Priest Kisen

0 Comment| 10:25 am
Priest Kisen
Priest Kisen in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu.

Priest Kisen

Priest Kisen (喜撰) was a Buddhist monk and Japanese poet living around the mid 9th century. Sadly not much is known about him other than he lived in the area of Uji and according to the Kokinshū his dictation was vague and that his poems lacked structure.

The only othe thing we know is that he is said to have written the Kisen shiki, although this is very dubious.

He is listed as on the 6 Poetic Geniuses, and one of his poems (No. 8) can be found in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu and goes as follows:1

Japanese text2
Romanized Japanese1
English translation1
Waga io wa
miyako no tatsumi
shika zo sumu
yo o Ujiyama to
hito wa iu nari

I live alone in a simple hut
South-east of the capital,
But people speak of me as one
Who fled the sorrows of the world
Only to end up on the Hill of Sorrow.



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.

Six Poetic Geniuses
Otomo Kuronushi * Priest Kisen * Ono no Komachi * Archbishop Henjo * Ariwara no Narihira * Fun'ya no Yasuhide

Check out the Japan Archives, our Japanese History Podcast.
Instagram (Japan): @japan_archives

Check out our Gaming Channel on Youtube.
Instagram (Minecraft): @mycenria

Find the website useful?
Please consider donating to help up keep the website running.

Supernatural Creatures