Ki no Tsurayuki

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Ki no Tsurayuki

(kē nō tso͞o`rä`yo͞o`kē), c.872–945, early Japanese diarist, literary theorist, and poet. Renowned for his erudition and skill in Chinese and Japanese poetry, Tsurayuki took the leading role in the compilation of the Kokinwakashû [collection of ancient and modern verse], the first imperial anthology of poetry. His much-cited preface to that work is the first formal articulation of a Japanese poetics and established a paradigm for future generations of poetic criticism. Tsurayuki's Tosa nikki [Tosa diary] (935), an account of an arduous journey by sea narrated in the first person by a female persona, represents the oldest extant Japanese prose fiction and the beginnings of the great tradition of diary literature.

Bibliography

See H. C. McCullough, Brocade by Night (1985).

Ki No Tsurayuki

 

Born 882; died 946. Japanese poet.

Ki no Tsurayuki held a lowly position at the imperial court. In 922 he headed the committee that compiled the first court anthology of Japanese poetry, Kokinshu. The anthology contained poems that served as classic examples for subsequent poets. Four hundred and forty of Ki no Tsurayuki’s poems, written in the form of the tanka, are extant. His Tosa Diary (936), consisting of prose landscape sketches intermingled with lyrical verses, marked the origin of the genre of the nikki, or lyrical diary. Ki no Tsurayuki is also known as the first theorist of Japanese poetry.

WORKS

In Russian translation:
“Putevye zapiski iz Tosa.” In Vostok, vol. 1. Moscow, 1935.
In the collection Iaponskaia poeziia. Moscow, 1956.
In the collection Iaponskie piatistishiia. Moscow, 1971.

REFERENCES

Konrad, N. I. Iaponskaia literatura ν obraztsakh i ocherkakh. Leningrad, 1927.
Literatura Vostoka ν srednie veka, part 1. Moscow, 1970.