Fujiwara no Teika

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Fujiwara no Teika
A portrait of Teika
Attributed to Fujiwara no Nobuzane
Kamakura period
Kyoto, Heian Japan
DiedSeptember 26, 1241 (aged 78–79)
Occupation(s)Anthologist, calligrapher, literary critic, novelist, poet, scribe

Fujiwara no Sadaie (藤原定家), better-known as Fujiwara no Teika[1] (1162 – September 26, 1241[2]), was a Japanese anthologist, calligrapher, literary critic,[3] novelist,[4] poet, and scribe[5] of the late Heian and early Kamakura periods. His influence was enormous, and he is counted as among the greatest[6] of Japanese poets, and perhaps the greatest master of the waka form – an ancient poetic form consisting of five lines with a total of 31 syllables.

Teika's critical ideas on composing poetry were extremely influential and studied until as late as the Meiji era. A member of a poetic clan, Teika was born to the noted poet Fujiwara no Shunzei. After coming to the attention of the Retired Emperor Go-Toba (1180–1239; r. 1183–1198),[7] Teika began his long and distinguished career, spanning multiple areas of aesthetic endeavor. His relationship with Go-Toba was at first cordial and led to commissions to compile anthologies, but later resulted in his banishment from the retired emperor's court. His descendants and ideas would dominate classical Japanese poetry for centuries afterwards.


Monument to Fujiwara no Teika, Ogura, Kyoto


Teika was born to a minor and distant branch of the aristocratic and courtly clan, the Fujiwara, in 1162, sometime after the Fujiwara regents had lost their political pre-eminence in the Imperial court during the Hōgen Rebellion. His branch of the clan sought prestige and power in the court by aligning itself with the Mikohidari family, and by specializing in artistic endeavors, principally poetry. Such specialization was not unusual; branches of extended clans were not in a position to compete directly in politics with the head branch of the clan (or indeed other clans because of their junior status), but could compete in more restricted aesthetic pursuits. (The Mikohidari, also known as the Miko, were a cadet branch of the Fujiwaras, through Fujiwara no Michinaga's sixth son, Fujiwara no Nagaie (1005–1064); the Mikohidari were themselves aligned with the more senior Kujō branch of the original Fujiwara, who opposed the Rokujō family.)

Teika's grandfather was the venerable poet Fujiwara no Toshitada. His father was Fujiwara no Shunzei (1114–1204), a well known and greatly respected poet (and judge of poetry competitions), who had compiled the seventh Imperial anthology of waka (the Senzai Wakashū). His niece would also become a well-respected poet of waka and renga, known as Kengozen or Shunzei's Daughter, whom he would occasionally seek out for poetic advice. His elder brother, Fujiwara no Nariee (sometimes romanized as "Nariie"; 藤原成家), would be somewhat successful in court, but not nearly as much as his niece.[8] Teika's foster-brother, the priest Jakuren or "Sadanaga" c. 1139–1202 would be successful as a poet although his career was cut tragically short; he had been adopted by Shunzei when Shunzei's younger brother "retired from the world".[9]


Teika's goals as the senior male of his branch were to inherit and cement his father's position in poetry, and to advance his own reputation (thereby also improving the political fortunes of his own clan in the court). While his life would be marked by repeated illness[10] and wildly shifting fortunes – only partially moderated by his father's long-lasting influence in court (Shunzei would live to the advanced age of 90), the young and poetically inclined Retired Emperor Go-Toba's patronage would prove to lead to some of Teika's greatest successes.[11]

Go-Toba's patronage[edit]

The Retired Emperor Go-Toba announced, in the second year of his abdication (1200, the second year of the Shōji era) that he would be conducting a poetry contest.[12] Retired Emperors frequently became more influential after their retirement from the office of Emperor rather than as the actual Emperor, since they were free from the highly restricting ceremonial requirements and politics of the court. Go-Toba was 20 when he abdicated; he was the consummate amateur, skilled at playing the lute, considered an authority on traditional learning and courtly precedent, excellent at playing Go, and fond of equestrian pursuits such as horseback archery, shooting at running dogs, and swordsmanship.[13]

Go-Toba regarded all these pursuits as hobbies, taking one up and dropping another. One of these was his support of poetry, especially the waka. Immediately after his abdication, he had announced that he would hold two poetry contests, each requiring a number of preeminent poets to compose some 100 waka in a particular thematic progression, known as the hyakushu genre of poem sequences. The first contest (Go-Toba In shodo hyakushu 後鳥羽院初度百首; "Ex-Emperor Go-Toba's First Hundred-Poem Sequences") was considered a crucial political nexus; if a clan's poet did well and impressed the powerful (and youthful) Go-Toba, the clan would benefit considerably.[12]

Another example of Teika's calligraphy; here he has copied a portion of Sugawara no Takasue no musume's Sarashina nikki

Teika's diary records that he looked forward to this chance to improve himself. He was 38, and had reached middle age. While he was recognized as a talented poet, his career was stagnant; he had been in the Palace Guards of the Left for twenty years, and had not been promoted for nearly 10. He was "Lesser Commander of the Palace Guards of the Left" with little prospect of further advancement.[14]

He had wider political problems: The influence of his patrons, the Kujōs, over the Emperors had declined drastically. Minamoto no Michichika (d. 1202) had insinuated himself into Imperial circles through Go-Toba's former nursemaid; with this leverage, Michichika's adopted daughter (the then Shōgun's daughter, who had decided to marry his daughter off to the Emperor, using Michichika as a go-between – contrary to the Shōgun's usual policy of favoring Kujo Kanezane. The Shōgun's lack of confidence allowed Michichika to push Go-Toba into firing Kanezane as kampaku in 1196[15]) became Go-Toba's concubine (making Michichika the Retired Emperor Go-Toba's father in law), and they had his first heir in 1195; the shame of this usurpation led Go-Toba's first wife, Ninshi, to retire from the court. As Ninshi was the daughter of the Kujō's leader Kujō Kanezane, the Kujō's influence in court diminished considerably, even to the extent of Kanezane and Yoshitsune (d. 1206; once the regent and prime minister)[16] being driven from the court in 1196;[17] with the diminution of their influence, so dimmed Teika's prospects. Teika expressed his disappointment through poetry, such as this example, written when he was "passed over for promotion in the spring list" in 1187 (he would eventually be promoted in 1190, but as his good and encouraging friend Saigyō died that year, it was cold comfort):

Rōmaji English

toshi furedo
kokoro no haru wa
yoso nagara
akebono no sora

Another year gone by
And still no spring warms my heart,
It's nothing to me
But now I am accustomed
To stare at the sky at dawn.[16]

In fact, Teika was initially not invited, the instigation of the rival Rokujō clan's leader, Suetsune[18] and the connivance of Michichika.[19] Suetsune and Teika were bitter enemies; just a few months before, Teika had humiliated Suetsune by calling him "that fake poet" and publicly refusing to participate in a poetry competition with Suetsune.[20] His revenge was well-done; Teika was furious, writing in his Meigetsuki: :"I never heard of such a thing as choosing only senior poets [writes Teika about the pretext used to exclude him]. I can just see Suetsune at the bottom of this, contriving by some bribe that I be left out. It has to be Suetsune, Tsuneie, that whole family. Well, I have no regrets, for there is no possible hope for me now. But I did write in confidence to Kintsune so this may all come out eventually. He has replied that there is still room for hope."[21]

