The Tale of Genji
The Tale of Genji is a classic work of Japanese literature written by the noblewoman and lady-in-waiting Murasaki Shikibu in the early years of the 11th century. The original manuscript no longer exists, it was made in "concertina" or "orihon" style: several sheets of paper pasted together and folded alternately in one direction the other, around the peak of the Heian period. The work is a unique depiction of the lifestyles of high courtiers during the Heian period, written in archaic language and a poetic and confusing style that make it unreadable to the average Japanese without dedicated study, it was not until the early 20th century that Genji was translated into modern Japanese, by the poet Akiko Yosano. The first English translation was of poor quality and incomplete; the work recounts the life of Hikaru Genji, or "Shining Genji", the son of an ancient Japanese emperor, known to readers as Emperor Kiritsubo, a low-ranking concubine called Kiritsubo Consort. For political reasons, the emperor removes Genji from the line of succession, demoting him to a commoner by giving him the surname Minamoto, he pursues a career as an imperial officer.
The tale concentrates on Genji's romantic life and describes the customs of the aristocratic society of the time. It is sometimes called the world's first novel, the first modern novel, the first psychological novel or the first novel still to be considered a classic. While regarded as a masterpiece, its precise classification and influence in both the Western and Eastern canons has been a matter of debate; the Tale of Genji may have been written chapter by chapter in installments, as Murasaki delivered the tale to aristocratic women. It has many elements found in a modern novel: a central character and a large number of major and minor characters, well-developed characterization of all the major players, a sequence of events covering the central character's lifetime and beyond; the work does not make use of a plot. One remarkable feature of the Genji, of Murasaki's skill, is its internal consistency, despite a dramatis personæ of some four hundred characters. For instance, all characters age in step and the family and feudal relationships maintain general consistency.
One complication for readers and translators of the Genji is that none of the characters in the original text is given an explicit name. The characters are instead referred to by their function or role, an honorific, or their relation to other characters, which changes as the novel progresses; this lack of names stems from Heian-era court manners that would have made it unacceptably familiar and blunt to mention a person's given name. Modern readers and translators have used various nicknames to keep track of the many characters; the Tale of Genji was written in an archaic court language, unreadable a century after it was written. Thus, the Japanese have been reading annotated and illustrated versions of the work since as early as the 12th century, it was not until the early 20th century that Genji was translated into modern Japanese, by the poet Akiko Yosano. The debate over how much of Genji was written by Murasaki Shikibu has gone on for centuries and is unlikely to be settled unless some major archival discovery is made.
It is accepted that the tale was finished in its present form by 1021, when the author of the Sarashina Nikki wrote a diary entry about her joy at acquiring a complete copy of the tale. She writes that there are over 50 chapters and mentions a character introduced at the end of the work, so if other authors besides Murasaki Shikibu did work on the tale, the work was done near to the time of her writing. Murasaki Shikibu's own diary includes a reference to the tale, indeed the application to herself of the name'Murasaki' in an allusion to the main female character; that entry confirms that some if not all of the diary was available in 1008 when internal evidence suggests convincingly that the entry was written. Lady Murasaki is said to have written the character of Genji based on the Minister on the Left at the time she was at court. Other translators, such as Tyler, believe the character Murasaki no Ue, whom Genji marries, is based on Murasaki Shikibu herself. Yosano Akiko, the first author to make a modern Japanese translation of Genji, believed that Murasaki Shikibu had only written chapters 1 to 33, that chapters 35 to 54 were written by her daughter Daini no Sanmi.
Other scholars have doubted the authorship of chapters 42 to 54. According to Royall Tyler's introduction to his English translation of the work, recent computer analysis has turned up "statistically significant" discrepancies of style between chapters 45–54 and the rest, among the early chapters; the work recounts the life of Hikaru Genji, or "Shining Genji", the son of an ancient Japanese emperor, known to readers as Emperor Kiritsubo, a low-ranking, but beloved concubine called Kiritsubo Consort. For political reasons, the emperor removes Genji from the line of succession, demoting him to a commoner by giving him the surname Minamoto, he pursues a career as an imperial officer; the tale concentrates on Genji's romantic life and describes the customs of the aristocratic society of the time. Genji's mother dies when he is three years old, the Emperor cannot forget her; the Emperor Kiritsubo hears of a woman a princess of the preceding emperor, who resembles his deceased concubine, she becomes one of his wives.
