The Shigure-tei Bunko (the Shigure-tei storehouselibrary of the Reizei family) (冷泉家時雨亭文庫)

The Foundation for the Reizei family's Shigure-tei library was founded by the descendants of FUJIWARA no Teika; it was created both to store and protect the cultural treasures, including old manuscripts, architectural items, and reports of annual events that had been passed down in the Reizei family, which was well known as a poetic family, and for the purpose of instructing succeeding generations in the Reizei school of kokin denju, or interpretation of the poetry in the Kokinshu. The main office for the Shigure-tei library is in Genbumachi, Karasuma higashi-iru, Imadegawa-dori, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City.


The Reizei family was founded by FUJIWARA no Teika's grandson, Tamesuke REIZEI. The Mikohidari family, descended from FUJIWARA no Michinaga's sixth son FUJIWARA no Nagaie, enjoyed the social status of being known as a family skilled at waka poetry ever since the days of FUJIWARA no Toshinari and Teika, who were compilers of imperial waka anthologies. After the death of Teika's son FUJIWARA no Tameie, the Mikohidari family's lineage split into three branches: the Nijo family (a separate lineage from the Nijo family famous for being one of the Go-Sekke, the five families that produced regents) and their ancestor Tameuji, Tameie's eldest son and heir, the Kyogoku family, which was descended from Tameie's second son Tamenori, and the Reizei family, descended from Tameie's third son Tamesuke. Of the three, both the Nijo and Kyogoku family lines ended during the medieval period, leaving the Reizei family the sole descendants of Toshinari and Teika's bloodline. Tamesuke, founder of the Reizei family, was a child born to his father Tameie and Abutsuni, the wife he took in his later years. And it was Tamesuke, Tameie's youngest son, not his eldest son and heir Tameuji, that Tameie had inherit his territories and ancestral waka anthologies. It is said that this was because Tameie was concerned about the future his son, conceived when Tameie was in his sixties, would have, but in any case the Nijo and Reizei families entered into a long-running dispute concerning dominion over his territories and ownership of the Izayoi Nikki (Diary of the Night of the Sixteenth).

The estate of the Kami branch of the Reizei family is in the north section of the Kyoto Imperial Garden on the south side of Imadegawa-dori, and is currently surrounded on three sides--east, north, and west--by the campus of Doshisha University. This section of the city was the area under Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI's city planning project in which nobles' mansions would be concentrated, but today, the Reizei residence is the only one remaining. The mansion of the Shimo branch of the Reizei family was located within the grounds of the Kyoto Imperial Gardens. As for the Kami branch of the Reizei family, it is known that they erected their own mansion at this site in 1606. The Reizei family residence (an Important Cultural Property) that survives today was rebuilt in1790, two years after being destroyed by the Great Tenmei Fire of Kyoto (which occurred in 1788). Moreover, the storehouse, or 'obunko' (library), filled with the many old manuscripts that the family continued to pass down, is thought to have avoided the Great Tenmei Fire. More recently, in 1917, as a consequence of the construction project to widen the Imadegawa-dori (street), the buildings were dragged (in other words, moved as is, without disassembling them) some distance away, and although the size of the Reizei plot of land was reduced, the positioning of the various buildings were kept largely in their old configuration.

The existence of such a wide variety of old documents and manuscripts preserved in the obunko (library) of the Kami branch of the Reizei family was known to a handful of researchers over the years, but the library remained private for a long time, so in general, the extent of their collection was not widely known until 1980. It was starting in the same year that the Heian Museum of Ancient History (today called the Museum of Kyoto) began putting in order and cataloging the collection of books belonging to the Reizei family, and little by little it became obvious just how extensive the collection was. Books in the Reizei family library include writings in Toshinari's and Teika's own hands, and even Teika's own personal diary, the "Meigetsuki" (Chronicle of the Clear Moon), making the library a treasure trove of important documents in the study of Japanese literature and medieval Japanese history. Furthermore, the Reizei family residence is the sole surviving example of pre-Edo period aristocratic dwellings, and as such is a treasure in its own right. In addition to handling these tangible cultural properties, the Foundation of the Shigure-tei library of the Reizei family was established to preserve records of ancient cultural practices like the Tanabata Star Festival (the festival of the Weaver, which still takes place on the seventh day of the seventh month) as well, and to preserve the Reizei family's poetic conventions as a family famed for its waka poems. Shigure-tei' was the name of the mountain villa that Teika had built on Mt. Ogura in Kyoto.

