pmjs logs for November 1999. Total number of messages for month: 49
Lightly edited (see "principles"). Editorial comments in italics.
Thanks very much for info I should have had the wit to looked
I'd be tempted to say that those three chapters are minnows and that I'm
after the Big Fish, but the numbers are clearly against me. René Sieffert
concurs with Seidensticker, having said in a 1989 lecture that no reader
with half a mind could possibly take seriously the idea that MS did not
write the Uji jujo. I doubt that Tatiana Sokolova-Delyusina (the Russian
translator) would take kindly to the idea, either, considering her
passionate faith that for all those years after she began, and beyond the
end, she was in direct, unmediated contact with MS herself.
From: Janine Beichman
Date: Mon, 01 Nov 1999 07:35:59 +0900
Subject: Re: Genji authorship
Speaking of people who feel close to MS, does anyone know (Gaye
listening?) what Yosano Akiko thought about the matter? Akiko was too
rational to think she was in direct unmediated contact etc. but she did say
she felt she had heard the Genji from the author's own lips because she had
read it as a young girl without commentary. And Royall, by the by, have you
or are you using Akiko's translation(S) at all? Janine
From: Stephen M. Forrest
Date: Mon, 01 Nov 1999 14:49:17 -0400
Subject: Re: Genji kou/incense set
Many thanks to all for the suggestions on figuring out this
checked out Michael's suggested Websites (the modem built into my new iMac
is plenty fast enough, fortunately--it was hard work with a Mac SE and
14.4k), and am working on a comparison with the regular set of patterns as
shown on those (fascinating) sites. UMass and local colleges have not
between them a single copy of Kiyoko Morita's book (the first thing I
thought of too). When I reach the library later today I will check the one
koudou study we do have. Meanwhile, I also look forward to Noel
Pinnington's expertise, as and when.
Looking at the koudou websites it is clear that (current) orthodoxy
arrangement of the 52 combinations was not respected in this early Meiji
seamster's text; the inclusion of chapters 1 and 54 is only the most
obvious (I now realise) of these inappropriatenesses. The mention of
mathematical formulae prompted me to wonder if the strangeness of this
text's sequence has anything to do with numerological notions (leaving the
maths to the experts)
Converting the chapter titles to numbers (thank you Sylvia)
it became clear
that intervals of three are significant. Here's the list, with breaks
where it returns to an earlier number to begin again, and square brackets
where the sequence is out of synch.:
1, 4, 7, 10, [12, ] 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34;
2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, 35;
3, 6, 9, [ ] 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36, [37, 40, 44, 46, 49, 52,];
38, 41, [43, ] 50, 53;
39, 42, 45, 48, 51, 54.
So it's close to three rounds of intervals of three...but not
And that still leaves the question of whether there is any sense besides
numerical in the pattern. Still puzzled, but seeking enlightenment in slow
time. Back to "work", as Larry put it,
Department of Asian Languages & Literatures
From: Gaye Rowley
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 1999 07:54:53 +0000
Subject: Akiko on Genji authorship
Dear Janine, Royall, and all,
Akiko did feel that all of the chapters after 'Fuji no uraba'
by somebody else. In the afterword to her first translation of Genji,
(Shin'yaku Genji monogatari, 1912-13) she writes:
The Tale of Genji can be divided into two large parts: the part in which
Hikari [sic] and Murasaki are the main characters, and the part in which
Kaoru and Ukifune are the main characters. When we reach the ten Uji
chapters...the extreme glitter and refinement of the exquisite narrative of
the first part gives way to simpler descriptive passages. This air of
freshness, this sense of rejuvenation, is the product of Murasaki Shikibu's
genius, ever vigorous...
("Shin'yaku Genji monogatari no nochi ni," 1913)
Later, at least by 1928, Akiko had come to the conclusion that
of the "second part" (i.e. 'Wakana' to 'Yume no Ukihashi') was Murasaki's
daughter Daini no Sanmi. Akiko's reasons are most explicitly stated in the
afterword to her second translation of Genji (Shin-shin'yaku Genji
monogatari, 1938-39). The passage is too long to quote here, but Akiko's
reasons include differences in style; quality of poetry; her interpretation
of the opening lines of 'Takekawa' ("Murasaki no yukari koyonaki niwa
nizameredo", which Akiko takes to mean: "what follows will not be of the
same quality as the previous chapters written by Murasaki Shikibu"); as
well as Daini no Sanmi's familiarity with Uji; and evidence from the
Sarashina nikki. She concludes: "It is a shame that I do not have the time
to explain this in more detail." A shame indeed! Akiko's daughter Mori
Fujiko writes, in an essay written shortly after her mother's death, that
Akiko's only regret was that she had been unable to publish in any detail
the results of her research into the authorship of Genji.