Genji loves her first as a stepmother, but as a woman, th
Ariwara no Narihira
Ariwara no Narihira was a Japanese courtier and waka poet of the early Heian period. He was named one of both the Six Poetic Geniuses and the Thirty-Six Poetic Geniuses, one of his poems was included in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu collection, he is known as Zai Go-Chūjō, Zai Go, Zai Chūjō or Mukashi-Otoko. There are 87 poems attributed to Narihira in court anthologies, though some attributions are dubious. Narihira's poems are exceptionally ambiguous. Narihira's many renowned love affairs have exerted a profound influence on Japanese culture. Legends have held that he had affairs with the high priestess of the Ise Grand Shrine and the poet Ono no Komachi, that he fathered Emperor Yōzei, his love affairs inspired The Tales of Ise, he has since been a model of the handsome, amorous nobleman. Ariwara no Narihira was born in 825, he was a grandson of two emperors: Emperor Heizei through Prince Abo. He was the fifth child of Prince Abo, but was the only child of Princess Ito, who lived in the former capital at Nagaoka.
Some of Narihira's poems are about his mother. Abo was banished from the old capital Heijō-kyō to Tsukushi Province in 824 due to his involvement in a failed coup d'état known as the Kusuko Incident. Narihira was born during his father's exile. After Abo's return to Heijō, in 826, Narihira and his brothers Yukihira and Morihira were made commoners and given the surname Ariwara; the scholar Ōe no Otondo was a brother of Narihira's. Although he is remembered for his poetry, Narihira was of high birth and served at court. In 841 he was appointed Lieutenant of the Right Division of Inner Palace Guards, before being promoted to Lieutenant of the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards and Chamberlain. In 849, he held Lower Grade. Narihira rose to the positions of Provisional Assistant Master of the Left Military Guard, Assistant Chamberlain, Provisional Minor Captain of the Left Division of Inner Palace Guards, Captain of the Right Division of the Bureau of Horses, Provisional Middle Captain of the Right Division of Inner Palace Guards, Provisional Governor of Sagami, reaching the Junior Fourth Rank, Upper Grade.
By the end of his life he had risen to Provisional Governor of Mino. Literary historian and critic Donald Keene observed in his description of Narihira as the protagonist of The Tales of Ise: Narihira combined all the qualities most admired in a Heian courtier: he was of high birth handsome, a gifted poet, an all-conquering lover, he was also an expert horseman, adept in arms, a competent official. These aspects of his life are not emphasized in The Tales of Ise, but they distinguish Narihira from other heroes of Heian literature, including Genji. Narihira was known as a great lover, it has been speculated that this romantic affair with the consort of the emperor was the reason why the Sandai Jitsuroku describes his rank as going down from Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade to Senior Sixth Rank, Upper Grade, before again rising to Junior Fifth Rank, Upper Grade the following year. However, it has been speculated that this may be an error in the Sandai Jitsuroku as a result of binding changing the order of events.
Furthermore, Fujiwara no Takaiko reputedly had an affair with the monk Zen'yū, which may have formed the core of the otherwise fictional legend that she had an affair with Narihira. Whether the affair was historical or not, the Reizei family's commentary on The Tales of Ise speculates that Emperor Yōzei was a product of this union, not the previous emperor. One of Narihira's most famous affairs—the one that gave The Tales of Ise its name—was said to be with Yasuko, high priestess of the Ise Grand Shrine and daughter of Emperor Montoku; the Tales of Ise describes the protagonist, presumed to be Narihira, visiting Ise on a hunt, sleeping with the priestess. However, a passage in the Kokinshū describes the meeting ambiguously, in a manner that implies Narihira did not sleep with the priestess herself but rather another woman in her service; the 12th-century work Gōshidai and the 13th-century work Kojidan claim that the product of this union was Takashina no Moronao, adopted by Takashina no Shigenori.
