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Japanese and Chinese Poems to Sing : The Wakan roei shu - J. Rimer

Japanese and Chinese Poems to Sing

The Wakan roei shu

By: J. Rimer (Editor), Jonathan Chaves (Editor)

Hardcover Published: 27th October 1997
ISBN: 9780231107020
Number Of Pages: 272
For Ages: 22+ years old

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This first English translation of the Wakan roei shu, includes two introductory essays, insightful commentaries on each passage, and three expositions, which discuss the collection's influence on Japanese literary history, music, and calligraphy. For centuries these short, evocative poems were memorized and cherished by Japanese courtiers who sang them at court, into lovers' ears, or at moments when spoken words failed to express their feelings. Until the Meiji Restoration (1868-1912), calligraphers, poets, and artists looked to the Wakan roei shu for inspiration, incorporating its text into many of Japan's most celebrated masterpieces, from the no play Takasago to the Tale of Genji and the calligraphy of Fujiwara no Yukinari, whose eleventh-century calligraphic interpretations of the collection were treasured by Japanese for centuries. The collection - arranged in accordance with the four seasons and covering more than forty topics, from celestial bodies to ministers of state - includes poems by some of the most beloved Chinese and Japanese masters, including Po Chu-i (772-846) and Sugawara no Michizane (845-903). Like haiku, the poems in the Wakan roei shu are brief and reflective, with many adhering to the classical Japanese poetic form of thirty-one syllables. Most of the Chinese selections in this book are excerpts taken from much longer poems, with one or two verses of the original chosen to harmonize with Japanese aesthetic tastes. Now English-speaking readers can enjoy the Wakan roei shu, long treasured by Japanese readers for its revelatory beauty.

A collection of gems from Chinese and Japanese poetry, a guide to poetic themes and their approved manner of treatment, a gold mine of literary allusions, a potently prestigious text for intoning or inscribing... Through this new translation, the first of its kind, readers of English can now appreciate the true cultural significance of the work and at the same time savor the many fine poems it includes. All who contributed to the making of this volume merit our heartiest congratulations. -- Burton Watson Rimer and Chaves have performed a valuable service by making [TheWakan Roei Shu] available in a well-annotated English version... To read [it] is to explore an important but largely unfamiliar corner of Heian court culture. -- Robert Borgen The Japan Foundation Newsletter

ISBN: 9780231107020
ISBN-10: 0231107021
Series: Translations from the Asian Classics (Hardcover)
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 27th October 1997
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.57 x 15.82  x 2.62
Weight (kg): 0.65