Opening the Reizei family residence to the public

Both the residence and the manuscripts had not been open to the public for a very long time, but having received aid from the Great Heisei Repairs (a nationwide effort to restore old buildings to their ancient appearance) which lasted from 1994 to 2000, the Reizei residence only was opened to the public for the first time--but only to winners of a special lottery--for five days in the fall of 2001. Starting in 2005, another step was taken towards opening the Reizei residence to the public, in that now it is opened every autumn--for only four days--for a sponsored 'special viewing of privately owned cultural properties' to the general public, and although an admission fee is charged, now anyone can come examine the building, without reservations or lotteries. However, with the exception of the earthen floor of the kitchen, on which visitors can walk, the building, although open to the public, must be viewed from the outside; it is not possible to enter the main building. Inside the rooms, there is a display of paintings and other works of art. The interior of the obunko and the kitchen storehouse have not been opened to the public, and can only be viewed from the exterior.

National Treasures:

One jo ("large section," hereafter translated as "section") of the Kokin wakashu (a Collection of Waka Poems from Ancient and Modern Times, usually abbreviated to "Kokinshu"), written by FUJIWARA no Teika; Supplement: one scroll containing Emperor Gotsuchimikado's official letters and personal writings, Emperor Gokashiwara's official letters as well as poem drafts he personally wrote, and Emperor Gonara's official letters and personal writings. One section of the Gosen wakashu, or Later Selected Waka Anthology (written by Teika himself). Three sections of Shuiguso (Gleanings of Worthless Weeds), written in Teika's own hand; Supplement: one section of Soko dankan (drafts and fragments), a waka anthology personally compiled by Teika. It is the sole surviving poetry anthology from pre-medieval Japan compiled by the poet himself and completed in the poet's own hand.

Two sections of Korai futeisho, or Notes on Poetic Style Through the Ages (written in FUJIWARA no Toshinari's own hand). 58 volumes and one hanging scroll of the Meigetsuki (Chronicle of the Clear Moon, written in Teika's own hand); Supplement: one complementary volume, and one bundle of old covers (10 total).

Important Cultural Properties (written works)

One section of the Tokiakira Collection, an anthology of poems exchanged between Tokiakira, Heian-period Governor of Sanuki Province, and his ladies-in-waiting. A Heian-period manuscript.

The Bungo Province fudoki (topography)--a Kamakura-period manuscript.

The Kugyo bunin (a record of court appointments), written by FUJIWARA no Toshinari and Teika. 39 volumes of private Kamakura-period poetry anthologies written by FUJIWARA no Suketsune. These volumes are personal poetry compilations by 38 different people, including FUJIWARA no Michinaga.

6 other volumes of private poetry anthologies from the Kamakura period
One section of the Goshui wakasho, Later Gleanings of Selected Waka, dating to the Kamakura period. One section of the Goshui wakasho written by FUJIWARA no Tameie. One section of the Suo no naishi anthology, written by FUJIWARA no Toshinari. One Heian-period volume of the Tsurayuki anthology. One section of pocket papers (12 sheets) used in the waka party on Tanabata (the star festival on the seventh day of the seventh month) in the second year of the Shochu era (in the Kamakura period, about 1325). One section of pocket papers (24 sheets) used in the waka party on Tanabata in the second year of the Gentoku era (in the Kamakura period, about 1330). One section of the Waka shogakusho (Selected waka for beginners) written by FUJIWARA no Tameie. One volume of Ise monogatari (Tales of Ise), a Kamakura-period transcription based on a text written by FUJIWARA no Teika. One volume of the Wen Xuan (an early Chinese poetry collection), transcribed in the Kamakura period.

One section of MINAMOTO no Ienaga's diary, a written section of the Kamakura-period poet Ienaga's diary of reflections and methods.

43 books of (Shoku's) private poetry anthologies, written by the Kamakura-period Jodo (Pure Land) sect monk Shoku. These volumes comprise a personal compilation of poems by about 40 poets, including YAMABE no Akahito, OTOMO no Iemochi, and ONO no Komachi.

One section of the Nakafumi Collection (transcribed by FUJIWARA no Teika), a written section of the house poetry anthology of FUJIWARA no Nakafumi, one of the Thirty-Six Immortal Poets.