I gather that it was probably not the Emperor who decided on the rules for the hundred-poem competition. It was due entirely to the machinations of Michichika. One feels like flicking him away in disgust.[22]

Teika's appeals to the unrelenting Michichika failed,[12] and so Shunzei stepped in with an eloquent letter (the well-known Waji sojo; "Appeal in Japanese" – writing in Japanese as opposed to the official Chinese was considered a mark of sincerity[12]) addressed to Go-Toba, arguing that such an exclusion was without precedent, and motivated by base jealousy on their opponent's part:

Of late the people who call themselves poets have all been mediocrities. The poems they compose are unpleasant to hear, wordy and lacking in finesse.[20]

As Keene writes, "He denounced by name Teika's enemy Suetsune, calling him an ignoramus, and urged Gotoba not to be misled by his machinations."[20] Gotoba relented at this appeal from a man he greatly respected (the second time Shunzei had so interceded on Teika's behalf; the first time was in 1185 when Teika had lost his temper and struck a superior – the lesser general Masayuki – with a lamp).[23][24] He allowed Teika, along with two other "young" poets, Fujiwara no Ietaka (1159–1237; 1158–1237, according to Brower[25]), adopted son of Jakuren and pupil to Shunzei,[26] and Takafusa (1148–1209)[25] to enter the contest. Teika was overjoyed at this turn of events:

Early this morning came a message from Lord Kintsune that last evening the Ex-Emperor ordered my inclusion among the participants for the hundred-poem sequences.....To have been added to the list for this occasion fills me with inexpressible joy. Though they can hinder me no more, I am still convinced that the trouble was all due to the machinations of those evil men. And that it has turned out this way is a fulfillment of all my hopes and prayers for this life and the next.[27]

Teika furiously worked for more than two weeks[28] to complete the full sequence, and when he finally turned his Shoji hyakushu in a day late, Go-Toba was so eager he read the poems immediately. Go-Toba's personal secretary, Minamoto Ienaga, kept a diary (the Minamoto Ienaga nikki) which eulogistically concerned itself with Go-Toba's poetic activities,[29] and he records that it was Teika's hundred-poem sequence, and more specifically, poem number 93 which was directly responsible for Teika's being granted the special permission necessary to be admitted to the Retired Emperor's court (distinct from the reigning emperor's court; this special admittance was crucial to any future patronage); this is scarcely surprising as the 100-poem sequences submitted were of uniformly high quality (more poems originating in the sequences Go-Toba commissioned were included in the Shin Kokinshū than from any other source except the enormous "Poetry Contest in 1,500 Rounds").[30]

Rōmaji English

Kimi ga yo ni
Kasumi o wakeshi
Ashitazu no
Sara ni sawabe no
Ne o ya nakubeki.

In our Lord's gracious reign,
Will I still have cause to cry aloud
As cries the crane
That now stalks desolate in reedy marshes
Far from its former cloudland of spring haze?[31]

This poem is both a fine example of the jukkai ("personal grievances"[25]) genre and as Minamoto no Ienaga first pointed out,[32] also an allusion to the poem (preserved, along with Go-Shirakawa's reply, in the Imperial anthology Senzai Wakashū[33]) Shunzei had sent Retired Emperor Go-Shirakawa 14 years previously, imploring him to forgive Teika for striking a superior with a candlestick; "the allusion conveys the hope that just as Shunzei's poem obtained his erring son's restoration to rank and office under Go-Shirakawa, now Teika's own poem will win him admission to Go-Toba's Court despite his connection with the "disgraced" Kujō faction."[28]

Rōmaji English

Ashitazu no
Kumoji mayoishi
Toshi kurete
Kasumi o sae ya

Now that the year
Has closed in which it lost its way
Upon the cloudland path,
Must the crane still be kept apart
Even from the haze of a new spring?[33]

Teika and Go-Toba would have a close[34] and productive relationship; Teika would be favored in such ways as being appointed by Go-Toba as one of the six compilers (and de facto head compiler by virtue of his dedication and force of personality in addition to his already established reputation as a poet) of the eighth Imperial Anthology of waka poetry, the esteemed Shin Kokinshū (c. 1205, "New Collection of Japanese Poetry, Ancient and Modern") which Go-Toba ordered to be written after the success of the hundred-poem sequences (which furnished a base for the collection). In order to compile it, Go-Toba had resurrected the defunct institution, the Poetry Bureau in the seventh month of 1201, with fifteen yoryudo, or "contributing members", and three added later),[35] who participated in the many poetry contests and similar activities that soon began taking place in the Bureau; of the Fellows, six (Minamoto Michitomo, Fujiwara Ariie, Teika, Fujiwara Ietaka, Fujiwara Masatsune and Jakuren, who would not live to finish the task, and was not replaced. Minamoto Ienaga was apparently detached from being Go-Toba's personal secretary to instead serve as the secretary for the compilation committee; his and Teika's diaries have survived, affording an unprecedentedly good view of the inner workings of how an imperial anthology was created)[35] were chosen to compile the Shin Kokinshū in the eleventh month of 1201.[32]

As if the honor of helping to compile the Shin Kokinshū and of having a remarkable 46[36] of his poems (including three from the Shoji hyakushu) included were not enough, Teika would later be appointed in 1232 by the Retired Emperor Go-Horikawa to compile – by himself – the ninth Imperial Anthology, the Shinchokusen Wakashū (c. 1235; "New Imperial Collection"). Teika was the first person to have ever been a compiler of two Imperial anthologies.

A painting of Teika, possibly by his son, Tameie

Teika and Go-Toba quarrel[edit]

This favorable patronage and collaboration eventually soured even as Teika's relation with Emperor Juntoku and Minamoto no Sanetomo deepened, over many things such as differences in how one should use "association and progression" (as Brower terms it) in poetic sequences. In 100-poem sequences and the like, the poems were usually in one of several groups (the four seasons were common ones, as was love); the poems generally formed an integrated sequence in which they dealt with the same subject matter, proceeding from stage to stage (for instance, a sequence on Love might proceed from loneliness, to falling in love, to a mature relationship, and then the sorrow when it ends) or which refer to elements of previous poems (a technique later central to renga sequences). Go-Toba used such techniques consistently and often, whereas Teika's use was more erratic. During the compilation of the Shin Kokinshū, there were other differences, apparently over how wide-ranging a net to throw for poems:

In a situation like the present, where he [Go-Toba] has included poems by a great many people one has never heard of, whose names have remained in almost total obscurity for generations, and persons who have only recently begun to attract attention had as many as ten poems apiece included – in such a situation it is no particular distinction for me to have forty-odd [46] poems chosen, or for Ietaka to have a score or more. The Ex-Sovereign's recent decisions make it appear he is choosing men rather than poems – a questionable procedure.[37]

