Izumi Shikibu (c. 975–c. 1027)

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Izumi Shikibu (c. 975–c. 1027)

Japanese poet who wrote the fictionalized diary Izumi shikibu nikki. Born around 975 ce; died, possibly around 1027 ce; married Tachibana no Michisada (divorced); married Fujiwara no Yasumasa (958–1036); children: (first marriage) daughter Koshikibu no naishi (a poet who served Empress Shoshi and died young).

Izumi Shikibu served Empress Shoshi , like her friend Murasaki Shikibu , and was known for her extramarital affairs with Prince Tametaka and Prince Atsumichi which resulted in the eventual dissolution of her first marriage. Two hundred and forty of Izumi Shikibu's poems are represented in imperial anthologies. Izumi Shikibu carried on a "fascinating correspondence," wrote Lady Murasaki. "She does have a rather unsavory side to her character but has a genius for tossing off letters with ease and can make the most banal statement sound special. Her poems are quite delightful." When Izumi Shikibu received a note for her daughter Koshikibu no naishi who had recently died at age 26, she wrote: "This name of hers,/ Not buried together with her,/ And not decaying,/ Underneath the moss, oh/ Seeing it brings such sorrow!"

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Izumi Shikibu (c. 975–c. 1027)

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