Sei Shonagon was born in C966 and died in 1017. She was born to Kiyohara no Motosuke, a famous waka poet. Shonagon lived in the 1000s during the Heian Period, and is most famous for writing the Pillow Book. This work is notable for Shonagon’s sensitive discription of nature and everyday life. Shonagon was a court lady for Empress Teishi. When she was 16 she married Tachibana Norimitsu and had one child. She remarried to Fujiwara-Muneyo, and had one daughter. Shonagon was not buetiful but she made up for this with her wit and intelligience
At the age of 27 she began her courtship for Empress Teishi. While she was a court lady for Teishi, she wrote a famous book called the Pillow Book. The Pillow book was about her time in the court. Not much is known about Shonagon except what we can gather from the book itself. The book contains gossip, poetry, complaints, and anything else she found interesting. This book gives us a lot of insight on how life back in the 1000s were for aristacrates . Empress Teishi dies in 1000 and after her death there is not much information about Shonagon’s life. There are some rumors that say she lived out the rest of her life in poverty. These rumors were probably untrue but spread by people who disapproved of her alleged promiscuity. Shonagon also had a rivalry with Murasaki Shikibu, the author of The Tale of Gangi. Murasaki Shikibu wrote about Shonagon in her diary, The Murasaki Shikibu Diary.
Sei Shonagon. (2008). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved May 20, 2008, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9066615
Milton, J (1987). Dynasties of the East. Boston, MA: Boston Publishing Company Inc