Teika's displeasure manifested itself in more petty ways, such as refusing to attend a banquet in 1205 (300 years after the Kokinshū was completed) celebrating the official completion of the Shin Kokinshū because there was no precedent for such a banquet (apparently he was not convinced by the precedent of the banquet celebrating the completion of the Nihon Shoki);[38] Go-Toba reciprocated by cutting Teika out of the process of continually revising the Shin Kokinshū[39] (while it was officially complete by the date of the banquet, it was de facto incomplete as the Japanese Preface only existed in rough drafts[38] and because Go-Toba would continue revising the selection of poems for some time thereafter, only releasing the final edition approximately 6 years later, sometime after the ninth month of 1210;[40][41] indeed, Go-Toba would continue revising it until his death, although the later revisions are not extant).[42]

In addition, there apparently were serious personality conflicts, which lead Go-Toba to write once, after praising Teika's poetry, that:

The way Teika behaved, as if he knew all about poetry, was really quite extraordinary. Especially when he was defending his own opinion, he would act like the man who insisted a stag was a horse. He was utterly oblivious of others, and would exceed all reason, refusing to listen to anything other people had to say.[43]

(The stag and horse anecdote refers to the ancient Chinese Zhao Gao (d. 207 BCE), who revolted after an incident in which he brought a stag to the Imperial court, claimed it was actually a horse, and saw that more of the officials sycophantically agreed with him, rather than the emperor who pointed out that the horse was actually a stag.)

Donald Keene believes that as Teika grew more important, he resented Go-Toba's peremptory use of him.[10][44][45][46] In his later years, Go-Toba took issue not merely with Teika's personality, but also with his poetry, complaining of Teika's more liberal style that Teika (among other things[47]) "by contrast, paid no attention whatsoever to the topic. For this reason in recent times even beginners have all come to be like this. It is outrageous. Only when one concentrates very hard upon a compound topic and composes a poem which centers upon the topic is the result of any interest. This modern style is sheer carelessness. It is absolutely essential to practice composing poems on compound topics in the correct way."[48][49]

In any event, the precipitating events were two incidents, one in 1207 and the next in 1220. In 1207, Go-Toba decided to organize the creation of 46 landscape screens for the Saishō Shitennō Temple which he had built in 1205 (apparently "in order to enlist divine aid in the overthrow the feudal government");[50] each of these screens would also have a waka on the famous landscape depicted, composed by a leading poet, who would compose the requisite 46, with the best poems for each landscape selected. Of course, Teika was asked to contribute, but one (on the "Wood of Ikuta", a famous and picturesque woodland attached to the Ikuta Shrine of Settsu Province, modern-day Kobe; it was famous for being a battlefield between the Minamoto and Taira clans, as well as for its scenic beauty[51]) was rejected by Go-Toba; not because it was a bad poem, but because it was a "poor model", as Keene puts it.[52] Teika, already annoyed by the minimal notice for the contest and the lack of time for composing the poems (he had to turn them in two days after he was first informed of the contest), began complaining about Go-Toba and attacking his poetic judgement, both with regard to the Shin Kokinshū and the poems selected from the screens.[53] Nothing came of this incident, but nevertheless, the damage had been done.[39]

The second incident took place in the second month of 1220 and is described in a preface to the two poems concerned as recorded in Teika's personal anthology, the Shū gusō; during the six-year period covering such events as Teika's banishment from Go-Toba's court and Go-Toba's participation in the Jōkyū War of 1221, Teika's diary is silent.[54] Teika was asked to participate in a poem competition on the 13th of the second month; Teika declined, citing as a reason the anniversary of his mother's death 26 years previous, in 1194. Go-Toba and his officials sent several letters to him, strongly urging him to come, and Teika eventually gave in, arriving with only two waka. The headnote to the two poems reads:

Having been summoned to the palace for a poetry gathering on the thirteenth day of the second month in the second year of Shokyu [1220], I had begged to be excused because of a ritual defilement, it being the anniversary of my mother's death. I thought no more about it, but quite unexpectedly in the evening of the appointed day, the Archivist Iemitsu come with a letter from the ex-emperor, saying that I was not the hold back on account of the defilement, but was to come in any case. I continued to refuse, but after the ex-emperor had sent two more letters insisting on my presence, I hastily wrote down the following two poems and took them with me.[54]

The first waka was critical of Go-Toba but otherwise fairly innocuous, but the second was quite pointed, obliquely attacking Go-Toba both for forcing Teika to attend Go-Toba's contest when Teika was memorializing his mother and also for insufficiently promoting Teika (the final line is a variation on a phrase dealing with "double griefs"):

Rōmaji English

Michinobe no
Nohara no yanagi
Aware nageki no

Under the willows
In the field by the roadside
The young sprouts burgeon
In competition as to which,
Alas, has most to bewail.[55]

Go-Toba saw this attack as both ingratitude of the rankest sort and the culmination of a series of affronts, this latest being petty resentment at what Go-Toba would have seen as a flimsy pretext for attempting to get out of the poetry competition. Accordingly, he banished Teika from his court, a banishment that would last for more than a year; this feud distressed devotees of poetry.[56]

Teika in the ascendancy[edit]

Possibly another a factor in this estrangement was politics – Teika had had the good fortune of being selected in 1209 as a poetry teacher to the new and young shōgun, Minamoto no Sanetomo; the Shogunate was a rival and superior authority to that of the Emperors and the Imperial court. It was probably to the unhappy Sanetomo that Teika addressed the prefatory essay to his didactic collection, Kindai shūka ("Superior Poems of Our Time"), and his treatise on poetry Maigetsusho ("Monthly Notes"). Go-Toba would become an enemy of the then-bedridden Teika. Fortunately for Teika, Go-Toba would be exiled by the Kamakura shogunate in 1221 for the rest of life to the Oki Islands after Go-Toba led a failed rebellion against the Shogunate (the Jōkyū War) which Go-Toba had long hated;[57]

Teika's political fortunes improved in this period, as it was after Go-Toba's exile that Teika was appointed compiler of the ninth imperial anthology, the Shinchokusen Wakashū ("New Imperial Collection"; completed c. 1234). While it was a great honor, it was poorly received except by conservatives. According to Donald Keene, Shunzei's Daughter "declared that if it had not been compiled by Teika she would have refused even to take it into her hands." (From a letter sent to Fujiwara no Tameie, Teika's son).[58] She and others also criticized it for apparently deliberately excluding any of the objectively excellent poems produced by the three Retired Emperors exiled in the aftermath of the Jōkyū War[58] This absence has been variously attributed to vengefulness on the part of Teika, or simply a desire to not potentially offend the Kamakura shogunate.[59]

In 1232, Teika was advanced at the age of 70 to the court rank of "Gon Chūnagon" (Acting Middle Counselor).[60]

But even Teika's improved fortunes could not insulate him entirely from the various famines and disasters that wracked the country in this period, and which greatly exacberated his illnesses:

Today I had my servants dig up the garden (the north one), and plant wheat there. Even if we only grow a little, it will sustain our hunger in a bad year. Don't make fun of me! What other stratagem does a poor old man have? (Meigetsuki, 13th day of the 10th month, 1230)[61]

Starving people collapse, and their dead bodies fill the streets. Every day the numbers increase ... The stench has gradually reached my house. Day and night alike, people go by carrying the dead in their arms, too numerous to count. (Meigetsuki, 2nd day of the 7th month, 1231)[61]

During the later portions of his life, Teika experimented with refining his style of ushin, teaching and writing it; in addition to his critical works and the manuscripts he studied and copied out, he experimented with the then-very young and immature form of renga – "They are an amusement to me in my dotage."[62] He died in 1241, in Kyoto, and was buried at a Buddhist temple named "Shokokuji".

