Paul Atkins, professor of Japanese and department chair, gave a lecture on the medieval Japanese poet Fujiwara no Teika (1162-1241), titled “Friends from a World Unseen: Fujiwara no Teika and Medieval Japanese Poetry.” It was introduced by Mr. Tay Yoshitani, a member of Washin Kai.
This lecture touched on Teika’s life, some of his most famous poems, and his work’s reception over the centuries since his death. Dr. Atkins’ intriguing and wide-ranging overview of Teika’s impact on Japanese literature and culture incorporated history, art, and even short clips from a noh play. A central theme was the possibility of knowing Teika—our “friend from a world unseen”—through his diary, calligraphy, and poetry. The ability to immerse ourselves deeply through reading and writing into the worlds of other people is still relevant in today’s increasingly digital and virtual world.
A video of this lecture be seen here.
Mr. Eugene Saburi, another Washin Kai member, delivered a heart-felt plea for support for the organization's mission after the lecture. Professor Atkins’ lecture was sponsored by Washin Kai 和心会 (Friends of Classical Japanese at UW), which was formed in Spring, 2018 to preserve and strengthen classical Japanese studies at UW. It is composed of volunteers from the Puget Sound community with strong ties to the university and to Japan, and their goal is to create a permanent fund at UW dedicated to supporting the study of classical Japanese language, literature and culture.
For more information on Washin Kai, or to donate, please visit https://asian.washington.edu/washin-kai-friends-classical-japanese.
The next Washin Kai lecture will be given on the evening of April 16, 2019, by Ross Henderson, Ph.D. student in classical Japanese literature. Please see here for details.