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Washin Kai lecture by Professor Paul Atkins
WhenThursday, Oct. 25, 2018, 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Campus locationKane Hall (KNE)
Campus room210
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsThe Department of Asian Languages and Literature

Friend from a World Unseen: Fujiwara no Teika and Medieval Japanese Poetry

Lecture by Professor Paul Atkins

The medieval Japanese poet and courtier Fujiwara no Teika (also called Sadaie, 1162-1241) served as co-compiler of the eighth imperial collection of waka poetry, Shin Kokinshū and is said to have compiled the anthology Hyakunin isshu, basis of the well-known card game.  Teika wrote over four thousand waka poems in his lifetime, some of which are regarded today as the very best in this distinguished canon.

Through his diary, Meigetsuki, and other records, we have a tremendous amount of Teika’s activities, lifestyle, and idiosyncratic personality.  Perhaps we know more about Teika than any other individual in classical Japan.  Many samples of his distinctive calligraphy have survived and have been coveted by collectors and practitioners of the tea ceremony for centuries.

In this talk, given in English, Professor Atkins will lead us through a tour of Teika’s life, highlighting important events such as the Genpei War of 1180-1185, the Jōkyū Disorder of 1221, the places he lived and visited during his lifetime, and Teika’s literary activities, including his most highly regarded poems.  Who was Teika?  Why is he still famous today?  How did he shape our view about classical Japanese culture?  All of these questions and more will be addressed.

Paul S. Atkins is professor of classical Japanese language, literature, and culture and chair of the Department of Asian Languages and Literature at the University of Washington, Seattle.  He holds a Ph.D. in Japanese from Stanford University.  His many publications include Teika:  The Life and Works of a Medieval Japanese Poet (University of Hawai’i Press, 2017).

Everyone is welcome to join us for the Department of Asian Languages and Literature's Washin Kai lecture by Professor Paul Atkins on Thursday, October 25, 2018 in Kane Hall, room 210, at the University of Washington Seattle. 

Washin Kai (Friends of Classical Japanese at UW) is a group of members of the local community who support and encourage the study and teaching of classical Japanese language, literature, and culture at the University of Washington.

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