Oe no Chisato (poet) (大江千里 (歌人))

OE no Chisato (year of birth and death unknown, male) was a poet and scholar of the early Heian period. He is said to be the son of Sangi (councilor) OE no Otondo, but there is another theory that regards him as the son of OE no Gyokuen and the grandson of Otondo. His brother was OE no Chifuru. 維明 and 維繁 were his sons. He was ranked as Shogoi (Senior Fifth Rank), Hyobusho (War Ministry). He is regarded as one of the medieval 36 Immortal Poets.


Although he was a Confucian scholar who studied at the Daigaku-ryo (Bureau of Education under the ritsuryo system), scarcely any Chinese prose and poetry by him remains. He filled various posts such as Nakatsukasa shojo (Junior Secretary of Ministry of Central Affairs), Hyobu shojo, (Junior Secretary of the Ministry of War) and Hyobu taijo (Senior Secretary of the Ministry of War), but the details are unknown. He took part in an uta-awase (poetry contest) in the reign of the Emperor Uda, and in 894, he composed and presented a personal collection "Kudai Waka" (Waka on Themes of Lines) (Oe no Chisato Shu) due to an imperial order from the Emperor Uda. In addition, he and SUGAWARA no Koreyoshi composed 'Jogan Kyakushiki Code' (Regulations and Procedures of the Jogan Era) together. His waka poetry is in a Confucianist style and is characterized by trying to express the lines of "Bai-Shi Wen Ji" (a collection of poems by Hakkyoi, a famous Chinese poet) using the waka style.

Career as an official

On December 14, 883, he was appointed as Bitchu no daijo (Senior Secretary of Bitchu Province).

On June 2, 894, he presented the personal collection "Kudai Waka" (Waka on Themes of Lines) to the emperor.
At that time, he was Sani Jugoinojo (Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade courtier without post)

On April 6, 901, he was transferred to be Nakatsukasa shojo.

On April 4, 902, he was transferred to be Hyobu shojo.

On April 26, 903, he was transferred to be Hyobu taijo.

* In addition to the above, it is known from the foreword of "Kudai Waka" that he also filled the posts of Iyo no gon no kami (Provisional Governor of Iyo Province) and Shikibu gon no taifu (Provisional Senior Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Ceremonial).

Achievements as a poet

Starting with 10 poems selected for the "Kokin wakashu" (Collection of Ancient and Modern Poems), 25 of his other poems were selected for Chokusen wakashu (anthologies of Japanese poetry compiled by Imperial command) afterwards.

Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (the Ogura Anthology of One Hundred Tanka-poems by One Hundred Poets)
No. 23: Seeing the moon, somehow I become extremely melancholic, and I even feel as if the autumn has come only for me, though I know it's not so. ('Kokin wakashu' Autumn I, 193)

[Original Japanese]