JAPANESE POETRY is poetry of or typical of
* 3 Early history and prehistory
* 3.1 Mythology * 3.2 Chinese influence
* 4 Nara period
* 4.1 Early poems recorded
* 5 Heian period
* 5.1 Waka in the early
* 5.2 Man\'yōshū anthology
* 5.3 Kanshi in the
* 5.4 Roei style waka
* 5.5 Waka in the context of elite culture
Fujiwara no Teika
* 6 Period of cloistered rule
* 6.1 Imayō in the period of cloistered rule * 6.2 Waka in the period of cloistered rule * 6.3 Renga in the period of cloistered rule
* 7 Kamakura period
* 7.1 Shin Kokin Wakashū anthology * 7.2 Later Imperial waka anthologies
* 8.1 Renga
* 9 Sengoku period
* 10 Pre-modern (Edo/Tokugawa)
* 11 Modern and Contemporary
* 12 See also
* 12.1 Anthologies * 12.2 Important poets (premodern) * 12.3 Important poets (modern) * 12.4 Influences and cultural context
* 12.5.1 Major forms * 12.5.2 Miscellaneous forms and genres * 12.5.3 Concepts
JAPANESE POETRY FORMS
Since the middle of the 19th century, the major forms of Japanese
poetry have been tanka (the modern name for waka ), haiku and shi or
western-style poetry. Today, the main forms of
Main article: Kanshi (poetry)
kanshi literally means " Han poetry " and it is the Japanese term for Chinese poetry in general as well as the poetry written in Chinese by Japanese poets . Kanshi from the early Heian period exists in the Kaifūsō anthology, compiled in 751.
Main article: Waka (poetry)
is a type of poetry in classical Japanese literature . Waka are composed in Japanese , and are contrasted with poetry composed by Japanese poets in Classical Chinese , which are known as kanshi . Thus, Waka has the general meaning of "poetry in Japanese", as opposed to the kanshi "poetry in Chinese"; however waka sometimes also is used in the more specific and restrictive sense of poetry which is in Japanese and which is also in the tanka form. The Man\'yōshū anthology preserves from the eighth century 265 chōka (long poems), 4,207 tanka (short poems), one tan-renga (short connecting poem), one bussokusekika (poems on the Buddha's footprints at Yakushi-ji in Nara ), four kanshi (Chinese poems), and 22 Chinese prose passages. However, by the time of the tenth century Kokinshū anthology, waka had become the standard term used for short poems of the tanka form, until more recent times.
Main article: Haiku
Haiku are a short, 3-line verse form, which have achieved significant global popularity, and the haiku form has been adapted from Japanese into other languages. Typical of the haiku form is the metrical pattern of 3 lines with a distribution of 5, 7, and 5 on (also known as morae ) within those lines. Other features include the juxtaposition of two images or ideas with a kireji ("cutting word") between them, and a kigo , or seasonal reference, usually drawn from a saijiki , or traditional list of such words.
JAPANESE POETRY ANTHOLOGIES
Main article: List of Japanese poetry anthologies
EARLY HISTORY AND PREHISTORY
The history of
Japanese mythology , poetry began, not with people, but
with the celestial deities, the goddess
The male god, angry that the female had spoken first told her to go away and return later. When they again met, the male god spoke first, saying the following verse: To see a woman so fair— What joy beyond compare!
Book of Odes Dainembutsuji, commentary fragment (Shijing commentary fragment, 毛詩鄭箋残巻, mōshi teisen zankan). Before 1185. Further information: Kanshi (poetry) and Classical Chinese poetry forms
Chinese literature was introduced into
In the court of Emperor Tenmu (c. 631 – 686) some nobles wrote Chinese language poetry (kanshi ). Chinese literacy was a sign of education and most high courtiers wrote poetry in Chinese. Later these works were collected in the Kaifūsō , one of the earliest anthologies of poetry in Japan, edited in the early Heian period. Thanks to this book the death poem of Prince Ōtsu is still extant today.
