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  • Cited by 1
  • Print publication year: 2015
  • Online publication date: January 2016

41 - The rise of haikai: Matsuo Bashō, Yosa Buson, and Kobayashi Issa

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


The first extant setsuwa collection is the aforementioned Nihon ryoiki, a Buddhist collection edited and compiled in the early Heian period. Godansho is a setsuwa collection that records stories narrated by Oe no Masafusa, one of the leading scholars and poets of the time. The systematic attempt to provide knowledge of the past, particularly of the aristocratic past, is evident in Kokon chomonju, which was edited around 1254 by Tachibana Narisue, a low-ranking aristocrat and literatus who received the secret transmission on playing the lute. Since one of the objectives of setsuwa collections such as the late Heian period Konjaku monogatari shu, edited by Gento, was to provide an encyclopedic worldview, centered on India, China, and Japan, these collections included stories from these three countries. The Kara monogatari, a late-Heian period setsuwa anthology perhaps edited by Fujiwara Shigenori, is a collection of poem-tale style adaptations from Chinese texts.