Ise no Taifu (Osuke) (伊勢大輔)

ISE no Taifu (also known as Osuke) (ca. 989 - ca. 1060) was a lady poet in the mid-Heian period. Her father was ONAKATOMI no Sukechika. Married to TAKASHINA no Shigeyoshi, she bore great poets like Prince Yasusuke's mother, CHIKUZEN no Menoto and MINAMOTO no Kanetoshi's mother. She was regarded as one of the medieval 36 Immortal Poets.

Around 1008 she served Jotomonin FUJIWARA no Shoshi (also known as Akiko), Imperial Consort of Emperor Ichijo. She made friends with Izumi SHIKIBU and Murasaki SHIKIBU at court. In her later years she served as the nurse of Emperor Shirakawa. It has been confirmed that she did not die before 1060.

She submitted her verses in the Court Poetry Contest in 1049 and the Spring and Autumn Poetry Contest held by Empress Kanshi (also known as Hiroko) in 1056.

Some fifty verses of hers were selected for the imperial anthologies from 'Goshui Wakashu' (Later Collection of Gleanings of Japanese Poetry) onwards. She also compiled the private anthology 'ISE no Taifu-shu' (the Selected Verses of ISE no Taifu).

Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (the Ogura Anthology of One Hundred Tanka-poems by One Hundred Poets)
No. 61: Double cherry blossoms from the ancient city of Nara are splendidly blossoming today in the palace in Kyoto. ('Shikashu' (the Collection of Verbal Flowers), Spring 29).

[Original Japanese]