Minamoto no Tōru

Minamoto no Tōru (源 融, 822 – September 21, 895) was a Japanese poet and statesman. He was born the son of Emperor Saga and a member of the Saga Genji clan. He is sometimes mentioned as the model for Hikaru Genji in important Japanese literary classic The Tale of Genji.

Minamoto no Tōru by Kikuchi Yōsai
Minamoto no Tōru, from the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu.

Under his title Kawara no Sadaijin (河原左大臣, Minister of the Left of Kawara), he is the author of poem 14 in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu poetry anthology:

Japanese Rōmaji English
Michinoku no
Tare yue ni
Midare somenishi
Ware naranaku ni
Like Michinoku prints,
Of the tangled leaves of ferns,
It is because of you,
That I have become confused;
But my love for you remains.

The poem originally appeared in the Kokinshū, no. 724. Here is another translation:

The dye with hare's-foot-fern, of Michinoku—who else would have made me feel as disturbed?

The poet is also famous for making a replica of the uta-makura Shiogama ("poetic place name") in his garden.[1]

His tomb resides at the Seiryō-ji, a Buddhist temple situated on what was once Saga Moor in Kyoto.


  1. ^ Sato, Hiroaki (1995). Legends of the Samurai. Overlook Duckworth. p. 38. ISBN 9781590207307.