Japanologist Helen Craig McCullough stated there was "no evidence" the affair between Narihira and Yasuko was "more than a romantic myth". A headnote to poems 784 and 785 in the Kokinshū connects Narihira to the daughter of Ki no Aritsune. Medieval commentaries call her Narihira's wife, some modern scholars, such as Katagiri, do the same, although the only early source that explicitly names her is the note in the Kokinshū. In the classical Noh play Izutsu, an adaptation by Zeami Motokiyo of "Tsutsu-Izutsu" from The Tales of Ise, portrays Narihira and Ki no Aritsune's daughter as childhood playmates who marry, it has been speculated, based in part on their being considered the most beautiful man and woman of their age, that Narihira and the poet On
Kyoto Kyoto City, is the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture, located in the Kansai region of Japan. It is best known in Japanese history for being the former Imperial capital of Japan for more than one thousand years, as well as a major part of the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe metropolitan area. In Japanese, Kyoto was called Kyō, Miyako, or Kyō no Miyako. In the 11th century, the city was renamed Kyoto, from the Chinese calligraphic, jingdu. After the city of Edo was renamed Tokyo in 1868, the seat of the Emperor was moved there, Kyoto was for a short time known as Saikyō. Kyoto is sometimes called the thousand-year capital; the National Diet never passed any law designating a capital. Foreign spellings for the city's name have included Kioto and Meaco, utilised by Dutch cartographers. Another term used to refer to the city in the pre-modern period was Keishi, meaning "urba" or "capital". Ample archaeological evidence suggests human settlement in Kyoto began as early as the Paleolithic period, although not much published material is retained about human activity in the area before the 6th century, around which time the Shimogamo Shrine is believed to have been established.
During the 8th century, when powerful Buddhist clergy became involved in the affairs of the Imperial government, Emperor Kanmu chose to relocate the capital in order to distance it from the clerical establishment in Nara. His last choice for the site was the village of Uda, in the Kadono district of Yamashiro Province; the new city, Heian-kyō, a scaled replica of the Tang capital Chang'an, became the seat of Japan's imperial court in 794, beginning the Heian period of Japanese history. Although military rulers established their governments either in Kyoto or in other cities such as Kamakura and Edo, Kyoto remained Japan's capital until the transfer of the imperial court to Tokyo in 1869 at the time of the Imperial Restoration; the city suffered extensive destruction in the Ōnin War of 1467–1477, did not recover until the mid-16th century. During the Ōnin War, the shugo collapsed, power was divided among the military families. Battles between samurai factions spilled into the streets, came to involve the court nobility and religious factions as well.
Nobles' mansions were transformed into fortresses, deep trenches dug throughout the city for defense and as firebreaks, numerous buildings burned. The city has not seen such widespread destruction since. In the late 16th century, Toyotomi Hideyoshi reconstructed the city by building new streets to double the number of north-south streets in central Kyoto, creating rectangle blocks superseding ancient square blocks. Hideyoshi built earthwork walls called odoi encircling the city. Teramachi Street in central Kyoto is a Buddhist temple quarter where Hideyoshi gathered temples in the city. Throughout the Edo period, the economy of the city flourished as one of three major cities in Japan, the others being Osaka and Edo; the Hamaguri rebellion of 1864 burnt down 28,000 houses in the city which showed the rebels' dissatisfaction towards the Tokugawa Shogunate. The subsequent move of the Emperor to Tokyo in 1869 weakened the economy; the modern city of Kyoto was formed on April 1, 1889. The construction of Lake Biwa Canal in 1890 was one measure taken to revive the city.
The population of the city exceeded one million in 1932. There was some consideration by the United States of targeting Kyoto with an atomic bomb at the end of World War II because, as an intellectual center of Japan, it had a population large enough to persuade the emperor to surrender. In the end, at the insistence of Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of War in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, the city was removed from the list of targets and replaced by Nagasaki; the city was spared from conventional bombing as well, although small-scale air raids did result in casualties. As a result, the Imperial City of Kyoto is one of the few Japanese cities that still have an abundance of prewar buildings, such as the traditional townhouses known as machiya. However, modernization is continually breaking down the traditional Kyoto in favor of newer architecture, such as the Kyōto Station complex. Kyoto became a city designated by government ordinance on September 1, 1956. In 1997, Kyoto hosted the conference.
