Minamoto no Shunrai

Minamoto no Toshiyori (better known to history as Shunrai) (?1055-?1129) was born in Kyūshū and lived the first forty years of his life there, while his father, Minamoto no Tsunenobu, was Governor. This provincial upbringing may be one of the reasons that he developed a reputation for eccentricity upon his return to the capital to join the court of Emperor Horikawa (1079-1107; r. 1086-1107), and so failed to advance in rank or office. Shunrai was an innovator in waka composition and accounts of his disputes with the arch-conservative Fujiwara no Mototoshi are legendary. His acknowledged skill was rewarded by Horikawa with the commission to produce the Kin’yōshū and the anthology contains some of the freshest poetry being produced at the time. Late in life he acted as tutor and mentor to Fujiwara no Shunzei who held him in high esteem, despite his eccentricities.

Shunrai has the following poems in the Japan 2001 Waka:

KYS I: 16
KYS V: 311
KYS V: 333
KYS VII: 399
KYS IX: 602
SKS II: 62
SKS VI: 174
SZS I: 1
SZS III: 202
SZS IV: 301

'Simply moving and elegant'