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"
Lady Murasaki depicts a world in which the creation of and appreciation of incense reveals essential aspects of character in her centuries-old tale, Genji Monogatari.Read more "Beneath a Veil of Perfumed Smoke"