Rival descendants[edit]

One of his 27 children by various women[63] (and one of two legitimate sons), Fujiwara no Tameie (1198–1275; he is remembered as a reluctant heir, in youth inclining rather to court football at the encouragement of Go-Toba[53] than to poetry), would carry on Teika's poetic legacy. Tameie's descendants would split into three branches: the conservative elder Nijō branch (founded by Tameie's elder son, Nijō Tameuji (1222–1286); the middle branch of the Kyōgoku founded by Fujiwara no Tamenori (1226–1279), which, before it became extinct in 1332 with the death of Fujiwara no Tamekane, merged with the Reizei at the prompting of Nun Abutsu-ni; and the younger, more liberal Reizei branch, founded by Tameie' younger son Fujiwara no Tamesuke (b. 1263) by Abutsu (d. circa 1283; a poet and a great diarist, especially remembered for her diary Isayoi Nikki ("Diary of the Waning Moon") chronicling her legal battles to get the Kamakura shogunate to stop Tameuji from disinheriting Tamesuke of the Hosokawa estate near the capital that Tameie had left Tamesuke).[64]

It is a testament to Teika's importance that the poetic history of the next centuries is in large part a story of the battles between the rival branches; indeed, it is this rivalry that is chiefly responsible for the great number of forgeries attributed to Teika. When the Reizei lost a court case concerning possession of the Hosokawa estate Tameie had willed to Tamesuke, they were ordered to hand over the valuable manuscripts and documents inherited from Teika and Tameie over to the Nijō; they outwardly complied, but along with the few genuine documents whose existence the Nijō had already learned of, they mostly included forgeries which the Nijō had little choice but to accept. In retaliation, the Nijō manufactured a number of forgeries of their own, the better to buttress their claims.[65][66]

After a period of Reizei ascendancy under Reizei Tamehide (冷泉為秀, great-grandson of Teika) (b. 1302?, d. 1372), they suffered a decline and a consequent rise in the fortunes of the Nijō, as Tamehide's son, Iametuni, became a Buddhist monk. However, the Nijō soon suffered setbacks of their own under the wastrel Nijō no Tameshige (b. 1325, d. 1385), whose promising son, Nijō no Tametō (b. 1341, d. 1381), died comparatively young, killed by a brigand.

In a further disaster for the Nijō, Tametō's son, Nijō no Tamemigi was killed by a brigand as well in 1399 (?), effectively wiping out the Nijō as an organized force. Under the grandson of Tamehide, Tanemasa (b. 1361, d. 1417), the Rezei achieved temporary victory in the time of Shōtetsu.[67] Ironically, the once-liberal Reizei would become associated during and after the Meiji Era with the ultra-conservatives of the "Palace School".

Teika's grave site.

Poetic achievements[edit]

In this art of poetry, those who speak ill of Teika should be denied the protection of the gods and Buddhas and condemned to the punishments of hell.

Teika selected the works for the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, an anthology of a hundred poems by a hundred poets. His Ogura Hyakunin Isshu was later thought to be a book of waka theory in which all types of ideal waka and all techniques were laid out; disputes over specific style and whether to be conservative or liberal that divided his descendants into a number of feuding schools/clans like the Reizei, Kyōgoku, and Nijō.

Teika made many[68] manuscript copies of Japanese classics, including such landmarks of Japanese literature as The Tale of Genji, The Tales of Ise and the Kokinshū anthology.[69] In his days, the ancient Japanese pronunciations were lost or difficult to understand, rendering the orthography of kana confused and uncertain. Teika researched old documents and recovered the earlier system of deciding between interpretations of kana, and developed a systematic orthography which was used until the modern Meiji period. He applied his kana system to his manuscripts, which were known for their accuracy and general high quality and called Teika bon ("Teika text"). Using his method he was able to document the accurate pronunciation of earlier waka like the ones in the Kokin Wakashū. His manuscripts were also appreciated for his eponymous distinct and bold style of calligraphy. The Adobe font "Kazuraki SPN", released in 2009, is based upon the calligraphic style of Fujiwara Teika.

A manuscript in Teika's hand of "Superior Poems of our Time", showing his calligraphic style.

Teika is also remembered, like his father, as being something of an innovator – the Encyclopædia Britannica says:

Teika employed traditional language in startling new ways, showing that the prescriptive ideal of "old diction, new treatment" [kotoba furuku, kokoro atarashi] inherited from Shunzei might accommodate innovation and experimentation as well as ensure the preservation of the language and styles of the classical past.

Sōgi and his friends honor Teika's grave with a poetry party.

The "old diction" here are phrases and words from the "Three Collections": the Kokinshū, the Gosen Wakashū, and the Shūi Wakashū, but not much older than that (for instance, the diction of the Man'yōshū was considered too old).[70] Teika wrote in his Maigetsusho that the best poems were spontaneous and original, but nevertheless traditional:

But such a notion is quite erroneous. For if we were to call such verses as that superior, then any poem at all we might write could be a fine one. No, first the powers of invention must be freed by reciting endless possibilities over and over to oneself. Then, suddenly and spontaneously, from among all the lines one is composing, may emerge a poem whose treatment of the topic is different from the common run, a verse that is somehow superior to the rest. It is full of poetic feeling, lofty in cadence, skillful, with resonances above and beyond the words themselves. It is dignified in effect, its phrasing original, yet smooth and gentle. It is interesting, suffused with an atmosphere subtle yet clear. It is richly evocative, its emotion not tense and nervous but sensible from the appropriateness of the imagery. Such a poem is not to be composed by conscious effort, but if a man will only persist in unremitting practice, he may produce one spontaneously.[71]

The following is an example of how Teika used old and classic imagery such as Takasago and Onoe, as well as pine and cherry trees, in fresh ways:

Japanese Rōmaji English


Takasago no
Matsu to miyako ni
Kotozute yo
Onoe no sakura
Ima sakari nari.

