Lady Izumi Shikibu corresponds charmingly, but her behaviour is improper indeed. She writes with grace and ease and with a flashing wit. There is fragrance even in her smallest words. Her poems are attractive, but they are only improvisations which drop from her mouth spontaneously. Every one of them has some interesting point, and she is acquainted with ancient literature also, but she is not like a true artist who is filled with the genuine spirit of poetry. Yet I think even she cannot presume to pass judgment on the poems of others.
Murasaki Shikibu, The Diary of Murasaki Shikibu (c. 1010). In: Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan, edited and translated by Annie Shepley Omori and Kochi Doi, 1920. Archived at English Wikisource.