53. Sumiyoshi full moon (Sumiyoshi no meigetsu)

On a vigil at the Sumiyoshi Shrine in Settsu, south of the present Osaka, the poet-courtier Fujiwara no Sadaie (Lord Teika) fell asleep. Sumiyoshi no Kami, who is worshipped as the patron of poetry, appeared to him in a dream. According to the Noh play Haku Rakuten, Sumiyoshi was instrumental in saving Japanese poetry from Chinese dominance. Near the end of the play, Sumiyoshi makes a strong wind blow the visiting Chinese poet Rakuten’s ship back to his country. Teika (1162-1241) is one of the four greatest Japanese poets, and the composer of several anthologies of Japanese poetry, among which the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, the “Little Treasury of One Hundred Poets One Poem Each” (printed June 1887.)