Priest Nōin

Priest Nōin
Priest Nōin in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu.

Priest Nōin

Priest Nōin (能因) also known as Tachibana no Nagayasu (橘永愷) before entering into religion and changing his name, lived from 988 to around 1051AD.

He entered into religion after graduating from the Imperial University aged 25, where he began religion as apoet and ascetic finally settling in Settsu in Kosobe. It is said he visited lots of places with poetic connections and is the author of a famous treatise relating to this, the Nōin Utamakura, from the mid Heian Period.

65 of his poems can be found in official waka anthologies and he is known to also have a private collection of poetry.

He is one of 36 Poetic Geniuses of the Late Classical Period, and a poem of his (No.69) can be found in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu.1

Japanese text2
Romanized Japanese1
English translation1
嵐吹く
三室の山の
もみぢ葉は
龍田の川の
錦なりけり
Arashi fuku
mimuro no yama no
momiji wa
tatsuta no kawa no
nishiki narikeri
Blown by storm winds,
Mount Mimuro's
Autumn leaves have become
The River Tatsuta's
Richly hued brocade.

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.

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