Asukai Masatsune

Asukai Masatsune (飛鳥井雅経, born 1170, died 1221) was a Japanese waka poet of the early Kamakura period.[1][2] He was also an accomplished kemari player.[1][2][3] and one of his poems was included in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu.[3][4]

He was a son of Nanba Yoritsune (難波頼経, Japanese Wikipedia),[1] and the ancestor of the Asukai family, who were known for their skill at both poetic composition and kemari.[1][4] Being of Fujiwara stock,[1] he was also known as Fujiwara no Masatsune (藤原雅経).[2][3][4] Among his grandchildren was the poet Masaari.[5][6] He made a private collection, the Asukai-shū, which was posthumously edited by his grandson in 1292. Twenty-two of his poems were included in the Shin Kokin Wakashū, and a total of 134 in the imperial anthologies.

Political career

Masatsune served three emperors, Go-Toba, Tsuchimikado and Juntoku, in addition to working under the Kamakura shogunate.[1]


Masatsune studied waka under Fujiwara no Shunzei and from 1201[3] served in the Poetry Bureau (和歌所, Waka-dokoro).[1] He served as one of the compilers of the Shin Kokin Wakashū, along with Shunzei's son Teika.[1][2] Some twenty-two of his own poems were included in the imperial collection.[1] A total of 134 of his poems were included in it and later imperial collections.[3] He also compiled a private waka collection, the Asukai-shū (明日香井集, also called Asukai Wakashū, 明日香井和歌集[2]), which was edited by his grandson Masaari in 1292.[1]

The following poem by him was included as No. 94 in Teika's famous Ogura Hyakunin Isshu:

Japanese text[4]Romanized Japanese[7]English translation[8]
Mi-yoshino no
yama no aki-kaze
sa-yo fukete
furu-sato samuku
koromo utsu nari
The autumn wind
blowing down
the mountain
brings on the night.
At the old capital
of Yoshino
it gets colder,
and I can hear
cloth being fulled.


  1. Britannica Kokusai Dai-hyakkajiten article "Asukai Masatsune". 2007. Britannica Japan Co.
  2. Digital Daijisen entry "Asukai Masatsune". Shogakukan.
  3. McMillan 2010 : 149 (note 94).
  4. Suzuki et al. 2009 : 120.
  5. Britannica Kokusai Dai-hyakkajiten article "Asukai Masaari". 2007. Britannica Japan Co.
  6. Digital Daijisen entry "Asukai Masaari". Shogakukan.
  7. McMillan 2010 : 174.
  8. McMillan 2010 : 96.


  • McMillan, Peter. 2010 (1st ed. 2008). One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Suzuki Hideo, Yamaguchi Shin'ichi, Yoda Yasushi. 2009 (1st ed. 1997). Genshoku: Ogura Hyakunin Isshu. Tokyo: Bun'eidō.
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