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46 - Early to mid-Edo kanshi

from Part IV - The Edo period (1600–1867)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 January 2016

Haruo Shirane
Affiliation:
Columbia University, New York
Tomi Suzuki
Affiliation:
Columbia University, New York
David Lurie
Affiliation:
Columbia University, New York
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Summary

In terms of the history of kanshi composition the Edo period is appropriately divided into two parts, with the first ending around 1780, when kanshi poets start to show a significant level of concern with national affairs and with Japan's growing contacts with the outside world. At the same time, other relatively well established trends begin to intensify, notably an interest in writing about mundane matters and popular culture. In any event, during Ogyu Sorai's lifetime kanshi production increased steadily, partly through his school's efforts to promote and liberate the genre but also because of social and demographic changes occurring in Japanese society. Private occasional poetry, typically composed in solitude, makes up a large segment of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century kanshi, remaining a staple well beyond the Edo period. The principle of harnessing kanshi for political ends, espoused by the Tokugawa regime in the early seventeenth century but eventually eclipsed, had returned ones that were unimaginable a generation before.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

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