Li Jiao’s Songs: Commentary-Based Reading and the Reception of Tang Poetry in Heian Japan

In: East Asian Publishing and Society
Brian R. Steininger Princeton University

Search for other papers by Brian R. Steininger in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):


The poet Li Jiao (ca. 646-715), now largely forgotten, enjoyed unusual success in Heian and Kamakura Japan. In the twentieth century, a lost commentary to Li’s poetry was rediscovered in several different manuscript lineages. This paper argues that the commentary spread to Japan early in the Heian period, and was instrumental in Li Jiao’s popularity there. Analysis of the role of imported commentaries helps to explain the shape of the Chinese canon in Japan, including the tremendous popularity of Bai Juyi. Literacy practices institutionalized in the Daigakuryō (State Academy) led to the success of certain poets over others, directing the local canon as well as local composition in literary Sinitic genres.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 678 117 9
Full Text Views 259 2 0
PDF Views & Downloads 76 15 0