Ōnakatomi no Yoshinobu

Ōnakatomi no Yoshinobu
Ōnakatomi no Yoshinobu from the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu.

Ōnakatomi no Yoshinobu

Ōnakatomi no Yoshinobu (大中臣 能宣) was a Heian Period poet, as well as holding the position of Hereditary High Official of the Department of Religious Affairs.1 Additionally, he was a Shinto Priest and was the head of the Priests of Ise.3 Living from 921-991AD he was the son of Ōnakatomi no Yorimoto. Yoshinobu was appointed a member of the Yoryūdo (Bureau of Poetry) in 9514 and as part of it he took part in transcribing the Man’yōshū,1 and as one of the Nashitsubo no Gonin he helped in the compilation of the Gosenshū.3

Overall, we can find 126 poems of his in Imperial Waka Anthologies,1 including the Shūishū and he has a large private collection of poetry known as the Yoshinobu-shū.3

He was listed as one of the Thirty-Six Poetic Geniuses and one of his poems (No.49) can be found in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu and goes as follows:1

Japanese text2
Romanized Japanese1
English translation1
みかき守
衛士のたく火の
夜はもえ
昼は消えつつ
物をこそおもへ
Mikakimori
eji no taku hi no
yoru wa moe
hiru wa kietsutsu
mono o koso omoe
This troubled heart of mine
Is like the watch fire of the guards
Of the palace gate -
It fades to embers by day,
But blazes up again each night.

Footnotes

1. MacMillan, P. (2018) ”One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each: A Treasury of Classical Japanese Verse”. St. Ives: Penguin Classics.
2. Suzuki, H. et al. (1997) ”Genshoku: Ogura Hyakunin Isshu”. Tokyo: Bun’eidō.
3. Louis Frederic, translated by Kathe Roth (2002) “Japan Encyclopedia”. London: Harvard University Press.
4. Kodansha. (1993) ”Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia”. Tokyo: Kodansha Ltd.

Nashitsubo no Gonin

Ki no Tokibumi * Kiyohara no Motosuke * Minamoto no Shitagō * Ōnakatomi no Yoshinobu * Sakanoue no Mochiki

Check out Japan Archives, our Japanese History Podcast

Follow us on social media.
Twitter: @japanarchives Instagram: @nexus_travels


Yasumi Roan