Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Murmured ConversationsA Treatise on Poetry and Buddhism by the Poet-Monk Shinkei$

Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804748636

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804748636.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use (for details see www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy). Subscriber: null; date: 16 January 2019

(p.337) Appendix: Biographical Notes

(p.337) Appendix: Biographical Notes

Murmured Conversations
Stanford University Press

List of Entries

Biographical Notes

  • BONTŌ, or Bontōan-ju (secular name Asayama Morotsuna) (1349–ca. 1417). Member of a warrior clan that had been Ashikaga retainers since Takauji's day. Bontō himself served the Shōgun Yoshimitsu and was sent to Satsuma in Kyūshū as the Shogun's representative in 1391 and 1398. He spent the next twenty years in the provinces, traveling from Kumano (in Wakayama) westward to Shikoku and then north to the Tōhoku region. While in Tōhoku, he built himself a hut at Matsushima and assisted in laying the plans for the Kōmyōji, a Jishū-sect temple in what is now Yamagata Prefecture. He returned to the capital in 1408 and apparently took holy orders thereafter.

    Like Imagawa Ryōshun, Bontō studied waka with Reizei Tamehide (d. 1372; Tamesuke's son) and renga with Nijō Yoshimoto. He transmitted Yoshimoto's teachings in the Bontōan-ju hentōshō (1417) and the Chōtanshō (1390). Other extant works are the Bontōan sodejitashū (1384), also a renga handbook, and the Bontō rengaawase jūgoban (1415), a collection of his best tsukeku, arranged in fifteen rounds and judged by the Rtd. Emperor Go-Komatsu (1377–1443; r. 1392–1412).

    Shinkei called Bontō “the guiding light of the Way” in his generation because he transmitted Yoshimoto's teachings; however, he would also deplore the deleterious effects upon his art of his long exile from the capital. See the pertinent citation from Oi no kurigoto in HF, pp. 101–2.

  • (p.339) [LAY MONK] DŌIN (ca. 1090–1182). Vice-director of the Horses Bureau, son of the Civil Affairs Ministry official Fujiwara Kiyotaka and a daughter of the Governor of Nagato province. Became known in waka circles in his later years, participating in the leading events and himself sponsoring large-scale waka contests at the Sumiyoshi and Hirota Shrines. Last known public appearance in 1179, at the contest sponsored by Minister of the Right Fujiwara Kanezane. Twenty poems included in the Senzaishū, the imperial anthology compiled by Shunzei in 1183–87. See also Chapter 51 above.

  • [RTD. EMPEROR] GO-TOBAShinkokinshūGeorge Sansom, A History of Japan to 1334 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1958), pp. 376–85

    A man of many talents, Go-Toba practiced the arts of music as well as poetry, but also more vigorous activities like horsemanship and kickball (kemari). His greatest enthusiasm, however, was reserved for the Shinkokinshū, whose compilation he decreed in 1201, the year after he reestablished the then defunct Wakadokoro and sponsored the first of the two 100-poem sequences that would provide material for the anthology. Other events of lasting literary historical consequence that he sponsored and participated in himself are Rōnyaku gojisshu uta awase (Fifty-poem Match by Old and Young [1201]), Minase-dono koi jūgoshu uta awase (The Minase Palace Fifteen Love Poems Match [1202]), Sengohyakuban uta awase (Poem Contest in 1,500 Rounds [1201–2]), Kasuga no yashiro no uta awase (Poem Contest for the Kasuga Shrine [1204]), Genkyū shiika uta awase (Chinese-Japanese Poetry Match in the Genkyū Era [1205]), Saishōshitennōin shōji waka (Waka for the Saishōshitennō Temple Painting Screens [1207]), and Entō on'uta awase (Poetry Match in the Distant Island [1236]), commissioned by correspondence from Oki Island. Involving scores of contemporary poets and generating thousands of poems, these events may be viewed as an assertion of the court's cultural supremacy in the face of the new political dominance by the warrior class. However, they also undoubtedly stimulated what is now considered the highest development of the ancient art of waka poetry; certainly, by the Muromachi period, the efflorescence sponsored by Go-Toba would be viewed with nostalgia and (p.340) admiration by Shōtetsu, Shinkei, and subsequent artists of the word. It is interesting to note that even after the Shinkokinshū's completion in 1205, Go-Toba kept reediting the collection; indeed, he continued work on it in his exile, as evidenced in the existence of a variant version called the Oki Text Shinkokinshū. Aside from his commentaries during the poetry contests above, the treatise Go-Toba-in onkuden (post-1221?; trans. Robert Brower as “Ex-Emperor Go-Toba's Secret Teachings: Go-Toba no In Gokuden,” HJAS 32 (1972): 5–70) is an important critical work presenting his concept of the ideal waka style and his evaluation of the leading poets of his day. He identified Shunzei's style of “gentleness and grace, profound heart-mind, and moving quality” (yasashiku en ni, kokoro mo fukaku, awarenaru tokoro) as ideal, and was critical of Teika's more involved, obscure syntax. Go-Toba's own poetry is said to conform generally to the Shinkokin mode, chiefly manifesting itself in a refined, fluid syntax, loftiness of tone, or at times a vivid and fresh visual impression. This style underwent no major change in his exile, except for a perhaps predictable increase in deeply moving poems around the thematics of longing for the capital and for times past.

  • GUSAI, or Kyūsei (ca. 1282–1376). The most famous renga master of the Nambokuchō period, and renga's first major poet. A disciple of Zen'a from an early age; first became known when already around 38 years old, when he began participating in the annual 1,000-verse sessions at the Kitano Shrine around 1319. He seems to have studied waka under Reizei Tamesuke (b. 1263) after this, but there is no information about him for the next twenty years, probably because of the civil disorders that preceded the division into the Northern and Southern Courts. He composed verses in 1339 for the Toki Yoritō-ke renga and again in 1341 for the Kiyomizudera renga and a session at his home called the Gusaitaku renga. For the next eighteen years, until the compilation of the Tsukubashū (1356–57), in which he assisted his student Nijō Yoshimoto, he became increasingly prominent. His friends included such members of the nobility as the Cloistered Prince Son'in (1306–59), and such powerful warrior officials as Ashikaga Tadayoshi (1307–52; brother of the Shōgun Takauji), and Takauji's lieutenant Sasaki Dōyo. By the end of the Nambokuchō era, he was recognized as the greatest contemporary authority and poet of linked verse. Gusai's tutorship of Yoshimoto had a fateful influence on the history of renga. It was his teachings that were reflected in Yoshimoto's critical works—notably the Renrihishō (1349), a treatise that, among other things, reiterated the principle that linking should be an internal process designed to produce the qualities of yūgen (ineffable depth) and yojō (suggestiveness, overtones)—and it was also he who helped Yoshimoto to compile the Renga shinshiki (also called Ōan shinshiki, 1372), the handbook that consolidated existing practices into a coherent body of rules governing renga composition.

    Gusai's renga style is the most representative example of the intermingling of commoner and court renga circles that characterized the Nambokuchō period and was especially promoted by Nijō Yoshimoto. However, while evincing the new aesthetic of profundity and overtones, its essential characteristics are firmly rooted in the commoner tradition, as well as the character and talent of the man himself. As (p.341) summarized by the renga historian Kidō Saizō, his verse style is marked by a firm integral unity and starkness of tone or rhythm. In linking, he does not eschew the verbal correspondences and antithetical structure developed within the commoner tradition, but at their best, his tsukeku generate a wide separation between themselves and the maeku, signifying a purely inward and profound connection, while simultaneously effecting a startling transformation of the maeku. His central position in the contemporary renga milieu is amply confirmed in the Tsukubashū, which includes 126 of his verses, by far the highest number among all the poets anthologized there. RS 1.20–21, 238–52. It is clear from Shinkei's writings that he had a high regard for Gusai's profundity and distinctive manner of linking; the same goes for Sōgi, who begins his critical handbook of model renga verses, Oi no susami, with examples from this poet.

