I’ve been making small updates to the blog apart from the poems themselves. The main change is that I’ve added a new “page” that talks about the history of Imperial poetry anthologies. Poetry collections were very popular in the “classical age” of Japanese history, when Court nobles cultivated the finer arts and wrote lots and lots of poetry for social reasons, as well as for career advancement.
The Hyakunin Isshu is an example of a “private” collection in that it was not commissioned by the government. Fujiwara no Teika (poem 97) compiled the Hyakunin Isshu in the later years of his life after his lord, Emperor Gotoba (poem 99), was exiled and the samurai government in Kamakura had won the civil war.
However, many of the poets in the Hyakunin Isshu were also contributors to official anthologies or helped compile them. So, I finally got around to explaining what these anthologies were and why the’re important to this blog.
Also, resources permitting, I may want to try and post poetry from some of those anthologies, starting with the Kokin Wakashū.
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