Koshikibu no Naishi (999–1025), from "Hyakunin Isshu" (One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets)
Suzuki Harunobu (Japanese, 1725–1770)
Edo period (1615–1868)
Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper
H. 11 in. (27.9 cm); W. 8 1/8 in. (20.6 cm)
Gift of Estate of Samuel Isham, 1914
Not on view
Immortalized in the "Hyakunin Isshu" is the poetic exchange envision here between the lady-in-waiting Koshikibu and the courtier Fujiwara Sadayori. Both had been summoned to a poetry contest. Here, Koshikibu responds to his teasing suggestion that she needs help from her absent mother, the famous poetess Izumi Shikubu, with brilliant repartee. Her response takes the form of an impromptu poem that includes a triple pun on the famous scenic places Oeyama, Ikuno, and Ama no hashidate:
Oeyama ikuo michi mo to kereba
mada fumi mo mizu Ama no hashidate.
Both Mount Oe and the road to Ikuno are far away.
I've never been there,
nor has word come from Ama no hashidate.
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