  • [FUJIWARA] HIDEYOSHI, or Hidetō (1184–1240). Son of Hidemune, Governor of Kawachi (Osaka) and Yamato (Nara), junior fifth rank; his mother was the daughter of Minamoto Mitsumoto, the Governor of Iga (Mie). At fifteen, Hideyoshi became one of the “north-facing warriors” (hokumen bushi), a guards group in the special service of the retired sovereign. Subsequently, he was an officer of the Gate Guards, and later Governor of Dewa Province (Akita and Yamagata), as well as Kawachi, with junior fifth rank. As a loyal warrior who enjoyed the friendship and patronage of Go-Toba, he fought as a general of the imperial troops against the bakufu forces during the Jōkyū Disturbance (1219–21). After Go-Toba's defeat and banishment, and with his own children and brothers dead in battle, he took the tonsure and went into reclusion in the mountains of Kumano under the priestly name Nyogan. He traveled to Iwami in 1236 to see Go-Toba, though it is not known whether he made it across to Oki Island. He was, however, one of the participants in Go-Toba's 1236 Entō on'uta awase. Only seventeen when he began appearing in poetry meetings in 1201; appointed to the Wakadokoro, he remained an active participant in all the major contests and poetry sessions of his day. He has 17 poems in the Shinkokinshū and 939 in the individual anthology Nyogan-hōshi shū. Go-Toba writes that Hideyoshi's poetry has a loftiness (take) unexpected in someone of his class, and that even his ordinary poems are remarkably attractive (Go-Toba-in onkuden, ed. Hisamatsu Sen'ichi, NKBT 65: 147). Unlike the major Shinkokinshū poets, Hideyoshi seldom employs kakekotoba and allusive variation in his work, which hews instead to direct expression of feeling and simple but strong descriptions of nature.

  • [FUJIWARA] IETAKA, or Karyū (1158–1237). Born to the daughter of an official of the Empress Dowager's household and Mitsutaka, at the time Minister of Civil Affairs and Governor of Etchū (Toyama), later Acting Middle Counselor with senior second rank. Ietaka himself was successively Governor of Etchū and Kazusa (Chiba), then Minister of the Imperial Household from 1206. He first became eminent in poetic circles in the 1190s, and thereafter his name figures in practically all the meetings and contests of his day; his several children were also talented poets. Go-Toba, who appointed him one of the Shinkokinshū editors, (p.342) deemed him a strong, effective poet who produced so many superior pieces that he outstripped everyone else (Go-Toba-in onkuden, ed. Hisamatsu, p. 147). In 1216, he attained to the junior third rank, thus joining the senior nobility at age fifty-eight; he reached the pinnacle of his official career in 1235 at age seventy-seven, when he was awarded the junior second rank. The following year, 1236, Go-Toba, then in his fifteenth year of exile on Oki Island, commanded him to gather ten poems each on ten given topics from fifteen poets (including himself), which the sovereign then arranged into a poetry contest, significantly matching his own poems against Ietaka's (this is the Entō on'uta awase). Taken ill late in the same year, 1236, Ietaka took the tonsure with the priestly name Busshō (“buddha nature”), subsequently retiring to Tennōji. where he died in 1237, leaving seven poems composed just the day before. He was indeed a prolific poet. His individual anthology, Minishū (also Mibu-nihon shū or Gyokuginshū), compiled by the former Palace Minister Kujō Motoie in 1245, includes 2,857 (plus some 340 more in variant texts) poems. Forty-three appear in the Shinkokinshū, putting him in seventh place, after Teika's forty-six. In the imperial anthology compiled by Teika himself in 1235, the Shinchokusenshū, Ietaka has the highest number of all at forty-three. See also Chapter 50 above.

  • IMAGAWA RYŌSHUN. See under “Ryōshun.”

  • [LADY] ISE (ca. 877–940). One of the three best-known woman poets of the Heian period, the others being Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu. Her name derives from her father's title as Governor of Ise Province. She came to court as lady-in-waiting to Empress Onshi during the reign of Emperor Uda (r. 887–97), and bore him a son who died young. Later, she was loved too by Uda's son Prince Atsuyoshi; Lady Nakatsukasa, whose poems appear in the Shūishū, was the result of that union. The recognition given Ise's skill may be seen from her participation in the Teijin no uta awase (913), where she competed on an equal footing with such illustrious figures as Ki no Tsurayuki and Oshikōchi Mitsune. Her individual anthology, the Ise shū, includes 483 poems; 15 are in the Shinkokinshū. (WBD, pp. 52–53)

  • JAKUREN (1139?–1202). Adopted by Shunzei when his father Shunkai, Shunzei's younger brother, entered the priesthood at Daigoji; thus from an early age received the direct influence of Shunzei's teachings. He was Junior Assistant Minister at the Ministry for Central Affairs, with Junior Fifth Rank, when he took the tonsure, presumably around 1172, when Shunzei's own son, Teika, was ten years old. He would then have been in his early thirties. As a monk, Jakuren traveled and undertook religious austerities in various provinces, including Kawachi and Yamato, in 1173–80, and in Izumo and the Azuma region in 1190–91. He was already participating in poetry matches in the capital in 1167 and kept up his poetic endeavors even after entering the priesthood, composing numerous hyakushu with the new innovative poets Yoshitsune, Teika, and Ietaka. His running debate with the rival Rokujō-school poet Kenjō during the Roppyakuban uta awase of 1193–94 is well known, and he proved himself an important member of the Mikohidari school in other ways (p.343) as well. When Go-Toba became the center of the poetic milieu from 1200, Jakuren was one of its leading members and was appointed to the Wakadokoro as one of the compilers of the Shinkokinshū. Unfortunately, he passed away in the early autumn of 1202, before the completion of that anthology, which includes thirty-five of his poems, eighth place in number. Go-Toba, who awarded him property in Akashi, apparently had great admiration for his work and he lauds his skill in composing on musubidai, linked or compound topics, and gives the following evaluation:

    Jakuren was someone who did not compose poems in a cavalier manner. He labored over them so minutely, they fell just short of the truly sublime. Yet when he did set out to compose in the lofty mode, as in the poem “Masses of white clouds trailing / beyond the peak of Tatsuta” [Tatsuta no oku ni / kakaru shirakumo], for the Three Styles meeting, the result was awesome. On occasion, he would compose rapidly, producing renga and even “mad poems” [kyōka] in an instant and still managing to make sense, so that he seemed to me a genuine adept. (Go-Toba-in onkuden, ed. Hisamatsu, pp. 146–47)

    Kamo no Chōmei recounts Jakuren's dissatisfaction with the cavalier attitude of Minamoto Tomochika to poetry, comparing him unfavorably to his sister Kunaikyō, one of the major poetesses in the Shinkokinshū, who is said to have perished from her poetic exertions (Mumyōshō, p. 77). Jakuren's individual anthology, the Jakuren-hōshi shū, exists in five variant editions, possibly an indication of the popular esteem in which his work was held. See also Chapters 50 and 56; the poem “Masses of white clouds trailing …,” cited above by Go-Toba, appears in Chapter 7.

  • JIEN. See under “Jichin.”

  • JICHIN (posthumous name of Jien) (1155–1225). Priest with exceedingly high connections in the sociopolitical world. Son of the Regent Fujiwara Tadamichi; younger brother of two other Fujiwara regents, Motofusa and Kanezane; and the uncle of still another, the poet Yoshitsune. At eleven, Jichin began his studies at Hieizan; at fourteen, he took the tonsure. By 1178, when he was twenty-four, he had risen to the rank of Abbot of the Hōshōji. Six years later, his close friendship with Rtd. Emperor Go-Toba earned him the position of gojisō (Imperial Exorcist). In 1192, as Acting Archbishop, he became Abbot of the Tendai sect, a position to which he was reappointed four times. An influential personage who bridged the clerical and political spheres, Jichin is the author of the famous Gukanshō (ca. 1220), a historical chronicle covering the early times until the Jōkyū era (1219–21) and considered the first attempt to interpret, rather than merely record, events. He is represented in the Shinkokinshū by ninety-two poems, a number second only to the ninety-four by Saigyō, the other prominent poet-priest of the period.

  • JŪBUTSU (dates unknown). One of Zen'a's followers in the popular renga milieu, he was a priest from Yamato who was known for his many talents, including waka, Chinese, and medicine. He was invited by the first Ashikaga shōgun, Takauji, to (p.344) lecture on the Man'yōshū and is the author of the travel record Daijingū sankeiki (Record of a Pilgrimage to the Great [Ise] Shrine [1342]). He is reported to have written also a thirty-volume reference work on renga called Shūjinshō, which has unfortunately not survived.

