Izumi Shikibu

(974 - 1034)

The Heian-era Japanese poet Izumi Shikibu is known for her poems and memoirs of life at court, where she served alongside Murasaki Shikibu, and for her romances with the royal brothers Prince Tametaka and Prince Atsumichi. “She does have a rather unsavory side to her,” Murasaki wrote of Izumi in her diary, “but has a talent for tossing off letters with ease and seems to make the most banal statement sound special.”

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