Wakan Roei Shu (Collection of Sung Japanese and Chinese poems) (和漢朗詠集)

"Wakan Roei Shu" (Collection of Sung Japanese and Chinese poems) is a collection of poetry compiled by FUJIWARA no Kinto. It was formed around 1018. It is also called "Wakansho" (Japanese and Chinese Poems to Sing) based on the title inside the book at the end.

It was originally compiled as poems attached to paintings on folding screen offered when FUJIWARA no Ishi, a daughter of FUJIWARA no Michinaga, entered into court, and was later presented as a wedding gift at the wedding of the daughter of Kinto and FUJIWARA no Norimichi. It is said that FUJIWARA no Yukinari, who had excellent penmanship, copied it out, bound it in the deccho style, and put it in a Suzuri-bako (case containing ink brush and ink stone) to present.

The 'Iwai' section of Volume 2 contains the original of the Japan's national anthem "Kimigayo."

It was compiled to respond to the trend of the Kokufu Bunka (Japan's original national culture). At that time, Roei (recitation), which was to recite excellent poems and waka selecting ones most appropriate to various occasions public or private including tanka parties, was highly prized as it warm up the parties. Responding such demands, poems were classified and arranged by themes of roei.

It consists of two volumes. As its name suggests, total 804 poems (216 waka poems and 588 Chinese-style poems (including those composed by Japanese)) are contained. KI no Tsurayuki has the most waka poems (26 poems) and Juyi BAI has the most Chinese-style poems (135 poems). It structure is after "Kokin Wakashu" (A Collection of Ancient and Modern Japanese Poetry), and Volume 1 contains poems of four seasons (spring, summer, autumn, and winter) and Volume 2 contains Zouka (other poetry).

Published Wakan Roei Shu
Because popular poems of that time are written in both kanji (Chinese characters) and kana characters, it was used as a textbook for reading and writing in Terakoya (temple elementary schools during the Edo period) etc. for a long time. A Japanese ascetic monk who went to Sung devoted it when he entered a monastery. Also, the Christian version of Volume 1 published by the Society of Jesus remains in Monastery of the Escurial in Spain.

Old commentaries

Wakan Roei Shu has been a subject of commentaries since around the late Heian period.
Specific commentaries are as follows:

Roei Gochu (The Commentary on Wakan Roei Shu)

Wakan Roei Chu (The Commentary on Wakan Roei Shu)

Wakan Roei Shu Kenbun (The Knowledge on Wakan Roei Shu)

Wakan Roei Shu Shichu (Personal Notes on Wakan Roei Shu)

Wakan Roei Chusho (The Commentary on Wakan Roei Shu)

Roei Sho (A Summary of Wakan Roei Shu)

Wakan Roei Shu Kanachu (The Commentary of Wakan Roei Shu written in kana)

Wakan Roei Shu with Notes by Esai

Wakan Roei Shu Wadan Sho

Wakan Roei Shu Chu (The Commentary on Wakan Roei Shu)

[Original Japanese]