Ono no Komachi

Ono no Komachi
Item# ono-no-komachi

Woodblock Prints Title: Ono no Komachi

Publication: 1810

Size: Vertical ôban; 37.9 x 26 cm (14 15/16 x 10 1/4 in.)

Publisher: Unknown

Signature: Katsushika Hokusai ga; Tonan sho

Notes: Ono no Komachi was a Japanese waka poet, one of the Rokkasen—the Six best Waka poets of the early Heian period. She was renowned for her unusual beauty, and Komachi is today a synonym for feminine beauty in Japan. She also counts among the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals.

The place of Komachi's birth and death is uncertain, but it is known that she was born in 825 AD and died in 900 AD. According to one tradition, she was born in what is now Akita Prefecture, daughter of Yoshisada, Lord of Dewa. Her social status is also uncertain. She may have been a low-ranking consort or a lady-in-waiting of an emperor, possibly Emperor Ninmyō (r. 833-850).

As a poet, Komachi specialized in erotic love themes, expressed in complex poems. Most of her waka are about anxiety, solitude or passionate love. She is the only female poet referred to in the preface of the Kokin Wakashū, which describes her style as "containing naivety in old style but also delicacy".

The poems read this in Japanese : Iro miede/ utsurou mono wa/ yo no naka no/ hito no kokoro no/ hana ni zo arikeri

Other Versions: No known replica's

Estimated Value: Ref #6P3