Priest Jakuren

Priest Jakuren
Jakuren in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu.

Priest Jakuren

Priest Jakuren (寂蓮), originally known as Fujiwara no Sadanaga (藤原定長) was a member of the Fujiwara Clan living from 1139 to 1202AD. He was adopted by Fujiwara no Shunzei, and later became the father-in-law of Fujiwara no Ietaka. It was when he entered religion in 1192 that he took the name of Jakuren.

During his lifetime he was a part of the Mikohidari House of Poetry with Ietaka and Fujiwara no Teika, and later in 1201 he was appointed as a member of the Bureau of Poetry and helped in the compilation of the Shin-kokinshū. Sadly he died before it was completed.1

He is known to have had disputes over poetic theory during the roppyakubun uta awase in 1193 with Kenshō.3

In additonal to a collection of private poetry we can also find 117 poems of his in the imperial waka anthologies.1

He has a poem in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (No.87) which goes as follows:1

Japanese text2
Romanized Japanese1
English translation1
村雨の
露もまだひぬ
眞木の葉に
霧立ちのぼる
秋の夕暮
Murasame no
tsuyu mo mada hinu
maki no ha ni
kiri tachinoboru
aki no yugure
The sudden shower
has not yet dried.
From the leaves of black pines,
wisps of fog rise
in the autumn dusk.

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.
3. Kodansha. (1993) ”Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia”. Tokyo: Kodansha Ltd.

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Yasumi Roan