Sakumondaitai was a manual of kanshi (Chinese poem) written during the Heian period. Provided, however, that its improvement or enlargement was often made and it is presumed that such revision or enlargement was continuously made until the Muromachi period. A book consists of one volume.
It is presumed that its oldest style remains in a book which was formerly owned by To-ji Kanchi-in Temple (currently, owned by the Tenri Central Library). However, the difference among shohon (transcription and published books) is large because improvement were made by many people over a long period of time. Well-known persons who enlarged the book are Munetada NAKAMIKADO and Michichika TSUCHIMIKADO.
The book starts with the preface of "倭注切韻" written by Oe no Asatsuna in 939 (its purpose is not clear), followed by ten matters to be attended in writing kanshi, which is followed by independent four items of "筆大体," "詩本体," "雑体詩," and "詩雑例." Further, items of "詩四病" and "諸句体" are seen in a book formerly owned by Higashiyama Gobunko (currently owned by Ochanomizu Library) and as seen above, there are differences among shohon. Although all books consists of the first ten items and the subsequent four items, the latter is considered to have been written by another person because its writing style is different from the former and it contains a description concerning prose. Other than the above, a book which is considered to have been improved during the Muromachi period, such as the one owned by the Kyoto Prefectural Library and Archives, exists.