Ki no Tsurayuki (紀 貫之, 872 – June 30, 945) was a Japanese author, poet and courtier of the Heian period. He is best known as the principal compiler of the Kokin Wakashū , also writing its Japanese Preface, and as a possible author of the Tosa Diary , although this was published anonymously.
Tsurayuki was a son of Ki no Mochiyuki. In the 890s he became a poet of waka , short poems composed in Japanese. In 905, under the order of Emperor Daigo, he was one of four poets selected to compile the Kokin Wakashū, the first imperially-sponsored anthology (chokusen-shū) of waka poetry.
After holding a few offices in Kyoto, he was appointed the provincial governor of Tosa Province and stayed there from 930 until 935. Later he was presumably appointed the provincial governor of Suō Province, since it was recorded that he held a waka party (Utaai) at his home in Suo.
He is well known for his waka and is counted as one of the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals selected by Fujiwara no Kintō. He was also known as one of the editors of the Kokin Wakashū. Tsurayuki wrote one of two prefaces to Kokin Wakashū; the other is in Chinese. His preface was the first critical essay on waka. He wrote of its history from its mythological origin to his contemporary waka, which he grouped into genres, referred to some major poets and gave a bit of harsh criticism to his predecessors like Ariwara no Narihira.
His waka is included in one of the important Japanese poetry anthologies, the Hyakunin Isshu , which was compiled in the 13th century by Fujiwara no Teika, long after Tsurayuki's death.
Besides the Kokin Wakashū and its Japanese preface, Tsurayuki's major literary work was the Tosa Nikki (土佐日記, "Tosa Diary"), which was written using kana. The text details a trip in 935 returning to Kyoto from Tosa Province, where Tsurayuki had been the provincial governor.
Tsurayuki's name is referred to in the Tale of Genji as a waka master. In this story, Emperor Uda ordered him and a number of female poets to write waka on his panels as accessories.
The Kokin Wakashū, commonly abbreviated as Kokinshū (古今集), is an early anthology of the waka form of Japanese poetry, dating from the Heian period. It is an Imperial anthology, conceived by Emperor Uda and published by order of his son Emperor Daigo, in about 905. Its finished form dates to c. 920, though according to several historical accounts the last poem was added to the collection in 914. The compilers of the anthology were four court poets, led by Ki no Tsurayuki and also including Ki no Tomonori, Ōshikōchi no Mitsune, and Mibu no Tadamine.
Japanese poetry is poetry typical of Japan, or written, spoken, or chanted in the Japanese language, which includes Old Japanese, Early Middle Japanese, Late Middle Japanese, and Modern Japanese, as well as poetry in Japan which was written in the Chinese language or ryūka from the Okinawa Islands: it is possible to make a more accurate distinction between Japanese poetry written in Japan or by Japanese people in other languages versus that written in the Japanese language by speaking of Japanese-language poetry. Much of the literary record of Japanese poetry begins when Japanese poets encountered Chinese poetry during the Tang dynasty. Under the influence of the Chinese poets of this era Japanese began to compose poetry in Chinese kanshi); and, as part of this tradition, poetry in Japan tended to be intimately associated with pictorial painting, partly because of the influence of Chinese arts, and the tradition of the use of ink and brush for both writing and drawing. It took several hundred years to digest the foreign impact and make it an integral part of Japanese culture and to merge this kanshi poetry into a Japanese language literary tradition, and then later to develop the diversity of unique poetic forms of native poetry, such as waka, haikai, and other more Japanese poetic specialties. For example, in the Tale of Genji both kanshi and waka are frequently mentioned. The history of Japanese poetry goes from an early semi-historical/mythological phase, through the early Old Japanese literature inclusions, just before the Nara period, the Nara period itself, the Heian period, the Kamakura period, and so on, up through the poetically important Edo period and modern times; however, the history of poetry often is different from socio-political history.
Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (小倉百人一首) is a classical Japanese anthology of one hundred Japanese waka by one hundred poets. Hyakunin isshu can be translated to "one hundred people, one poem [each]"; it can also refer to the card game of uta-garuta, which uses a deck composed of cards based on the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu.
Abe no Nakamaro, whose Chinese name was Chao Heng, was a Japanese scholar and waka poet of the Nara period. He moved to Tang dynasty China and served as the Tang jiedushi (governor) of Annam.
Ki no Tomonori was an early Heian waka poet of the court, a member of the sanjūrokkasen or Thirty-six Poetry Immortals. He was a compiler of the Kokin Wakashū, though he certainly did not see it to completion as the anthology includes a eulogy to him composed by Ki no Tsurayuki, his cousin and colleague in the compilation effort. Ki no Tomonori is the author of several poems in the Kokin Wakashū, and a few of his poems appear in later official collections. A collection of his poems from various sources appeared as the tomonori shū.
Ōshikōchi no Mitsune was an early Heian administrator and waka poet of the Japanese court (859–925), and a member of the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals. He was sent as the governor of Kai, Izumi and Awaji provinces, and on his return to Kyoto was asked to participate in the compilation of the Kokin Wakashū. He was a master of poetic matches and his poems to accompany pictures on folding screens were widely admired for their quality. His influence at the time was commensurate with Ki no Tsurayuki, and he has an unusually large number of poems (193) included in the official poetry collections.
Yoshimine no Munesada (良岑宗貞), better known as Henjō was a Japanese waka poet and Buddhist priest.
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Fujiwara no Kanesuke was a middle Heian waka poet and Japanese nobleman. He is designated as a member of the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals and one of his poems is included in the famous anthology Hyakunin Isshu. Kanesuke's poems are included in several imperial poetry anthologies, including Kokin Wakashū and Gosen Wakashū. A personal poetry collection known as the Kanesukeshū also remains.
Fujiwara no Okikaze was an early 10th Century middle Heian waka poet and Japanese nobleman. Great-grandchild of Fujiwara no Hamanari. He is designated as a member of the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals. 38 of his poems are included in the anthologies compiled by the imperial order following Kokin Wakashū. One of his poems is included in the famous anthology Hyakunin Isshu.
Fujiwara no Toshiyuki was a middle Heian waka poet and Japanese nobleman. He was designated a member of the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals and one of his poems is included in the famous anthology Hyakunin Isshu.
The Rokkasen are six Japanese poets of the mid-ninth century who were named by Ki no Tsurayuki in the kana and mana prefaces to the poetry anthology Kokin wakashū as notable poets of the generation before its compilers.
Waka is a type of poetry in classical Japanese literature. Although waka in modern Japanese is written as 和歌, in the past it was also written as 倭歌, and a variant name is yamato-uta (大和歌).
Heian literature or Chūko literature refers to Japanese literature of the Heian period, running from 794 to 1185. This article summarizes its history and development.
Fujiwara no Kiyosuke was a Japanese waka poet and poetry scholar of the late Heian period.
Asukai Masatsune was a Japanese waka poet of the early Kamakura period. He was also an accomplished kemari player. and one of his poems was included in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu.
The kana preface to the Kokin Wakashū is one of the two prefaces to the tenth-century Japanese waka anthology, the Kokin Wakashū. It was written by the poet/editor Ki no Tsurayuki. It is also known in English as the Japanese preface, distinguishing it from Ki no Yoshimochi's Chinese preface (mana-jo). It was the first serious work of poetic criticism on the waka style, and is regarded as the predecessor of later karon works.