Get Your Premium Membership

Minamoto no Shunrai Biography | Poet

Minamoto no Shunrai Biography. Read biographical information including facts, poetic works, awards, and the life story and history of Minamoto no Shunrai. This short biogrpahy feature on Minamoto no Shunrai will help you learn about one of the best famous poet poets of all-time.

Photo of Minamoto no Shunrai
Poems | Best Poems | Short Poems | Quotes


Minamoto no Shunrai also Minamoto Toshiyori ( , 1055 – January 29, 1129) was an important and innovative Japanese poet, who compiled the Gosen Wakashu. He was the son of Minamoto no Tsunenobu (1016–1097); holder of the second rank in court and of the position of Grand Counsellor). Shunrai was favored by Emperor Go-Sanjo and to a lesser degree Emperor Shirakawa ; in no small part for political reasons. At this time, the Fujiwara family dominated the country, and its branch, the Rokujo family, similarly dominated the court poetry scene; by favoring their rivals, the Emperors could thus strike back. Although Shunrai was passed over to compile the Goshui Wakashu. Shunrai's angry polemical Nan Goshui ("Errors in the Goshuishu ") appears to have somehow convinced Shirakawa to have Shunrai compile the next imperial anthology, the Kin'yo Wakashu. This anthology, when completed, embroiled Shunrai in dispute, and his Gosen Wakashu was especially criticized with various uncomplimentary nicknames; Brower and Miner mention that one critic, Fujiwara no Akinaka (fl. 1100-1125) wrote a now-lost ten-part work called the Ryogyokushu ("Collection of Genuine Jewels") which did nothing but mock and criticize the Kin'yo Wakashu .