Kyoto is located in a valley, part of the Yamashiro Basin, in the eastern part of the mountainous region known as the Tamba highlands. The Yamashiro Basin is surrounded on three sides by mountains known as Higashiyama and Nishiyama, with a height just above 1,000 metres above sea level; this interior positioning results in cold winters. There are three rivers in the basin, the Ujigawa to the south, the Katsuragawa to the west, the Kamogawa to the east. Kyoto City takes up 17.9% of the land in the prefecture with an area of 827.9 square kilometres. The original city was arranged in accordance with traditional Chinese feng shui following the model of the ancient Chinese capital of Chang'an; the Imperial Palace faced south. The streets in the modern-day wards of Nakagyō, Shimogyō, Kamigyō-ku still follow a grid pattern. Today, the main business district is located to the south of the old Imperial Palace, with the less-populated northern area retaining a fa
Thirty-Six Immortals of Poetry
The Thirty-Six Immortals of Poetry are a group of Japanese poets of the Asuka and Heian periods selected by Fujiwara no Kintō as exemplars of Japanese poetic ability. The eldest surviving collection of the 36 poets' works is Nishi Honganji Sanjū-rokunin Kashu of 1113. Similar groups of Japanese poets include the Kamakura period Nyōbō Sanjūrokkasen, composed by court ladies and the Chūko Sanjūrokkasen, or Thirty-Six Heian-era Immortals of Poetry, selected by Fujiwara no Norikane; this list superseded. Sets of portraits of the group were popular in Japanese painting and woodblock prints, hung in temples. Kakinomoto no Hitomaro Ki no Tsurayuki Ōshikōchi Mitsune Lady Ise Ōtomo no Yakamochi Yamabe no Akahito Ariwara no Narihira Henjō Sosei Ki no Tomonori Sarumaru no Taifu Ono no Komachi Fujiwara no Kanesuke Fujiwara no Asatada Fujiwara no Atsutada Fujiwara no Takamitsu Minamoto no Kintada Mibu no Tadamine Saigū no Nyōgo Ōnakatomi no Yorimoto Fujiwara no Toshiyuki Minamoto no Shigeyuki Minamoto no Muneyuki Minamoto no Saneakira Fujiwara no Kiyotada Minamoto no Shitagō Fujiwara no Okikaze Kiyohara no Motosuke Sakanoue no Korenori Fujiwara no Motozane Ōnakatomi no Yoshinobu Fujiwara no Nakafumi Taira no Kanemori Mibu no Tadami Kodai no Kimi Nakatsukasa Nyōbō Sanjūrokkasen, composed in the Kamakura period, refers to thirty-six female immortals of poetry: Ono no Komachi Ise Nakatsukasa Kishi Joō Ukon Fujiwara no Michitsuna no Haha Uma no Naishi Akazome Emon Izumi Shikibu Kodai no Kimi Murasaki Shikibu Koshikibu no Naishi Ise no Taifu Sei Shōnagon Daini no Sanmi Takashina no Kishi Yūshi Naishinnō-ke no Kii Sagami Shikishi Naishinnō Kunai-kyō Suō no Naishi Fujiwara no Toshinari no Musume Taikenmon'in no Horikawa Gishūmon'in no Tango Kayōmon'in no Echizen Nijō In no Sanuki Kojijū Go-Toba-in no Shimotsuke Ben no Naiji Go-Fukakusa In no Shōshōnaishi Inpumon'in no Tayū Tsuchimikado In no Kosaishō Hachijō-in Takakura Fujiwara no Chikako Shikikenmon'in no Mikushige Sōhekimon'in no Shōshō There are at least two groups of Japanese poets called New Thirty-Six Immortals of Poetry: One selected by Fujiwara no Mototoshi One including poets of the Kamakura period.
