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Ono no Komachi

Ono no Komachi (ōˈnō nō kōˈmäˈchē) [key], fl. c.833–857, Japanese poet. She was celebrated for her beauty and erotically charged poetry. Ranked among the most prominent poets of her day, Ono no Komachi displayed a rare skill in weaving multiple entendres, metaphors, and emotional intensity into the elegant waka verse form. To judge from her poetry, she corresponded with a number of leading contemporary poets, several of whom may have been her lovers. Little is known about her actual life or circumstances; numerous legends have sprung up about her beauty, amorous activities, and bitter end as a wandering hag.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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