Tell it in the capital:
That like the steadfast pine trees
On Takasago's sands,
At Onoe, the cherries on the hills
yet wait in the fullness of their bloom.[72]

His poems were described as remarkable for their elegance and exemplars of Teika's ideals, in his early and later years (respectively; Teika considerably modified his personal beliefs during his 40s, after the death of Shunzei, and simplified his style of composition), of the styles of yoen – one of the ten orthodox styles Teika defined and defended in his poetic criticism, with some of the others being the onihishigitei ("demon-quelling force") style, the style of sabi or "loneliness" (closely related to mono no aware), the style of yūgen, or "mystery and depth"; the yoen style was concerned with "ethereal beauty", and ushin ("deep feeling" or "conviction of feeling". This shift in style from yoen to ushin was intended to achieve a certain sort of makoto, or integrity;[73] Teika sometimes referred to his aim as ushin ("deep feeling"), which confusingly was also the name of one of the ten styles. The yoen style was one of the most popular in his time due in no small part to Teika's of it (yoen had first been described by Fujiwara no Mototoshi in the 1150s, but had been only marginally successful); years later, the Symbolists would admire and emulate (to a degree) his use of language to evoke atmosphere in his brief poems in the yoen style. An excellent example (and one later chosen for an Imperial anthology) is the first poem below:

Japanese Rōmaji English


Koma tomete
Sode uchiharau
Kage mo nashi
Sano no watari no
Yuki no yūgure.

There is no shelter
where I can rest my weary horse,
and brush my laden sleeves:
the Sano Ford and its fields
spread over with twilight in the snow.[74]


Konu hito o
Matsuho no ura no
Yunagi ni
Yaku ya moshio no
Mi mo kogare tsutsu.

Like the salt sea-weed,
Burning in the evening calm.
On Matsuo's shore,
All my being is aflame,
Awaiting her who does not come.


Shika bakari
Chigirishi naka mo
Kono yo ni hito o
Tanomikeru kana.

So strong were
Our pledges, yet between us
All has changed;
In this world, in her
Did I put my trust...

Partial bibliography[edit]

  • Shūi gusō (拾遺愚草) ; Teika's personal anthology which includes over 3500 poems selected by himself. The two poems which offended Retired Emperor Go-Toba so much and caused the rift between Teika and him are preserved here only.[53]
  • Meigetsuki (明月記; "The Record of the Clear Moon"; sometimes called "Diary of the Clear Moon"[75] or possibly "Chronicle of the Bright Moon";[76] as the second translation suggests, this was a diary Teika kept in classical Chinese between the ages of approximately 18 (in 1180) to just before his death, around 1241; the entries for 1180 and 1181 may have been written when Teika was an old man,[77] but the bulk of the diary covers the 47 years between 1188 and 1235. As its comprehensiveness might suggest, it is an extremely valuable resource[according to whom?] for understanding the court and Teika's place in the Imperial court, even despite its incompleteness—available extant versions consist of 56 scrolls (the Reizei family possesses in its family library holographs of 56 and copies of two more), while scholars estimate that the original consisted of over 180 scrolls.) Among its many interesting passages (some quoted previously) about Teika's career and life is a famous passage from the ninth month of 1180 about Teika's indifference to political or military advancement, in which he aristocratically remarked that "Reports of disturbances and punitive expeditions fill one's ears, but I pay them no attention. The red banners and the expeditions against the traitors are no concern of mine." (Here, "red banners" probably refers to the Imperial standard; the last line is possibly a reference to a poem by Po Chu-i in which he tells of how he has been effectively exiled and passes his time playing Go).
  • Hyakunin isshu (百人一首, c. 1235 "Single Poems by One Hundred Poets"; this collection became the foundation of the modern Japanese New Year game karuta.)
  • Hyakunin Shūka (百人秀歌, 1229–1236?; a 101-poem anthology arranged at the request of Utsunomiya Yoritsuna to be copied onto 101 strips of paper and pasted onto the walls of his villa; it has 97 poems in common with Hyakunin isshu, suggesting that perhaps it is a misidentified and variant version of the Isshu.)
  • Shoji hyakushu (正治百首, 1200; "Hundred-Poem Sequence of the Shoji era")
  • Gotoba-in Kumano Gokō Ki (熊野御幸記, 1201; "The Visit of the Cloistered Emperor to Kumano"). Portion of Meigetsuki which Teika wrote about a trip to Kumano he took with Go-Toba and Michichika; like his other diary, it is written in classical Chinese, except for the wakas along the way to the shrines there that Go-Toba was so devoted to that this trip was but one of more than thirty. Teika seems not to have enjoyed the trip; his diary often records concern over his health and matters of decorum such as the proper clothes to wear.[78]
  • Eiga taigai[79] or Eika no Taigai (詠歌大概, c. 1216,[79] 1222?; "Essentials of Poetic Composition"). Besides normal advice and criticism of poetry such as pedantic rules on honkadori – poems used as a base in honkadori should always be old poems and from either the Kokinshū, Shūi Wakashū, or the Gosen Wakashū with no more than two and a half lines borrowed from the originals; similarly, borrowed elements were to be moved within the new poem and the new poem should have a different theme), Teika also tellingly recommends certain classic works for aspiring poets to study: the Tales of Ise, Sanjurokkasen (or "Poems of the Thirty-Six Immortals") and the first two portions of The Collected Works of Po Chü-i. Portions of the Eiga taigai have been translated into English[80]
  • Kindai shūka (近代秀歌, c. 1209; "Superior Poems of Our Time"; a collection of poems Teika felt to be excellent models, with a preface dealing with his critical philosophy, sent to Sanetomo to instruct him in how his poems should emulate the great ancient Japanese poets – teaching by example. This sequence was constructed when he was 47, after the death of Shunzei, which depressed Teika, as evidenced by his writing in the Kindai shūka that he had "forgotten the color of the followers of words; the well-springs of inspiration have run dry.")[81]
  • Maigetsusho (毎月抄, c. 1219; "Monthly Notes"; an epistle of corrections of one hundred poems, sent to a student of Teika's. Besides the corrections, it bore a preface which is a major source of information regarding Teika's view on the aesthetics of poetry; Shōtetsu states that it was sent to Minamoto no Sanetomo; Ton'a holds rather that it had been sent to the "Kinugasa Great Inner Minister", or Fujiwara no Ieyoshi.)[80] Besides Brower's English translation, the Maigetsusho was also translated to French,[82] Italian[83] and Hungarian.[84]
  • Matsuranomiya monogatari (松浦宮物語 "The Tale of the Matsura Palace"; an experimental novel believed to be written by Teika, though Teika's manuscript claims that he was merely copying it.)
  • Teika hachidai sho (定家八代抄; Anthology of 1811 poems from the first 8 Imperial anthologies.)
  • Shuka no daitai (秀歌大体; "A Basic Canon of Superior Poems")
  • Teika Jittai (定家十体, 1207–1213; an anthology of 286 poems, chiefly derived from the Shin Kokinshū; long believed a forgery, but some modern scholars[who?] contend that it is a genuine work.)[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  • Brower, Robert H. (1972), "'Ex-Emperor Go-Toba's Secret Teachings': Go-Toba no in Gokuden" (PDF), Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, vol. 32, pp. 5–70, archived from the original (PDF) on March 3, 2016
  • Brower, Robert H. (1978), Translation of Fujiwara Teika's Hundred-Poem Sequence of the Shoji Era, 1200, Sophia University, ASIN B0006E39K8
  • Brower, Robert H. (1985), "Fujiwara Teika's Maigetsusho" (PDF), Monumenta Nipponica, vol. 40, no. 4, pp. 399–425, archived from the original (PDF) on March 3, 2016
  • Bundy 1990, "Poetic Apprenticeship: Fujiwara Teika's Shogaku Hyakushu"[permanent dead link]
  • Carter, Steven D. (1997), Unforgotten Dreams: Poems by the Zen Monk Shōtetsu, Columbia University Press, ISBN 0-231-10576-2
  • Keene, Donald (1989), Travelers of a Hundred Ages: The Japanese as Revealed Through 1,000 Years of Diaries, Henry Holt and Company, ISBN 0-8050-1655-4
  • Keene, Donald (1999), Seeds in the Heart: Japanese Literature from Earliest Times to the Late Sixteenth Century (PDF), Columbia University Press, ISBN 0-231-11441-9
  • Miner, Earl; Brower, Robert H. (1961), Japanese Court Poetry, Stanford University Press, ISBN 0-8047-1524-6
  • Miner, Earl (1968), An Introduction to Japanese Court Poetry, Stanford University Press, ISBN 0-8047-0636-0
  • Mostow, Joshua S., ed. (1996). Pictures of the Heart: The Hyakunin Isshu in Word and Image. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
  • Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 58053128


