Fujiwara no Teika

Fujiwara no Teika bigraphy, stories - Major classical Japanese poet; master of the waka

Fujiwara no Teika : biography

1162 – September 26, 1241

, better-known as Fujiwara no Teika,"Sadaie" and "Teika" are both possible readings of 定家; "…there is the further problem, the rendition of the name in romanized form. Teika probably referred to himself as Sadaie, and his father probably called himself Toshinari, but the Sino-Japanese versions of their names were used by their contemporaries, and this practice is still observed." pg 681-692, note 2 of Seeds in the Heart: Japanese Literature from Earliest Times to the Late Sixteenth Century, Donald Keene. 1999, Columbia University Press, ISBN 0-231-11441-9 (1162 – September 26, 1241) was a Japanese poet, critic,"The high quality of poetic theory (karon) in this age depends chiefly upon the poetic writings of Fujiwara Shunzei and his son Teika. The other theorists of tanka writing, stimulated by father and son either to agreement or disagreement, contributed also toward the high level of poetic theory, but we may say that Shunzei and Teika were most representative of the age." This quote is sourced to Odagiri Hideo in pg 10 of his "Nihon ni okeru bungei hyōron no seiritsu" (The Rise of Art Criticism in Japan), pub. by Geijutsuron-shū ("Collection of Discussions of Art"), Tokyo 1962; see Shun’ichi H. Takayanagi’s review of Japanese Court Poetry by Robert H. Brower and Earl Miner in Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 18, No. 1/4. (1963), pp. 352-364. calligrapher, novelist,It is generally believed that Teika wrote the Tale of Matsura anthologist, scribe,"During his last years Teika seems to have composed little poetry, but he was otherwise engaged in copying manuscripts, especially of the major works of Heian literature. It is not much of an exaggeration to say that what we know of the literature of Teika’s day and earlier is mainly what he thought was worthy of preservation" pg 673-674 of Seeds in the Heart. and scholar of the late Heian and early Kamakura periods. His influence was enormous, and he is even to this day counted as among the greatest"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 day, and for centuries after his death was held in religious veneration by waka and renga poets alike." Robert H. Brower. Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 40, No. 4. (Winter, 1985), pp. 399-425. ).

  • Charles Murray, in his Human Accomplishment, ranks Teika as the 17th most influential figure in all of Japanese literature based on his analysis of academic research on Japanese literature. "Fujiwara no Teika….is one of the four greatest Japanese poets. The son of Shunzei, Teika lived to an advanced age constantly plagued by both recurring illness and reverses and advances in his family’s fortunes. Similarly, his poetry and critical writings also underwent a series of changes in the course of his life, leaving behind the most substantial and intense poetic legacy by a single poet in Japanese history."
  • "Teika’s unique reputation rested in part upon his accomplishment as the leading figure among the many fine poets of the Shinkokin Jidai, the period of fifty-odd years in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries when revival and innovation in the native poetry were exemplified in Shin Kokinshū, c. 1204, the eighth, and in many respects the greatest, of the imperially sponsored anthologies of classical verse. As one of the six compilers of the anthology, and with forty-six of his poems included in it, Teika stood at the forefront of the younger and more innovative poets of his day, and his various experiments with diction, rhetoric, and figurative language, as well as with new styles, modes, and aesthetic effects, were widely imitated by his contemporaries. After his death, his quarreling descendants were recognized as the ultimate authorities on all poetic matters, and through them Teika’s influence pervaded six hundred years of Japanese poetic history." Extract from "" by Robert H. Brower, Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 40, No. 4. (Winter, 1985), pp. 399-425.
  • Donald Keene writes, "…is the diary of Fujiwara Teika (1162-1241), a man equally celebrated as poet, critic, and editor." pg 95, Keene 1989 of Japanese poets, and perhaps the greatest master of the waka form – an ancient poetic form consisting of five lines with a total of 31 syllables.