Many of the Tang Dynasty poets achieved fame in Japan, such as Meng
Haoran (Mōkōnen) , Li Bo (Ri Haku) , and
Bai Juyi (\'Haku Kyo\'i) .
In many cases, when these poets were introduced to Europe and the
Americas, the source was via
Further information: Nara period
The Nara period (710 to 794) began in Japan, in 710, with the move of the Japanese capital moved from Fujiwara (today's Asuka, Nara ) to Nara . It was the period when Chinese influence reached a culmination. During the Nara period, Tōdai-ji ("Great Temple of the East") was established together with the creation of the Great Buddha of Nara, by order of Emperor Shōmu . The significant waka poets in this period were Ōtomo no Tabito , Yamanoue no Okura , and Yamabe no Akahito .
EARLY POEMS RECORDED
The oldest written work in
Japanese literature is
Kojiki in 712, in
Ō no Yasumaro recorded
Japanese mythology and history as
Hieda no Are , to whom it was handed down by his ancestors.
Many of the poetic pieces recorded by the
Kojiki were perhaps
transmitted from the time the Japanese had no writing. The Nihon Shoki
, the oldest history of
This is the oldest waka (poem written in Japanese) and hence poetry was later praised as having been founded by a kami, a divine creation.
The two books shared many of the same or similar pieces but Nihonshoki contained newer ones because it recorded later affairs (up till the reign of Emperor Tenmu ) than Kojiki. Themes of waka in the books were diverse, covering love, sorrow, satire, war cries, praise of victory, riddles and so on. Many works in Kojiki were anonymous. Some were attributed to kami, emperors and empresses, nobles, generals, commoners and sometimes enemies of the court. Most of these works are considered collectively as "works of the people", even where attributed to someone, such as the kami Susanoo.
Heian period (794 to 1185 ) in
WAKA IN THE EARLY HEIAN PERIOD
It is thought the Man\'yōshū reached its final form, the one we know today, very early in the Heian period. There are strong grounds for believing that Ōtomo no Yakamochi was the final editor but some documents claim further editing was done in the later period by other poets including Sugawara no Michizane .
Though there was a strong inclination towards Chinese poetry, some eminent waka poets were active in the early Heian period, including the six best waka poets .
Kakinomoto no Hitomaro, major Man'yōshū contributor. Further information: Man\'yōshū and Man\'yōgana
Compiled sometime after 759, the oldest poetic anthology of waka is the 20 volume Man\'yōshū , in the early part of the Heian period , it gathered ancient works. The order of its sections is roughly chronological. Most of the works in the Man'yōshū have a fixed form today called chōka and tanka . But earlier works, especially in Volume I, lacked such fixed form and were attributed to Emperor Yūryaku .
The Man'yōshū begins with a waka without fixed form. It is both a love song for an unknown girl whom the poet met by chance and a ritual song praising the beauty of the land. It is worthy of being attributed to an emperor and today is used in court ritual.
The first three sections contain mostly the works of poets from the middle of the 7th century to the early part of the 8th century. Significant poets among them were Nukata no Ōkimi and Kakinomoto no Hitomaro . Kakinomoto Hitomaro was not only the greatest poet in those early days and one of the most significant in the Man'yōshū, he rightly has a place as one of the most outstanding poets in Japanese literature. The Man'yōshū also included many female poets who mainly wrote love poems. The poets of the Man'yōshū were aristocrats who were born in Nara but sometimes lived or traveled in other provinces as bureaucrats of the emperor. These poets wrote down their impressions of travel and expressed their emotion for lovers or children. Sometimes their poems criticized the political failure of the government or tyranny of local officials. Yamanoue no Okura wrote a chōka, A Dialogue of two Poormen (貧窮問答歌, Hinkyū mondōka); in this poem two poor men lamented their severe lives of poverty. One hanka is as follows: 世の中を 憂しとやさしと おもへども 飛び立ちかねつ 鳥にしあらねば Yononaka wo / Ushi to yasashi to / Omo(h)e domo / Tobitachi kanetsu / Tori ni shi arane ba I feel the life is / sorrowful and unbearable / though / I can't flee away / since I am not a bird.
