Category Archives: Suzakuin ominaeshi awase

Suzakuin ominaeshi awase

Shinpen kokka taikan no.
Heian-chō uta’awase taisei no.11
Romanised TitleSuzakuin ominaeshi awase
Translated TitleMaidenflower Contest held at the Suzaku Palace
Alternative Title(s)
DateAutumn, Year unknown
Extant Poems3
SponsorEmperor Uda 宇多天皇
Identifiable ParticipantsŌshikōchi no Mitsune; Taira no Sadafun?; Mibu no Tadamine
TopicsMaidenflowers (ominaeshi 女郎花)

This contest has only three extant poems, all of which are included in Kokinshū (IV: 233; IV: 234; IV: 236). It appears to have been an extremely small scale event, with only three rounds, and six poems, of which only the aforementioned three are identifiable.

The contest’s second poem is identified in its text as being by Taira no Sadafun, but in Kokinshū and elsewhere, this poem is attributed to Ōshikōchi no Mitsune, so there remains the possibility that Sadafun did not take part. This poem also occurs in the larger Teishi-in ominaeshi uta’awase (15), so a further possibility is that this contest was a senka awase where prior poems were combined in new ways, rather than a formal event.

Hagitani (1963, 111) argues that this contest should be considered as a separate one in its own right, rather than being a part or continuation of one of Uda’s other maidenflower contests, on the grounds that it is given its own separate entry in Ruijū uta’awase 類聚歌合 (‘Compendium of Poetry Contests’)[1], and thus the editors of this work obviously believed it to be a distinct event.

[1]Ruijū uta’awase 類聚歌合 (‘Compendium of Poetry Contests’) is, as its name suggests a collection of uta’awase texts. It was assembled in two parts, with the first part said to have been compiled at the command of Emperor Goreizei 後冷泉 (1025-1068; r. 1045-1068) under the supervision of Fujiwara no Yorimichi 藤原頼通 (992-1074) and Minamoto no Tsunenobu 源経信 (1016-1097) and completed at some point before 1068. The second part was compiled later, on Emperor Horikawa’s 堀河 (1079-1107; r. 1087-1107) orders, but not completed until around 1127. The extant version of this work contains the texts of about 200 poetry contests covering the period 885-1126.