Rokkasen

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Sōjō Henjō by Kanō Tan’yū, 1648

The Rokkasen (六歌仙?, lit "six poetry immortals") are six Japanese poets of the mid-9th century who were named in the introduction to the poetry anthology Kokin Wakashū (c. 905) as notable poets of the generation before its compilers.

They are:

Although the Kokin Wakashū does not name them as a group, they became known as the Six Poetic Geniuses of the early Heian era. Ki no Tsurayuki, the author of the anthology, then proceeds to critique their style individually. The title "immortals of waka" (歌仙 kasen) was given to them later. In time, this list was superseded by later groupings which included the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals, a list compiled by Fujiwara no Kintō in the early 11th century, and the group of one hundred poets included in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu. While all six appear in the Kokin Wakashū, all but one, Ōtomo Kuronushi, also appear in the Hyakunin Isshu.

References[edit]

  • Frederic, Louis (2002). "Rokkasen." Japan Encyclopedia. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
  • McCullough, Helen Craig (1985). Brocade by Night: 'Kokin Wakashu' and the Court Style in Japanese Classical Poetry. Stanford University Press.