We might also note that by 1940, no less a scholar of Genji
Kikan was convinced that Akiko was right about the structural break in
Genji after 'Fuji no Uraba', but unable to agree with her theory of
dual-authorship. Ikeda recalls arguing--vehemently--with her about it
several times, but he was never able to persuade her otherwise.
To return briefly to metaphors of heart and the marvellous
'Yadorigi' that Royall Tyler brought to our attention:
--Ainashi ya, waga kokoro yo, nani shi ni yuzuri-kikoeken,
Akiko doesn't use kokoro in either of her translations. Shin-shin'yaku
Genji monogatari gives:
--Nantaru koto de arou, futsugô na no wa jibun de aru, nan no tame ni ano
hito o miya e o-yuzurishita no de arou,
But Tamagami gives:
--Baka datta na, watashi no kokoro wa. D hite miya ni o-yuzurim hiageta no ka.
(Genji monogatari hy haku, 11:115)
From: Royall Tyler
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 1999 04:37:58 +1000
Subject: Re: Akiko on Genji authorship
Thank you very much, Gaye. That's fascinating. We seem to have
another case of Fermat's (not Fourier's) Last Theorem--I wish she'd written
it all down.
From: Hitomi Tonomura
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999 11:23:16 -0500 (EST)
Please list my name as Hitomi Tonomura, though "Tomi"
is closer to my
I am faculty in the Department of History and Women's Studies
University of Michigan. I am recuperating from a period of administrative
overload, and enjoying the time to think about aspects of premodern gender
relations once again. My current research includes the historical
construction of [a particular kind of] ideal masculinity as it relates to
the samurai and a comparative study of birth-giving. I am also co-editing
a volume on the meanings and practices of privacy and the private in
various pre- and early modern societies.
Community and Commerce in Late Medieval Japan: The Corporate
Tokuchin-ho (1992); editor, Women and Class in Japanese History (1999)
Associate Professor of History and Women's Studies
Department of History, The University of Michigan
2633 Haven Hall, 435 S. State St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003
From: Tom Conlan
Date: Mon, 08 Nov 1999 17:30:24 -0400
Subject: Re: intro
I am a faculty member of the Department of History and the
Program at Bowdoin college, specializing in pre-1600 Japanese history.
My current research includes an examination of the nature of warfare in
thirteenth and fourteenth century Japan and the judicial role of
violence. Currently I am working on a reinterpretation of the Mongol
invasions of Japan and a translation of Takezaki Suenaga's Scrolls of
the Mongol Invasions. I have also just had an article published in the
Journal of Japanese Studies concerning warfare in fourteenth century
Japan and am revising my dissertation on fourteenth century warfare,
which I expect to submit for publication in the near future. Future
topics include the political role of Esoteric Buddhism in medieval Japan.
"The Nature of Warfare in Fourteenth Century Japan: The
Nomoto Tomoyuki" Journal of Japanese Studies 25.2 (Summer 1999)
In Little Need of Divine Intervention: Scrolls of the Mongol
of Japan (Cornell East Asian Series, forthcoming)
Assistant Professor of History
Asian Studies Program
7500 College Station
Brunswick, ME 04011-8475
From: Haruko Wakabayashi.
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 10:57:24 +0900
Subject: jiko shookai
Please list my name as Haruko Wakabayashi.
I have just relocated to Japan this summer after having
taught at the University of Alabama for four years.
Presently, I am teaching a course on the History of Tokyo
at IES (the Institute for International Education of Students),
and, at the same time, working on my own research.
My field is in medieval Japanese history; I am particularly
interested in studying social and cultural history with the
aid of visual sources. My dissertation was on tengu as a
symbol of evil (ma) in medieval Japanese Buddhism (Princeton, 1995), in
which I used the emaki, "Tengu zooshi." I ampresently working on revising it
I have also been interested in how the medieval Japanese
perception of Other and Foreign is reflected in the images of
oni (i.e. demonization of Foreign). I will present a paper
for the AAS next spring on how much of an impact the Mongol
invasions had on the Japanese presentation (and imagination)
of war (especially against foreign countries).
