Important Cultural PropertyCollection of Chinese and Japanese Poems for Singing

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  • 2 folding books
  • Ink on paper
  • 25.7x23.5
  • Kamakura period/13-14th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • B-3049

`Wakan Roeishu' is an anthology of poems selected and compiled by Fujiwara no Kinto. It is estimated that this was created around 1018. Originally, it was compiled as a selection of poems to accompany the paintings on a folding screen prepared as a gift to Ishi, daughter of Fujiwara no Michinaga, when she became Empress. Later, it was used as a present given to the guests at the wedding of the daughter of Fujiwara no Kinto and Fujiwara no Norimichi: Fujiwara no Yukinari made copies of the poems, which were bound into a decchoso-type (a binding type) booklet and put in an ink stone case as a gift. It comprises two volumes and as the title shows, contains a total of 804 poems, including 216 Japanese poems and 588 Chinese poems (including those created by Japanese poets). The largest number of poems by the same poet was 26 poems by Kino Tsurayuki, and for the Chinese poems, it was 135 poems by Po Chu-I (Hakukyoi). The structure of the booklet follows that of `Kokin Wakashu': the first volume includes poems of four seasons (spring, summer, autumn, and winter), and the second volume contains poems on other themes. Since the Wakan Roeishu includes popular poems written in both kanji and kana, it has long been cherished as one of the classics.  
The poems were transcribed on 88 pages, which were bound into two booklets. The two booklets were transcribed by one person and constitute a complete set of `Wakan Roeishu'. They were designated important cultural properties on April 30, 1935.