  1. ^ "Sadaie" and "Teika" are both possible readings of 定家; "...there is the further problem, the rendition of the name in romanized form. Teika probably referred to himself as Sadaie, and his father probably called himself Toshinari, but the Sino-Japanese versions of their names were used by their contemporaries, and this practice is still observed." pg 681–692, note 2 of Seeds in the Heart: Japanese Literature from Earliest Times to the Late Sixteenth Century, Donald Keene. 1999, Columbia University Press, ISBN 0-231-11441-9
  2. ^ Fujiwara Sadaie at the Encyclopædia Britannica
  3. ^ "The high quality of poetic theory (karon) in this age depends chiefly upon the poetic writings of Fujiwara Shunzei and his son Teika. The other theorists of tanka writing, stimulated by father and son either to agreement or disagreement, contributed also toward the high level of poetic theory, but we may say that Shunzei and Teika were most representative of the age." This quote is sourced to Odagiri Hideo in pg 10 of his "Nihon ni okeru bungei hyōron no seiritsu" (The Rise of Art Criticism in Japan), pub. by Geijutsuron-shū ("Collection of Discussions of Art"), Tokyo 1962; see Shun'ichi H. Takayanagi's review of Japanese Court Poetry by Robert H. Brower and Earl Miner in Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 18, No. 1/4. (1963), pp. 352–364. [1]
  4. ^ It is generally believed that Teika wrote the Tale of Matsura
  5. ^ "During his last years Teika seems to have composed little poetry, but he was otherwise engaged in copying manuscripts, especially of the major works of Heian literature. It is not much of an exaggeration to say that what we know of the literature of Teika's day and earlier is mainly what he thought was worthy of preservation" pg 673–674 of Seeds in the Heart.
  6. ^ "The single most influential figure in the history of Japanese classical poetry, Fujiwara no Teika (or Sadaie) 1162–1241, was the supreme arbiter of poetry in his day, and for centuries after his death was held in religious veneration by waka and renga poets alike." Robert H. Brower. Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 40, No. 4. (Winter, 1985), pp. 399–425. [2]).
    • Charles Murray, in his Human Accomplishment, ranks Teika as the 17th most influential figure in all of Japanese literature based on his analysis of academic research on Japanese literature. "Fujiwara no Teika....is one of the four greatest Japanese poets. The son of Shunzei, Teika lived to an advanced age constantly plagued by both recurring illness and reverses and advances in his family's fortunes. Similarly, his poetry and critical writings also underwent a series of changes in the course of his life, leaving behind the most substantial and intense poetic legacy by a single poet in Japanese history."[3]
    • "Teika's unique reputation rested in part upon his accomplishment as the leading figure among the many fine poets of the Shinkokin Jidai, the period of fifty-odd years in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries when revival and innovation in the native poetry were exemplified in Shin Kokinshū, c. 1204, the eighth, and in many respects the greatest, of the imperially sponsored anthologies of classical verse. As one of the six compilers of the anthology, and with forty-six of his poems included in it, Teika stood at the forefront of the younger and more innovative poets of his day, and his various experiments with diction, rhetoric, and figurative language, as well as with new styles, modes, and aesthetic effects, were widely imitated by his contemporaries. After his death, his quarreling descendants were recognized as the ultimate authorities on all poetic matters, and through them Teika's influence pervaded six hundred years of Japanese poetic history." Extract from "Fujiwara Teika's Maigetsusho" by Robert H. Brower, Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 40, No. 4. (Winter, 1985), pp. 399–425.
    • Donald Keene writes, "...is the diary of Fujiwara Teika (1162–1241), a man equally celebrated as poet, critic, and editor." pg 95, Keene 1989
  7. ^ pg 7 of Brower 1972
  8. ^ pg 410, Keene 1989
  9. ^ pg 27 and 47 of Brower 1972
  10. ^ a b "It was a heavy burden for Teika, whose chronic bronchitis and rheumatism made him a semi-invalid, to be caught up in the ex-emperor's hectic life." pg 19 of Brower 1972
  11. ^ "The decision was vital to the position and future status of Teika in particular, affording an opportunity to establish contact and ingratiate himself with the powerful ex-sovereign and to demonstrate his poetic prowess to the discomfiture of his enemies. One hesitates to make such a sweeping statement as that the course of Japanese classical poetry would have been forever altered had Teika been shunted aside at this juncture to eke out the remainder of his days in wretched obscurity...[but] one may be excused for thinking his inclusion in the Shoji sequences more than a mere ripple on the surface of literary history." pg 10 of Fujiwara Teika's Superior Poems of Our Time, trans. Robert H. Brower, Earl Miner. 1967, Stanford University Press, L.C. 67-17300, ISBN 0-8047-0171-7
  12. ^ a b c d pg 16 of Brower 1972
  13. ^ Minamoto Ienaga also writes:

    Letting the radiance of his power and majesty shine forth unobscured, at the same time he amused himself with every variety of art and accomplishment. In all of these he was second to none, so that people wondered when and how he had gained such proficiency....For his part, the ex-sovereign showed an interest in every accomplishment, even those which seemed of the most trivial and insignificant kind, so that all sorts of people who had any claim to knowledge of these matters were summoned to his presence, where, it appears, they could petition freely for his favor.

