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Poet Mother and Child Hawk

Murasaki Shikibu and Izumi Shikibu, the former is overwhelmingly famous as the author of The Tale of Genji, but the two have many things in common. They were roughly the same generation (Michinaga's period of prosperity), were fellow ladies-in-waiting who served Emperor Ichijo's empress Shoshi (Michinaga's daughter), came from a mid-ranking aristocratic family, and were the daughters of excellent poet (Daini Sanmi and Koshikibu Naishiku) were raised. The difference is in their idea of chastity (Is this a dead word these days?) Murasaki Shikibu remained lonely after losing his husband (Nobutaka Fujiwara), while Izumi Shikibu divorced his husband (Michisada Tachibana) and led a wild love life. She was a big fan of Emperor Reizei's two princes (Imperial Prince Tametaka and Imperial Prince Atsumichi) and Minister of the Interior Masamichi Minamoto(Uda-Genji), and was the only child of Prince Atsumichi. The young lady (Koshikibu Naishi) is also amazing. In addition to the husband (Fujiwara Norinaga), Fujiwara Norimichi (Kanpaku and Grand Minister of State), Yorimune (Minister of the Right), and Sadayori (Gon Chunagon), and while her mother dealt with members of the imperial family, she was also a regent and minister. It seems that she interacted freely with the scions of nobility. I think it's an admirable thing to do their jobs well and compose wonderful poems(based on their extensive love experiences), but I can't help but feel sorry for such husbands, intermediate-ranked nobleman tossed at the mercy of Izumi Shikibu. Murasaki Shikibu wrote in his diary that Izumi Shikibu was a good poet but a slut, and Michinaga apparently said the same thing.

Now, the daughter of Murasaki Shikibu, Daini Sanmi, is a bit soft-hearted, unlike her mother, and after having a series of false names with Fujiwara no Yorimune (Minister of the Right), Sadayori (Gon Chunagon), and Asato Minamoto (Councillor), Kanpaku Michikane. She married his son Kanetaka, and later remarried Takashina Nariaki. If you look at it this way, perhaps the condition for good poetry lies in a wealth of experience.

Incidentally, it is said that Murasaki Shikibu had a deep relationship with Michinaga, but it is unknown whether they were a man and a woman. I'm looking forward to seeing how humans will be portrayed in the 2024 Taiga drama ``Hikaru Kimi e''. Approximately 200 years after this era, Teika Fujiwara selected the four women to perform the best 100 poems (Hyakunin Isshu).



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