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During the Shinkokinshu era, Japanese court poetry, waka or uta emerged as a discrete literary field, with its own genres and sub-genres, along with a sense of history and ideological purpose. As the Shinkokinshu period came to an end, the Mikohidari house of Fujiwara no Teika was preeminent partly because it could claim long traditions of practice as well as scholarship in a world in which nothing was important than affiliation with the legitimizing authority of ancient traditions. Poetry in the late Kamakura period remained a kind of performance art, aired if not composed in communal gatherings where such understated scenes served as models of decorum, and subtle gradation of expression. Tameie's, Teika's son, chief ambition was to gain for his descendants a secure place in the poetic culture of the imperial court. One sign of the healthy situation of poetry in the mid fifteenth century was planning for a new imperial anthology, sponsored by the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa.
The Shinkokin wakashu or Shinkokinshu, commissioned by Retired Emperor GoToba and compiled by a team including Fujiwara no Teika under the close supervision of GoToba, is the eighth imperial collection of waka and the most influential in the medieval period. Teika's poem does not end on a noun, nor does it have a strong syntactical break. These next two qualities may be observed in the second Spring chapter of Shinkokinshu. Shinkokinshu is a pillar of medieval Japanese aesthetics, and it was the important poetic text of medieval Japan. The official agency had lay dormant since the mid tenth century, when it had served as an administrative base for the compilers of Gosen wakashu, the second imperial waka anthology. The anthology not only influenced later waka poets, it also became an important resource for noh playwrights, renga and haikai poets. Evaluation of Shinkokinshu by readers from the early modern period to the present has been largely positive.
Hyakunin isshu, a collection of one hundred poems by one hundred poets who lived from the seventh century to the thirteen century, was compiled by Fujiwara no Teika. It contains forty-three love poems, nearly half of the collection and an extremely high percentage compared to that in imperial waka anthologies. In the Edo period the Hyakunin isshu came to represent the entire tradition of Heian court poetry, and it saw a sudden increase in readership, particularly due to the new print culture, which enabled people from all classes to educate themselves. The Hyakunin isshu has taken many forms. During the Pacific War a collection called Aikoku hyakunin isshu or The Patriotic Hyakunin isshu appeared, praising the emperor and encouraging loyalty to the nation and the throne. Today Hyakunin isshu is one of the most familiar pieces of classical literature in Japan and without a doubt will reappear in the future in many new forms.
Much longer fiction survives from Imperial Princess Baishi's day, and one of her attendants, is credited with Sagoromo monogatari, dated to sometime between 1069 and 1086. The influence of Genji is discernible on the very first page of Sagoromo, as the eponymous hero alludes to a poem by Genji himself. In the postscript to his copy of the Sarashina nikki, the famous poet Fujiwara no Teika records the attribution of four monogatari to the diary's author, two of which are still extant: Yoru no Nezame and Hamamatsu Chunagon monogatari. The final monogatari extant from the Heian period is Torikaebaya monogatari. Critical consideration of the monogatari genre reached its second peak in 1271 with the completion of the Fuyo wakashu, an imperial anthology-like collection of over two hundred poems drawn exclusively from monogatari, in twenty books. The collection provides evidence that it was in fact in the Kamakura period that most monogatari were produced.
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