    • pg 9 of Brower 1972
    • See also pg 14: "Go-Toba, on the other hand, while appreciating the need for discipline and practice, remained throughout his life the grand dilettante – man who in his own way appreciated and loved poetry, but who never ceased to regard it as a kind of elegant pastime. Such an attitude is implicit in the ex-emperor's flitting from hobby to hobby, and it is, as his poetic treatise illustrates, at the heart of his critical differences with Teika."
  14. ^ pg 15 and 69 of Brower 1972
  15. ^ pg 667 of Keene 1999
  16. ^ a b pg 663 of Keene 1999
  17. ^ pg 60 of Brower 1972
  18. ^ 1131–1221, youngest son of Akisuke no Rokujō, succeeded him c. 1200; pg 53 of Brower 1972
  19. ^ pg 97, Keene 1989
  20. ^ a b c pg 654 of Keene 1999
  21. ^ pg 14 of Brower 1978
  22. ^ pg 98, Keene 1989
  23. ^ Miner 1968; Miner relates the incident with the lamp on page 113 in comparing Teika's volatile nature against his father's more tranquil peaceable demeanor.
  24. ^ Keen goes into more detail than Brower, giving the date, name, and source: the diary called Gyokuyo ("Jeweled Leaf"), kept by Kujo no Kanezane who lived from 1149 to 1207, and whose daughter, Ninshi, would later become Go-Toba's consort. He wrote: "It has been reported that on the night of the rehearsal of the Gosechi dances in the presence of His Majesty, a quarrel took place between the lesser general Masayuki and the chamberlain Teika. In the course of making some sneering remarks, Masayuki became quite disorderly. Teika, unable to control his indignation and disgust, struck Masayuki with a lantern. Some people say he hit him in the face. Because of this incident, Teika's name was removed from the palace register." pg 662 of Keene 1999
  25. ^ a b c pg 13 of Brower 1972
  26. ^ pg 27 of Brower 1972
  27. ^ pg 15 of Brower 1978
  28. ^ a b pg 17 of Brower 1972
  29. ^ pg 44 of Brower 1972
  30. ^ pg 655 of Keene 1999
  31. ^ pg 97 of Brower 1978
  32. ^ a b pg 18 of Brower 1972
  33. ^ a b pg 46 of Brower 1972
  34. ^ "I [Teika] was commanded to inspect the poems composed for the occasion by the ex-emperor. Truly, a poetic voice as are as gold and precious jewels! This time all of his compositions were beautiful beyond the power of words to express. In the present age there is no one, high or low, who can match him. Each poem was marvelous. I could scarcely keep from shedding tears of admiration." pg 18–19 of Brower 1972
  35. ^ a b pg 656 and note 56 on pg 687 of Keene 1999
  36. ^ pg 47 of Brower 1972
  37. ^ From the Meigetsuki, third month of 1205. pg 21 of Brower 1972
  38. ^ a b from pg 659: "What was the point of holding such a ceremony? It was not in accordance with precedents. It was suddenly arranged and everything was at cross purposes. The poets were not even poets. The choice was most peculiar." Translated by Keene from Teika's diary. See also pg 658 of Keene 1999
  39. ^ a b "Thus, although both Teika and Go-Toba continued to have a genuine respect and appreciation for each other's poetic accomplishments, a certain coolness grew up between then. Perhaps as a consequence, Teika found his ideas largely ignored with respect to revisions of the Shin Kokinshū, upon which the ex-emperor embarked as soon as the anthology was "complete"." pg 21 of Brower 1972
  40. ^ pg 45 of Brower 1972
  41. ^ pg 659 of Keene 1999
  42. ^ pg 21 and 45 of Brower 1972
  43. ^ The text being excerpted from and translated is Go-Toba's Go-Toba no in Gokuden ("The Ex-Emperor Go-Toba's Secret Teachings"). From pg 108 of Brower 1978
  44. ^ "Teika considerably enhanced his position at the court by winning the respect of Go-Toba with his poetry, but relations between the two men eventually deteriorated as Teika became increasingly aware of his own importance in the world of poetry." pg 99, Keene 1989
    • See also pg 18 of Brower 1972: "He was henceforth in constant demand at Go-Toba's palace to participate in impromptu poetry parties, to judge contests, and to give his opinion on other poetic matters. His reputation and prestige were greatly enhanced by these marks of imperial favor, and his 'right' to succeed Shunzei as supreme arbiter of poetry at Court became much more established.....Go-Toba even put together and judged a little 'contest' made up of six each of his own and Teika's poems, giving Teika three wins, two draws, and only one loss."
  45. ^ "Though I [Teika] work hard, it profits me nothing; though I run about in the service of the great, I am poor and ill, old and lame. Yet there is nothing I can do about my wretchedness. Forced to abandon wife and children, I lie in misery in a dilapidated hut, where the rain leaks through onto my bed. All night I find no rest. How much longer can this drifting life go on?" pg 20 of Brower 1972
  46. ^ "Teika was thus often forced to stay overnight in the Minase area, finding makeshift lodgings as best as he could...Sometimes Go-Toba stayed at Toba or Minase for days or even weeks on end, and Teika was expected to be on instant call. He had to hover about the neighborhood, making occasional overnight trips back to his family in Kyoto. The expenses as well as the inconvenience of the ex-emperor's excursions were borne by the courtiers in attendance, and for one who subsisted in Teika's state of shabby gentility, this was an added cause of worry and discontent – especially since the ex-sovereign's appreciation and favor were seldom expressed in material terms. The lengthy separations from his family were difficult; Teika worried about his children, particularly his young heir Mitsuna [Tameie], who were subject to various childhood chills and fevers for which religious incantations were the only known remedy." pg. 20–21 of Brower 1972
  47. ^ "Two things in particular arouse the ex-emperor's ire: Teika's proud and arrogant bearing, his too eager readiness to criticize; and his stubborn refusal to accept a flexible standard for judging poetic quality, a 'double standard' which Go-Toba rightly claims to represent the traditional courtly (and dilettante) attitude in the highly social and occasional contexts of Japanese poetry." pg 30 of Brower 1972
  48. ^ pg 263; Miner and Brower 1961
  49. ^ pg 28, 35–36 of Brower 1972
  50. ^ pg 69 of Brower 1972
  51. ^ pg 71 of Brower 1972
  52. ^ "Years later, while in exile, Gotoba explained why he had rejected the poem. He admired the diction and Teika's unique charm in the form, but insisted that this waka would make a poor model for inexperienced poets to imitate because it lacked a firm structure." pg 100, Keene 1989
    • To quote from Go-Toba himself:

    Again, because his own poem on 'The Grove of Ikuta' was not included among the winning poems for the sliding partitions with paintings of famous beauty spots at my Chapel of the Four Deva Kings [in the Saishō Shitennō Temple], he went about giving vent to his scorn and contempt in various quarters, making many intemperate remarks – a kind of behavior that served rather to demonstrate his own willfulness and lack of restrain than the poor taste of the judges....Although Lord Teika's poetic manner is employed by him with splendid results, it should not, as a general rule, be taken as a model by others....And after all, it does appear superior to Jien's poem on 'The Grove of Ikuta' that was chosen for the painting. At the same time, such lapses of taste and judgement are likely to occur over and over again, not only on my part but with others as well. One mistake surely should not be held against a person forever.

