Kasa no Iratsume (笠郎女)

KASA no Iratsume (Lady Kasa) was a poet of the mid-Nara period. Year of birth and death unknown. There is a theory that considers her to be the daughter of KASA no Kanemura. She was one of among more than 10 lovers of OTOMO no Yakamochi, and was a poetess as excellent as her contemporary, OTOMO no Sakanoue no Iratsume. 29 of her poems appear in volumes three, four and eight of the "Manyoshu" (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves). In detail, 3 of them were metaphorical poems, 24 were love poems, and there was 1 love poem each for spring and autumn. They were all addressed to Yakamochi.

Related Works

It is widely known that when Ogai MORI and others published the "Omokage" (Vestiges, 1889), an anthology of poems in translation, they used the 396th poem of the Manyoshu as the source for its title. In addition, there is an adaptation of the 594th poem of the Manyoshu: The dewdrops, under the grass in the garden which is seen in the light of the setting sun, are like the tears shed while waiting for evenings (composed by FUJIWARA no Michitsune, No. 1190, Love Third, Volume 13 of Shinkokin Wakashu [New Collection of Ancient and Modern Japanese Poetry]).

There is another poem which consciously imitated the 608th poem of the Manyoshu: Love for the person who doesn't care for me is more in vain than writing numbers on flowing water (Anonymous, No. 522, Love First, Kokin Wakashu [A Collection of Ancient and Modern Japanese Poetry]).

[Original Japanese]