Priest Dōin

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Priest Dōin

Priest Dōin

Priest Dōin (道因), also known as Fujiwara no Atsuyori, was a japanese poet who lived from 1090-c.1179AD. He was known for being mean.

In addition to being a poet he also reached the fifth court rank and gained the position of Lieutenant of the Imperial Stables of the Left. He entered into religion in 1172AD.

He is seen included in many tales, and was always said to have been devoted to poetry. The Mumyosho (Annonymous Fragments) recalls how even when he fell into old age he frequently visited the Sumiyoshi Shrine to pray to be a good poet every month.

During his life he took part in many poetry competitions as well as leading his own.

41 of his poems can be found in the Imperial Anthologies and he is known to have had a private collection which has not survived.

Following his death it is said Fujiwara no Shunzei chose 18 of his poems to be included in the Senzaishū. Following this Priest Dōin then came to him in a dream to show him how happy this made him. And so Shunzei decided to add another 2 of his poems.1

One of his poems (No.82) can be found in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu and goes as follows:

Japanese text2
Romanized Japanese1
English translation1
思ひわび
さても命は
あるものを
憂きに堪へぬは
なみだなりけり
Omoiwabi
sate mo inochi wa
aru mono-o
uki no taenu wa
namida nari keri
I somehow live on,
enduring this harsh love,
yet my tears - unable to bear their pain -
cannot help but flow.

Footnotes

1. MacMillan, P. (2018) ”One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each: A Treasury of Classical Japanese Verse”. St. Ives: Penguin Classics.
2. Suzuki, H. et al. (1997) ”Genshoku: Ogura Hyakunin Isshu”. Tokyo: Bun’eidō.

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Priest Dōin