  • JUNKAKU (1268–ca. 1355). Priest of the Shōmyōji Temple and learned renga in Kamakura. He came to Kyoto around 1309 and enrolled as Zen'a's disciple, participating like Shinshō in the Hōrinji 1,000-Verse Sequence of 1312. After staying for several years in Kyoto, he went back to live in Kamakura, remaining in the Shōmyōji until the defeat of the Hōjō in 1333. The Junkaku-bon Ise monogatari is a copy of that classic that Junkaku wrote, according to its colophon, in 1341, when he was seventy-three. That he was still alive around 1355 may be surmised from the fact that he was the first renga teacher of Imagawa Ryōshun (1325–1420), and Ryōshun first came to renga in his early thirties. Junkaku's diction and rhythm is as plain and stark as Shinshō's, but he occasionally exhibits in addition the qualities of depth and loftiness. He has nineteen verses in the Tsukubashū. RS 1.211–14.

  • KENZAI (1452–1510). Renga poet from Aizu District in Iwashiro Province (Fukushima Province); first taught by Shinkei as a young priest of eighteen, when he came to Edo and subsequently invited the master to Aizu in 1470; it was also probably around this time that he met Sōgi. After Shinkei's death in 1475, he moved to Kyōto, where he quickly attained success as a renga poet, succeeding Sōgi as Kitano bugyō, Master of the Kitano Renga Meeting Hall, in 1489. In 1490, he visited Yamaguchi (Suo Province) at the invitation of Ōuchi Masahiro, to whom he presented the renga handbook Renga entokushō. He was back in Yamaguchi in the Ninth Month of 1495 in order to show the dying Masahiro the manuscripts for the Shinsen Tsukubashū. The diary Ashita no kumo is a moving account of Masahiro's death on the eighteenth day of the Ninth Month (1495) and of the subsequent funeral ceremonies. It includes an elegiac poem jointly composed by Sanjō Kin'atsu and the priest Shōnin, as well as memorial renga hyakuin held daily for the rest of the Ninth Month.

    Back in the capital, Kenzai participated in renga sessions sponsored by Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado (1442–1500; r. 1465–1500) and later by Emperor Go-Kashiwabara (1464–1526; r. 1500–1526), at the same time studying waka with Gyōe (1430–ca. 1498). Later, he went back to live in Iwashiro, where he was well known among the feudal lords of the eastern and northern regions. One of his last works was the Ashina-ke kitō hyakuin of 1505, a 100-verse sequence composed as a prayer for the reconciliation of the warring father and son of the Ashina clan in Aizu.

    Kenzai's verses from 1469 to 1508 are gathered together in the extensive four-part anthology, Sono no chiri. They are written in a poetic style whose sharply delineated, realistic quality is often contrasted to Shinkei's spirituality and Sōgi's lyrical descriptions of scenery. Apart from Sono no chiri, there are extant some thirty volumes of his hyakuin, and his most famous composition, the Seibyō hōraku senku, a votive offering 1,000-verse sequence, read from the tenth day of the Second Month, 1494, as part of the Kitano Shrine sessions.

    (p.345) Shinkei sōzu teikinRenga honshikiYōshinshōshikimokuHF, pp. 132–33, 141–47, and 173–74

  • [MINAMOTO] KINTADA (889–948). Grandson of Emperor Kōkō (r. 884–87). Served variously as Chamberlain and Governor of Yamashiro and Ōmi provinces during the reigns of Daigo (r. 889–931) and Suzaku (r. 931–47), reaching the junior fourth rank and position of Controller of the Right. Counted among the Thirty-Six Poet Immortals [Sanjūrokkasen], he was a close friend of Ki no Tsurayuki, enjoyed the trust of his cousin, the Emperor Daigo, and was a frequent participant at poetry matches and picture screen poem compositions at the palace. Also a practitioner of hawking and incense-making, he is mentioned in the Genji monogatari as a famous expert at incense competitions. The Kintada shū, his individual anthology, includes seventeen, thirty-nine, or fifty-two poems, the number varying according to the textual lineage. He also figures in anecdotes told in setsuwa collections like Yamato monogatari and Uji shūi monogatari. See also Chapter 46 above.

  • KODAI NO KIMI, or Koōgimi (dates unknown). Woman poet of the mid-Heian period; one of the so-called Thirty-Six Poet Immortals, but very little is known about her life, except that she was a Lady Chamberlain when Rtd. Emperor Sanjō (976–1017; r. 1011–16) was still Crown Prince. Still, the fact that her poem opens the Goshūishū imperial anthology (ca. 1086–87) and that she figures in poetry matches with leading poets indicate a high place in the cultural milieu of her day. The Goshūishū, it must be noted, is distinguished by the exceptionally high percentage, 31.5 percent, of poems by women; that is, 384 poems by ninety-nine female poets, indicating their active role in poetry as well during the height of Heian women's prose writing, a period that coincided with the reign of Emperor Ichijō (980–1011; r. 986–1011) and the regency of the Fujiwara. The individual anthology, Kodai no Kimi shū, exists in four variant texts, the first of which includes 161 poems.

  • [LADY] KUNAIKYŌ (fl. 1200–1205). Lady-in-waiting to Rtd. Emperor Go-Toba; regarded as one of the most accomplished woman poets of her age, a reputation that she shared with the poet known as Shunzei's Daughter. Her father Minamoto Moromitsu was also an active participant in poetic meetings, but reached only the position of Acting Master of the Capital, Right Division (ukyō daibu), with senior fifth rank. Her mother, the daughter of the painter Kose Munemochi, was a lady-in-waiting to Rtd. Emperor Go-Shirakawa called Aki. Kunaikyō's ability in painting, perhaps an influence from her maternal grandfather, manifested itself in an impressionistic poetic style that revealed a high sensitivity to the colors of nature. It was her undoubted poetic talent that led Go-Toba to invite her to his court; unfortunately, her career was all too brief; she is said to have been less than twenty when she died, in contrast to Shunzei's Daughter, who was still writing in (p.346) her eighties. “Kunaikyō's poetic labors were so exhausting she spat blood,” we are told in Sasamegoto. (See Chapter 21 and n. 4 there for a revealing anecdote about her from Mumyōshō.) Fifteen of her poems appear in the Shinkokinshū.

  • KYŌUN, or Keiun (ca. 1293–1369). Along with his father Jōben (ca. 1265–1344), Ton'a (1289–1372), and the author of Essays in Idleness, Kenkō (ca. 1283–1352), one of the so-called “four deva kings of waka” (waka shitennō) in the late Kamakura period who were leading disciples of the Nijō-school master Tameyo (1250–1338). Kyōun was particularly close to the Cloistered Prince Sondō of the Shōren'in, the Tendai monzeki temple in Higashiyama, and was appointed acting superintendent of the Gion Shrine. He received the Kokin denju from Nijō Tamesada (1293–1360), compiler of the eighteenth imperial anthology, Shinsenzaishū (1359), but in his late years associated with Reizei Tamehide (d. 1372), to whom he is said to have transmitted the said Kokinshū received traditions. In the Kinrai fūteishō (The Styles of Recent Times [1387]), Nijō Yoshimoto evaluates his poetry thus: “It favors the sublime and is imbued with the loneliness of things; tending slightly to the old styles, its form and feeling are affecting, in a way that makes the ears prick up” (quoted in WBJ, p. 173). The Keiunshū, his individual anthology, includes some 300 poems. See also Chapter 56 above.

  • [FUJIWARA OR ASUKAI] MASATSUNE (1170–1221). Son of a daughter of Acting Middle Counselor Minamoto Akimasa, senior second rank, and Fujiwara Yoritsune, Minister of Punishments and Governor of Bugo (Ōita), junior fourth rank. When his father was banished to Izu in 1189, Masatsune too went east and lived in Kamakura, where he married the daughter of a senior retainer of the bakufu and learned the art of kickball (kemari), eventually becoming so expert as to found the Asukai school of that genteel sport. Summoned back to the capital in 1197 by Go-Toba, he became one the sovereign's close personal attendants, serving as Captain of the Palace Guards and later Commander of the Military Guards, Right Division. His debut in the poetry milieu was in 1198; thereafter, recognizing his talent, Go-Toba included him in subsequent matches, finally appointing him to the Waka Bureau and the editorial board of the Shinkokinshū in 1201. Masatsune retained his ties to Kamakura and conveniently served as the link between Teika and his waka student, the young Shōgun Minamoto Sanetomo (1192–1219; r. 1203–19). He attained to junior third rank in 1218 and was appointed Consultant in 1220, but died the following year at age fifty-one. The Asukai wakashū includes 1,672 poems; 22 appear in the Shinkokinshū. Masatsune was a dexterous poet who gave careful thought to his compositions, Go-Toba-in onkuden notes (ed. Hisamatsu, p. 147).

