Zoki (増基)

Zoki (years of birth and death not known) was a priest and waka poet who lived in the Heian Period. Sometimes, he is called Zoki Hoshi (priest).

His pseudonym was Ionushi (written as 庵主or 廬主). Although he was included in the "Chuko Sanjurokkasen" (thirty-six poets selected by FUJIWARA no Norikane), "Chuko Kasen Sanjuroku-nin Den" only recorded that 'it is written in 'Goshuishu Mokuroku' as his pseudonym is Ionushi,' and the details are not known.

In the poem Meiyo Kasensha in the Waka Iroha collection, it was recorded "Zoki hoshi (priest Zoki), private collection, called himself Ionushi. Same name in the era of the Emperor Uda, Palace priest of Teiji-in."

There are three different views with respect to the period he worked in.

(1) A view that he was the same person as written in Yamato monogatari (Tales of Yamato) as "When Toshiko visited Shiga to pray, there was a priest named Zoki-gimi. He was a priest who lived in Mt. Hiei and visited the Palace of the retired emperor" (Section 122, "Katsugatsunoomoi") and lived 901 - 931.

(2)The view that, in the latter half of the Tenth Century, he was a person in the era of the Emperor Ichijo, who lived from Tenryaku era (947 - 957) to Chotoku (995 - 999) and lived in a thatched hut in Mt. Hiei

(3)The view that he lived in the first half of the eleventh century, when Noin Priest and others lived.

However, it is not clear.

Thirty waka composed by him were included in Chokusenshu (an anthology of poems collected by Imperial command) starting with "Composed when I loved in the past, and heard a little cuckoo singing, "Nowadays, I wait for a little cuckoo without sleeping, tell me about the capital.", summer, 186, Zoki Priest).

Zokihoshishu" (also called Ionushi), a collection of 120 waka poems of Zoki selected by himself, records that he traveled to Kumano and Totomi Province. Kotobagaki (captions), that described natural objects seen during travelling together with Mujokan (Buddhist concept of the impermanence of worldly things), is the forerunner of travel writing in later ages.

[Original Japanese]