Ryozen (良暹)

Ryozen (dates of birth and death unknown) was a monk and a poet who lived during the mid-Heian period.

His origin and personal history are unknown, but it is said that he was a monk on Mt. Hiei (the Tendai Sect), who also served as betto (administrator) at Gion. Then, he is said to have retired to Ohara and lived in Urin-in Temple in his later years. According to one theory, he died around the age of sixty-five during the Kohei era (1058-1065).

His poet friends were KAMO no Narisuke, TSUMORI no Kunimoto, TACHIBANA no Tamenaka, and Soi Hoshi (priest). He joined several uta-awase (poetry contest) such as 'Gon Dainagon (chief councilor of state) Morofusa Family Uta-awase' held in September 1038. He apparently made a personal collection of poetry called 'Ryozen Uchigiki,' but it does not exist at the present time.

His poems were collected in the 'Goshui Wakashu' (Later Collection of Gleanings of Japanese Poetry) and other Chokusen Wakashu (anthology of Japanese poetry compiled by the Imperial command).

Hyakunin Isshu (One Hundred Waka Poems By One Hundred Poets)
No. 70 When I feel lonely, I go outside of my hut, but everywhere I look is the same evening in autumn. ('Goshui Wakashu' the first volume of the Autumn, No. 333)

[Original Japanese]