  • [FUJIWARA] NAGAYOSHI, or Nagatō (b. 949?). Mid-Heian poet, son of the Governor of Ise, Fujiwara Tomoyasu (senior fourth rank, upper grade), and younger brother of Michitsuna's mother, the author of Kagerō nikki (Gossamer Diary). In 1005, he achieved his highest rank, junior fifth, upper grade, and was appointed Governor of Ise, but he disappears thereafter from public records. Numbered (p.347) among the Thirty-Six Poet Immortals, Nagayoshi also has the distinction of being the teacher of the famous poet-priest Nōin (b. 988) and of founding the practice of formal poetic transmission. The Nagatō shū, his individual anthology, has 147 poems, including pieces on daily life in the provinces and poetic exchanges with women, while a variant text features more public pieces from poetry contests and inscriptions on painting screens.

  • NIJŌ YOSHIMOTO (1320–88). The greatest patron of renga in the Nambokuchō period (1336–92). A son of the Minister of the Left Fujiwara Michihira, Yoshimoto was at first attached to Emperor Go-Daigo's court, but elected to remain in Kyoto with the northern faction during the split into the two courts. He gradually rose in the official hierarchy until he became Prime Minister (Daijōdaijin). He was appointed Regent (Sesshō) four times, and thus enjoyed great influence both at court and among the military throughout the incumbency of the first three Ashikaga shōguns. Yoshimoto was well versed in waka and waka poetics, both of which he had studied with the Nijō school poet Ton'a (1289–1372). Nevertheless, he made renga his main avocation, having begun studying it from his early twenties with the renga master Gusai, with whom he would collaborate in the task of establishing the basis of an orthodox renga tradition.

    Yoshimoto's most important achievement was undoubtedly his compilation of the first renga anthology, the Tsukubashū, between 1356 and 1357. He seems to have gone to enormous effort to secure for the Tsukubashū, over the objections of those who wished to preserve the primacy of waka, the status of a quasi-imperial anthology comparable to the imperial waka collections. In this, he received valuable assistance from some of the powerful warrior officials, especially Ashikaga Takauji's trusted ally Sasaki Dōyo (1306–73).

    Besides compiling the Tsukubashū, Yoshimoto produced a body of critical writings which established a theoretical foundation for the renga as a poetic form. His Renga shinshiki (1372) took the various poetic practices employed in actual sessions on the one hand, and existing handbooks of rules such as the Kenji shinshiki established by Zen'a on the other, and synthesized them into a new, relatively complete set of rules governing renga composition. Although partially revised in later periods, the book remained the definitive renga authority until the nineteenth century. After the Renga shinshiki, Yoshimoto's most important works are the Renrihishō, the Tsukuba mondō (1357–72), and the Kyūshū mondō (1376). The last two are couched in the form of dialogues—the first illuminating the history and origins of linked verse, its connection with Buddhism, and elements of practice and technique; and the second (written for Imagawa Ryōshun, who was then Commissioner of Kyūshū) explaining Yoshimoto's ideal of excellence in verse-making.

    Yoshimoto's most decisive influence on the subsequent development of renga was his introduction of the aesthetic ideals of the waka tradition into the literary foundations of this new poetic form. What might be called the new style of the Nambokuchō period was a combination of the formal structural strengths developed in the commoner renga tradition and the yūgen aesthetic advocated by (p.348) Yoshimoto. In turn, the renga revival represented by Sōzei, Shinkei, and the other “seven sages” of the Muromachi period had its basis in the Nambokuchō style on the one hand and moved even further in the direction of the classical tradition on the other through these poets' simultaneous training in waka with Shōtetsu, for whom Teika and the Shinkokinshū represented the apogee of waka development.

  • NŌIN (988–ca. 1051). Numbered among the “thirty-six poet immortals of mid-antiquity” (chūko sanjūrokkasen); the wandering poet who became a model for Saigyō in the early medieval period. A son of the provincial Governor of Higo (Kumamoto), Nōin attended the university in the capital and received the usual degree in Chinese letters (monjōshō), but at twenty-six in 1013, he embarked on the path of reclusion and wandering that would characterize his life. His hermitage was in Kosobe (modern Osaka) and from there he went on travels to nearby provinces, across the sea to Shikoku, and twice on foot pilgrimage all the way up to the deep North. He also studied waka poetry with Fujiwara Nagayoshi (or Nagatō, see entry above), a relationship that reportedly established the practice of master-disciple transmission in the field of poetry. He was a participant in the prominent poetry matches at court, including those sponsored by the Regent and Minister of the Left Yorimichi in 1035, by the Palace in 1049, and by the household of Imperial Princess Yūshi in 1050. At the same time, he was an active member of the informal middle-class poetry milieu composed of retainers of noble households and families of provincial governors. The Nōin hōshi shū is his self-selected anthology, dating from sometime after 1045 and containing some 256 poems. The Nōin utamakura (Nōin Poem Pillow), a lexicon of poetic words, monthly poem topics, and famous sites in various provinces is considered the very first of its genre, valued by poetry students through the ages, as witness its wider dissemination in a woodblock print edition from the Genroku period (1688–1704). He was reportedly also the author of a travel journal, the Yasojima no ki (Record of the Eighty Islands), and another work on poem topics, Daishō (Notes on Poem Topics), but these manuscripts have been lost. That he was one of the earliest readers and owners of Sei Shonagon's Pillowbook may be gathered from the existence of the Nōin-bon Makura sōshi (the Nōin-Text Pillowbook), a textual lineage stemming from his copy, and one of the valuable source texts for this work. Nōin is probably best known today among readers of Japanese literature for the poem he composed upon reaching Shirakawa Barrier, the gateway to the far North; subsequent poets, including Saigyō, Shinkei, Sōgi, Kenzai, and Bashō would allude to it on their own journeys there. It is GSIS 518: Travel.

        miyako o ba kasumi to tomo ni tachishikado akikaze zo fuku shirakawa no seki

        When I left, the haze was just rising over the capital—Across Shirakawa Barrier now the autumn wind is blowing.

  • REIZEI TAMEHIDE (d. 1372). Second son of Tamesuke, attained to the second rank with the office of Middle Counselor. Losing his father and elder brother in (p.349) his twenties, he made the Kantō his base of activities during the period of rivalry between the Kyōgoku and Nijō schools, but gradually came into his own, establishing connections with the Shōgun Ashikaga Takauji (1305–58; r. 1338–58), as well as with the court poetic milieu, until he was appointed one of the officials in charge of compiling the seventeenth imperial anthology, Fūgashū (comp. 1345–48). Patronized by the Regent, Nijō Yoshimoto, he also became the poetry master of the Shōgun Yoshiakira (1330–67; r. 1358–67) in the 1360s and acted as judge in the poetry contest sponsored by him at the dedication of the Shintamatsushima Shrine in 1367. Tamehide was at one period a member of the monthly poetry meetings led by the Nijō leader, Tamesada, but a falling-out occurred between them, and he was subsequently excluded from the Shinsenzaishū (1359) anthology compiled by Tamesada that would mark the beginning of the Nijō dominance. In general, he maintained the liberal principles of his father, composed in a Kyōgoku-influenced style, and counted among his disciples Imagawa Ryōshun who in turn transmitted the Reizei principles to his disciple Shōtetsu. It was, of course, through Shōtetsu's mentorship of Shinkei and other Muromachi renga poets that the Reizei school influenced the course of renga.

  • [IMAGAWA] RYŌSHUN, or Sadayo (1326–1420). Military general and waka scholar; belonged to the prominent eastern daimyō clan, Imagawa, based in Tōtōmi and Suruga (modern Shizuoka) provinces, and related to the Ashikaga shogunal clan. He entered the Shōgun Yoshiakira's service as a young man and in 1370 was appointed by the Shōgun Yoshimitsu as Commissioner [tandai] of Kyūshū, with the task of subduing the loyalist (Southern court) forces entrenched in the island. He held the position for twenty-five years, during which he successfully broke the back of the loyalist resistance by means of his brilliant military strategies. In 1395, he was recalled to the capital on false charges of disloyalty to the bakufu brought against him by the daimyō Ōuchi Yoshihiro (1355–1400). A few years later, his loyalty once more came into question, and he was subsequently stripped of his offices as Constable of Suruga and Tōtōmi provinces. Thereafter, he retired to the country and devoted his time to composing waka and renga, his main preoccupation before being called upon to serve in Kyūshū.

