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The poetry and poetics of ancient Japan

Translated by Thomas Fitzsimmons

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It was the noblewomen of the 10th and 11th centuries who freed Japanese literature from the domination of formal Chinese writing to create a poetry shaped by spoken Japanese. Many centuries later it was again women, this time courtesans and prostitutes, who through popular song liberated a poetry more and more restricted by increasingly rarified conventions. In this remarkable book, the poet Ooka Makoto, who is also, in Donald Keene’s words, a major critic, perhaps the finest in Japan today, opens the great library of poetry anthologies compiled by Imperial order. He also recreates in detail the social, political, and cultural realities surrounding the development of Japanese poetry from ancient until modern times.

japanese title: Nihon no shiika
notes: A priceless resource for the student and scholar of ancient Japanese poetry. These five lectures were originally presented to the Coll├Ęge de France by Ooka, the author of more than 15 books of poetry and winner of over 10 major literary prizes, who was president of the Japan PEN Club from 1989 to 1993 and was made Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government just prior to being invited to give these lectures. Ooka discusses Sugawara no Michizane (845-903), the basic concepts of the imperial poetry anthologies, great women poets of the Nara and Heian eras, landscape poetry and popular songs of the middle ages.
subjects: Women authors
genre: Poetry
ISBN: 9780942668513
OCLC number: 36892838
publisher: Katydid Books. Distributed by University of Hawaii Press
publication place: Santa Fe, Honolulu
english publication date: 1997
document type: Book
description: 138 p. : portrait ; 23 cm.
related: Asian poetry in translation, Japan #20 (Reflections #6)