    pg. 42 of Brower 1972
  53. ^ a b c pg 21 of Brower 1972
  54. ^ a b pg 22 of Brower 1972
  55. ^ pg 100, Keene 1989
  56. ^ On the 22nd day of the 2nd month of 1221, Emperor Juntoku wrote in his diary: "At night there was a poetry party....but this evening Lord Teika was not invited. He has been forbidden the palace because of that poem he composed last year, and has been shut up at home in disgrace ever since. The Ex-Emperor was extremely offended, commanding that he be excluded from all poetry parties until further notice....Can it be really true he has been passed over so grievously? On the other hand, not to include Lord Teika in activities having to do with poetry is surely a very grave matter." pg 48 of Brower 1972
  57. ^ "As sovereign and ex-sovereign, he was determined to exercise active rule; he achieved a considerable measure of success by establishing a strong "camera government" (insei) and by firmly controlling the two reigning emperors who succeeded him, his sons Tsuchimikado (1195–1231; r. 1198–1210) and Juntoku (1197–1242; r. 1210–1221). Go-Toba's political obsession was to overthrow the "illegitimate" Minamoto-Hōjō military regime at Kamakura and "restore" authority to the Kyoto court ... But the long period of watchfulness and military preparation, begun on the death of the first Minamoto shogun, Yoritomo (1147–1199), ended in a swift and ignominious defeat in the brief Shokyu War of 1221. Go-Toba's military forces were completely routed ..." pg 8 of Brower 1972
  58. ^ a b pg 706 of Keene 1999
  59. ^ Brower 1972
  60. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Fujiwara Sadaie" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 208, p. 208, at Google Books
  61. ^ a b pg 102, Keene 1989
  62. ^ Entry for 4/14 1225; pg 65 of Brower 1972
  63. ^ pg 829 of Keene 1999
  64. ^ pg 124; Miner 1968
  65. ^ Miner and Brower give two extracts on pg 351 referencing their claims about the origins of the numerous medieval forgeries attributed to Teika. The first is from Kitabatake Chikafusa's Kokinshūjo Chū ("Commentary upon the Prefaces to the Kokinshū") as reprinted in "(NKGT, IV, xlix)" (where "NKGT" refers to the Nihon Kagaku Taikei):

    When Lord Tameie died, his wife, Lady Abutsu the Nun, took the poetic documents with her to Kamakura. Later, Tameie's heir, Lord Tameuji, brought suit and in consequence, during the time of the ex-Emperor Kameyama, a command was issued from the court of the ex-Emperor to the authorities in Kamakura ordering the documents to be handed over. At that time they surrendered all the writings that had been catalogued long ago and were well known to various people, but apparently because not even Lord Tameuji had any clear idea of the contents of the Cormorant and Heron boxes, they retained the secret writings, filled the boxes with forgeries, and handed those over instead.

    A second account comes from a priest named "Genshō" (flourished c. 1300), who was Tameuji's younger brother and thus supported the Nijō, in his Waka Kuden or Gukanshō ("Oral Traditions of Poetry"; from "NKGT, IV, 46"):

    The Nun Abutsu and the Great Counselor [Tameuji] quarreled over the poetic documents... Abutsu hid the catalog of poetic writings written in the former Middle Counselor's [Tameie] own hand, and held back a number of important documents which she proceeded to display to all and sundry. She was twice warned in a dream and then she and her two sisters died in rapid succession. Japanese Court Poetry, Earl Miner, Robert H. Brower. 1961

  66. ^ pg 25 of Brower 1972
  67. ^ a b Unforgotten dreams: poems by the Zen monk Shōtetsu, 1997. Steven D. Carter, Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-10576-2
  68. ^ "...he wrote that, despite the infirmities of old age, he intended to copy manuscripts for the sake of future generations." pg 693 of Keene 1999
  69. ^ "Differences among the earliest of these are not entirely negligible, but readers interested in Kokinshū as it was known to almost everyone who read or cited it after its recanonization in the late 12th century can be advised to begin with one of the 18 or so versions believed to have been transcribed and edited by Fujiwara Teika from 1209 until 1237, four years before his death." From the article "What is Kokin Wakashu?", provided by the University of Virginia Japanese Text Initiative
  70. ^ Miner and Brower translate on pg. 248 a portion of the Maigetsusho: "Now then, as I have written to you numerous times, you should peruse at leisure the several imperial anthologies from the Man'yōshū down to the present and reach an understanding of the ways in which the various styles have changed with the passage of time.....As for Man'yōshū, it represents a very ancient age when the hearts of men were unsophisticated, so that even if we try to emulate it, we cannot possibly succeed in this present generation. It is especially important for a novice that he not permit himself to become enamored of the archaic style." Japanese Court Poetry, Earl Miner, Robert H. Brower. 1961
  71. ^ Extract from "Fujiwara Teika's Maigetsusho" by Robert H. Brower, Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 40, No. 4. (Winter, 1985), pp. 399–425.
  72. ^ pg 47 of Brower 1978
  73. ^ pg 41: "Even such unquestionably accomplished sophisticated poets as Ki no Tsurayuki and Fujiwara Teika turned late in life to simpler, more declarative poetic modes in order to achieve a simple integrity (makoto) that seemed to them lacking in their earlier poetry." Japanese Court Poetry, Earl Miner, Robert H. Brower. 1961
  74. ^ pg 81 of Brower 1978
  75. ^ "At the Abbey of St. Gall in Switzerland, where the star could barely be seen over the southern Alpine horizon, chroniclers nevertheless described it as the most significant event of the year: "a star of unusual magnitude, shimmering brightly... in the extreme south, beyond all the constellations." And the Japanese poet Fujiwara Teika two centuries later celebrated the fame of the "great guest star" in his "Diary of the Clear Moon"." from "Stardust Memories" by Frank Winkler, pg A25 of May 5, 2005 New York Times
  76. ^ pg 95, Keene 1989
  77. ^ "Professor Tsuji Hikosaburō, the author of an important study of Chronicle of the Bright Moon, demonstrated that Teika wrote this passage (and the rest of the entries for 1180 and 1181) many years later, when he was about seventy. The feelings expressed in this passage where therefore not those of a young man who disdained to become involved with the vulgar passions of the world but of an old man who reached this conclusion in looking back on his life." pg 96, Keene 1989
  78. ^ pg 113, Keene 1989
  79. ^ a b pg 683 of Keene 1999
  80. ^ a b Fujiwara Teika's Superior Poems of Our Time, trans. Robert H. Brower, Earl Miner. 1967, Stanford University Press, L.C. 67-17300, ISBN 0-8047-0171-7
  81. ^ pg. 270; Brower and Miner reference it as "NKGT, III, 327". Miner, Brower. 1961
  82. ^ Vieillard-Baron, M. (2001) Fujiwara no Teika (1162–1242) et la notion d’excellence en poésie – Théorie et pratique de la composition dans le Japon classique. Paris: Institut des Hautes études Japonaises.
  83. ^ Tollini. A. (2006): La concezione poetica di Fujiwara no Teika. Venezia: Cafoscarina Editrice.
  84. ^ Tóth, J. (2014): Vertikális intertextualitás és stílushierarchia Fujiwara no Teika Havi feljegyzések című művében. Keletkutatás 2014 (autumn) 53–90.

External links[edit]