Sugawara no Takasue no Musume (菅原孝標女)

SUGAWARA no Takasue no musume (1008-ca. after 1059) was a noble woman who lived in the Heian period. Her real name is not unknown.

She is known as the author of "Sarashina Nikki" (Sarashina Diary), in which she wrote about her life from about the age of ten to about fifty, and according to the postscript of Sarashina Nikki Gyobusubon (Emperor's book stock), she is considered to be the author of "Hamamatsu Chunagon Monogatari" (The Tale of Hamamatsu Chunagon).

Brief personal history

Her father was SUGAWARA no Takasue, who was Zuryo (the head of the provincial governors) of Kazusa and Hitachi Provinces and a descendant of SUGAWARA no Michizane, while her mother was a daughter of FUJIWARA no Tomoyasu and her aunt (an older sister of her mother) was the author of "Kagero Nikki" (The Gossamer Years), the mother of FUJIWARA no Michitsuna. Both SUGAWARA no Sadanori, her older brother, and SUGAWARA no Ariyoshi, her nephew, were scholars.

She was born in 1008. In 1020, her father's term of service in Kazusa Province expired, so after about a three-month journey, the family finally reached Kyoto. Around this time, she was thirteen, and began to write Sarashina Nikki. In those days she was absorbed in reading tales, and it is said that when she was given more than fifty chapters of "The Tale of Genji," she was lost in reading them day and night. In 1024, her older sister passed away, leaving the second daughter behind, and she was absorbed in reading more than ever.
However, around this time she came to have revelations in her dreams which told her 'to have faith.'

She served Imperial Princess Yushi (the third princess of Emperor Gosuzaku), and around 1040 she got married to TACHIBANA no Toshimichi. In 1045 she gave birth to a son, TACHIBANA no Nakatoshi, but Toshimichi died in 1058 and her son became independent of her, so she lived alone. Then her Sarashina Nikki ended.


Sarashina Nikki

Awaken at midnight

Hamamatsu Chunagon Monogatari

[Original Japanese]