One section of the Egyo Collection (transcribed by Teika), a written section of the house poetry anthology of Egyo, the Heian-period poet-monk.

One section, a transcription (whose preface and colophon only were written by Teika) of the Sanmokuki kashu, the house poetry anthology of the Heian-period poet MINAMOTO no Toshiyori.

One section of the Zanshu, a Kamakura-period transcription of the poetry anthology by the poet Saigyo.

One section of the catalog of anthologies (written by Teika), a catalog, in Teika's own hand, of the poetry anthologies he had personally transcribed or revised.

One volume from the Imperial poetry contest held in the Kampyo era, transcribed by FUJIWARA no Teika and Tameie. This is a collection of excerpts from stanzas of poems from the Godai kanyo, the Manyoshu, and the Kokinshu. It was compiled by FUJIWARA no Teika. It is a Kamakura-period transcription.

A Kamakura-period transcription (done in 1274-1275) of the Shin kokin wakashu (New Collection of Ancient and Modern Waka, usually called the Shin kokinshu).

Two volumes of the Kagen hyakushu, a 100-poem compilation of the Kagen era.
Twenty-one volumes of the Bunpo hyakushu, a 100-poem compilation of the Bunpo era
Twelve volumes of the Eitoku hyakushu, a 100-poem compilation of the Eitoku era. One section of the Sosei Collection (the "iroshi" or "colored paper" version), a late Heian-period transcription of Sosei's personal house poetry anthology that was written on variously colored ornamental writing paper.

One section of the Sosei Collection (the "toshi" or "Chinese paper" version), a late Heian-period transcription of Sosei's personal house poetry anthology that was written on variously colored ornamental writing paper.

One section of the Renchusho, a Kamakura-period transcription of the book on ancient customs originally written by the Heian-period poet FUJIWARA no Suketaka.

One section of the Shin kokinshu (the Oki manuscripts), a Kamakura-period transcription.

Three sections of volumes two, five, and seven of Kamakura-period transcriptions of the Okagami (The Great Mirror).

A total of three volumes, 107 sections, 3 hanging scrolls, 4 sheets, and one item from the Chogijidaisho (Records on Court Affairs), dating from the Kamakura to the Edo periods. Twelve sections, nine books, and twelve sheets of the Chokusen wakashu (Imperial waka anthology), which includes transcriptions of Imperial waka anthologies all the way from the "Kokinshu" handed down in the Reizei family to the "Zoku gosen wakashu" (Later Imperial Waka Anthology, Continued).

Four volumes, 83 books, and 196 sections of the Reizei family poetry anthology, designating all the transcriptions of the private family anthologies (personal waka anthologies) passed down in the Reizei family.

Of the various types of Reizei family waka anthologies: 38 volumes, 147 books, 52 sections, and 11 hanging scrolls. One section of the Manyoshu, volume 18 (the Kanazawa Bunko (library) manuscript). Monogatari (tales) as well as annotated versions of: miscellaneous tales (eight books and two sections), the Tales of Ise, including annotated versions of it (thirteen books and three sections), the Tale of Genji, including annotated versions of it (one volume, 38 books, and two sections). 24 sections of the Music of the Feast.
12 volumes of the Shochusho

Important Cultural Properties (ancient documents)

One volume of Emperor Gokogon's Imperial letters and personal writings; supplement: one letter by Yoshimoto NIJO in his own hand
One volume of FUJIWARA no Teika's draft proposals, written in his own hand
One volume of letters of transfer (four in all) written in FUJIWARA no Tameie's own hand
278 documents of the Reizei family
One volume, a Kamakura-period transcription, of the 'Daiki,' FUJIWARA no Yorinaga's diary.

Four volumes of the Choshuki (transcribed by FUJIWARA no Teika), the diary of MINAMOTO no Morotoki.

Important Cultural Properties (buildings)

The Reizei family residence
The tatami room and kitchen (one building)
The obunko (their library, a storehouse for books)
The kitchen storehouse
The front gate
The family plot of land, 1470.5 square meters in size
The earthen wall, the garden wall, the tomosaburai (a waiting room for servants) as well as the kitchen gate, and the tatejitomi (a movable fence).

The Reizei holdings have been published in facsimile by the Asahi Newspaper Company under the title "the Reizei Shigure-tei Series."

[Original Japanese]