    Wakadokoro e fushin no jōjōRyōshun isshidenBenyōshō)Rakusho rokenHDGeorge Sansom, A History of Japan, 1334–1615 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1961), pp. 109–15

  • SAIGYŌ (1118–90), lay name Norikiyo. His father was Satō Yasukiyo, a lieutenant of the Left Gate Guards, and his mother a daughter of Minamoto Kiyotsune, an (p.350) Inspector (Kenmotsu) in the Central Affairs Ministry. The Satō was a warrior clan descended from Fujiwara Hidesato, the eastern Constable who put down the Taira Masakado revolt in 940. The Satō had served for generations in the guards units in the capital, and Saigyō himself was named to the post of Lieutenant of the Left Military Guards at eighteen. He also served as Junior North-Facing Warrior (Shimo Hokumen Bushi), Sixth Rank, to Rtd. Emperor Toba (1103–56, r. 1107–23) through the Satō connection to Toba's empress, Taikenmon'in Shōshi. Shōshi belonged to the Tokudaiji regental family, who held in fief the Satō estate in Kii Province, and so Saigyō at this time was in effect a retainer of the Tokudaiji, or of its head, the Minister of the Left Tokudaiji Saneyoshi. The reason for Saigyō's sudden turn to reclusion in 1140 at the unusually young age of twenty-three remains speculative; the numerous popular legends about this venerated poet-priest ascribe it to either political causes or a hopeless love for a woman far above his station. The woman is said to be the aforementioned Shōshi, Toba's empress and mother of the emperors Sutoku and Go-Shirakawa. At any rate the experience was tremendous enough to move him to abjure mundane society, despite his outwardly happy situation in it. In 1142, we find Saigyō visiting the Palace Minister Fujiwara Yorinaga to request him, as he had the two retired sovereigns and others, to copy out a chapter of a sutra on the occasion of Shōshi's taking the tonsure following her son Sutoku's forced abdication in 1141. The anecdote is recounted in Yorinaga's diary, Taiki (entry for 3.15.1142), which continues with this observation about Saigyō: “He rendered service to the Cloistered Emperor with the courage of several generations of stalwart warriors. Having set his heart on the Buddha Way even as a layman, though affluent of family and young in age, and with a heart unclouded by sorrow, in the end he fled the world. People were moved to admiration.”

    Saigyō spent the next few years at various temples in Higashiyama and Saga, near the capital, but around 1144, he embarked on a journey north to the Mutsu region, following the traces of the early Heian poet-priest Nōin (see separate entry for Nōin) and visiting sites famous for their poetic associations. (Bashō would later follow the same course north in his travel memoir, Narrow Road to the Deep North). On his return, he settled in Mount Kōya, the great Shingon monastery in Kii (Wakayama) that would be his base for the next thirty years. From here he would occasionally embark on journeys of religious pilgrimage and self-discipline, as well as to solicit contributions for the temple. He also wrote poetry wherever he was and visited or corresponded with other lay monks in and around the capital, such as the three well-known sibling recluses known as the Ōhara Sanjaku (Jakunen, Jakuchō, and Jakuzen) and his old warrior friend Saijū. He was in the capital to attend the funeral of his former sovereign, Rtd. Emperor Toba, in 1156, right before the outbreak of the Hōgen Disturbance that ended with the banishment of Rtd. Emperor Sutoku (1119–64; r. 1123–41) to Sanuki in Shikoku. Saigyō traveled from the Chūgoku region to Shikoku in 1168 in order to visit places associated with Kōbō Daishi, Mount Kōya's founder, but also to pray at the grave of the ill-fated Sutoku. In 1180, at sixty-three, he left Mount Kōya and moved to a hermitage in the mountains of Futami no Ura in Ise Province, perhaps to avoid the disorders of (p.351) the Gempei Wars. From here in the autumn of 1186, he undertook another long journey to the deep North in order to raise the gold for the rebuilding of the Tōdaiji and its Great Buddha Hall, which had been razed by Taira Shigehira in the course of the war. He stopped in Kamakura for a famous visit with the Shōgun Yoritomo, doubtless to obtain his cooperation in his venture.

    Saigyō passed away at the Hirokawa Temple in Minami-Katsuragi, Kawachi Province (Osaka), on 2.16.1190, aged seventy-three. In his last years at Ise, he made a selection of his poems and arranged them in two solo poem contests (jika awase), intended as offerings to the Great Shrine. For the first, the Mimosusogawa uta awase (1187), he requested and obtained Shunzei's judgment, while for the second, Miyakawa uta awase (1189), he asked the young Teika. Teika took so long over his evaluation that Saigyō had to write Shunzei to urge him on, and it was not until the winter of 1189, when Saigyō was already ailing in Hirokawa, that the manuscript reached him. The letter expressing his joy at finally receiving Teika's response is still extant. The widespread admiration for Saigyō's work among the court poets is clearly manifest in the fact that all of fifteen years after his death, they gave him the highest number of poems—ninety-four—in the Shinkokinshū. Go-Toba confirms this high esteem, writing: “Saigyō is interesting, and what is more, his mind is remarkably profound; it is marvelous that both qualities are present in even his difficult poems. I believe him to be a born poet. His poetry is not such as can be learned by those of lesser talent. His ability is beyond explanation” (Go-Toba-in onkuden, ed. Hisamatsu, p. 145). Because he did not participate in the various meetings and contests in the capital but evolved his own style outside their studio-like contexts, mostly in solitude in natural settings, Saigyō was able to write freely according to the promptings of personal experience. His unaffected love of nature, as manifest in his numerous poems to the moon and flowers, his attitude of self-examination, and the devotion to the deepest truths of Buddhism in his poetry all bear witness to a deep sense of humanity and have endeared him to readers to the present day. There are numerous stories about Saigyō in the anecdotal literature, apocryphal or otherwise, showing that his life and poems struck a chord in the popular imagination. The influence of his spirit and words on subsequent poetry, including renga and haikai, was incalculable; Shinkei and Bashō clearly saw him as an inspiring precursor. There exist several versions of Saigyō's individual anthology, the most representative being the Sankashū (Mountain Recluse Collection), with 1,552 poems in the Yōmei Bunkō edition.

  • [IMPERIAL PRINCESS] SHIKISHI, or Shokushi (1152?–1201). Daughter of Emperor Go-Shirakawa (1127–92; r. 1155–58). For eleven years (1159–69) until her father took the tonsure, she held the position of High Priestess of the Kamo Shrine. Unlike other leading Shinkokinshū poets, her attendance at contemporary poetry meetings was infrequent; she apparently developed her skills through study of the anthologies and close association with Shunzei, her waka mentor, and his son Teika. It was at her request that Shunzei wrote one of the most important treatises in the history of Japanese poetry, Korai fūteishō (Poetic Styles from Ancient to Modern Times [1197]). Her later life was marked by lonely isolation, particularly after her father (p.352) Go-Shirakawa's demise in 1192. She became a nun around 1194, and was apparently implicated in a political conspiracy in 1197. Nineteen of her poems are included in the Senzaishū (1188), the imperial anthology compiled by Shunzei, and forty-nine in the Shinkokinshū, the fifth highest number by any poet there. The individual anthology Shikishi-naishinnō shū, which includes three hyakushu, has around 373 poems. Go-Toba ranks her with Yoshitsune and Jien as one of the best poets of her time and characterizes her style as particularly intricate and involved (momimomi to aru yō ni) (Go-Toba-in onkuden, ed. Hisamatsu, p. 146). There is indeed, in her most distinctive poems, a deep interiority, a subtle intellectuality that suggests a thoroughgoing absorption in a symbolic mental realm and is somewhat similar to Teika's manner.

  • SHINSHŌ (fl. ca. 1312–45). First attracted notice when he participated in the Hōrinji 1,000-Verse Sequence of 1312 in the company of his teacher Zen'a. He became a regular member of the annual spring flower sessions thereafter and was apparently popular also among the nobility. He is known to have been summoned once by the Retired Emperor for a renga session on Mount Takao held after the regular waka and Chinese-poetry meetings were over. However, unlike Zen'a's most famous disciple, Gusai, he remained firmly in the jige, or commoner, tradition, exhibiting a haikai-like humor in some of his verses, and surpassing his teacher Zen'a in his skill in verbal figures. There are twenty verses by him in the Tsukubashū. RS 1.208–11.

