Ki no Tsurayuki
Biography of Ki no Tsurayuki
Tsurayuki was a son of Ki no Mochiyuki. He became a waka poet in the 890s. In 905, under the order of Emperor Daigo, he was one of four poets selected to compile the Kokin Wakashū, an anthology of poetry.
After holding a few offices in Kyoto, he was appointed the provincial governor of Tosa province and stayed there from 930 until 935. Later he was presumably appointed the provincial governor of Suo province, since it was recorded that he held a waka party (Utaai) at his home in Suo.
He is well-known for his waka and is counted as one of the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals selected by Fujiwara no Kinto. He was also known as one of the editors of the Kokin Wakashū. Tsurayuki wrote one of two prefaces to Kokin Wakashū; the other is in Chinese. His preface was the first critical essay on waka. He wrote of its history from its mythological origin to his contemporary waka, which he grouped into genres, referred to some major poets and gave a bit of harsh criticism to his predecessors like Ariwara no Narihira.
His waka is included in one of the important Japanese poetry anthologies, the Hyakunin Isshu, which was compiled in the 13th century by Fujiwara no Teika, long after Tsurayuki's death.
Ki no Tsurayuki's Works:
Ki no Tsurayuki Poems
A Mountain Cherry
A mountain cherry Through the drifting mists Faintly Seen thus there is a lady
On Mount Ogura's Peak
On Mount Ogura's Peak, he is wont to stand: The belling stag Has passed many an autumn;
For You, My Love
For you, my love Brings forth tears, did it not My Chinese robe About the breast
Once I Wet My Sleeves
Once I wet my sleeves Scooping water It's frozen now On this first day of spring,
A Secret It Is
A secret it is, but When I feel love rise, From leg wearying Mountains, the moon
Buried In Winter
Buried in Winter, How unexpected it is Between the trees To imagine flowers
Argent pearls Did my tears seem Yet with the passing years Chinese crimson
This World Of Men
This world of men Is a hard place, is it not? Folk's words Saying this and that
The Autumn Mountains
The Autumn mountains Weave Autumn leaves For offerings, so Even I, living here,
Now A Few Days
Now a few days Of Spring is all that remains, so Even the bush warbler Stares into space,
At Yoshino River
At Yoshino River Waves crash high above the rocks; The rushing water Swift as your
I, This Morning
I, this morning, First set eyes upon The flowers' hue
Meeting Is As Remote
Meeting is as remote as cloud-shrouded thunder rumbles as do rumours of you
A Singular Thing
A singular Thing, it was, I thought, yet From the water's depths, Not from the mountains' peaks,
A Mountain Cherry
A mountain cherry
Through the drifting mists
Seen thus there is a lady
I long for all the more.