Thirty-Six Immortals of Poetry

Lady Ise painting by Kanō Tan'yū, 1648.

The Thirty-Six Immortals of Poetry (三十六歌仙, Sanjūrokkasen) are a group of Japanese poets of the Asuka, Nara, and Heian periods selected by Fujiwara no Kintō as exemplars of Japanese poetic ability. The eldest surviving collection of the 36 poets' works is Nishi Honganji Sanjū-rokunin Kashu ("Nishi Honganji 36 poets collection") of 1113. Similar groups of Japanese poets include the Kamakura period Nyōbō Sanjūrokkasen (女房三十六歌仙), composed by court ladies exclusively, and the Chūko Sanjūrokkasen (中古三十六歌仙), or Thirty-Six Heian-era Immortals of Poetry, selected by Fujiwara no Norikane [ja] (1107–1165). This list superseded an older group called the Six Immortals of Poetry.

Sets of portraits (essentially imaginary) of the group were popular in Japanese painting and later woodblock prints, and often hung in temples.