Man'yōshū contains not only poems of aristocrats but also those
of nameless ordinary people. These poems are called Yomibito shirazu
(よみびと知らず), poems whose author is unknown. Among them
there is a specific style of waka called Azuma-uta (東歌), waka
written in the Eastern dialect. Azuma, meaning the East, designated
the eastern provinces roughly corresponding to Kantō and occasionally
Tōhoku . Those poems were filled with rural flavors. There was a
specific style among Azuma-uta, called Sakimori uta (防人歌), waka
by soldiers sent from the East to defend Northern
KANSHI IN THE HEIAN PERIOD
Further information: Kanshi (poetry)
In the early
Heian period kanshi —poetry written in Chinese by
Japanese—was the most popular style of poetry among Japanese
aristocrats. Some poets like
Kūkai studied in
Emperor Saga himself was proficient at kanshi. He ordered the compilation of three anthologies of kanshi. These were the first of the imperial anthologies, a tradition which continued till the Muromachi period .
ROEI STYLE WAKA
Roei was a favored style of reciting poetical works at that time. It was a way of reciting in voice, with relatively slow and long tones. Not whole poetic pieces but a part of classics were quoted and recited by individuals usually followed by a chorus. Fujiwara no Kintō (966–1041) compiled Wakan rōeishū ("Sino-Japanese Anthology for Rōei", ca. 1013) from Japanese and Chinese poetry works written for roei. One or two lines were quoted in Wakan rōeishū and those quotations were grouped into themes like Spring, Travel, Celebration.
WAKA IN THE CONTEXT OF ELITE CULTURE
Further information: Kuge
Kuge refers to a Japanese aristocratic class, and waka poetry was a significant feature of their typical lifestyle, and this includes the nyobo or court ladies. In ancient times, it was a custom for kuge to exchange waka instead of letters in prose. Sometimes improvised waka were used in daily conversation in high society. In particular, the exchange of waka was common between lovers. Reflecting this custom, five of the twenty volumes of the Kokin Wakashū (or Kokinshū) gathered waka for love. In the Heian period the lovers would exchange waka in the morning when lovers parted at the woman's home. The exchanged waka were called Kinuginu (後朝), because it was thought the man wanted to stay with his lover and when the sun rose he had almost no time to don his clothes which had been laid out in place of a mattress (as was the custom in those days). Soon, writing and reciting Waka became a part of aristocratic culture. People recited a piece of appropriate waka freely to imply something on an occasion. In the Pillow Book it is written that a consort of Emperor Murakami memorized over 1,000 waka in Kokin Wakashū with their description.
Uta-awase , ceremonial waka recitation contests, developed in the middle of the Heian period. The custom began in the reign of Emperor Uda (r. 887 through 897), the father of Emperor Daigo (r. 897 through 930) who ordered the compilation of the Kokin Wakashū. It was 'team combat' on proposed themes grouped in similar manner to the grouping of poems in the Kokin Wakashū. Representatives of each team recited a waka according to their theme and the winner of the round won a point. The team with the higher overall score won the contest. Both winning poet and team received a certain prize. Holding Uta-awase was expensive and possible only for Emperors or very high ranked kuge.
The size of Uta-awase increased. Uta-awase were recorded with hundreds of rounds. Uta-awase motivated the refinement of waka technique but also made waka formalistic and artificial. Poets were expected to create a spring waka in winter or recite a poem of love or lamentation without real situations.
Emperor Ichijō (980–1011) and courts of his empresses, concubines and other noble ladies were a big pool of poets as well as men of the courts.
