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Lovable LosersThe Heike in Action and Memory$
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Mikael S. Adolphson and Anne Commons

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780824846756

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824846756.001.0001

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date: 15 June 2021

The Heike Poets

The Heike Poets

(p.78) Chapter Five The Heike Poets
Lovable Losers

Anne Commons

University of Hawai'i Press

This essay examines the activities and legacy of the Ise Taira’s small but influential circle of poets, including Taira no Tsunemori (1124-1185) and Tadanori (1144-1184), who participated—and in some cases took a leading role—in various poetry-related activities and events, such as poetry competitions. The author argues that the Heike poets’ activities can be seen as both an attempt to adhere to aristocratic cultural norms and as an arena in which they could display their cultural capital to aid in the social and political advancement of their lineage as a whole. The essay also explores issues of censorship surrounding the placement of poems by Heike poets in imperially-commissioned anthologies of Japanese poetry (waka).

Keywords:   Japanese poetry, Waka, Taira no Tsunemori, Taira no Tadanori, Fujiwara no Shunzei, censorship

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