Ono no Komachi was born in the year of Daidoh 4 (809 AC) in Kirino Kida of Dewa (present Akita and Yamagata regions).
She was born with talent and beauty, and is considered to be one of the Rokkasen (Six Poetic Geniuses), and Sanju Rokkasen (36 Immortals of Poetry) of the Heian Era. She is also said to be one of the three beauties of the world, along with Cleopatra of Egypt and Yang Guifei of China.
Komachi moved to Kyoto when she was 13 and started to serve the emperor when she was 16. Although the emperor himself loved to have such a talented and beautiful woman working for him, Komachi left Kyoto to go back to her hometown because she missed the place so much. In her final years, she started living in a cave called Iwayado, to escape the crowds in town. She spent those years writing poems and carving a wooden statue of herself while lighting incense. She continued to live in the cave till the day she died when she was 92 years old.
Here in the Ono area, stories of Komachi have been passed down from generation to generation. The Komachi Festival is held in Ono every year on the second Sunday of June, when we can smell her favorite peonies in the air.