My dissertation considers how Japanese poets of the thirteenth through sixteenth centuries conceived poetry and its practice as reinforcing political order, and in some cases initiating social and political change. I compare the practices of the nun Abutsu (c.1222-83), the first Northern Court emperor Kōgon (1313-64), and the renga poet Kenzai (1452-1510). Although these individuals hail from different centuries and social backgrounds, I argue that they similarly looked beyond aesthetics to advance practical applications for poetry in politics and governance. Professor Hirokazu Toeda of Waseda University has agreed to sponsor me from September 2017 to the end of August 2018. I wish to conduct archival research at Waseda’s library facilities, the National Diet Library, and the National Institute of Japanese Literature in Tokyo.