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42 - Ihara Saikaku and Ejima Kiseki: the literature of urban townspeople

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

Ihara Saikaku and Ejima Kiseki were active on the literary scene during the decades-long first flowering of urban townsman culture in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, when Japan was ruled by the Tokugawa shoguns. Saikaku gradually cultivated a growing group of fellow poets and disciples who joined him in haikai composition. He edited five volumes of verses for publication, but his own verses appeared sporadically in the haikai collections of other Danrin poets. A posthumous publication in the category of books on love was titled Saikaku okimiyage, and represented the last collection of stories on what might be termed Saikaku's favorite and defining subject, sexual love. Kiseki's first foray into the genre of ukiyo-zoshi was a five-volume Hachimonjiya publication titled Keisei iro samisen. Kiseki's skillful use of sentimentality in his writings appealed to a broad readership in his day, and this quality allowed his works to exert on ongoing influence on Edo period letters.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

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