Fujiwara Teika ~An angry genius office worker~


Finally, Teika Fujiwara appears.
If you are interested in waka, you will naturally come across his name.

Teika's father was Toshinari Fujiwara, a selector of the Senzai Wakashu and an elder statesman in the contemporary poetry world.
→Related article “Toshinari Fujiwara ~Godfather of Waka Poetry~

He is a selector of Hyakunin Isshu and Shin Kokin Wakashu, and the works he collected and transcribed in both his work and his life's work, such as The Tale of Genji (blue cover version) and Kokin Wakashu, are treasures of Japanese culture.
His highest rank in life was Shonin Second Rank and the high rank of Gon Chunagon. Also, in the Noh play ``Teika'', his forbidden love with Imperial Princess Shikiko is told, making him one of the most important figures in the history of waka poetry and, by extension, the history of Japanese culture.
→Related article “Introductory class on waka poetry List of poets and official ranks

When you hear this, you might imagine an exciting genius nobleman.

You were having such a delusion!
very sorry,,

The real image of Teika-sama is completely different! !

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During this period, aristocrats all wrote their own diaries.
Like most people, Teika kept a diary called ``Meigetsuki'' from the age of 19 to 73, which completely shatters the delusional image of Teika.

This is Teika in his diary:
*The diary entry is “Personal excerpt from Teika Meigetsuki (written by Yoshie Hotta)I have quoted from

“I have no hope for government matters.”I felt despair over my inability to get promoted,
"Poor, without clothes..."and complained of the suffering of poverty,
"Eimin style exhaustion"He laments that he can't sing elegant songs.
And again and again...

It's truly a tragedy.
The ultimate in desperation...
You shouldn't look at other people's diaries.

Meigetsuki is not the only book that conveys Teika's character.
For example, ``Gotobain Kuden.''
Speaking of Gotobain, he is the person who discovered the poet Teika.
Through his work on compiling the ``Shin Kokin Wakashu,'' which he commissioned, he also had a close relationship with Teika.
What does that oral tradition say?

"Incomparable"
“I feel angry.”
``Many exaggerations to Amatsusa, I don't know that I'm self-indulgent.''
Gotobain oral history

This is extremely harsh criticism...
Even so, it's amazing how fearless Chiten no Kimi is when it comes to making ``various exaggerations.''
→Related article “Gotobain ~What's yours is mine, Medieval Gian~

Well, this will destroy Teika's image and bring shame on the legend of the waka world.

The period from the end of the Heian period to the beginning of Kamakura during which he lived was a turbulent time. The ``Jishojuei War,'' known as the Genpei War, and the ``Great Yowa Famine,'' which is mentioned in ``Hojoki'' and the novel ``Rashomon,'' are extremely turbulent times! The situation was such that we didn't even know what the future would hold.

Meanwhile, this is a famous line written by Teika at the age of 19 in Meigetsuki.
“The Hongqi Seijyu (Koki Seijyu) I am here to fight”

Did you know about the outfield? I'll go my own way!
How could a young man, barely even 20 years old, make such a declaration?
Anyway, it's kind of cool, isn't it?

I believe that Fujiwara Teika was a man who struggled in agony to use the power of anger to build his own utopia in a world of despair.
Using the weapon of song. .
Although he could not be called an exciting nobleman, he must have been an angry genius ``artist'' like Van Gogh or Beethoven, but sadly he was just an ordinary ``salaryman'' who served his absolute superiors, Fujiwara Teika and Gotobain. is.

But I believe that this suppression, this explosion of resentment and unresolved feelings, culminated in that finely honed and beautiful song of emotion.
This time, let's take a look at the ten poems that trace Teika's life.

Ten poems by Fujiwara Teika

1. “Spring rises in the same light of the rising sun, in the waves of the four seas.” (Sadaie Fujiwara)
Teika's debut work was a hundred poems called ``Shogaku Hyakushu.'' This song is the first song.
It's a simple song that combines the rising of spring (the beginning of spring) and the rising of waves, and Tensai had an ordinary start.
At this time, Sadaie was 20 years old, and the legend began.

2. “If you look around, you'll see flowers and autumn leaves at sunset in Ura no Tomaya” (Sadaie Fujiwara)
This song, which was composed in the ``Futamiura Hyakushu'', is also very famous as the ``Santa Song''.
What is surprising is that Teika was only 25 years old when he composed this song. He seems so lonely at such a young age.
By the way, he is about 44 years older than Saigyo, who stands next to Sanyu. I can already see glimpses of genius.
→Related article “Three evening songs ~Top 3 of autumn evenings~

3. “The dew and tears of Tamayura do not stop, the autumn breeze of the dead man’s inn” (Sadaie Fujiwara)
This poem, which is included in the New Kokin Wakashu, is a dirge written for his father, Toshinari, when his mother, Bifukumonin Kaga, passed away.
Teike is 32 years old. Even though we have become more and more skilled at singing symbolic songs, we feel light in front of the funeral of a loved one.