  • SHŌTETSU (1381–1459). The major Reizei-school poet of his time; born to a samurai family in the Oda village of Bitchū Province (Okayama), and went to the capital at around age ten. He was thirteen when he met Imagawa Ryōshun and Reizei Tametada (1361–1417) at a monthly poetry meeting and subsequently enrolled as Ryōshun's disciple. At seventeen, he was sent to be in attendance at the Kōfukuji Temple in Nara, foreshadowing his later interest in Zen. By the time he was thirty-four, his reputation as a poet was established.

    In 1417, he became a scribe at the Tōfukuji, the Rinzai Zen temple in Kyōto. Sometime later, he seems to have spent some years in the village of Kiyosu in Owari Province (Aichi), where he expounded on the design and composition of the Genji monogatari to local enthusiasts and composed two 100-poem sequences. He returned to the capital in 1420 and was privileged to have an audience with the Shōgun Yoshimochi (1386–1428; r. 1394–1423, 1425–28). In the same year, he went on a retreat to Ishiyamadera Temple to mourn his teacher Ryōshun's death. Thereafter, he was active in the anti-Nijō movement in poetry. Unfortunately, he seems to have earned the displeasure of the Shōgun Yoshinori (1394–1441; r. 1428–41), with the result that his property in Oda was confiscated; similarly, despite his work and reputation, he was excluded from the very last imperial anthology, Shinzoku Kokinshū (1439). The ten years from 1449 until his death are recorded in detail in the poetic diary Sokonshū (Grass-roots Collection), which includes some 11,238 poems, a number unrivaled by any other individual waka anthology.

    jige (p.353) NagusamegusaShōtetsu monogatariyugenteiWBDWBJHFchaps. 2 and 3Conversations with ShōtetsuChapter 43

  • SHŪA (d. ca. 1377). Gusai's most gifted disciple; his quick wit and verbal facility early attracted the notice of Nijō Yoshimoto, and in the early years, he was a regular participant in the monthly sessions held at Yoshimoto's residence, as well as Sasaki Dōyo's. He emerged as the most likely successor to Gusai in the period after the compilation of the Tsukubashū. Whereas in a senku (1,000-verse sequence) held at Yoshimoto's residence in 1355, Shūa composed only 56 verses as compared to Gusai's 104, in the Murasakino senku held a few years later, he produced all of 168 verses, a number quite close to Gusai's 179. Along with Gusai, he was engaged in Yoshimoto's project of selecting yoriai (verbal correspondences) from both Chinese and Japanese classical works, including the Wen hsüan, Mao shih, Man'yōshū, and Genji monogatari, in preparation for consolidating the renga rules of composition. For a while at least, Yoshimoto was quite impressed with Shū'a verse style; he ranked it as high as Gusai's and envisioned a new style that would be an amalgam of the two. However, in his later years, Yoshimoto apparently became disenchanted with Shūa's preoccupation with verbal technique and figures. This was not the case in popular renga circles, where Shūa's dexterity, imagistic conceits, and ornate diction won him a large following and became the model for the renga of the middle period, immediately before the age of the seven sages.

  • SHUNZEI, or Toshinari (1114–1204). With his son, Teika, one of the two greatest poet-critics of the mid-classical period. The son of a Consultant of the third rank, he was awarded the junior fifth rank in 1127 and appointed Governor of Mimasaka (Okayama); subsequently, he also held the governorships of Kaga (Ishikawa), Tōtomi (Shizuoka), Mikawa (Aichi), and Tango (Kyoto). After a stint as Master of the Capital, Left Division, he was advanced to senior third rank in 1167, thus arriving at the highest rungs of the aristocracy. His final office was Head Chamberlain of the Empress Dowager's (Kinshi, Go-Shirakawa's empress) Household from 1172; four years later, he retired due to a grave illness. Shunzei completed the compilation of the Senzaishū imperial anthology in 1188, just two years after the end of the Gempei Wars (it will be recalled that he figures in a famous anecdote in the Heike monogatari). Rtd. Emperor Go-Toba, who held him in the highest esteem, sponsored (p.354) his ninetieth birthday celebration in 1203, the year before his death. Shunzei was the most respected poet-critic of his day and into the Muromachi period of Shinkei and Shōtetsu. As the grand old man of poetry, his judgment was eagerly sought for private compositions, as well as for public poetry matches. His most enduring contribution was to establish yūgen as an all-encompassing aesthetic ideal, especially as manifested in the aura [kehai] of ambiguity that hovers about a poem without being overtly expressed in its words. Like Shinkei, he was less concerned, in his criticism, with diction and form than with the “deep mind” (fukaki kokoro) concealed in the poem's plain verbal surface. See Chapter 45 above.

  • SHUNZEI'S DAUGHTER (ca. 1171–1252?). Actually Shunzei's granddaughter, brought up by him. Her father was the Governor of Owari Province (Aichi) and her mother, Shunzei's daughter. She was married to the poet Minamoto Michitomo (1171–1227) around the early 1190s and bore him two children, but they shortly afterward became estranged, and around 1202, she started to serve as lady-in-waiting in Rtd. Emperor Go-Toba's court. It was from this time that she first became known in the poetic milieu, eventually becoming the main female member during the matches sponsored by Go-Toba; 29 of her poems were selected for the Shinkokinshū. In 1213, in her forties, she took the tonsure, though remaining active in the poetry circle around Go-Toba's son, Emperor Juntoku (1197–1242; r. 1210–21). With the support of her uncle Teika, her poetic production continued even after she went into seclusion in Saga, west of Kyoto, in her sixties, as is evident from her participation in the poem matches and meetings at the residence of the Regent Michiie and of the Saionji family. After Teika's death in 1241, she retired farther out in the family's estate in Koshibe, Harima Province (Hyōgo), where she died in her eighties. The individual anthology Shunzei-kyō no musume no shū developed from a core of 83 poems chosen by herself as material for Shinchokusenshū, the imperial anthology compiled by Teika around 1234; it exists in three other variant texts with additions by other editors, the longest including 246 poems. An extant letter known as Koshibe no Zenni shōsoku (Letter from the Koshibe Zen Nun [1252]) was sent to her cousin Tameie, Teika's son, then fifty-four years old. It has lavish praise for the balance and harmony of Tameie's choice of poems for the just completed imperial anthology Shokugosenshū (1251), compiled by him at the order of Rtd. Emperor Go-Saga (1220–72; r. 1242–45). It expresses her joy at having lived to see three royal anthologies compiled by three generations of her family and reveals her enduring loyalty to Go-Toba in praising the present Rtd. Emperor Go-Saga as his grandson (pp. 342–44). The following passage is particularly arresting in its veiled reference to Go-Toba's defeat and exile:

    Now I have no more lingering resentment, for I have lived to see the reign of my lord [Go-Saga].

        sora kiyoku aogishi tsukihi sono mama ni Kumorazarikeru kage no ureshisa


        Suns and moons I once gazed upon in a clear sky, just as they were have emerged from the clouds, a shining splendor to bring joy.

              (Koshibe no Zenni shōsoku)

    (p.355) As the letter also contains poetic references to impending death, it is presumed that the poetess died in Koshibe not long afterward.

  • SONE YOSHITADA (fl. ca. 986). One of the Thirty-Six Poet Immortals whose poems were selected by Fujiwara Norikane (1107–65) in the mid-classical anthology Nochi no rokurokusen (Later Selections from Thirty-six Poets). A low-ranking official in the Tango provincial office, he was known for eccentric behavior, such as appearing at a party uninvited. Although the unconventional diction and imagery of his poems were not always acceptable in the literary milieu of his time, a century later, he was belatedly recognized as an innovative poet. His individual anthology, the Sōtanshū (586 poems), includes such interesting features as a series of 30 poems for each month of the year and a hyakushu (100-poem sequence) for which the poet Minamoto Shitagō (911–83) composed another hyakushu in response. (For more on Yoshitada, see JCP, pp. 179–85.)

