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Yoshisaburo Okakura

The Japanese Spirit

93 printed pages

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Quotes

    davidprashkerhas quoted6 years ago
    comic nature found a special place in the earliest imperial collection of Japanese odes named Kokinshifu,' which was compiled in the year A.D. 908. This species has flourished ever since under the name of Kyôka, and also gave rise to a shortened form in seventeen syllables, called haikai-no-hokku. When in the hand of Bashô this latter form developed itself into something higher and more serious, the witty and satirical Senryû, also in seventeen syllables, came to take its place.
    One thing to be specially noted in this connection is the
    davidprashkerhas quoted6 years ago
    introduction from China of the idea of poetic tournaments, the beauty of which consisted in the offhand and quick composition of one long series of odes by several persons sitting together, each supplying in turn either the upper half or the lower half as the case might be, the two in combination giving a poetical sense. This usage of capping verses known as renga came to be very popular, from the Court downward, as early as the thirteenth century. After a while the same practice was applied to comic poetry, thus producing the so-called haikai-no-renga, or comic linked vers
    davidprashkerhas quoted6 years ago
    In all these phases of the development of our poetry, we notice, as one of its peculiarities, a strong inclination to the exercise of the witty side of our nature. Even if we leave out of consideration the so-called 'pillow word' (makura-kotoba), so profusely resorted to in our ancient poems, part of which were nothing but a naïve sort of jeu de mots, and the abundant use of other plays on words of later development, known as kakekotoba, jo, shûku, etc. (haikai-no-uta), it is noteworthy that poems of a

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