4. “A small summer carriage that is hot in the wind of dust standing in the footsteps of wandering cows” (Sadaie Fujiwara)
Also 32 years old, this is a song that will be entered in the Rokuhyaku Utaai.
The 600-ban Poet Festival is an unprecedented poetry competition hosted by Fujiwara Yoshitsune, in which 12 poets sing 100 poems at a time, with a total of 1200 poems on either side, competing for superiority.
It became a full-on showdown between the old and new poets, the Mikozake (Toshinari, Teika, Jakuren, etc.) who participated, and the Rokujo Fujiie (Fujiwara Suitsune, Akiaki, etc.).
The result is clear from the rise and fall of the family after that. This is how the genius Teika was trained.

5. “On a spring night, the floating bridge of a dream disappears, and the sky of horizontal clouds can be seen in the ridges” (Sadaie Fujiwara)
Teika is 37 years old, and this is one of the 50 poems of Omuro (Ninnajinomiya).
A sophisticated symbolic song that would be unrefined to translate colloquially.
Personally, I think these 50 poems are the best works in Teika's history, so many excellent poems are lined up.

6. “Plum blossoms give off their scent, and the shadow of the moon hangs over the sleeves.” (Sadaie Fujiwara)
Gotoba-in fell in love with Sadaie when he saw the ``Shoji Hatsudo Hyakushu'' containing this poem.
Teika was recognized by the temple and was quickly allowed to ascend to the temple, climbing the stairs to become the leading poet in the Gotoba Temple poetry circle.
The scent of plum blossoms and the light of the moon compete with each other. This is a work that marked a major turning point for Teika at the age of 39.

7. ``Every time I look at my black hair, I can almost see a trace of him.'' (Fujiwara Sadaie)
This is a love song included in the Shinkokin Wakashu. Teika is also good at erotic songs like this.

8. “The dew falls on the part of the white sleeve, and the color of the autumn breeze touches your body” (Fujiwara Teika)
This poem is part of the ``Minasegawa Koi 15 Poems'' that were composed at Minasegawa, Gotobain's villa.
At this time, Sadaya was 41 years old. As he reached his peak as a poet, his relationship with Gotoba-in also became uncertain. Like the autumn breeze blowing.

9. “The dew-covered undergrowth of the Ikuta forest changes color with the endless wind in autumn” (Sadaie Fujiwara)
Sadaie secretly criticized Tobain, who had selected the song, saying that this song was not selected as one of the ``Shoji Shoji Waka Poems of the Best Shitennoin.''
However, in the small palace, the rumor reached the ears of the Emperor and became the oral history of Gotoba.
``The shoji of the famous Shitenno-in temple, the singing of the forest of Ikuta, are ridiculed here and there, and various exaggerations are made of the sweetness, and they are so embarrassed that they do not know how reckless they are.''
Teike is scary!

10: “The willows in the field by the roadside are budding, compared to the smoke of lamentation” (Fujiwara Sadaie)
Seeing this, Gotobain became very angry.
Going back a few years, there was an incident in which Gotoba-in took a splendid weeping willow that was in the garden of Teika's house. Actually, this song has a main song...
“When spring comes, a decaying willow tree on the side of the road will be forgotten.” (Michizane Sugawara)

Gotoba-in thought that Teika was playing with the original poem and was still persistently complaining about Yanagi's grudge. This was the second time in his life that Teika was disowned.

“When spring comes, a decaying willow tree on the side of the road will be forgotten.” (Michizane Sugawara)
Teika compared himself to Michizane, who was exiled, and was interpreted as expressing a grudge against himself (In). This was the second time in his life that Teika was disowned.

The following year, in 1221, Gotoba-in started the Jokyu War.
The result was obvious, but he was exiled to Oki and was never seen again.

As he moved away from Gotoba-in and moved closer to Kamakura, his life gradually became richer.
Teika's sighing symbolic songs are becoming less popular, and the number of plain songs from the previous era is increasing.
For example, if we look at his later work ``Fujikawa Hyakushu''...

“Morning blur, Mirume Nagisa, Yae Kasumi, Eya is blown away, Shiga no Ura.” (Fujiwara Teika)
“Kefu Yoriya, Konomemoharu no Sakura Hana, Parent’s Isame’s Spring Rain Sky” (Fujiwara Sadaie)
There are a few curveballs, but it's mostly old-fashioned.

“The geese come to the village of Toyama, blending with the clouds of the autumn breeze, beyond the mountain range” (Fujiwara Teika)
I hate to say this, but it's a song without any twist.

Teika may have wanted a stable life, but as a fan, I'm a little disappointed.
The environment may be a very important factor in nurturing genius.

→Related article “I interviewed Mr. Teika ~What beginners should know from Monthly Sho~
→Related article “Teika vs. Mallarmé: A showdown that transcends the century! Approaching the charm of iconic songs
→Related article “Why is Hyakunin Isshu boring?

(Written by Uchida Engaku, a poet)

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