
Fun'ya no Yasuhide...
The poem was written by Fun'ya no Yasuhide(or Bun'ya no Yasuhide) whose exact lifespan dates are unknown but it is believed that he live in the second half of 9th century. He is one of The Six Poetic Geniuses as selected by Ki no Tsurayuki (poem 35).
Fun'ya no Yasuhide was a provincial official. He is mentioned in both Chinese and Japanese prefaces to the Kokinshū, he has six poems in the imperial anthologies, five of them in the Kokinshū, one in Goshūi wakashū.

In the Japanese preface of Kokinshū he is described as "Yasuhide used words skillfully, but his words do not match the content. His poetry is like a merchant dressed up on elegant clothes." He was also involved in a relationship with Ono no Komachi (poem 9).
...and his skilful wordplay The poem plays around the Chinese character for storm (arashi: 嵐). The …