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Ki no Tsurakyuki

(872-945). A leading waka poet of the Heian period (794-1185). Worked with other leading poets to compile Japan's first imperial anthology of poetry—the Kokin wakashžu (or Kokinshžu). That he wrote one of the two prefaces of this work suggests his leading role in its compilation. His preface constitutes the first known critical work on poetry in the Japanese language. In it Tsurayuku discusses poetry and then gives his critical views on six leading poets of his time. He says, for example, that Ariwara no Narihira had "too much heart and too few words." (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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