土佐日記 Tosa Nikki
The ‘Tosa Diary’ is a narrative of a journey made in the year 935, mainly by boat, from the Province of Tosa back to the capital of Heian-kyō. Its author, Ki no Tsurayuki, had just completed his tenure as Governor of Tosa, and that year in fact returned in this way to the capital. But the Nikki’s events are related by the persona of a woman in the Governor’s service, who variously suggests that she is unversed in Chinese, the typical medium for diaries of the day, which were kept by well-educated men. As a diary written in the vernacular, then, this work helped create a new genre. (That said, for a suitably educated woman in service to a well-to-do household, a diary in Chinese that
recorded their doings would not have been out of the question, as Gustav Heldt suggests.)
Uta that the travelers compose, remember, or hear throughout the journey variously supplement what the narrator observes, by characterizing and/or evaluating people, sights, and events. The poems come in considerable variety, from children, women and men alike, and often with a nod to the reaction of the composer’s audience.
The narrator’s engaged perspective, in which events are related more or less directly from within the story world, differs in interesting ways, lexically, grammatically and rhetorically, from other, less-directly related narratives of the period, and thus adds an attractive dimension for students of the language.
 Heldt, Gustav. 2005. "Writing Like a Man: Poetic Literacy, Textual Property, and Gender in the Tosa Nikki," Journal of Asian Studies 64.1: 7-34.