  • SŌZEI (secular name Minamoto Tokishige) (d. 1455). A retainer of the powerful daimyō Yamana Sōzen (1403–73), with the official title of Junior Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Popular Affairs (Mimbu shōyū), but by 1427, for reasons unknown, he had taken the tonsure and was living in priestly seclusion on Mt. Kōya, south of the capital in Kii Province (Wakayama). He studied waka and the Genji monogatari with Shōtetsu, and renga with Bontō, whose teachings he recorded in the treatise Shoshin kyūeishū in 1428, a year after Bontō's death. He participated in the famous Kitano manku (a 10,000-verse sequence) sponsored by the Shogun Yoshinori in 1433, around which time he apparently returned to live in the capital, for we find him sponsoring a “poetry meeting on the occasion of building a new hut” in the Tenth Month.

    In the years that followed, Sōzei gradually became the central figure in the world of the renga, participating in the annual manku of the Kitano Shrine and composing verses with warrior-officials of Ise Province (Mie), among others. Between 1444 and 1448, he wrote the Kokon rendanshū, a poetic treatise in three sections. The first and third sections trace the evolution of two styles of renga from Zen'a and other early masters of the Kamakura period, and the second section explains the manner of composition of some verses taken from the Kitano Shrine senku of 1439. This work is an important source for the development of jige renga during the Kamakura period, and especially for the transmission of tradition from one teacher to another. The peak of Sōzei's career came in 1448, when he was appointed bugyō (official Renga Master) of the Kitano Renga Kaisho. As bugyō, he undertook the revision of the renga code of rules with the statesman and poet Ichijō Kanera (or Kaneyoshi, 1402–81), Nijō Yoshimoto's grandson. In 1450, he collected his verses in the Sōzei kushū, which was intended for inclusion in Kanera's projected renga (p.356) anthology of twenty volumes, the Shingyokushū. Two years later, in 1452, came the Hana no magaki, in which he put together forty-five tsukeku by Gusai, Ryōa, Shūa, and Bontō, plus two by himself, and classified them according to ten styles.

    HF, pp. 52–62 passim; 80–83

  • [FUJIWARA] SUKEMUNE (eleventh century). Very little is known of the poet Sukemune. He belonged to the northern branch of the Fujiwara; his father was the Consultant and Provisional Master of the Crown Prince's Household, Fujiwara Sukefusa of the senior third rank; his mother was the daughter of a Minamoto provincial governor. He was variously Director of the Imperial Stables of the Right, Governor of Settsu, and Minor Captain, and had reached the fourth rank upon retiring in 1087. The poem cited in Chapter 46 above is the only one by him in the Shinkokinshū.

  • [FUJIWARA] TAKANOBU (1142–1205). Son of Tametsune or Jakuchō, one of the three sibling poet-recluses known as “the three recluses of Ōhara” (Ōhara sanjaku). His mother, a daughter of the Wakasa Provincial Governor Chikatada, was also known as Bifukumon'in Kaga, and later became Shunzei's wife. Thus Takanobu and Teika were half brothers. Takanobu was successively appointed Provincial Governor of Kazusa, Echizen, and Wakasa, and ended his official career as Provisional Master of the Right Capital, with the Senior Fourth Rank, before taking the tonsure in 1202 at age sixty. He was an active participant in the poetry meetings and contests of his time and was, like his contemporary Kamo no Chōmei, an official of the Waka Poetry Bureau during the compilation of the Shinkokinshū. He apparently had a reputation as a ladies' man, but was equally prominent for his skill as a painter. He is indeed said to have founded portrait painting in Japan; the famous portraits of Minamoto Yoritomo, Taira Shigemori, and Fujiwara Mitsuyoshi (designated a National Treasure) in the Jingōji are all ascribed to him. A man of many talents, he is also mentioned as the author of the fictional tales Ukinami and Iyayotsugi, now unfortunately lost. His personal poetry collection, the Takanobu-ason shū, with 959 poems, is a useful source for the poetic milieu of the time, particularly his association with Saigyō, Shunzei, Teika, and the poetess Kojijū. (WBJ, p. 401)

  • [FUJIWARA] TAMEIE (1198–1275). Teika's eldest son and heir. His mother was the daughter of Palace Minister Fujiwara Sanemune. As a young man he was apparently more interested in kickball (kemari) than in acquiring solid poetic skills and so incurred his father's displeasure (see Chapter 22 above), but Teika's persistent admonitions and the loss of his protector, Emperor Juntoku, to exile in the Jōkyū Disturbance of 1221 finally turned him around after he reached twenty. His new seriousness as heir to the Mikohidari poetic house may be gauged by his feat of (p.357) composing a thousand poems within five days in 1223 and otherwise polishing his skills. After Teika's death in 1241, he began to function as judge at poetry matches, solidifying his reputation until Rtd. Emperor Go-Saga appointed him sole compiler of the imperial anthology Shokugosenshū of 1251. In 1256, he retired following an illness, aged fifty-eight, and lived in Saga with his secondary wife, the nun called Abutsu, on whom he apparently lavished much affection, as for his son by her, Tamesuke (1263–1328), to whom he willed the Hosokawa estate in Harima (Hyōgo) and the family's literary manuscripts, including Teika's Meigetsuki diary. Thus started a rivalry between the Reizei school, of which Tamesuke was the founder, and the Nijō school of his first son and legitimate heir, Tameuji (1222–86), which would last for several generations.

    Tameie is best known in literary history for his valorization of the qualities of simplicity and grace (as set forth in his instruction book, Eiga no ittei (One Mode of Poem Composition), most commonly associated with the Nijō school and the aesthetics of heitanbi, which ideally combines a surface plainness with deep feeling. In this, he diverged from the ideal of yōen (a composite of sensual allure and surreal mystery), associated with his father Teika during the Shinkokinshū period. The popularity, from the medieval period on, of Tameie's style probably owes as much to its broad, uncomplicated appeal as to his prestige as Teika's heir. His individual anthology exists in four variants, one of which includes 713 poems.

  • [FUJIWARA] TEIKA, or Sadaie (1162–1241). Son of the esteemed poet and critic Shunzei and the woman known as Bifukumon'in Kaga, daughter of the Provincial Governor of Wakasa (Fukui), Fujiwara Chikatada. He was successively Middle Captain (Chūjō) of the Inner Palace Guards, Consultant (1214), and Minister of Civil Affairs, among other offices, attaining junior third rank in 1211 at age forty-nine and an exalted senior second rank in 1227, when he was sixty-five. When he turned seventy at New Year's of 1232, he was appointed to the Council of State as Provisional Middle Counselor (Gonchūnagon), but he resigned at the end of the year. The following year, he left lay life and took the priestly name Myōjō (“clear tranquility”) from the Tendai meditation treatise Makashikan. Teika was the object of Rtd. Emperor Go-Toba's royal favor from 1200 on, when the latter began to actively stimulate the poetic milieu by commissioning a series of 100-poem sequences and poem matches. Teika was appointed one of the Shinkokinshū compilers and labored to bring the anthology to completion. Nevertheless, disagreements arose between the two strong-willed men, and in 1220, Teika was subjected to an imperial reprimand over a poetic issue. By 1222, his waka production began to diminish, and he turned instead to impromptu renga composition, declaring it a solace in old age. However, in 1232, long after Go-Toba's exile to Oki, Teika was appointed by Emperor Go-Horikawa (1212–34; r. 1221–31) as sole editor of another imperial waka anthology, the Shinchokusenshū, a task that he completed in 1235. In the Shinkokinshū, his poems number forty-six, the sixth highest among the poets included there.

    Apart from being recognized today as one of the two or three greatest waka poets of his time, Teika is the author of several poetic treatises that demonstrate his (p.358) keenness as a critic. These include the Kindai shūka (Superior Poems of Our Time [1209]), Eiga no taigai (Essentials of Poetic Composition [before 1219 or after 1221]), and Maigetsushō (Monthly Notes [1219]); the instruction books Hekianshō (Partial Views [1226]), Sandaishū no kan no koto (On the Anthologies of Three Eras [1222]), and Kenchū mikkan (Secret Comments on Kenjō's Annotations [1221]); and the Genji annotations called Genji monogatari oku'iri. He also privately edited various anthologies and poem matches and even wrote a tale called Matsura no miya monogatari in his youth. His kambun diary, the Meigetsuki (Bright Moon Record), covers the years 1180–1235; he began it when he was only eighteen and continued until six years before his death at seventy-nine. He first put together his individual anthology, the Shūi gusō, in 1216, when he was fifty-four, adding and revising it until his later years; it includes a total of 3,661 poems.

