The Shinkokin Period (新古今時代)

The Shinkokin period is a literary period that refers to the era of transition from Heian literature (literature in Chuko) to Kamakura literature (medieval literature).

At the center of the literature is waka poetry.

Although the dates are unclear, it often refers to the period from 1162 to 1242, the eighty years when FUJIWARA no Sadaie lived, or the period from 1180 to 1239, the sixty years when Gotobain lived.

The Central Figures

FUJIWARA no Toshinari: established the basic treatise on waka poetry of this period, and composed the Senzai Wakashu (Collection of Japanese Poems of a Thousand Years).

FUJIWARA no Sadaie: brought the treatise on waka poetry, which had been established by his father Toshinari, to its perfection, and composed the Shinkokin Wakashu (New Collection of Ancient and Modern Japanese Poetry) and the Shin Chokusen wakashu (New Imperial Anthology of Japanese Poetry), also regarded as one of the twin master poets of the Mikohidari family.

Yoshitsune KUJO: like his uncle Jien, supported the Mikohidari family of which his father Kanezane KUJO was a patron. They were its guardians in the early days of this period.

Jien: along his nephew Yoshitsune, he supported the Mikohidari family.

The Gotobain: patron for the middle of this period, and an ardent admirer of Toshinari who had his son Sadaie and others compose the Shin Kokin wakashu.

MINAMOTO no Sanetomo: became acquainted with Sadaie through Masatsune ASUKAI, and studied under him.

Saigyo: a waka poet who was highly praised both by the father Toshinari and his son Sadaie.

FUJIWARA no Ietaka (Junii (Junior Second Rank)): one on the twin master poets of the Mikohidari family, and excellent at descriptive poetry.

Michiie KUJO: following his grandfather Kanezane and his father Yoshitsune, he supported the Mikohidari family as its patron in the later days of this period.

Major Literary Works in This Period

Shinkokin Wakashu (New Collection of Ancient and Modern Japanese Poetry)
Senzai Wakashu (Collection of Japanese Poems of a Thousand Years)
Shin Chokusen Wakashu (New Imperial Anthology of Japanese Poetry)
Roppyakuban Utaawase (six hundreds set of poetry matches hosted by FUJIWARA no Yoshitsune)
Kinkai Wakashu (The Golden Pagoda-Tree Collection of Japanese Poetry)
Rokkashu (the six great collections of poetry)
Sengohyaku ban Utaawase (One thousand and five hundreds set of poetry match hosted by the Retired Emperor Gotoba)
Maigetsusho (Monthly Notes)
Kindai shuka (Superior poems of our times)