Lastly, I was recently asked to contribute an article to a
series in Japanese titled "Kankyoo to shinsei (mentalite) no
bunka-shi." I am supposed to write something on "shizen kankyoo
(natural environment) to shuukyooshi--aratana paasupekutibu
(perspective)." I have an year to work on this project, and
would like to do some reading in Western language on discussions about
nature, enviornment, ecology & religion. I would appreciate if anyone
could suggest any work on this subject.
"Tengu zooshi ni miru Kamakura bukyoo no ma to tengu" in Gomi Fumihiko &
Fujiwara Yoshiaki eds., Emaki ni chuusei wo yomu (Yoshikawa kobunkan, 1995).
"From Evil Conqueror to the Devil King: Images of Ryoogen
Transformation of Ma in Medieval Japanese Buddhism" in Monumenta Nipponica
kongo tomo yoroshiku onegai itashimasu.
From: Michael Watson
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 20:46:29 +0900
Subject: AJLS meeting
Best wishes to Stephen Miller and all participants in the Eighth AJLS Annual Meeting (November 12-14, 1999 at Boulder, Colorado)
For those who missed the announcements, the AJLS is the Association
for Japanese Literary Studies, and the topic this year is:
ISSUES OF CANONICITY AND CANON FORMATION IN JAPANESE LITERARY STUDIES.
Quite a number of those taking part are pmjs members. If there
is anyone on
this list who is there and not too busy speaking/discussing/organizing, the
rest of us would love to hear more about the proceedings--as the meeting is
going on or afterwards.
We haven't had a new topic to chew over for a while. Let's
about the "issues of canonicity and canon formation" in early / classical /
pre-modern Japanese literary studies. Any way we can join in the debate?
Mondai teiki* please.
*suggest a topic for discussion
Best wishes to all
Michael Watson <email@example.com>
P.S. the list being quiet, I'm almost caught up with list admin.
happyokai tomorrow (I'm singing the tsure in the noh "Hookazoo" with my
Yokohama utai group) I'll introduce some new members.
From: Janine Beichman
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 21:34:37 +0900
Subject: Re: AJLS meeting
This isn't a mondai teiki, Michael, but I don't know the Noh
I change your o's to u's?) so if the plot and any other interesting things
about it are easy to write about for you at the moment, I'd be interested
in hearing it. I'd also be interested in any comments about Shari or Aridoshi.
The Asian Studies Conference Japan (ASCJ)
Summer 2000 ASCJ conference details (omitted)
From: Esperanza R-Christensen
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 15:39:51 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Stumbling Moon Renga Sequence #3
Here's number three, Chris; Lewis or Larry, which of you will
Will others follow them, I wonder. Okay, I'll play the referee. Shall we
place non-verse communication under another subject heading, just "Renga,"
and leave the verse text clean? We now have 3 Autumn verses; the next
person can either continue it or move to another seasonal theme, or
transition to another season through a Miscellaneous verse. --Esperanza
Messages followed from Lawrence Marceau, Janine Beichman, Richard Bowring, Chris Drake, Lewis Cook, Rein Raud. The 24 messages omitted below can be read in the archive of the "Stumbling Moon Renga Sequence."
From: Haruo Shirane
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 13:09:50 -0500
Subject: Re: AJLS meeting
Dear Michael Watson,
With regard to the issue of canon formation in Japanese literature,
would like to mention the following book edited by myself and Tomi
Soozoosareta koten: kanon keisei, kokumin kokka, Nihon bungaku,
published by Shinyosha this year. It contains articles by American
Japanese scholars and was extremely well received by the Mainichi
shinbun, Yomiuri, Asahi shinbun, and other places and reveals the
ability of American scholars to have an impact on the Japanese field.
From: Michael Watson
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 07:46:34 +0900
Subject: Canon formation
Shirane, Haruo and Suzuki Tomi, eds., Sozo sareta koten: kanon
kokumin kokka, nihon bungaku (Tokyo: Shin'yosha, 1999).
ISBN 4-7885-0669-4 (4000 yen + tax)
I actually had a reference to the book already on one of the
with the title in Japanese as well:
(1999 section--plenty of space for other book announcements!)
The book was prominently displayed in Yaesu Books in July.
the original Columbia conference, I bought it at once.
Two other members of this list have papers in it: David Bialock
reception of Heike ("the discovery of a national epic") and Joshua Mostow on
Ise monogatari, _miyabi_ and gender.