The Pillow Book (begun during the 990s and completed in 1002) and Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu (c. 978 – c. 1014 or 1025), from the early 11th century of the Heian period, provide us with examples of the life of aristocrats in the court of Emperor Ichijō and his empresses. Murasaki Shikibu wrote over 3,000 tanka for her Tale of Genji in the form of waka her characters wrote in the story. In the story most of those waka were created as an exchange of letters or a conversation. Many classic works of both waka and kanshi were quoted by the nobles. Among those classic poets, the Chinese Tang-dynasty poet Bai Juyi (Po Chü-i) had a great influence on the culture of the middle Heian period. Bai Juyi was quoted by both The Pillow Book and Tale of Genji, and his A Song of unending Sorrow (長恨歌), whose theme was a tragic love between the Chinese Emperor and his concubine, inspired Murasaki Shikibu to imagine tragic love affairs in the Japanese imperial court in her Tale of Genji.
FUJIWARA NO TEIKA
Fujiwara no Teika
KOKIN WAKASHū ANTHOLOGY
Kokin Wakashu: Gen'ei edition, 1120 Main article: Kokin Wakashū
In the middle of the Heian period Waka revived with the compilation of the Kokin Wakashū . It was edited on the order of Emperor Daigo . About 1,000 waka, mainly from the late Nara period till the contemporary times, were anthologized by five waka poets in the court including Ki no Tsurayuki who wrote the kana preface (仮名序, kanajo)
The collection is divided into twenty parts, reflecting older models such as the Man\'yōshū and various Chinese anthologies. The organisation of topics is however different from all earlier models, and was followed by all later official collections, although some collections like the Kin\'yō Wakashū and Shika Wakashū reduced the number of parts to ten. The parts of the Kokin Wakashū are ordered as follows: Parts 1-6 covered the four seasons, followed by congratulatory poems, poetry at partings, and travel poems. The last ten sections included poetry on the 'names of things', love, laments, occasional poems , miscellaneous verse, and finally traditional and ceremonial poems from the Bureau of Poetry.
The compilers included the name of the author of each poem, and the topic (題 dai) or inspiration of the poem, if known. Major poets of the Kokin Wakashū include Ariwara no Narihira , Ono no Komachi , Henjō and Fujiwara no Okikaze , apart from the compilers themselves. Inclusion in any imperial collection, and particularly the Kokin Wakashū, was a great honour.
INFLUENCE OF KOKIN WAKASHū
Kokin Wakashū is the first of the
Nijūichidaishū , the 21
PERIOD OF CLOISTERED RULE
The period of cloistered rule overlapped the end of the Heian period and the beginning of the Kamakura period. Cloistered rule (Insei) refers to an emperor "retiring" into a monastery, while continuing to maintain a certain amount of influence and power over worldly affairs, and yet retaining time for poetry or other activities. During this time the Fujiwara clan was also active both politically and poetically. The period of cloistered rule mostly Heian period but continuing into the early Kamakura period , in or around the 12th century, some new movements of poetry appeared.
IMAYō IN THE PERIOD OF CLOISTERED RULE
Further information: Ryūkōka
First a new lyrical form called imayō (今様, modern style, a form of ryūkōka ) emerged. Imayō consists of four lines in 8-5 (or 7-5) syllables. Usually it was sung to the accompaniment of instrumental music and dancing. Female dancers (shirabyōshi ) danced to the accompaniment of imayō. Major works were compiled into the Ryōjin Hishō (梁塵秘抄) anthology. Although originally women and commoners are thought to be proponents of the genre, Emperor Go-Shirakawa was famed for his mastery of imayō.
WAKA IN THE PERIOD OF CLOISTERED RULE
Further information: Waka (poetry)
Some new trends appeared in waka . There were two opposite trends: an
inclination to the contemporary, modern style and on the other hand a
revival of the traditional style. Both trends had their schools and
won the honor to compile imperial anthologies of waka. Fujiwara no
Shunzei and his son
Fujiwara no Teika
RENGA IN THE PERIOD OF CLOISTERED RULE
Further information: Renga
Also in this period for the first time renga were included in the imperial anthologies of waka. At that time, renga was considered a variant of waka. The renga included were waka created by two persons only, quite unlike the later style which featured many stanzas.
Further information: Kamakura period
The Kamakura period (1185–1333) is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate , officially established in 1192 AD in Kamakura , by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo . The period is known for the emergence of the samurai , the warrior caste, and for the establishment of feudalism in Japan.