The term refers to the second: Emperor Go-Toba Emperor Tsuchimikado Emperor Juntoku Emperor Go-Saga Prince Masanari of Rokujō-no-Miya Prince Munetaka of Kamakura-no-Miya Prince Dōjonyūdō Prince Shikishi Kujō Yoshitsune Kujō Michiie Saionji Kintsune Koga Michiteru Saionji Saneuji Minamoto no Sanetomo Kujō Motoie Fujiwara no Ieyoshi Jien Gyōi Minamoto no Michitomo Fujiwara no Sadaie Hachijō-in Takakura Shunzei's Daughter Go-Toba-in Kunaikyō Sōheki Mon'in no Shōshō Fujiwara no Tameie Asukai Masatsune Fujiwara no Ietaka Fujiwara no Tomoie Fujiwara no Ariie Hamuro Mitsutoshi Fujiwara no Nobuzane Minamoto no Tomochika Fujiwara no Takasuke Minamoto no Ienaga Kamo no Chōmei Fujiwara no Hideyoshi ja:中古三十六歌仙 Rokkasen Poem Scroll of Thirty-Six Immortal Poets Arts of Japan exhibit
A poet is a person who creates poetry. Poets may be described as such by others. A poet may be a writer of poetry, or may perform their art to an audience; the work of a poet is one of communication, either expressing ideas in a literal sense, such as writing about a specific event or place, or metaphorically. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, have produced works that vary in different cultures and periods. Throughout each civilization and language, poets have used various styles that have changed through the course of literary history, resulting in a history of poets as diverse as the literature they have produced. In Ancient Rome, professional poets were sponsored by patrons, wealthy supporters including nobility and military officials. For instance, Gaius Cilnius Maecenas, friend to Caesar Augustus, was an important patron for the Augustan poets, including both Horace and Virgil. Poets held an important position in pre-Islamic Arabic society with the poet or sha'ir filling the role of historian and propagandist.
Words in praise of the tribe and lampoons denigrating other tribes seem to have been some of the most popular forms of early poetry. The sha'ir represented an individual tribe's prestige and importance in the Arabian peninsula, mock battles in poetry or zajal would stand in lieu of real wars.'Ukaz, a market town not far from Mecca, would play host to a regular poetry festival where the craft of the sha'irs would be exhibited. In the High Middle Ages, troubadors were an important class of poets and came from a variety of backgrounds, they lived and travelled in many different places and were looked upon as actors or musicians as much as poets. They were under patronage, but many travelled extensively; the Renaissance period saw a continuation of patronage of poets by royalty. Many poets, had other sources of income, including Italians like Dante Aligheri, Giovanni Boccaccio and Petrarch's works in a pharmacist's guild and William Shakespeare's work in the theater. In the Romantic period and onwards, many poets were independent writers who made their living through their work supplemented by income from other occupations or from family.
This included poets such as Robert Burns. Poets such as Virgil in the Aeneid and John Milton in Paradise Lost invoked the aid of a Muse. Poets of earlier times were well read and educated people while others were to a large extent self-educated. A few poets such as John Gower and John Milton were able to write poetry in more than one language; some Portuguese poets, as Francisco de Sá de Miranda, wrote not only in Portuguese but in Spanish. Jan Kochanowski wrote in Polish and in Latin, France Prešeren and Karel Hynek Mácha wrote some poems in German, although they were poets of Slovenian and Czech respectively. Adam Mickiewicz, the greatest poet of Polish language, wrote a Latin ode for emperor Napoleon III. Another example is a Polish poet; when he moved to Great Britain, he ceased to write poetry in Polish, but started writing novel in English. He translated poetry from English and into English. Many universities offer degrees in creative writing though these only came into existence in the 20th century.