Other papers deal with Manyo'shu, joryu nikki bungaku, Kojiki/Nihonshoki,
kangaku, Yanagita Kunio, Okukura Tenshin & Fennolosa, and the canon in the
Ever since I heard there was an English volume in preparation,
I have looked
out for it in the usual online booksellers. No sign yet. Has a publication
date been decided? [See below]
And (to revert to my original question) I was wondering if
conference marked any changes of position or emphasis concerning the issues
involved... (David? Joshua?)
--other publishing data of this kind most welcome. I will add
it to one of
the pmjs biblio pages.
Shirane, Haruo, and Tomi Suzuki, eds., Inventing the Classics: Modernity, National Identity, and Japanese Literature. Stanford Univ. Press, 2001. 351 pp. [Link is to paperback edition published in March, 2001. Hhardback published in January. See also information from Stanford UP.]
Has anyone used the Iwanami CD-ROM of the 21 imperial anthologies?
out in July this year. I would like to hear from anyone who has used it.
I introduce this CD-ROM below together with others I have actually
anyone add more information, or suggest other CD-ROM resources that are
useful for teaching and/or research in our field/period?
edited: Nakamura Yasuo, Tachikawa Yoshihito, Sugita Mayuko.
price: 12,000 yen. Distributed by Iwanami shoten
ISBN 4-00-130094-X C3892
published July 28,
Lest anyone asks, "nijuichidaishu" or "the Collections
of Twenty-one Reigns"
refers to the 21 officially commissioned anthologies of waka, from the
Kokinshu (10C) to Shinshokukokinshu (1439) -- see The Princeton Companion of
Classical Japanese Literature, p. 342, for a full list.
This CD-ROM was developed as part of a project at NIJL (Kokubungaku
kenkyushiryokan, www.nijl.ac.jp). Presumably to avoid copyright problems,
the editors chose a base text from the Edo period, a rufubon of the Shoohoo
period (1644-1648). According to the Iwanami url
textual variants are noted, and a wide variety of searches are possible:
text, yomi, author, kotobagaki. Orders can be made from the url above.
The price of 12,000 yen for this CD-ROM is to be welcomed,
high as it still
may seem. Note that by comparison:
The Kadokawa Shinpen kokka taikan (1996) is priced at 280,000
ISBN 4-04-908101-6. This contains all 10 volumes of the printed Shinpen
kokka taikan (1162 poetry collections, official and private), some 450,000
poems in all. Allows free word searches that are impossible with the
printed version. Still hard to understand why it must be sold at a cost
equivalent to the printed series. Mac/Windows.
Iwanami's own "Hachidaishu" (i.e. first 8 imperial
anthologies only) is
ISBN 4-00-130029-X. With latest commentary of the ShinNKBT editions.
Very handy despite some restrictions on what text material can be copied
electronically. And now seems way overpriced. Mac/Windows.
Some of you may know already that the Kodansha Encyclopedia
of Japan is now
available on CD-ROM, albeit only for Windows 95/98/NT. I recently purchased
it and found it easy to install and use.
Price 18,800 yen + tax
Further information on Japanese only web-page
Though a Mac person, I use a second-hand Windows laptop for portable
reference. This encyclopedia is ideal for that purpose. The hard-disk
installation option (120 mb) permits access to a large textual database. The
CD-ROM (and drive) is necessary only to show pictures or play sounds. Or you
can install just the search engine and run off the CD-ROM. Searching is fast
and painless. The text is all in English, the manual is bilingual. An
English-Japanese dictionary is included, presumably for Japanese users.
Finally a CD-ROM called "Konjaku
AI-NET Corporation 1998. ISBN 4-314-90009-1
This contains TrueType fonts for 80,000 kanji and other characters
(Sanskrit, for example). The excellent search engine allows you to search by
radical or element, reading (Chinese, Korean or Japanese)... The characters
you find can be used for printing (TrueType fonts are clear) or for
web-pages (gif images are included).
In my case the first character I searched for was NUE--the
name of the
monster Yorimasa kills (Heike & noh). Not the JIS character evening+bird but
sky+bird, the form used in most Heike editions. I found it at once, of
For more details, the Mojikyo net pages give information in
The characters sets _can_ be downloaded from this site, but it is surely
easier to have them on CD-ROM. Windows only for now, although the site is
Mac-friendly in other ways.
This Japanese-only page explains more about the CD-ROM and how to order it:
The price is not inconsiderable (28,000 yen) but if your research
into areas where the JIS limitations hurt (less than 7000 characters
available), then this is surely the answer. For the moment at least.
I'd be interested to hear of others' experience with these
electronic reference materials.