SHIN KOKIN WAKASHū ANTHOLOGY
Hon'ami Kōetsu, from Shinkokin wakashū, early 17th century version.
In the late period rule by cloistered Emperors, or the early Kamakura
Emperor Go-Toba (1180 – 1239), who had
abdicated, ordered the compilation of the eighth imperial anthology of
waka, the Shin
Kokin Wakashū . Go-Toba himself joined the team of
editors. Other editors included
Fujiwara no Teika
LATER IMPERIAL WAKA ANTHOLOGIES
The Kamakura period influence continued after the end of the actual period: after the Shin Kokin Wakashū , fourteen waka anthologies were compiled under imperial edict: the 13 Jūsandaishū (十三代集) and the Shin\'yō Wakashū (新葉和歌集, ca. 1381). These anthologies reflected the taste of aristocrats (and later, warriors) and were considered the ideal of waka in each period. Moreover, anthologizing served as a proof of cultural legitimacy of the patrons and often had political connotations.
Main article: Renga
The Sengoku period literally derives its name from the Japanese for "warring states". It was a militarily and politically turbulent period, with nearly constant military conflict which lasted roughly from the middle of the 15th century to the beginning of the 17th century, and which during which there were also developments in renga and waka poetry.
Further information: Edo period
In the Pre-modern or Edo period (1602–1869) some new styles of poetry developed. One of greatest and most influential styles was renku , (also known as haikai no renga, or haikai ), emerging from renga in the medieval period. Matsuo Bashō was a great haikai master and had a wide influence on his contemporaries and later generations. Bashō was also a prominent writer of haibun , a combination of prose and haiku , one famous example being his Oku no Hosomichi (or, The Narrow Road to the Interior).
The tradition of collaboration between painters and poets had a beneficial influence on poetry in the middle Edo period. In Kyoto there were some artists who were simultaneously poets and painters. Painters of the Shujo school were known as good poets. Among such poet-painters the most significant was Yosa Buson . Buson began his career as a painter but went on to become a master of renku, too. He left many paintings accompanied by his own haiku poems. Such combination of haiku with painting is known as haiga .
Waka underwent a revival, too, in relation to kokugaku , the study of Japanese classics. Kyōka (mad song), a type of satirical waka was also popular.
One poetry school of the era was the Danrin school .
Main article: Hokku
Hokku renga, or of its later derivative, renku (haikai no renga). From the time of Matsuo Bashō (1644–1694), the hokku began to appear as an independent poem, and was also incorporated in haibun (in combination with prose).
Boncho , Basho , Kyorai : 3 Haikai poets. Main article: Haikai
Haikai emerged from the renga of the medieval period. Matsuo Bashō was a noted proponent. Related to hokku formally, it was generically different.
In the late Edo period, a master of haikai, Karai Senryū made an anthology. His style became known as senryū , after his pseudonym. Senryū is a style of satirical poetry whose motifs are taken from daily life in 5-7-5 syllables. Anthologies of senryū in the Edo period collect many 'maeku' or senryū made by ordinary amateur senryū poets adding in front of the latter 7-7 part written by a master. It was a sort of poetry contest and the well written senryū by amateurs were awarded by the master and other participants.
MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY
Portrait of Masaoka Shiki .
A new wave came from the West when
As for the traditional styles such as waka and haiku, the early
modern era was also a time of renovation.
Some poets, including Yosano Akiko , Ishikawa Takuboku , Hagiwara Sakutarō wrote in many styles: they used both traditional forms like waka and haiku and new style forms. Most Japanese poets, however, generally write in a single form of poetry.
Main article: Haiku
Haiku derives from the earlier hokku . The name was given by Masaoka Shiki (pen-name of Masaoka Noboru, October 14, 1867 – September 19, 1902).
