Fujiwara no Teika Criticism - Essay

F. V. Dickens (essay date 1866)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Dickens, F. V. Preface to Hyak Nin Is'shiu or Stanzas by a Century of Poets, Being Japanese Lyrical Odes, translated by F. V. Dickens, pp. v-ix. London: Smith, Elder, & Co, 1866.

[In the following excerpted preface to his translation of Japanese lyrical odes, Dickens describes the nature of these short poems first compiled by Fujiwara no Teika.]

The Odes [of the Hyak Nin Is'-shiu] are all of a peaceful character, some didactic, some descriptive, and many amatory. Very often the point of the ode lies in a play upon words, very telling in the original, but seldom capable of adequate rendering into English. The most ancient of them seem to have an...

(The entire section is 435 words.)

Robert H. Brower (essay date 1978)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Brower, Robert H. Introduction to Fujiwara Teika's ‘Hundred-Poem Sequence of the Shoji Era,’ 1200, translated by Robert H. Brower, pp. 1-32. Tokyo: Sophia University, 1978.

[In the following excerpt from his introduction to his translation of Teika's Shoji hyakushu, Brower examines the historical background and content of this varied and influential hundred-poem sequence.]


The great Japanese classical poet and critic Fujiwara no Sadaie, or Teika (1162-1241), is best known to popular history for his little anthology of thirty-one-syllable poems called Hyakunin isshu, ‘One Hundred Poems by One Hundred...

(The entire section is 10012 words.)

Robert H. Brower (essay date winter 1985)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Brower, Robert H. “Fujiwara Teika's Maigetsusho.Monumenta Nipponica 40, no. 4 (winter 1985): 399-425.

[In the following essay, Brower recounts the manuscript history of Teika's critical treatise Maigetsusho and encapsulates the principles of poetic composition it contains.]

The single most influential figure in the history of Japanese classical poetry, Fujiwara Teika (or Sadaie), 1162-1241, was the supreme arbiter of poetry in his own day, and for centuries after his death was held in religious veneration by waka and renga poets alike. Teika's unique reputation rested in part upon his accomplishment as the leading figure among the...

(The entire section is 5074 words.)

Hiroaki Sato (essay date November 1987)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Sato, Hiroaki. “From Format Composition of Tanka to the Creation of the Renga Form.” Journal of the Association of Teachers of Japanese 21, no. 2 (November 1987): 149-64.

[In the following essay, Sato traces Teika's contribution to the tradition of composing long sequences of tanka (or waka) poetry, the forerunner of the later renga form.]

In the following argument, the tanka, “short song,” is a 5/7/5/7/7/syllable poetic form, which came into being during the seventh century at the latest and has remained in use ever since. Early on it became the predominant verseform for court poets. English translators usually regard the...

(The entire section is 5279 words.)

Roselee Bundy (essay date summer 1990)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Bundy, Roselee. “Poetic Apprenticeship: Fujiwara Teika's Shogaku Hyakushu.Monumenta Nipponica 45, no. 2 (summer 1990): 157-88.

[In the following essay, Bundy evaluates the poetry of Teika's early collection Shogaku hyakushu, contrasting it with the verse of his father, Fujiwara no Shunzei, and pointing out the significance of Teika's manipulation of imagery rather than his cultivation of an emotionally compelling lyrical voice in this work.]

In the Fourth Month of 1181 Fujiwara Teika, 1162-1241, then aged twenty, composed his first hundred-poem sequence, Shogaku Hyakushu. Teika had made his public debut as a poet in...

(The entire section is 11169 words.)

Wayne P. Lammers (essay date 1992)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Lammers, Wayne P. “Fujiwara Teika and Matsura no Miya Monogatari.” In ‘The Tale of Matsura’: Fujiwara Teika's Experiment in Fiction, translated by Wayne P. Lammers, pp. 3-26. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies, 1992.

[In the following excerpt, Lammers asserts Teika's authorship of Matsura no miya monogatari (The Tale of Matsura) and summarizes the work's story and stylistic features.]

Matsura no miya monogatari (The Tale of Matsura, ca. 1190) is a classical Japanese tale or romance that belongs to the same category of courtly fiction as Murasaki Shikibu's unsurpassed masterpiece, Genji...

(The entire section is 11379 words.)

David T. Bialock (essay date 1994)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Bialock, David T. “Voice, Text, and the Question of Poetic Borrowing in Late Classical Japanese Poetry.” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 54, no. 1 (1994): 181-231.

[In the following excerpt, Bialock studies Teika's influential concept of honkadori (“allusive variation”) in the context of the development of late classical Japanese poetry.]

It can be said, without risk of exaggeration, that the early medieval poet Fujiwara no Teika (1162-1241) is largely responsible for how scholars and students of classical Japanese literature read waka even today. Indeed, so disposed are we to seek out pre-texts for a particular waka—sometimes quite...

(The entire section is 9973 words.)

Edward Kamens (essay date summer 2002)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Kamens, Edward. “Waking the Dead: Fujiwara no Teika's Sotoba kuyo Poems.” Journal of Japanese Studies 28, no. 2 (summer 2002): 379-403.

[In the following essay, Kamens offers an interpretive analysis of ten memorial waka from Teika's Shui guso collection, concentrating on the allusive intertextuality of these works.]

Most Japanese poems (yamoto uta, waka) have their seeds in Japanese poems and are likely to flower forth as still more Japanese poems. When Japanese poets compose waka, those acts of production—like those of other poets in other cultures—are enabled as well as constrained by the poem-composing acts of...

(The entire section is 9047 words.)