Shoku Kokin Wakashu (Collection of Ancient and Modern Japanese Poetry, Continued) (続古今和歌集)

"Shoku Kokin Wakashu" is an anthology compiled by imperial command in the Kamakura period, and is the eleventh of the twenty one poetry anthologies. It consists of twenty volumes as follows: spring (two volumes), summer, autumn (two volumes), winter, Shintoism, Shakyamuni's teachings, separation, kiryo (journey), love (five volumes), sorrow, miscellaneous (three volumes), and celebration. 1915 poems in total were collected in the anthology (although the exact number of the poems differs among the existing manuscripts).

The anthology has Kanajo (Japanese preface) written by Motoie KUJO, one of the anthologists, and Manajo (Chinese preface) written by SUGAWARA no Naganari. The Shoku Kokin Wakashu List' has also survived, which classified the poets as either contemporary or ancient, and included their brief biographies and number of included poems.

FUJIWARA no Tameie, the head of the Mikohidari family was ordered to compile the anthology by Emperor Gosaga on April 17, 1259. However, in October and November 1262, the Emperor also ordered Inner Minister Motoie KUJO (1203-1280), Ieyoshi KINUGASA (1192-1264), Yukiie ROKUJO (1223-1275), and Mitsutoshi HAMURO, aka. Shinkan (1203-1276), who were against the Mikohidari, to join as anthologists, so Tameie, resenting the decision, had his oldest son FUJIWARA no Tameuji continue the compiling work instead. It was completed and submitted to the Emperor for inspection on February 9, 1266, and a feast celebrating the completion of the work was held on April 25 of the following year. In 1264, Ieyoshi became the only one of the five anthologists to pass away before its completion.

In those days, representative poets were distinguished people from influential families such as Imperial Prince Munetaka, Shogun of Kamakura (67 poems), Saneuji SAIONJI (61 poems), who was an important person in political circles, and the Gosaga-in (54 poems). More than twenty poems of the four anthologists, excluding Yukiie, were also collected. Among the deceased, FUJIWARA no Teika (56 poems), who was the leading poet in Shin Kokin Wakashu (New Collection of Ancient and Modern Poetry), Emperor Gotoba (49 poems), and FUJIWARA no Ietaka (41 poems) were considered important. Three more poems by Emperor Tsuchimikado (the Gosaga-in's real father) were selected than those by Emperor Juntoku (35 poems), although Emperor Tsuchimikado's poems were inferior to Emperor Juntoku's, which was probably due to the will of the Gosaga-in.

The anthology tried to follow tradition by naming itself the successor of "Kokin Wakashu" (A Collection of Ancient and Modern Poetry) and "Shin Kokin," and the reason why the number of anthologists was increased to five was probably because the Emperor wanted to make the anthology resemble "Shin Kokin," but because the anthologists were unable to agree with each other and couldn't organize the poems well it ended up being too diversified and inconsistent. Some were bighearted poems in the Manyo style, and some were written in the elegant Shin Kokin style, although there was a strong tendency toward a simple and antique style as a whole. There were many old poems from the Heian period collected in this anthology for the first time.

[Original Japanese]