Shin Chokusenwakashu (New Imperial Collection) (新勅撰和歌集)

"Shin Chokusenwakashu" is the first collection of the thirteen imperial anthologies of Japanese poetry, and the ninth anthology in aggregate. It is also known by other names such as the Ujigawa Collection.

Fujiwara no Teika was ordered to compile the anthology by Emperor Gohorikawa on July 9, 1232, and he selected the poems alone. After the Retired Emperor passed away, Michiie and Norizane KUJO, father and son, took over the compiling effort, completed it on April 8, 1235 of the time of Emperor Shijo, and reported its completion to Emperor. A preface was also written by Teika in Kana (the Japanese syllabary). It consists of 20 volumes with more than 1370 poems, although the exact number of poems differ according to existing manuscripts. The poems are classified into the following categories: the four seasons (2 volumes for spring and autumn and 1 volume for the others), celebration, journey, Shintoism, Shakyamuni's teachings, love, and miscellaneous (the latter two consist of 5 volumes each). The categories of elegy and parting, which formed independent volumes in the conventional 20 volume imperial anthologies, were omitted, so they were included instead in the categories of miscellaneous poems and journey.

Of the poets in the anthology, Fujiwara no Ietaka has the most poems (43), followed by Yoshitsune KUJO's (36), then FUJIWARA no Toshinari's (35), Kintsune SAIONJI's (30), Jien's (27), MINAMOTO no Sanetomo's and Michiie KUJO's (25 each), and Masatsune ASUKAI's (20), so it could be said that the poems composed by the distinguished people of the Kujo and the Saionji families (Kintsune was Teika's brother-in-law and Kanpaku (Senior Regent), Michiie Kujo's father-in-law) are the most prominent. Poems composed by Yasutoki HOJO and other poets from samurai families were also collected. It was due to Teika's consideration for the bakufu that the work by the great poets Emperor Gotoba and Emperor Juntoku was omitted, as they were in exile following the Jokyu incident. He also reduced his own poems to a minimum while holding poems by FUJIWARA no Ietaka and MINAMOTO no Sanetomo in high regard, deepening interest in Teika's attitude toward poetry selection.

Compared with the elegant Shin Kokin style, Shin Chokusenshu is characterized by its simple and refined style, which tells us what he preferred in his later years. Its conservative style of poetry was respected by the Nijo poetic house as 'truth,' becoming the model for all subsequent waka poems in the medieval period.

[Original Japanese]