    Teika's most distinctive work is in the ushintei (mode of meditation) that is marked by a deep concentration in the poetic realm. It has an apparently simple structure and a finely modulated diction calculated to evoke a subtle, intricate, and richly ambiguous feeling. This style has been criticized as affected, obscure, or even abstract, in being trained upon a wholly constructed mental realm, but it represents one of the most ambitious developments in Japanese symbolist poetry and would have a major influence on later generations of poets.

  • [MINAMOTO] TOMOCHIKA (fl. ca. 1200–1262) was the elder brother of the poetess Kunaikyō (see separate entry on her). He reached the position of Minor Captain in the Palace Guards, junior fourth rank, by no means exalted, but one rank higher than that of his father, the Acting Master of the Capital, Right Division. He was a participant in Go-Toba's 100-verse sequences and other meetings, and was appointed to the Wakadokoro in 1201. He has only seven poems in the Shinkokinshū, whereas his sister has fifteen, and has suffered somewhat from Chōmei's unflattering observation about his lack of dedication compared to her, but his poetry indicates a positive enthusiasm for the new diction and conceptions of the Shinkokin mode. His last recorded participation in the contemporary milieu was at the Sanjūrokunin ōuta-awase (The Great Poetry Match of Thirty-six Poets) of 1262.

  • TON'A (1289–1372). Unquestionably the most famous of the four late Kamakura Nijō-school poets known as “the four deva kings of waka” (waka shitennō; see entry for Kyōun above). Son of a warrior family with Kamakura bakufu ties dating from the time of the first Shōgun, Minamoto Yoritomo, Ton'a took the tonsure and trained on Mt. Hiei from around age twenty. He left after three or four years to undertake pilgrimages in the eastern region, and in his later years, he settled in a hermitage at the Sōrinji in Higashiyama. In this, he was clearly inspired by the model of Saigyō, to whose poetry of reclusion he frequently alluded in his own work. Ton'a's poetic activities began soon after he left Hiei, as he became involved in the milieu around Nijō Tameyo, his son Tamefuji (1275–1324), nephew Tamesada, and grandson Tameakira (1295–1364). In 1318, for example, he participated with Jōben and Kyōun, among others, at the New Year's poetry meeting at the Waka Bureau, (p.359) and is said to have received the Kokin denju from Tameyo in 1320. Subsequent to the Nambokuchō civil disorders, he was patronized by the Shōgun Ashikaga Takauji and his son Yoshiakira, becoming a pillar of Nijō-school interests and earning the trust of the family's poetic heirs. That even the Regent Nijō Yoshimoto (1320–88) valued his opinion is manifest in the treatise Gumon kenchū (Sage Comments on Foolish Questions [1363]), which records Ton'as replies to Yoshimoto's queries on issues ranging from the nature of waka to its methods and traditions. Ton'a's other treatise, the Seiashō (late Kamakura to ca. 1360), is one of the most important critical sources for Nijō-school poetics, and was frequently reproduced until the Edo period. Similarly, his individual anthologies, the Sōanshū (Grass Hut Collection [1359?]), containing around 1,440 poems, and Zoku Sōanshū (Sequel to the Grass Hut Collection [1366 or 1368]), containing 560 poems, plus 100 renga verses, wielded a great influence in the poetic milieu, being considered the classic model of medieval poetic orthodoxy throughout the Muromachi and Edo periods.

  • [PRIEST] TŌREN (d. 1182?). A member of the Karin'en poetic milieu of courtiers, Shintō and Buddhist clerics, and court ladies active in the period around 1156–80, with its center at the Karin'en, the temple hermitage of Priest Shun'e, Kamo no Chōmei's mentor. The Tōren-hōshi shū includes 26 poems, and there is also extant a 100-poem sequence on love, the Tōren-hōshi koi no hyakushu.

  • [MINAMOTO] TSUNENOBU (1016–97). A member of the Uda Genji clan, sixth son of the Popular Affairs Minister Michikata and a daughter of the Harima Provincial Governor Minamoto Kunimori. He held various posts in the court bureaucracy from 1030 onward, being appointed to head the ministries of the Treasury and Popular Affairs, then Head Chamberlain of the Empress's Household, and reaching the exalted senior second rank in 1077. In 1091, he was appointed Major Counselor, and in 1094, Provisional Commissioner of Dazaifu in Kyushu, where he passed away in 1097. Tsunenobu excelled in Chinese and Japanese poetry, as well as in music, and was a frequent participant in the courtly poetic matches, becoming the leader of the poetic milieu during the reign of Go-Reizei (r. 1046–69). However, he apparently suffered some setbacks with the accession of Emperor Shirakawa (r. 1072–87), who in 1075 appointed a younger man, Fujiwara Michitoshi, as the compiler of the fourth imperial anthology, Goshūishū (ca. 1086). Tsunenobu expressed his disapproval in the critical polemical pieces Goshūi mondō (now lost) and Nan Goshūi. In the reign of Horikawa (r. 1087–1106), however, he was restored to an unchallenged position as the most senior authority in the waka field, acting as judge at poetry matches in the residence of the Shijō Princess Kanshi in 1089 and of the former Regent Morozane in 1094. His poetry, distinguished by a fresh handling of landscape description, was held in high esteem by Shunzei and Teika, who knew of it through Tsunenobu's son, Toshiyori (or Shunrai) (1065–1129), author of the treatise Toshiyori zuinō (Toshiyori's Essentials of Poetry [ca. iiii–13]). His poems are collected in the Tsunenobu shū, of which there are three variant texts, ranging in number of poems from 132 to 276. He also left a diary, Sotsu-ki. (WBJ, pp. 452–53)

  • (p.360) [FUJIWARA] YOSHITSUNE (1169–1206). One of the great literary patrons of the mid-classical period; second son of the regent Kanezane, the leader of the hereditary regental branch of the Fujiwara during the Gempei Wars. As was expected, he swiftly ascended the career ladder, becoming Palace Minister in 1196, Minister of the Left in 1199, Regent in 1202, and finally Prime Minister, with junior first rank, in 1204. He began composing Chinese and Japanese poetry at age thirteen and became active in the contemporary poetic milieu under the guidance of his uncle, the Tendai Abbot Jien. He emerged as the early sponsor of the group that included Teika and Shunzei and would later form the core of Rtd. Emperor Go-Toba's poetic circle. He played an important role in the formation of the Shinkokin style, while continuing to cultivate Chinese poetry at meetings in his residence; some attribute the loftiness and strength of his characteristic style to his training in Chinese poetry. He was honored to write the Kana Preface to the Shinkokinshū, which includes seventy-nine of his poems, the third highest number, surpassed only by Saigyō and Jien. Yoshitsune died at age thirty-seven, just a year after the completion of the Shinkokinshū.

    Go-Toba singles out loftiness of tone as characteristic of Yoshitsune's work. He thought there was something marvelous in his mastery of diction and remarked that Yoshitsune had composed so many superior poems that it might even be thought a flaw in a hyakushu, which requires some plainer pieces to set the others off (Go-Toba-in onkuden, ed. Hisamatsu, p. 146). To this day, Yoshitsune is praised for evocations of scenery that suggest deep feeling in apparently plain language. His individual anthology, the Akishino gesseishū includes some 1,600 poems and carries an Epilogue by Teika from 1228. In addition, there are the manuscripts called Go-Kyōgoku-dono onjika awase (The Go-Kyōgoku Lord's Solo Poetry Contest [1198]), arranged in 100 rounds and judged by Shunzei; and the Sanjūrokuban sumaidate shiika (Chinese and Japanese Poem Match in Thirty-six Rounds), a good source for studying the mutual relationship between these two poetic languages in contemporary practice.

  • ZEN'A (fl. ca. 1275–1333). The central figure in the commoner renga milieu in the latter half of the Kamakura period. A priest in the Jishū branch of the Jōdo Shinshū sect, he frequently led the “renga under the flowers” in the temples, and was instrumental in establishing one of the early versions of the rules, called Kenji shinshiki (The New Code of the Kenji Era) in 1277. It was perhaps for this reason, and because he taught other well-known poets like Gusai, Junkaku and Shinshō, that he was hailed in the Muromachi period as “the father of true renga.” His style of linking, which became the established one for his time, was characterized by the frequent use of verbal and conceptual parallelism, an antithetical structure that strengthened the syntactic independence of the single verse, and in turn the firm separation between successive verses. His diction, which is again typical of commoner renga in contrast to the waka-like language of the court poets, was economic and plain, and possessed a stark rhythm. Thirty-two of his verses are included in the Tsukubashū. (RS 1.202–7)