Princess Nukata

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Princess Nukata (額田王 Nukata no Ōkimi?, c. 630–690 CE) (also known as Princess Nukada) was a Japanese poet of the Asuka period.

The daughter of Prince Kagami and supposed younger sister of Princess Kagami, Nukata became Emperor Tenmu's favorite wife and bore him a daughter, Princess Tōchi (who would become Emperor Kōbun's consort). A legend claims that she later became consort to Emperor Tenji, Emperor Temmu's elder brother, but there is no evidence to support this claim.

Nukata was one of the great female poets of her time; thirteen of her poems appear in the Man'yōshū: Nos. 7–9, 16–18, 20, 112, 113, 151, 155, 488, and 1606. (No. 1606 is a repeat of No. 488.) Two of the poems are reprinted in the later poetry collections Shinchokusen Wakashū and Shinshūi Wakashū.

Poem No. 9 is known as one of the most difficult poems within the Man'yōshū to interpret.[1]

Original Transcription Rōmaji Translation[citation needed]
莫囂圓隣之
大相七兄爪謁氣
吾瀬子之
射立為兼
五可新何本
莫囂円隣之
大相七兄爪謁気
我が背子が
い立たせりけむ
厳樫が本
*****
*******
wa ga seko ga
itataseri ken
itsukashi ga moto
*****
*******
My love will be
standing at the foot of
this sacred oak
The first two lines of the poem has already defeated modern scholarship to date. Some theories[citation needed] include:
  • 紀の国の 山越えて行け (Ki no kuni no yama koete yuke...), Kada no Azumamaro
  • 夕月の 仰ぎて問ひし (Yūzuki no aogite toishi...), Sengaku, Kimura Masakoto
  • 夕月し 覆ひなせそ雲 (Yūzuki shi ōinaseso kumo...), Keitsū
  • 三室の 山見つつ行け (Mimuro no yama mitsutsu yuke...), Mokichi Saitō
  • 三諸の 山見つつ行け (Mimoro no yama mitsutsu yuke...), Kamochi Masazumi
  • み吉野の 山見つつ行け (Miyoshino no yama mitsutsu yuke...), Tokujirō Oyama
  • 静まりし 浦波さわく (Shizumarishi uranami sawaku...), Hisataka Omodaka
  • 和まりし 相会ふそあけ (Nagomarishi aiau soake...)
First line only:
  • (Yūgure no...)
  • (Yūgure no...)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Mamiya (2001: 1)

References[edit]