To add or not to add? The challenge of translating for a Western audience.Read more "Poetry Lost in Translation"
After an era of peace in which culture and art had thrived in the Heian court, Japan dissolved into a country of warring states. For the several hundred years which followed the Minamoto clan’s rise to power in 1185, the nation was fraught with unrest. It was not until Tokugawa Ieyasu won control in 1603 […]Read more "Transience and the Human Soul in Matsuo Bashō’s Oku no Hosomichi"
The work of poets Kakinomoto no Hitomaro and Yamanoue no Okura, while categorically similar, serve quite opposing purposes. In fact, nearly every aspect of both poets’ verses stand in stark contrast to one another. A side by side comparison of their Man’yoshu poetry reveals an appropriate sense of tsuiku, as if their opposing elements were […]Read more "Binary Rivals of the Man’yōshū"
As Japanese authors gained confidence in their place amidst a rapidly expanding transnational culture in the early twentieth century, they sought to boldly employ newfound literary ideologies. They took full advantage of the new freedoms of thought and style afforded by Western learning, and challenged traditional written structures in order to create literary works of […]Read more "Dark Existentialism + Modern Japanese Poetry"
Matsuo Basho’s poetic aesthetics were derived from the belief that the artist should focus his creative spirit on the existential truth of art. This energy would cultivate a transcendent awareness of nature and the state of being, and the poet’s heightened sense of natural phenomenon could then achieve great depth of meaning in his haikai. […]Read more "Poetic Parallels"