Kume no Wakume was a noblewoman, and wife of Fujiwara no Umakai, one of the four sons of Fujiwara no Fuhito, and head of one of the four branches of the Fujiwara family. She was the mother of Fujiwara no Momokawa, who was eventually a councilor on the State Council.
After Fujiwara no Umakai died during the smallpox plague of 737, Wakume had an affair with a young, rising star named Isonokami no Otomaro. Their affair was discovered and both were banished for life--Otomaro to Tosa and Wakume to Shimousa. Furthermore, as a rank-holding lady, she was stripped of her rank in the process.
It only took a year and a half before she was pardoned, however, in a general amnesty announced in the 6th month of 740. She was restored to the Lower Junior 5th rank in 767, and subsequently promoted in 768, 772, and 776. By the time she died in 780 she held Lower Junior 4th rank.
- Wang, Zhenping. Ambassadors from the Islands of Immortals: China-Japan Relations in the Han-Tang Period, Association for Asian Studies and University of Hawai'i Press, HI, 2005.