I have not acquired the Iwanami CD-Rom of the 21daishuu, but
for telling the PMJS list about it. I do have the Kadokawa
Shinpen...CD-Rom. You might want to share this comment on the list;
it's up to you:
Since the Kadokawa Shinpen kokka taikan CD-Rom was produced
Apple started marketing the Japanese Language Kit for Macintosh, it
assumes that the user will have KanjiTalk, which is now obsolete. I
had a difficult time getting the program to run on any Macintosh
machine _and_ to print the results of searches until I patched
together various fonts and upgraded to Mac OS 8 or above. Likewise,
unless I am mistaken, the program only runs on the Japanese version
of Windows, creating similar problems for users outside Japan who
don't run that version. However, once you have it up and running it
is a very powerful research tool. Many studies of style, diction,
reference, allusion, and other aspects of canonical waka need to
examine more poems than those that happen to have been selected for
the 21daishuu, which means that for some of us who study waka the
Iwanami CD-Rom simply doesn't include enough material; on the other
hand, of course, for researchers focusing on aspects of the
chokusenshuu individually, in comparison to one another, or as a
group, what could be better? As you say, it's a lot of data for the
money, and the search capacities will lend themselves to many
different kinds of inquiry.
Minamoto no Tamenori, the author of Sanboe, is said to have
around a sack full of scraps with lines from various poems written on
them when he went to utaawase. Think what he (and many others) might
have done with a laptop!
Dept. of East Asian Languages and Literatures
Yale University, P.O. Box 208236, New Haven CT 06520-8236
I am using the Konjaku Mojikyo fonts and find them very helpful.
I downloaded the free version from the web, which is apparently
identical with the commercial version available apart from the
more sophisticated character search engine in the latter.
The search for a given character is a little bit clumsy with the
free version, offering only the way over the radical index,
but, alas, it works. I am especially happy to be able to use the fonts
with pLaTex2e. The installation of the Tex-fonts was problematic
due to a bug which took me days to find and solve (anyone who
has problems installing the Mojikyo Tex-fonts contact me).
I think the whole project is a great idea, and eliminating the need
to build your own gaiji for non-JIS characters. As Michael already
indicated it contains a lot of stuff that will probably never make
it's way into the Unifont character set like palaeographic versions
(oracle bone characters...) or hentaigana. As UNIX and
Windows versions are already available, the only thing that
lacks is the Mac font.
In addition to the resources mentioned
by Michael I would like
to introduce the "Nichigai nandokugo koyumei daijiten" [kanji]
by SystemSoft, based on a row of reference works originally edited by Nichigai
It is very helpful when checking the correct readings of
difficult geographical names, temples and shrines
and others. The function for looking up titles of
works of pre modern literature (especially Edo period plays etc.)
is helpful too. Apart from the reading, basic information
is given (location of a place or temple/shrine, author/period
of a work of literature etc.). Coverage according to the publisher:
general "nandokugo": 14.000
place names: 56.000
rivers: 26.000 (hard to believe, so many in rivers in Japan!)
Kabuki/Joruri play titles: 15.000 (even harder to believe)
works of literature (general): 10.000
Price is around 20.000 Y, not actually cheap, but maybe
worth it for those who stumble over difficult place names
etc. frequently. I use it with Windoze, but I think a Mac
version is also available. It is possible to install the
complete dictionary data on the hard disk.
For 9.300 Y comes Gakken's "Super Nihongo daijiten",
including the "Gakken kokugo daijiten" and the "Gakken
kanwa daijiten", probably known to most of you.
It also includes "Katakana shingo jiten",
a "Koji kotowaza jiten", a "Zen'yaku yorei kogo
jiten" and all kinds of stuff for playing around
like a multimedia "Hyakunin isshu".
The "kogo jiten" has a very limited number of entries
and if you are looking for a serious kogo jiten on
CD-ROM, this can *not* be recommended.
However, the "Gakken kanwa daijiten" is maybe alone
worth buying it and the "Gakken kokugo daijiten" is a nice
dictionary for modern Japanese, that also, quite rare for
Japanese dictionaries, has a thesaurus function.
It is possible to install the text data on the hard disk.
This CD-ROM is available for Windows, I haven't
seen a Mac version yet.
What I really miss is a good kogo jiten on CD-ROM.
Kadokawa have just completed their 5 volume
"Kogo daijiten", but I haven't heard anything of a
CD-ROM version so far.
Same is true for the dictionary I would most desperately
like to see on CD-ROM, the "Nihon kokugo daijiten"...
