Ariwara no Narihira

825 AD - 880 AD

Ariwara no Narihira was a Japanese courtier and waka poet of the early Heian period. He was named one of both the Six Poetic Geniuses and the Thirty-Six Poetic Geniuses, and one of his poems was included in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu collection. He is also known as Zai Go-Chūjō, Zai Go, Zai Chūjō or Mukashi-Otoko.
There are 87 poems attributed to Narihira in court anthologies, though some attributions are dubious. Narihira's poems are exceptionally ambiguous; the compilers of the 10th-century Kokin Wakashū thus treated them to relatively long headnotes.
Narihira's many renowned love affairs have exerted a profound influence on later Japanese culture. Legends have held that he had affairs with the high priestess of the Ise Grand Shrine and the poet Ono no Komachi, and that he fathered Emperor Yōzei. His love affairs inspired The Tales of Ise, and he has ever since been a model of the handsome, amorous nobleman.
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