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9 - Kokinshūand Heian court poetry

from Part II - The Heian period (794–1185)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 January 2016

Haruo Shirane
Affiliation:
Columbia University, New York
Tomi Suzuki
Affiliation:
Columbia University, New York
David Lurie
Affiliation:
Columbia University, New York
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Summary

Kokinshu represents the major phase in the evolution of Japanese poetry after the late eighth-century Manyoshu, one whose articulation of self and world would influence Japanese culture for a millennium. Much of the unprecedented nature of Heian waka can be traced back to Uda, whose entourage first developed utaawase and byobu uta, both staples of later court poetry. The authority of the Kokinshu and its poetics was unquestioned in the two imperial anthologies, Gosen wakashu and Shui wakashu, that followed it. Of the anthology's two prefaces, the more commented-on is the Kana Preface and composed by the anthology's chief editor Ki no Tsurayuki. The Mana Preface, which is named after the literary Chinese it was written in by Tsurayuki's scholarly clan-mate Ki no Yoshimochi, was intended for the sovereign. Kinto became the premier arbiter of poetic taste under the patronage of Fujiwara no Michinaga, who encouraged the composition of waka as part of banquets.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

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