Akazome Emon (赤染衛門)

Akazome Emon (approximately 956 - after 1041) was a nyobo (court lady) and a waka poet in the Heian period. She was one of the medieval 36 Immortal Poets and the 36 Immortal Lady Poets.

She was said to be Tokimochi AKAZOME's daughter, but one theory said her real father was TAIRA no Kanemori. She married OE no Masahira, Monjo hakase (professor of literature), and they were known as happily-married couple. Her children were OE no Takachika and Gojiju, and Takachika's grandchild was OE no Masafusa.

Akazome Emon served MINAMOTO no Rinshi, FUJIWARA no Michinaga's wife and her daughter Jotomonin FUJIWARA no Shoshi, and she was praised together with Izumi Shikibu. While Izumi Shikibu had a passionate poetic style, Akazome Emon's was gentle and elegant. More than 90 poems were selected in Chokusen wakashu (anthology of Japanese poetry compiled by Imperial command) under "Shui Wakashu" (Collection of Gleanings of Japanese Poems). After her husband Masahira's death in 1013, she dedicated herself to religion and fostering princesses. She participated in the Kanpaku sadaijin Yorimichi Uta-awase (poetry competition hosted by FUJIWARA no Yorimichi, chief adviser of the Emperor and minister of the left) in 1035, and in the Kokiden no Nyogo Seishi Uta-awase (poetry competition hosted by FUJIWARA no Seishi of nyogo of Emperor Gosuzaku) in 1041.

Her anthology is called "Akazome Emon shu" (an anthology by Akazomeemon). She is considered to be the author of "Eiga monogatari" (A Tale of Flowering Fortunes).

Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (the Ogura Anthology of One Hundred Tanka-poems by One Hundred Poets)
Poem 56 - If I knew you were not coming, I would have gone to bed without hesitation. Since I believed your words, the evening went on and I waited you until I saw the moon set in the mountain in the west ("Goshuishu" Koi [Love] 680).

[Original Japanese]