Fuga Wakashu (風雅和歌集)

Fuga Wakashu is the seventeenth Imperial anthology. It consists of twenty volumes, including 2211 poems in total. The differences in structure of the collection between Fuga Wakashu and the preceding anthology "Gyokuyo Wakashu" (Jeweled Leaves Collection) is that the compilers reduced five volumes of miscellaneous poems to three, increasing each volume of Spring and Autumn to three books instead, and moreover, a volume of Gaka (Celebration Poetry) was replaced with Chobi. It is pointed out that the structure which has three volumes for Spring and Autumn would have been modeled after "Gosen Wakashu" (A later collection of selected Japanese poetry).

In 1346, 100 poems of Jowa were offered for reference in order to compile Fugashu. On December 30, 1346 (Japanese Northern Dynasty), a party after poetry selection was held, therefore the anthology should have been completed by around 1348.

Emperor Kogen selected poems under the supervision of Emperor Hanazono, who was excellent in arts and sciences. Kinkage OGIMACHI (an adopted son of Tamekane KYOGOKU), FUJIWARA no Tamemoto, and Tamehide REIZEI were chosen as members of the compiling work. Both manajo (a preface written in Chinese) and kanajo (Japanese preface) were written by Cloistered Emperor Hanazono. It is a unique anthology among the Nijuichidai-shu (the twenty-one collections of waka compiled by imperial command) because two Retired Emperors were involved in compilation. According to the kanajo, it was originally planned to be called 'Shofu (正風) Wakashu' which means 'right wind' (historic pass for waka poetry), but it also could be called 'Shofu (傷風)' (literally injured wind) in the Wu reading, so they changed it into 'Fuga' to avoid the negative meaning.

Among the Imperial anthologies compiled by the Emperor from Jimyoin-to (imperial lineage from Emperor Gofukakusa to Emperor Gokomatsu), it inherited the perfect style of the Kyogoku school of poetry, following "Gyokuyo shu." The poems selected most were composed by Emperor Fushimi (85 poems), a patron and captain of the early Kyogoku group, and the ones selected second most were by Shoshi SAIONJI (68 poems); the following are other poets whose poems dominate the top ranks: Hanazonoin (54 poems), Tamekane KYOGOKU (52 poems), and Tameko KYOGOKU (39 poems). More than 30 poems composed by representative poets of the later Kyogoku group such as Emperor Gofushimi, Kogonin, and Kianmonin were selected, as well as Hanazonoin's. In addition, poets who lived in the earlier period such as KI no Tsurayuki, FUJIWARA no Toshinari, FUJIWARA no Teika, Emperor Gotoba were treated with respect in accordance with custom of imperial anthology.

Both anthologies of Gyokuyo and Fuga are characterized by the fresh and natural style. Fuga shu, however, is more intense, and its distinctive characters are contemplation of delicate nature and description of calm mind, which reflect the deep emotions of those who lived in the turbulent age of the Northern and Southern Courts. It contains a lot of Winter Poetry which express the boundary of tranquility and excellent introspective Reminiscence Poetry. Even the love poems create melancholic atmosphere of loneliness.

A complete annotated edition of the anthology by Miyoko IWASA was published by Kasama Shoin, as well as Gyokuyo shu. Moreover, there is a book called "Gyokuyo Fugashu ko" written by Kasumi TSUGITA and edited by IWASA.

[Original Japanese]