Lady Otomo of Sakonoe

Biography of Lady Otomo of Sakonoe

Ōtomo no Sakanoue no Iratsume (c. 700–750) was a female Japanese poet, important in her time, with 79 poems in the Man'yōshū.

In her teens, she married Prince Hozumi and after his early death, she married his half-brother. After he also died, she went to live with Ōtomo no Tabito.

It is believed by Donald Keene and Tsuchihashi (in his Man'yō Kaigan, II, p. 200) that Ōtomo no Tabito sent for Lady Ōtomo in c. 728 to educate his son, Ōtomo no Yakamochi, although her becoming Tabito's mistress or replacing Tabito's recently deceased wife in performing religious ceremonies for the Ōtomo clan have both been suggested as reasons for Otomo's summons. She made songs while performing rituals. Also, when the nun Rigan died, she wrote a song of mourning.

Her daughter Ō Iratsume received two of her songs, which expressed how much she missed her daughter. Ō Iratsume would later marry Yakamochi.

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