Sanekata Shū

sanekata-shu-cover-2500x1667-2016-11-29This book contains a complete translation of the personal poetry collection of Fujiwara no Sanekata (?958-999), a tenth century Japanese nobleman. A tragic figure who died in a riding accident at the relatively young age of about forty, Sanekata is often mentioned as one of the real-life models drawn on by Murasaki Shikibu in creating her protagonist for ‘The Tale of Genji’. His personal poetry collection contains 348 poems. Not all of them are by him: some are poems by other people, both men and women, with whom Sanekata corresponded. Approximately half the poems can broadly be described as love poems, a quarter refer in one way or another to court activities in which Sanekata took part, and the final quarter are more personal – either communications with friends or family, or, not surprisingly given his circumstances, laments over his misfortunes. The vast majority come with a headnote explaining the context in which the poem was composed, and aiding in their interpretation. The poems are presented in romanised transcription and tranlation, and accompanied by annotations to provide readers with background information about the poetic expressions Sanekata uses, and the people and places he mentions. The collection is accompanied by an introduction covering Sanekata’s life and work.

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'Simply moving and elegant'