Home > Catalogue > Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale > 56 | 2020 > Izayoi nikki. The History of a Disputed Heritage in the Kamakura Period (1185-1333)

Izayoi nikki. The History of a Disputed Heritage in the Kamakura Period (1185-1333)

Carolina Negri    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



This paper aims to cast fresh new light upon Izayoi nikki (The Diary of the Sixteenth Night Moon, c. 1280), the most representative work of Nun Abutsu. After considering why it has long been undervalued by Japanese scholars, this study takes a close look at the long and complicated legal dispute described in the diary. In this legal dispute, Nun Abutsu played a central role as loyal mother and widowed nun in struggling to ensure a future for her children, the natural descendants of a famous dynasty of poets. To fully understand the strength of the reasons behind her actions, it would seem to be of fundamental importance to read Izayoi nikki from a different perspective, taking into account not only the personal story of the author but also the socio-historical framework of the Kamakura period, focusing in particular on inheritance practices and the kinds of responsibilities women were expected to bear in relation to the family.

June 30, 2020
April 17, 2020
Feb. 6, 2020

Keywords: Izayoi NikkiNun AbutsuFujiwara no TameieMikohidari poetryMedieval JapanMarriage and women’s rights

Copyright: © 2020 Carolina Negri. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.