Professor Paul Atkins’s new book Teika: The Life and Works of a Medieval Japanese Poet has been published by the University of Hawai’i Press. Atkins, who is the Department Chair of the UW Asian Languages and Literature department and an associate professor of Japanese, specializes in pre modern Japanese literature, drama and poetry.
Below are excerpts from the publisher’s description:
“Fujiwara no Teika (1162–1241) was born into an illustrious lineage of poets just as Japan’s ancien régime was ceding authority to a new political order dominated by military power. Overcoming personal and political setbacks, Teika and his allies championed a new style of poetry that managed to innovate conceptually and linguistically within the narrow confines of the waka tradition and the limits of its thirty-one syllable form. Backed by powerful patrons, Teika emerged finally as the supreme arbiter of poetry in his time, serving as co-compiler of the eighth imperial anthology of waka, Shin Kokinshū (ca. 1210) and as solo compiler of the ninth….
“Courtier, waka poet, compiler, copyist, editor, diarist, and critic, Teika is recognized today as one of the most influential poets in the history of Japanese literature. His oeuvre includes over four thousand waka poems, his diary, Meigetsuki, which he kept for over fifty years, and a fictional tale set in Tang-dynasty China. Over fifteen years in the making, Teika is essential reading for anyone interested in Japanese poetry, the history of Japan, and traditional Japanese culture.”