Distinguished Female Kanshi Poets Princess Uchiko and HaraSaihin — Paternal Influence and Artistic Freedom


Chinese poetry in Japan prospered in the Heian and Edo periods. This paper points out the common characteristics of the two most outstanding female Chinese poets of these periods and elucidates why they are regarded as leading female Chinese poets of their times. Princess Uchiko was the daughter of Emperor Saga (786-842) and was assigned to serve in the Kamo Shrine from the age of four.[1] However, Emperor Saga recognized the talent of Princess Uchiko and told her to "Devote yourself to study."[2] She participated in her father's poetry meetings from an early age and is regarded as the most outstanding female Chinese poet of the Heian period. Hara Saihin (1798-1859) was the daughter of a Confucian scholar and, as her two brothers were sickly, her father wanted Saihin to succeed him. He gave her a farewell poem with the words "You may not return to your hometown without making a name for yourself."[3] She worked hard to fulfill her father's wishes and became an acclaimed female Chinese poet of the Edo period. Why did these two women sacrifice their own lives to fulfill their father's wishes and live lonely lives, and yet both were famous Chinese poets in their lifetimes? It was because their fathers, both outstanding poets, loved poetry and saw poetic talent in their daughters, and thus devoted themselves passionately to their education. Furthermore, in the context of the times, their father's orders were absolute, and they had no choice but to obey them.

Author Information
Kikue Kotani, Independent Scholar, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: IICAH2023
Stream: Literature/Literary Studies

This paper is part of the IICAH2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Kotani K. (2023) Distinguished Female Kanshi Poets Princess Uchiko and HaraSaihin — Paternal Influence and Artistic Freedom ISSN: 2432-4604 – The IAFOR International Conference on Arts & Humanities – Hawaii 2023 Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2432-4604.2023.16
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2432-4604.2023.16

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon