Lady Kasa

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Lady Kasa
BornEarly 8th century

Lady Kasa (笠女郎, Kasa no Iratsume) was a Japanese female waka poet of the early 8th century.

Little is known of her except what is preserved in her 29 surviving poems in the Man'yōshū; all these were love poems addressed to her lover Ōtomo no Yakamochi who compiled the Man'yōshū (and who is known to have had at least 14 other lovers and have broken up with her). Nonetheless, her love poems made her famous and inspired a later generation of female poets like Izumi Shikibu or Ono no Komachi.[1]


wa ga yado no
yujagekusa no
shiratsuyu no
kenugani moto na
omoyuru kamo

In the loneliness of my heart
I feel as if I should perish
Like the pale dew-drop
Upon the grass of my garden
In the gathering shades of twilight.[2]


  • Page 141 of Women Poets of Japan, 1977, Kenneth Rexroth, Ikuko Atsumi, ISBN 0-8112-0820-6; previously published as The Burning Heart by The Seabury Press.
  • Pages 151-152, 175-176 of Seeds in the Heart
  1. ^ "The entranced eroticism of her poems to Yakamochi were imitated by the great women poets of the 9th and 10th centuries, notably Izmi Shikibu and Ono no Komachi." Women poets of Japan.
  2. ^ pg 151 of Seeds in the Heart

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