waka in rituals

Question raised by: Andrei Nakortchevski

Discussants: Gaynor Sekimori, Randle Keller Kimbrough, Sybil Thornton, Hank Glassman, Lewis Cook, Lawrence Marceau

previous archive

pmjs index

archive index

next archive

Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2002 15:55:32 +0900
From: Andrei Nakortchevski
Subject: waka in rituals

Dear collegues

Can somebody recommend any publications concerning use of waka in religious rituals, Shinto or Buddhist? I came across several Shugendo texts with a concise description of entering procedures into sacred spaces by a shugensha, each stage consisting of a specific mudra, mantra and waka. Any reference will be very much appreciated.

Best regards, Andrei Nakortchevski

Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2002 17:30:35 +0900
From: Gaynor Sekimori

There is a small article on waka in Shugendo in Miyake's Shugendo Jiten, pp.405 and 406. Here waka are divided into those associated with the En no Gyoja legend, those associated with the Kumano pilgrimage, andthose used during mountain entry rituals. This might be a place to start.

Gaynor Sekimori

Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2002 09:33:54 -0800
From: Randle Keller Kimbrough

Dear Andrei,

In a short article titled "Chuusei kouki ni okeru waka soku darani no jissen" (_Indogaku Bukkyougaku kenkyuu_ 16, no 1 [December, 1967], 290-92, Yamada Shouzen discusses records of the use of waka as dharani in religious ceremonies in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Hope this helps.


Date: 10 Jan 2002 11:54:54 -0800
From: Sybil Thornton

Dear Andrei,

There is an article by Gary Ebersole somewhere on waka and religion. In addition, you should check on the rituals of the Jishu, where waka are still recited at particular rituals.

SA Thornton

Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2002 15:23:50 -0500
From: Hank Glassman

Ebersole's article is:

Ebersole, Gary. "The Buddhist Ritual Use of Linked Poetry in Medieval Japan." Eastern Buddhist, new series, 16/2 (1983).


Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2002 08:56:41 -0500
From: Lewis Cook

Not sure this is on topic or not but Vol. 399 of th  [Koten bunko] [waka itoku monogatari] ("Tales of Waka Power"roughly) is a kinsei collection of setsuwa concerning poems which exerted telekinetic, telepathetic, and other preternatural forces. (There's another, somewhat earlier collection in the Koten Bunko of the same genre, sorry I can't find it right now but worth looking for.) Also the voluminous literature of the Kokindenju on sacramental / cryptographic waka waiting to be explored.

Lewis Cook

Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2002 10:53:18 -0500
From: Lawrence Marceau

Koten bunko 399 contains facsimiles of the texts of _Waka itoku monogatari_ (pub.
1689), _Waka kitoku ("miraculous power")_, and _Shichi Komachi monogatari_ (both
late Edo manuscripts).

Koten bunko 402 contains an offset type edition of _Waka itoku monogatari_ (pub.
1689), as well as an offset type edition of _Waka toku monogatari_ (mid-Edo

While these texts may not be directly related to the use of waka in religious
contexts, they do provide evidence of beliefs of the "power" of waka, and the
interest in collections of tales presenting examples of this power. The fact
that _Waka itoku monogatari_ also survives in Nara-emaki form, and was also
reprinted at least once in the eighteenth century attests to the fact that such a
work had a readership.

Lawrence Marceau

Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2002 07:58:53 +0900
From: Andriy Nakortchevski

Many thanks to all who responded to my query about waka in rituals

Andriy Nakortchevski

previous archive

pmjs index

archive index

next archive

archived 2002/02/21 http://www.meijigakuin.ac.jp/~pmjs