Ariwara no Yukihira

Ariwara no Yukihira
Ariwara no Yukihira in Suma.

Ariwara no Yukihira

Ariwara no Yukihira (在原 行平) was a member of the Ariwara Family and a known poet during his time, living from 818-893AD. He was the grandson of Emperor Heizei and eldest brother of Ariwara no Narihira.

Throughout his life and career he is said to have held superior taste and managed to rise to the rank of Third Rank of the office of chūnagon.1

He is known to have founded the Shōgaku-in to educate the Ariwara Family.2

A noh play entitled matsukaze (Winds in the Pines) tells of a love between him and two sisters in a remote seaside location in Suma. He leaves the sisters and we see them waiting for his return.

He is known for many poems, all of them included in the same anthologies as his brother, these being the Kokinshū, Gosenshū, Shuishū and Shin-Kokinshū.2. One of his poems (No.16) can be found in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu and goes as follows:1

Japanese text3
Romanized Japanese1
English translation1
Inaba no yama no
mine ni ouru
matsu to shi kikaba
ima kaerikon
Though I may leave
for Mount Inaba,
whose peak is covered with pines,
if I hear that you pine for me,
I will come straight home to you.


1. MacMillan, P. (2018) ”One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each: A Treasury of Classical Japanese Verse”. St. Ives: Penguin Classics.
2. Louis Frederic, translated by Kathe Roth (2002) “Japan Encyclopedia”. London: Harvard University Press.
3. Suzuki, H. et al. (1997) ”Genshoku: Ogura Hyakunin Isshu”. Tokyo: Bun’eidō.

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