Fujiwara no Shunzei

Fujiwara no Toshinari (better known to history as Shunzei) (1114-1204) was, perhaps, the most influential poetic figure of his age. In his youth he studied widely, spending time learning from both Fujiwara no Mototoshi and Minamoto no Shunrai. His reputation for poetic skill led to his being a much sought-after judge at poetry competitions, where he departed from convention by praising good poems in his judgements, rather than criticising the bad. As the compiler of the Senzaishū, he was able to include gifted younger poets such as Saigyō, Fujiwara no Teika and Princess Shokushi and was thus able to champion new concepts and styles in waka composition and inaugurate the second great age of Japanese poetry, represented by the Shinkokinshū.

Shunzei has the following poems in the Japan 2001 Waka:

SZS I: 76 SZS IV: 259

'Simply moving and elegant'