Sokendai Review of Cultural and Social Studies


A Study of the Standard Text of Lord Sadaie
Fujiwara’s Gekan-syu


Department of Japanese Literature,
School of Cultural and Social Studies,
The Graduate University for Advanced Studies

Key words:

Lord Sadaie Fujiwara’s Gekan-syu, The authentic hand writing style of Lord Sadaie, The two printed books of Gekan-syu

This paper is a preliminary study to elucidate why Lord Sadaie Fujiwara (1162–1241)wrote Gekan-syu. He is well known not only as a great poet but also as a noted “Waka” (Japanese style poetry) scholar in the early Kamakura period. Gekan-syu is neither Lord Sadaie Fujiwara’s theory of Waka, nor his Waka-syu (a collection of tankas by his composition). In short, Gekan-syu is the first codified manual written by Lord Sadaie, which explains how to write Waka correctly on the booklet.

In the beginning of Edo period, the holographical Gekan-shu was copied by Lord Nobutada Konoe (celebrated chirographer, 1565–1614). However, since then, the holographical Gekan-shu has still gone missing until today. But, the manuscript of Gekan-shu copied by Lord Nobutada Konoe was, in the late Edo period, engraved by Keizyu Inoue (excellent wood graver, 1749–1810), and as a result the block printing has become possible. And the manuscript of Gekan-shu appeared with the name of “Sanmyakuin Kanpaku-rin Teikakyo sho” in the encyclopedia: Gunsho Itchiran edited by Masayosi Ozaki (1755–1827).

At present, it is fortunate that two printed manuscript books of Gekan-syu exist, namely Sadaie-kyo Syosiki and Sadaie-kyo Mohon. However, the two printed manuscripts have no Lord Sadaie Fujiwara’s autograph and date. Therefore, from a calligrapher’s point of view, I have compared Gekan-syu’s writings in the two printed manuscript books with Sadaie’s authentic hand writings.

In consequence of exhaustive examinations, I have recognized that the two printed books of Gekan-syu’s handwritings are certainly in the authentic hand writing style of Lord Sadaie. For this reason, it is possible for us to regard this as credible data and to substitute the two printed manuscript books of Gekan-shu for the holographical Gekan-shu. Accordingly, it is reasonable that we will consider, as the reliable standard text of Gekan-shu, the two printed manuscript books included in Sadaie-kyo syo-siki (complete edition).