While these courses are not necessary for a career as a poet, they can be helpful as training, for giving the student several years of time focused on their writing. List of poets Bard Lyricist Reginald Gibbons, The Poet's Work: 29 poets on the origins and practice of their art. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226290546 at Google Books Poets' Graves
Fujiwara no Teika
Fujiwara Sadaie, better-known as Fujiwara no Teika, was a Japanese poet, calligrapher, anthologist and scholar of the late Heian and early Kamakura periods. His influence was enormous, he is counted as among the greatest of Japanese poets, the greatest master of the waka form – an ancient poetic form consisting of five lines with a total of 31 syllables. Teika's critical ideas on composing poetry were influential and studied until as late as the Meiji era. A member of a poetic clan, Teika was born to the noted poet Fujiwara no Shunzei. After coming to the attention of the Retired Emperor Go-Toba, Teika began his long and distinguished career, spanning multiple areas of aesthetic endeavor, his relationship with Go-Toba was at first cordial and led to commissions to compile anthologies, but resulted in his banishment from the retired emperor's court. His descendants and ideas would dominate classical Japanese poetry for centuries afterwards. Teika was born to a minor and distant branch of the aristocratic and courtly clan, the Fujiwara, in 1162, sometime after the Fujiwara regents had lost their political pre-eminence in the Imperial court during the Hōgen Rebellion.
His branch of the clan sought prestige and power in the court by aligning itself with the Mikohidari family, by specializing in artistic endeavors, principally poetry. Such specialization was not unusual. Teika's grandfather was the venerable poet Fujiwara no Toshitada, his father was Fujiwara no Shunzei, a well known and respected poet, who had compiled the seventh Imperial anthology of waka. His niece would become a well-respected poet of waka and renga, known as Kengozen or Shunzei's Daughter, whom he would seek out for poetic advice, his elder brother, Fujiwara no Nariee, would be somewhat successful in court, but not nearly as much as his niece. Teika's foster-brother, the priest Jakuren or "Sadanaga" c. 1139–1202 would be successful as a poet although his career was cut tragically short. Teika's goals as the senior male of his branch were to inherit and cement his father's position in poetry, to advance his own reputation. While his life would be marked by repeated illness and wildly shifting fortunes – only moderated by his father's long-lasting influence in court, the young and poetically inclined Retired Emperor Go-Toba's patronage would prove to lead to some of Teika's greatest successes.
The Retired Emperor Go-Toba announced, in the second year of his abdication that he would be conducting a poetry contest. Retired Emperors became more influential after their retirement from the office of Emperor rather than as the actual Emperor, since they were free from the restricting ceremonial requirements and politics of the court. Go-Toba was 20. Go-Toba regarded all these pursuits as hobbies, dropping another. One of these was his support of poetry the waka. After his abdication, he had announced that he would hold two poetry contests, each requiring a number of preeminent poets to compose some 100 waka in a particular thematic progression, known as the hyakushu genre of poem sequences; the first contest was considered a crucial political nexus. Teika's diary records, he was 38, had reached middle age. While he was recognized as a talented poet, his career was stagnant, he was "Lesser Commander of the Palace Guards of the Left" with little prospect of further advancement. He had wider political problems: The influence of his patrons, the Kujōs, over the Emperors had declined drastically.
Minamoto no Michichika had insinuated himself into Imperial circles through Go-Toba's former nursemaid. As Ninshi was the daughter of the Kujō's leader Kujō Kanezan
Museum of the Imperial Collections
The Museum of the Imperial Collections Sannomaru-Shōzōkan is located on the grounds of the East Garden of Tokyo Imperial Palace. It showcases a changing exhibition of a part of the imperial household treasures; the Museum of the Imperial Collections was conceived during the change from the Shōwa period to the present Heisei period. The Imperial family donated 6,000 pieces of art to the Japanese government in 1989. Many pieces were created by Imperial Household Artists; the museum was opened in 1993 for the preservation of the art collection. The collection was further enlarged by the donation of the art collection of Prince Chichibu in 1996 and the collection of Empress Kōjun in 2001. Kaihō Yūshō Kanō Eitoku Iwasa Matabei Kanō Tan'yū Kanō Tsunenobu Tawaraya Sōtatsu Maruyama Ōkyo Itō Jakuchū Sakai Hōitsu Wang Xizhi Kūkai Ono no Michikaze Fujiwara no Sukemasa Fujiwara no Kintō Fujiwara no Yukinari Minamoto no Shunrai Fujiwara no Teika Yokoyama Taikan Kanzan Shimomura Tomioka Tessai Takeuchi Seihō Kawai Gyokudō Media related to Museum of the Imperial Collections at Wikimedia Commons Imperial Household Agency | The Museum of the Imperial Collections