In 1989 the death of Emperor Hirohito officially brought Japan’s
postwar period to an end. The category of "postwar", born out of the
cataclysmic events of 1945, had until that time been the major
defining image of what contemporary
The Western poets who appeal to the taste of poetry lovers in Japan
are principally French(Verlaine), Valery, Rimbaud, Baudelaire; and
Rilke is also a favorite (Sugiyama, 255).
English poetry is not very
popular except among students of English literature in the
universities, although Wordsworth, Shelley, and Browning inspired many
of the Japanese poets in the quickening period of modern Japanese
poetry freeing themselves from the traditional tanka form into a free
verse style only half a century ago (Sugiyama, 256). In more recent
women’s poetry, one finds an exploration of the natural rhythms of
speech, often in a specifically feminine language rather than a high,
literary form, as well as the language of local dialects (The New
Modernism, 2010). All of these strategies are expressions of
difference, whether sexual or regional, and map out shifting fields of
identity in modern
LIST OF JAPANESE CONTEMPORARY POETS
Various other articles refer to subjects related to Japanese poetry:
IMPORTANT POETS (PREMODERN)
Kakinomoto no Hitomaro
IMPORTANT POETS (MODERN)
INFLUENCES AND CULTURAL CONTEXT
* Buddhist poetry , major religious-based genre, with significant Japanese contributions * Classical Chinese poetry , big influence on early Japanese poetry * Japanese aesthetics * Tang poetry , referring to poetry typical of the 618–907 poems
* Karuta , type of poetry card game
POETRY FORMS AND CONCEPTS
* Haikai , includes various subgenres
* Kanshi , Chinese verse adopted and adapted in
* Qijue (shichigon-zekku), Chinese-derived jueju verse, with 4 x 7 character lines
Renga , collaborative poetry genre, the hokku (later haiku) was
the opening verse
Renku , collaborative poetry genre, genre developed from renga
Shigin , oral recitation (chanting) of poetry in Japanese or
Chinese, with our without audience
Miscellaneous Forms And Genres
* Honkadori , allusive references to previous poems * Category:Japanese literary terms , general list of Japanese literary terms, many applying to poetry * List of kigo (saijiki ), allusive phrases of seasonal connotation, often use in Haiku * On (Japanese prosody) , syllabic analysis
* Category:Japanese literary terms
* List of Japanese poem anthologies (Japanese Literature article
* List of
Japanese language poets
* List of National Treasures of
TO DISPLAY ALL PAGES, SUBCATEGORIES AND IMAGES CLICK ON THE "►":
* ^ Graves, 393: his translation.
* ^ Konishi Jin'ichi. A
* Graves, Robert (1948 ). The White Goddess: Amended and Enlarged
Edition. New York, New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.
* Sugiyama, Yoko. "The Waste Land and Contemporary Japanese Poetry".
Comparative Literature. Vol 13, No. 3 Summer, 1961 Oregon, Duke
University Presspp. 254–256 Found at May 20, 2011
* Selland, Eric. "The Landscape of Identity:
WORKS AND COLLECTIONS
The largest anthology of haiku in Japanese is the 12-volume Bunruihaiku-zenshū (Classified Collection of Haiku) compiled by Masaoka Shiki , completed after his death, which collected haiku by seasonal theme and sub-theme. It includes work dating back to the 15th century.
The largest collection of haiku translated into English on any single subject is Cherry Blossom Epiphany by Robin D. Gill, which contains some 3,000 Japanese haiku on the subject of the cherry blossom .< Gill, Robin D. Cherry Blossom Epiphany, Paraverse Press, 2007 ISBN 978-0-9742618-6-7 >
H. Mack Horton's translation of the 16th century Journal of Sōchō,
by a pre-eminent renga poet of the time, won the 2002 Stanford
University Press Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature.<
Stanford University Press
* Miner, Earl Roy, Hiroko Odagiri, and Robert E. Morrell. (1985).
The Princeton Companion to Classical Japanese Literature. Princeton
Princeton University Press . ISBN 978-0-691-00825-7
* Miner, Earl Roy, and Robert H. Brower. (1968). An Introduction to
Japanese Court Poetry. Stanford:
Stanford University Press
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