Ono no Komachi
- See also: Ono no Komachi Poems
Ono no Komachi
Ono no Komachi (小野 小町) was born around the mid 9th century and was possibly a lady-in-waiting under Emperor Ninmyō and Emperor Montoku. It is well attested she was a woman of great beauty who treated her lovers cruelly, however, it is likely this is merely a legend. In fact there are many legends now revolving around her it is difficult to separate the truth from the myth.
Her fame in poetry saw that she was included in Kinto’s list of the Thirty-Six Poetic Geniuses, as well as Thirty-Six Women Poetic Geniuses. Prior to this she is included as part of the Six Poetic Geniuses, and she is the only woman in this list of six.
Her poetry is collected in numerous works including the Kokinshū and Gosenshū, however, only 21 poems attributed to her are seen as authentic. There are many poems attributed to her in later sources that may likely not be hers. The Komachi-shū (Collected Poems of Komachi), created after her death also contains poetry that is unlikely to be hers.1
|Japanese text2||Romanized Japanese1||English translation1|
|Hana no iro wa|
wa ga mi yo ni furu
nagame seshi ma ni
|A life in vain.|
My looks, talents faded
like these cherry blossoms
paling in the endless rains
that I gaze out upon, alone.
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. Ozaki, Y.T. (2015) “Japanese Fairy Tales” USA: Cavalier Classics.
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