Ono no Komachi

Ono no Komachi Poems

Was I lost in thoughts of love
When I closed my eyes? He
Appeared, and
Had I known it for a dream

I long for him most
during these long moonless nights.
I lie awake, hot,
the growing fires of passion

The colour of this flower
Has already faded away,
While in idle thoughts
My life goes by,

Upon the path of dreams
My feet don't rest,
Constantly trailing to you, yet
In reality, a single glimpse:

Visible colours (Invisible passions)
Fade from
This world's
Human hearts

Fisher folk live
In villages; where
I know not, yet
Constant complaints to see the shore

Without end
Do I think of you and so
Come to me at night.
For on the path of dreams at least,

In reality
You must do it, I suppose;
But even in my dreams, too,
Hiding from prying eyes,

When my desire
grows too fierce
I wear my bedclothes
inside out,

Blossoms blooming
Yet making no seed are
The sea-god's

In this world
the living grow fewer,
the dead increase
how much longer

The autumn wind (In his ennui he blew cold)
Across the rice ears, (On our love)
So sad;
Empty of grain (My heart desolate)

How hollow
Are tears upon a sleeve
In gemlets;
For mine cannot be dammed

'It's over!'
Upon me drizzle
Falls and with my years
Even your words, too,

How sad,
to think I will end
as only
a pale green mist

Upon my breast
Floats a boat of heartbreak
And I have just embarked;
There's not a single day when waves

This thing-most of all-is

As I dozed
The man I love
Appeared, so

No exchange of glances-a barren beach-
How I hate myself for it!
Doesn't he realise it,
Heedless of distance, the fisherman,

Placing burning coals
To burn my body hurts less than
The sorrow of
The capital and island shore

Ono no Komachi Biography

Ono no Komachi (c. 825—c. 900) was a famous Japanese waka poet, one of the Rokkasen—the Six best Waka poets of the early Heian period. She was noted as a rare beauty; Komachi is a symbol of a beautiful woman in Japan. She is also numbered as one of the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals. Komachi sometimes features in later period literature, including five Noh plays: Sotoba Komachi, Sekidera Komachi, Komachi uta Arasoi, Komachi Sōshi and Kayo Komachi. These works tend to focus on her talent for waka and her love affairs and the vanity of a life spent indulging in romantic liaisons. Komachi's old age is also frequently portrayed: when she has lost her beauty, has been abandoned by her former lovers, and now regrets her life, wandering around as a lonely beggar woman — albeit still appreciated by young admirers of her poetry. This is a fictional description influenced by Buddhist thought and there may be no factual resemblance between this portrait and the historical reality. In honor of her, the Akita Shinkansen is nicknamed Komachi. Also a variety of rice, Akita Komachi bears her name. One of her 31-syllable poems was chosen by Fujiwara no Teika as an entry in the very popular anthology Hyakunin Isshu. Ono no Komachi is also the subject of a modern one-woman play, Call Me Komachi, produced by Lemon Tart Productions, written by Christie Nieman, directed by Miki Oikawa and starring Kaori Hamamoto. Call Me Komachi enjoyed successful seasons at various venues in Australia from 2003 to 2006. The play compares and parallels the lives of traditional Geisha with contemporary Japanese schoolgirls in "paid dating", known as enjo kōsai.)

The Best Poem Of Ono no Komachi

Was I Lost

Was I lost in thoughts of love
When I closed my eyes? He
Appeared, and
Had I known it for a dream
I would not have awakened.

Ono no Komachi Comments

Fabrizio Frosini 02 June 2016

Many of the 1111 poems in the Kokinshu were anonymous, but, among those where the authors were identified, eighteen were attributed to Ono no Komachi. This is all of her work that we know for sure, a handful of poems that have been remembered for eleven centuries..

102 0 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 24 June 2016

In his preface to the Kokinshu [the abbreviated term for the Imperial anthology Kokin Wakashū - conceived of by Emperor Uda (r.887–897) it was published by order of his son, Emperor Daigo (r.897–930) , in about 905. Its finished form dates to c.920], Ki no Tsurayuki listed the ''Six Best Waka Poets'' in history: Kisen Hōshi, Ono no Komachi, Sōjō Henjō, Ariwara no Narihira, Fun'ya no Yasuhide and Ōtomo no Kuronushi. Strangely, he then ridicules them in the same preface* (maybe for Japanese modesty?) . * Ki no Tsurayuki (872–945) , in the preface, had a unique critique for each of the 6 poets: - Kisen Hōshi (death 909?) : The priest of Mt. Uji, Kisen, is obscure, and his beginnings and endings do not chime; he is like an autumnal moon, bright in the evening, dim at dawn. - Ono no Komachi (c.825—c.900) : As to Ono no Komachi, she has pathos but lacks power, like a fair but feeble woman. - Sōjō Henjō or Archbishop Henjo (816–890; born Yoshi-mine Munesada) : Sojo Henjo, whose manner is successful, but his work is deficient in truth, like the picture of a beautiful woman that excites emotion, but to no avail. - Ariwara no Narihira (825–880) : Arihara Narihira, very full of feeling but poor in diction; his poetry reminds one of a faded flower that yet preserves some of its perfume. - Fun'ya no Yasuhide (death 885?) : Funya no Yasuhide, on the other hand, is an artist in words; with him form is better than substance. He is like a peddler dressed up in fine silks. - Ōtomo no Kuronushi (born between 824-835, died 923?) : Ōtomo no Kuronushi, lastly, has a pretty turn for verse, but his form is poor; he is like a faggot-bearing boor resting under a blossom-filled cherry-tree.

65 0 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 18 June 2016

Ono no Komachi, aside from Murasaki Shikibu (*) , was the most famous poetess, in Japanese history. (*) : Murasaki Shikibu, who lived c.100 years later (978? -1015?) , was the author of ''The Tale of Genji'' (''the Shining Prince'') , the first great novel in world literature.

77 0 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 18 June 2016

夢路には足もやすめずかよくどもうつつに一目見しごとはあらず - 小野小町 - I never cease To follow you in my dreams, In my fantasies... Yet, we haven’t met Not even acquainted. - Ono no Komachi -

82 0 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 18 June 2016

Ono no Komachi wrote emotionally charged poems while also using complex poetic language - she also used a lot of kakekotoba (pivot word) which make her poetry difficult to translate..

80 0 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 07 June 2016

Ono no Komachi was among the 36 Poetry Immortals, and also described as a real beauty.. beautiful woman with a beautiful poetry-mind.. a 'Musa', we'd say.. :)

90 0 Reply

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