October 9 2014: Landscapes of Power: the Saishô shi tennô-in Imperial Residence and its poems

Time and place

On October 9 Michel Vieillard-Baron will give a lecture on the Saishō shitennō-in Imperial Residence and its poems. The Saishō shitennō-in residence was built for Retired Emperor Gotoba in 1207.

Date: October 9, 2014
Time: 15:00-17:00 hours.
Venue: P.N. van Eyckhof 1, room 0.03c, 2311 BV  Leiden.


Saishō shitennō-in Imperial Residence

The purpose of this paper is to understand the aesthetic, symbolic and political issues of this exceptional undertaking which combines architecture, religion, painting and poetry. First of all, Vieillard-Baron will recount the genesis of the project, using mainly the Meigetsu-ki (The Journal of the Harvest Moon), the diary of Fujiwara no Teika, who was the main coordinator of the enterprise. Then, he will analyse some of the twenty-nine poems which were actually written on the sliding doors of the Palace (gosho) — the most official part of the residence — and in the private appartments of the retired emperor (jōgosho), where he lived.

Michel Vieillard-Baron
Michel Vieillard-Baron is Professor of Japanese Literature and language at the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilisations (Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, INALCO, Paris). He studied at the Paris-Diderot-Paris 7 University and Seikei University (Kichijōji, Japan). He teaches Premodern Literature and specializes in classical court poetry (waka). His research focuses on poetry and poetics of the twelfth and thirteenth century, especially on the poet Fujiwara no Teika (1162-1241).

His publications include:

Les enjeux d’un lieu, Architecture, paysages et représentation du pouvoir impérial à travers les poèmes pour les cloisons de la Résidence des Quatre Dieux-Rois-Suprêmes, Saishô shi tennô-in shôji waka (1207) (2013); “Male? Female? Gender confusion in classical poetry (waka)”, Cipango in English- French Journal of Japanese Studies, online on the site ) (2007-2013); “The Power of Words : Forging Fujiwara no Teika’s Poetic Theory. A Philological Approach to Japanese Poetics”, in Reading East Asian Writing: The limits of literary theory (2003).

Last Modified: 10-06-2015