Teiji-In Uta-Awase (The Contest Of Tanka [Thirty-One Japanese Syllables Poem] In Teiji-In) (亭子院歌合)

"Teiji-in uta-awase" refers to "uta-awase" (the contest of 'tanka' [thirty-one Japanese syllable's poem]), held on April 22, 913, by Cloistered Emperor Uda at his residence Teji-in.

Originally, 10 pairs of tanka were planned to be read for each topic of February (in the lunar calendar), March (in the lunar calendar), April (in the lunar calendar), and love (or summer), which added up to 40 pairs (80 tanka). In reality, five pairs of tanka were omitted for some reason from each of April and summer, so 30 pairs (60 tanka) were read, while a document also contained the omitted ones. "Shohon" (The copy faithful to the original classic) on Teiji-in uta-awase contains the diary written in "kana" (the Japanese syllabary), whose writer is said to have been Ise (a poetess). And the diary shows us how the contest went and what it was like. Incidentally, this is the oldest woman's diary literature of all still existent today.

The participants were two groups of chiefs, the imperial prince, "utayomi" (tanka composer), "kataudo" (submitter of tanka), "hanja" (judge), "koji" (presenter of tanka), "kazusashi" (scorer), and others. In the contest, there could be seen "a suhama stand" (a decorative stand shaped like a sandy beach), "bundai" (a writing desk), "sojo" (documents reported to the Emperor), "shiroku" (prizes from the Emperor), a box of "shitan" (rosewood), and other objects. The human and material composition of Teiji-in uta-awase became the model of contests thereafter, such as "Tentoku no uta-awase" (the tanka contest in the Tentoku era).

The well-known tanka composers in Teiji-in uta-awase were FUJIWARA no Okikaze, OSHIKOCHI no Mitsune, SAKANOUE no Korenori, and KI no Tsurayuki, and in addition, Cloistered Emperor Uda, Ise, and ONAKAOMI no Yorimoto composed tanka of their own. FUJIWARA no Tadafusa was appointed a hanja, but he was absent that day, so Cloistered Emperor Uda himself judged which tanka was better than the other. This is the first "hanshi" (judgement in a waka contest) made by the cloistered emperor of all that are contained in documents still existent today. At present, there exist two kinds of shohon on Teiji-in uta-awase; that is, the work in 10 volumes that seems to be a prototype, and the work in 20 volumes that is said to have been modeled after the first one in later days.