Lady Ise

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Ise by Kanō Tan’yū, 1648

Lady Ise (伊勢 or 伊勢の御息所 Ise no miyasudokoro) (c. 875 – c. 938)[1] was a Japanese poet in the Imperial court's waka tradition. She was born to Fujiwara no Tsugukage of Ise Province, and eventually became the lover of the Prince Atsuyoshi and a concubine to Emperor Uda; her son by him was Prince Yuki-Akari.[2]

Her poems were emblematic of the changing styles of the time, and 22[3] of them were included in the Kokin Wakashū.

She is not to be confused with Ise no Taifu, a later poet with a similar name.

One of her poems was included in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu.


 Hanging from the branches of a green
 Willow tree,
 The spring rain
 Is a
 Thread of pearls. (Composed on the topic "Thread of Pearls" [4])

 Even for a time
 Short as a piece of the reeds
 In Naniwa's marsh,
 We must never meet again:
 Is this what you are asking me? -(from the Hyakunin Isshu)


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ pg 141 of Woman poets of Japan, 1977, Kenneth Rexroth, Ikuko Atsumi, ISBN 0-8112-0820-6; previously published as The Burning Heart by The Seabury Press.
  3. ^ 2001 Waka - Ise
  4. ^ [2]

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