Lady Ise (c. 875–c. 938)

The Thirty-Six Immortals of Poetry are considered to be the best exponents of Waka, a type of Japanese poetry using 31 syllables. In this anthology each poet is identified by name and accompanied by a representative poem. Among the Thirty-Six Immortal Poets are five women, including Lady Ise (伊勢). She is one of the best known woman poets of early classical Japanese literature. She was born to Fujiwara no Tsugukage, Governor of Ise Province, from where she takes her name. Many of her poems are in imperial anthologies and she produced her own collection, the Ise shu.




Miwa no yama                 
ika ni machimimu            
tosi u tomo                        
tazunuru hito mo            
araji to omoeba                        

On the mount of Miwa
Why should I wait?
Years may pass, yet
Would you come enquiring-
I think not.

(Translation from