Editorial Note

     The text on which the Japanese Text Initiative (JTI) edition of Shinkokinshu is based is a modern reproduction of a manuscript attributed to Fujiwara Tamesuke, a grandson of Fujiwara Teika (one of the compilers of the anthology) and the patriarch of the Reizei Family, the only one of several aristocratic Kamakura-era "poetry families" (uta no ie) which has survived to the present day. The colophon to the manuscript asserts that it is a faithful copy, made in the year 1300, of the authorized "proof text" (shhon) edited and emended by Teika for exclusive use and transmission within his household. The manuscript evidently suffered considerable physical damage over the centuries, and a few pages were lost and replaced by a copyist working from a later manuscript early in the 16th century. Otherwise, however, it is one of only a few exemplars of Shinkokinshu which can be believed to reliably reflect the state of the text as of the early 13th century. Like all other such early manuscripts, it belongs to the so-called second stage of the lengthy editorial process, during which a number of poems (16 in the case of the Tamesuke manuscript) were marked for deletion yet retained within the text pending, we may assume, final editorial decisions.

     One reason for choosing the Tamesuke manuscript as our copy text is that it includes extensive notation of the nearly 400 poems marked for deletion by Gotoba-In, the retired (and later exiled) emperor who commissioned the anthology and continued to edit and revise it while in exile on the island of Oki during the fourth decade of the 13th century. These notations are of considerable interest since no manuscripts of the so-called "Oki-bon" Shinkokinshu (i.e. the text revised by Gotoba-In while in exile) are known to survive. The deletion marks consist of a reverse slash in red ink below the poems in the manuscript (indicated in the JTI edition by a backslash at the end of the poem).

     We have generally followed the same editorial principles for the JTI Shinkokinshu as were followed in editing the JTI Kokinshu. That is, we have striven to reproduce the manuscript as faithfully as is technically feasible under the conditions afforded by the current state of the Web, without, however, sacrificing legibility. Throughout the editorial process we consulted the only other typographic edition of the Tamesuke manuscript, that published in 1992 by Iwanami Shoten in its series Shin Nihon Kotenbungaku Taikei. The editors of this edition apparently had the opportunity to examine the original manuscript, and we have therefore deferred to their judgement in those (very few) cases where the facsimile reproduction is ambiguous or illegible. We have also followed almost all of their (relatively few) emendations of the text. We have not, however, modernized the text to the same extent. Kana and (with a few exceptions) kanji usage has been brought into conformity with modern typographic conventions, but we have avoided imposing so-called "historical kana usage" on our scribes, on the assumption that they were literate enough to make their own choices about what should count as proper orthography in their day.

     The most prominent difference between our edition and that of the Iwanami series is that we have not substituted kanji where kana are used in the copy text. The Iwanami edition scrupulously notes all such substitutions in parentheses, and is not to be faulted on this account. But the merit of replacing kana with kanji is questionable. Kanji notation is certainly a more efficient means of conveying information, minimizing ambiguity, and facilitating rapid comprehension. Few if any of the poems of Shinkokinshu benefit from such efficiencies, however. They are best read slowly, against the grain of time.

A note on poems in the Tamesuke-bon Shinkokinshu marked for deletion

            All complete extant early manuscripts of Shinkokinshu date from the decade after the submission of an initial draft in 1205 during which various revisions were considered and a number of poems were marked by the editors for deletion. The latter (called kiridashi-uta, "excised poems," since the editorial process involved, as a rule, physically cutting such poems from draft manuscripts and then rejoining the edges of the paper) tell us something about the process of revision and, indirectly, about the criteria for arriving at an acceptably final version of Shinkokinshu. Since no copies of any properly final version survive, we can only reconstruct this process and its criteria by comparing which poems from various intermediate manuscripts were marked for deletion. 

            The total number of poems marked for deletion in various manuscripts is small, no more than about 30. The Tamesuke-bon (like other manuscripts purportedly based on the Teika text of 1209) includes 17 such poems, which is the largest number in any single extant manuscript, and since the process of deleting poems was at least officially ended in the following year (1210), it is reasonable to suppose that this represents a near-final state of the collective editorial process, prior that is to the further massive deletions conducted by Gotoba-In while in exile on the island of Oki.

            The 17 poems marked for deletion in the Tamesuke-bon are given in the text at the point they appeared in an earlier draft (presumably, that of 1205). With the exception of  No.1988 (which is counted among the kiridashi-uta­ on the basis of its having been deleted from or marked for deletion in several other manuscripts), each such poem is marked with gatten (a flourish in the form, roughly, of an inverted "check" mark) over the top of the poem, its author's name, and the pre-comment (where one exists), in black ink. (One other poem, No. 1198, bears similar gatten markings in the Tamesuke-bon but these are not taken by modern scholars to be deletion marks.)

            For the sake of convenience, the poems for deletion in the JTI edition of SKKS have been assigned the standard numbers of the Shinpen Kokka Taikan edition (SPKKTK) of Shinkokinshu (which is based on a manuscript in which these 17 poems appear at the end of the text). Hence, the poems for deletion are numbered 1979 through 1995, and these numbers are placed in parentheses in the JTI edition. A list of these 17 poems indicating the SPKKTK number of the poem each immediately follows is given below.

            One of these poems (No. 1982) is marked for deletion only because it appears elsewhere (as No. 1491) in the same collection. In several other cases, a brief headnote (pre-comment) gives as the reason for deletion that fact that the same poem had appeared in an earlier imperially-commissioned anthology. What remains to be discerned, of course, is why the remaining poems, originally contained in the draft of 1205, were subsequently judged unsuitable for inclusion in this anthology.

            List of poems for deletion (SPKKTK number followed by the number of the poem immediately preceding):

1979 (110) 1983 (244) 1987 (812) 1991 (1605) 1995 (1974)
1980 (146) 1984 (298) 1988 (814) 1992 (1801)
1981 (212) 1985 (314) 1989 (904) 1993 (1845)
1982 (237) 1986 (441) 1990 (1475) 1994 (1913)

Lewis Cook
Queens College
City University of New York
New York City

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Last revised November 13, 1999