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
The Autumn Wind
The Autumn wind Blew and since that day On Otowa Mountain The tips of the trees on the peak
The Autumn Mountains
The Autumn mountains Weave Autumn leaves For offerings, so Even I, living here,
Did Some Lodge Here
Did some lodge here And leave for a keepsake Wisteria trousers? Thoroughworts, Impossible to forget,
Chrysanthemums In Autumn:
Chrysanthemums in Autumn: While they shine I'll wear them in my hair, For sooner than the flowers'
A Mountain Cherry
A mountain cherry Through the drifting mists Faintly Seen thus there is a lady
When The Spring Has Come
When the spring has come, First flowering at my house The plum blossoms: In your thousandth year,
Buried In Winter
Buried in Winter, How unexpected it is Between the trees To imagine flowers
On Mount Ogura's Peak
On Mount Ogura's Peak, he is wont to stand: The belling stag Has passed many an autumn;
While I Have Not Gone
While I have not gone To the mountains of Yoshino, Of the cherry blossom Word comes-nothing more-
White snowflakes Falling constantly-at such a time In fair Yoshino Amid the wild winds round the mountain's base
With No Eyes
With no eyes to see At all, they've scattered In the mountains' heart, These Autumn leaves are night's
Beneath The Mighty Gods
Beneath the mighty Gods' enclosing fence Creeps a vine: Unable to withstand the Autumn,
For You, My Love
For you, my love Brings forth tears, did it not My Chinese robe About the breast
Their First Flowered Home
Their first flowered Home have they left, These chrysanthemum blooms, And their hues too
A Secret It Is
A secret it is, but
When I feel love rise,
From leg wearying
Mountains, the moon
Sets out, and so do I.