Oshikochi no Mitsune (凡河内躬恒)

OSHIKOCHI no Mitsune (859? - 925?) was a poet of the early Heian period. He is one of the 36 immortal poets.


One of the 36 immortal poets, he was one of the compilers of the Kokin Wakashu (Collection of Ancient and Modern Poems) with KI no Tsurayuki, KI no Tomonori and MIBU no Tadamine. He was appointed to various posts, including Acting Junior Clerk of Kai Province in 894, Acting Senior Clerk of Tanba Province in 907, and Senior Secretary of Izumi Province in 917. In 905 he was appointed as a compiler of the Kokinshu by imperial edict.

In 921 he composed a waka on Cloistered Emperor Uda's pilgrimage to Kasuga. Although his rank was not high, he was renowned as a poet; in fact, 194 of his poems selected for the Kokinshu and other imperial anthologies. There is a personal collection "Mitsune Shu."

Representative Poems

Shall I break a branch off as it pleases me?; the white chrysanthemums of the first frost fool me when I put out my hand.

That is why they call the moon a stretched bow!; it aims straight for the horizon edge of the mountains.

[Original Japanese]