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48 - Waka practice and poetics in the Edo period

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

The final two decades of the seventeenth century saw in the intellectual life of Japan two developments that would prove to have influence on waka poetry, first on its poetics but later also on its practice. These were Kokugaku and Kogaku. Waka had traditionally eschewed all diction of foreign derivation, and its poetics came to occupy pride of place in Kokugaku writing. Both Kamo no Mabuchi and his nominal disciple Motoori Norinaga were poets of some repute but today they are remembered for their theories. Waka poetry was practiced by many literati, polymaths accomplished in several arts who tended to look askance at popular culture and who remained aloof from coteries and schools. The final generation of Edo period waka poets may be represented by two whose works are still often cited and admired: O kuma Kotomichi and Tachibana Akemi, both of whose merchant-class origins bespeak the extent of liberation of the art from its aristocratic monopoly two centuries earlier.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

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