Ki no Tsurayuki

(redirected from Tosa Nikki)

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.


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

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


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.


Konrad, N. I. Iaponskaia literatura ν obraztsakh i ocherkakh. Leningrad, 1927.
Literatura Vostoka ν srednie veka, part 1. Moscow, 1970.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Comparatively, the Japanese writer [phrase omitted] (Ki no Tsurayuki 872-945) in this poetic diary [phrase omitted] (Tosa Nikki) narrates his fifty-five-day homeward journey from court where he was a courtier.
To prove her point, she analyzes one of the best-known Heian texts, Tosa nikki, most likely written by a male courtier adopting a female persona.
In 935 he wrote Tosa nikki (The Tosa Diary), a travel book.