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Showing posts from August, 2018

Hyakunin Isshu: poem 62 (Sei Shonagon・yo wo komete)

Said night was young when the false rooster crowed, but the gates of Osaka remained shut.    
夜をこめて Yo wo komete 鳥のそらねは tori no sora-ne wa はかるとも hakaru tomo よに逢坂の yo ni osaka no 関はゆるさじ seki wa yurusaji
A lady from the Kiyohara family… Sei Shōnagon 清少納言(b. 965? - ?) is one of the best-known female writers of the Heian period (平安時代 794—1192). She belongs to a group of Japanese court ladies who were writing at the turn of the 11th century - the time, when an astounding amount of writings that are today considered classical Japanese literature, were created. 
Sei Shōnagon was by no means born under the name she is known by. The Sei 清 in her pseudonym comes from her family name of Kiyohara 清原. Her personal name, however, is unknown, although tradition has it that Sei Shōnagon might have been born as Kiyohara no Nagiko  清原諾子 (McKinney 2006, xi).
Shōnagon's father was Kiyohara no Motosuke 清原元輔 (908-990; poem 42), a governor of Higo 肥後, present-day Kumamoto熊本, - a position that originally put Shōnagon …