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19 - Vernacular histories:Eiga monogatari, Ōkagami, Gukanshō

from Part II - The Heian period (794–1185)

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

Historical writing in Japan was infused with new life and meaning with the appearance of two significant works casting the life and times of Fujiwara no Michinaga against a backdrop of dynastic history: Eiga monogatari and Okagami. Eiga monogatari is a history, yet it is written in kana and from what everyone think of as a feminine perspective. Like Eiga monogatari, Okagami is framed as a dynastic history written in kana, but the two differ markedly in form and narrative voice. Next, Gukansho was, written by Tendai Abbot Jien in 1220, penned just before the Jokyu uprising shook relations between the court and the fledgling Kamakura shogunate in 1221. Gukansho is presented as a history, divided into seven chapters. The first two trace the reigns from Jinmu through GoHorikawa, including lists of the ministers and Tendai abbots who presided during each reign. The chronology is followed by four chapters of narrative analysis of this history.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

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