2001 Waka for Japan 2001
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Izumi Shikibu

Like her contemporary Murasaki Shikibu, Izumi Shikibu (?976-?) served at the court of Fujiwara no Akiko (藤原彰子)(Shôshi). Also like her, we know only the barest details of Izumi Shikibu's life, not even her real name (Izumi derives from the fact that her husband, Tachibana no Michisada, was governor of Izumi province). Unlike Murasaki, however, Izumi Shikibu was anything but a solitary intellectual.

She was the daughter of Ôe no Masamune (大江雅致) and his wife, the Daughter of the Governor of Ecchu, Taira no Yasuhira (平保衡), and when she was approximately 20 married Tachibana no Michisada (橘道貞), a man about 17 years older than herself. Shortly afterwards, she gave birth to a daughter, Koshikibu no Naishi, who was herself to become an accomplished poet. In 999, Michisada was appointed Governor of Izumi, and Shikibu accompanied him to the provinces on his posting. Life there proved uncongenial to her, so she quickly returned to the capital and began a relationship with Prince Tametaka (為敬皇子) in about 1001. Not surprisingly, this caused a rift with Michisada and she was disowned by her parents as a result. Tametaka seems to have been something of a roue, and fell ill and died in 1002 after 'too much noctunal wandering', as the sources say.

Shikibu mourned his passing but promptly began a relationship with Tametaka's half brother, Prince Atsumichi (敦道皇子) in 1003, and it is the story of this relationship which forms the basis for her diary. The relationship was the source of much gossip at court, especially after she moved into his residence (his principal wife went home to her parents in a fury), and began to accompany him to court functions and festivals. Nevertheless, the relationship lasted until his death (aged 27) in 1007.

Subsequently, Shikibu entered service in Akiko's court in around 1010, where she is known to have aroused the enmity of Murasaki Shikibu. The following year she married Fujiwara no Yasumasa (藤原保昌) , Fujiwara no Michinaga's steward, and remained with him for the rest of her life.

Her poetry suggests she had a large number of other lovers (she remarks that 'my very eyes feel amorous'), but her diary, Izumi Shikibu Nikki, is one of the principal Heian court works and her poetic memoirs, Izumi Shikibu Shû, which exist in various forms, ranging from 647 to 902 poems, remains the most outstanding work by a single poet from the period.

In the Japan 2001 Waka, the following poems are by Izumi Shikibu:

SIS XX: 1342
GSIS I: 13
GSIS I: 25
GSIS I: 35
GSIS I: 48
GSIS I: 57
GSIS I: 100
GSIS I: 101
GSIS I: 102
GSIS II: 148
GSIS II: 150
GSIS III: 165
GSIS IV: 293
GSIS IV: 299
GSIS IV: 317
GSIS IV: 334
GSIS VI: 390
GSIS VI: 414
GSIS IX: 509
GSIS X: 539
GSIS X: 568
GSIS X: 573
GSIS X: 574
GSIS X: 575
GSIS XI: 611
GSIS XI: 635
GSIS XII: 681
GSIS XII: 691
GSIS XII: 703
GSIS XII: 711
GSIS XIII: 745
GSIS XIII: 746
GSIS XIII: 755
GSIS XIII: 757
GSIS XIII:763
GSIS XIV: 776
GSIS XIV: 777
GSIS XIV: 790
GSIS XIV: 799
GSIS XIV: 800

GSIS XIV: 801
GSIS XIV: 802
GSIS XIV: 817
GSIS XIV: 820
GSIS XIV: 821
GSIS XIV: 831
GSIS XVI: 909
GSIS XVI: 910
GSIS XVI: 912
GSIS XVI: 919
GSIS XVI: 920
GSIS XVI: 924
GSIS XVI: 925
GSIS XVI: 926
GSIS XVI: 927
GSIS XVI: 950
GSIS XVI: 963
GSIS XVI: 964
GSIS XVI: 967
GSIS XVII: 999
GSIS XVII: 1007
GSIS XVII: 1008
GSIS XVII: 1009
GSIS XVIII: 1095
GSIS XIX: 1142
GSIS XX: 1162
GSIS XX: 1204
GSIS XX: 1210
GSIS XX: 1211
KYS IX: 556
KYS X: 620
SKS III:109
SKS IV: 158
SKS VI: 173
SKS VIII: 240
SKS VIII: 249
SKS VIII: 250
SKS VIII: 254
SKS VIII: 269
SKS IX: 310
SKS IX: 311

SKS IX: 312
SKS IX: 320
SKS IX: 326
SKS IX: 333
SKS IX: 357

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