Princess Shikishi

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Shikishi Naishinnō in the Hyakunin Isshu.

Princess Shikishi (式子内親王 Shikishi Naishinnō) (1149 – March 1, 1201) was a Japanese classical poet, who lived during the late Heian and early Kamakura periods. She was the third daughter of Emperor Go-Shirakawa (1127–1192, reigned 1155–1158). In 1159, Shikishi, who did not marry, went into service at the Kamo Shrine in Kyoto. She left the shrine after some time, and in her later years became a Buddhist nun.

Shikishi is credited with 49 poems in the Shin Kokin Shū, a collection of some 2,000 popular works compiled in the early Kamakura period, and many other poems included in the Senzai Wakashū, compiled in the late Heian period to commemorate Emperor Go-Shirakawa's ascension, and later compilations.

The poet's name is sometimes also pronounced Shokushi (both are on-yomi readings). Modern given names using the same characters include Shikiko (mix of on- and kun-yomi) and Noriko (pure kun-yomi). Her title, Naishinnō (内親王), means "Imperial Princess".

See also[edit]


  • Kokugo Dai Jiten Dictionary, Shinsou-ban (Revised edition), Shogakukan, 1988.
  • Hiroaki Sato, translator. String of Beads: Complete Poems of Princess Shikishi. University of Hawaii Press, 1993. ISBN 0-8248-1483-5.

External links[edit]