Journal Éveillé is an informal exploration of awakened mind in the art of poetry....
Ono no Komachi (小野 小町?, c. 825 – c. 900 AD) was a Japanese waka poet, one of the Rokkasen — the six best waka poets of the early Heian period. She was renowned for her unusual beauty, and Komachi is today a synonym for feminine beauty in Japan. She also counts among the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals.
"If you make your heart the seed and your words the blossoms, If you will steep yourself in the fragrance of the art, You will not fail to accomplish true poetry."
From the preface to the Kokinshu.
"The words of poetry will never fail. They are enduring as evergreen boughs of pine, Continuous as trailing branches of willow; For poetry, whose source and seed is found In the human heart, is everlasting. Though ages pass and all things vanish, As long as words of poetry remain, Poems will leave their marks behind, And the traces of poetry will never disappear."
Based on lines from the Kokinshu preface.
"Kokinshū, (“Collection from Ancient and Modern Times”) the first anthology of Japanese poetry compiled upon Imperial order, by poet Ki Tsurayuki and others in 905 AD. It was the first major literary work written in the kana writing system. The Kokinshū comprises 1,111 poems, many of them anonymous, divided into 20 books arranged by topic. These include six books of seasonal poems, five books of love poems, and single books devoted to such subjects as travel, mourning, and congratulations......The best verses in the Kokinshū are flawlessly turned miniatures that captivate the reader with their perception and tonal beauty"
And the Heart's Mirror
Hangs in the void.
The Nō Plays of Japan (Page 119)....by Arthur Waley
Was I lost in thoughts of love
When I closed my eyes? He
Had I known it for a dream
I would not have awakened.
Noh Drama....SOTOBA KOMACHI....
A group of monks from Mount Kōya comes near Abeno in Settsu Province (or Toba in Yamashiro Province) on their way to Kyoto. Then the monks notice an old homeless woman sitting on a rotten wooden stupa*. This old woman is the famous Ono-no-Komachi, once renowned as a raving beauty and for having a number of love affairs. Since the leader monk assumes that sitting on a stupa is disrespectful to Buddha, he starts preaching her to move away from it. However, the old woman replies with words pregnant with deep meanings and talks the monk down at the end. Learning that she is not an ordinary woman, the monk accords his every courtesy to her.
The old woman confidently creates and recites a poem and impresses the monk even more deeply. When the monk asks her name, she reveals finally that she is the lady once called Ono-no-Komachi. She reminisces about her youth when she was stunningly beautiful and bemoans her current aged self. Then, she goes frenetic because the vengeful spirit of Fukakusa-no-Shōshō (Shii-no-Shōshō), who once loved her, possesses her. In the past, when he confessed his love to her, she told him to visit her for 100 nights and if he could complete this mission, she would accept his love. Shōshō visited her every night until the 99th night, but he passed away before completing the last one night. Since he could not be successful in his mission of love, the obsessed ghost of Shōshō curses and afflicts the aged Komachi. In a demonic state, Komachi restages the scenes when Shōshō visited her every night. Eventually she regains her sanity, tells humans that they should pray to become a Buddha after death, and she determines to live in order to reach enlightenment.
This is one of the five pieces in the “Rōjo-mono (Old Women)” category, including Sekidera Komachi, Higaki, Obasute, Oumu Komachi, and this one, Sotoba Komachi. These pieces in the Old Woman category are considered outstandingly difficult to perform for Noh actors. They all focus on the theme of “aging” that every living thing must face one day. Their stories consist in drawing your mind to the issue of what your life is, are rich philosophically, and have deep religious connotations.
"Kan'ami Kiyotsugu (1333 – 1384 AD) was a Japanese Noh actor, author, and musician during the Muromachi period....Sotoba Komachi by Kanami.....The original work, Sotoba Komachi written by Kan'ami, was originally a conversation between two priests and a 99-year-old lady at a Buddhist shrine. She later admits that she is Ono no Komachi (one of the six great waka poets in Heian period)."
Northern New Mexico