The following computer optical disc titles might also be of
Nihon daihyakka zensho (Computer file)
Nihon daihyakka zensho [computer file] ; +, Kokugo daijiten : suupaa Nipponika
= Multimedia encyclopedia, CD-ROM. -- Dai 1-han. Computer data and program. --
[Tokyo] : Shogakkan, 
4 computer optical discs : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.
Type of file: Interactive multimedia
System requirements: Pentium 133 MHz or above (166 MHz or above recommended);
Microsoft Japanese Windows95, Japanese Windows98, or Japanese Windows NT 4.0 or
later; 32 MB (48 MB recommended) for Japanese Windows95 and Japanese Windows98,
or 32 MB (64 MB recommended) for Japanese Windows NT; 120 MB or more available
memory; 800 x 600 dpi or higher, and 65,000 or more colours; 4X (8X recommended) or faster CD-ROM drive. Japanese. Title from label; edition statement from colophon in accompanying material.
Documentation: Accompanied by: Otsukai ni naru mae ni (61 p. : ill. ; 27 cm.);
and, Watakushi ni totte denshi hyakka jiten to wa (63 p. : ill. ; 27 cm.).
1. Encyclopedias and dictionaries, Japanese. 2. Electronic
Machine-readable dictionaries. I. Kokugo daijiten (Computer file) II. Title.
III. Title: Suupaa Nipponika. IV. Title: Multimedia encyclopedia, CD-ROM. V.
Title: Nihon daihyakka zensho ; +, Kokugo daijiten. VI. Title: Nihon daihyakka
zensho ; oyobi, Kokugo daijiten. VII. Title: Nihon daihyakka zensho. VIII.
Title: Kokugo daijiten. IX. Title: Otsukai ni naru mae ni. X. Title: Watakushi
ni totte denshi hyakka jiten to wa.
Zenbase CD. 1 [computer file]. Computer data and programs.
-- [Kyooto-shi] :
Hanazono Daigaku Kokusai Zengaku Kenkyu^jo, c1995.
1 computer optical disc ; 4 3/4 in.
Title on container: Zen base CD. 1
Type of file: Text, computer programs, font
System requirements: any type of personal computer equipped with CD-ROM
Japanese, Chinese, and English.
Title from label.
Edited by: Urs App.
1. Zen Buddhism. 2. Zen Buddhism--Bibliography. 3. Zen Buddhism--Study
teaching--Software. I. App, Urs, 1949- II. Hanazono Daigaku. Kokusai Zengaku
Kenkyujo. III. Title: Zen base CD. IV. Title: Zen base CD. 1.
East Asian Library Voice: +1-510-643-0892
208 Durant Hall FAX: +1-510-642-3817
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-6000 Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris, I know the English only from the Chikuma (bi-lingual)
try to find out if there's an English version elsewhere. Webcat lists it as
at several university libraries in Japan. Janine
>sequence done between Ooka Makoto and Thomas Fitzsimmons
>'Yureru kagami no yoake' / 'Linked Poems: Rocking Mirror
>Daybreak.' The book was published by Chikuma in 1982, although I
>believe it's now out of print, unfortunately. The English version
>was published somewhere -- I seem to remember The Antioch Review.
>Perhaps Janine could tell us.
From: Chris Drake
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 13:18:01 -0800
Subject: Re: Stumbling moon, general
I agree with Esperanza that it's probably better that we not
her to have to judge fifty candidates or so for each link! She's
said it better than I can, so I simply concur. I'd like to add
that I wonder whether hananomoto renga linking necessarily led to
more competition than revolving, smaller-group linking. That's
possible, but then again hananomoto linking was done as part of
shamanic ceremonies under blossoming cherry trees believed to
link this world with the other world, a context which may have
fostered a sense of solidarity as special and as intimate in its
own way as that between warriors in the field or people in
I'd also like to put in a general plug for renshi and
contemporary, loosely structured renku. From what I've seen, at
least, I feel both can also produce quite delicate links and
subtle music. I especially recommend the bilingual renshi
sequence done between Ooka Makoto and Thomas Fitzsimmons entitled
'Yureru kagami no yoake' / 'Linked Poems: Rocking Mirror
Daybreak.' The book was published by Chikuma in 1982, although I
believe it's now out of print, unfortunately. The English version
was published somewhere -- I seem to remember The Antioch Review.
Perhaps Janine could tell us. It's a very fine sequence of twenty
free-verse poems of various lengths linked according to loose
rules. The rules may be crude, but the linking is sometimes
extremely delicate, and the sequence often develops musical
cadences. Apparently most of the linking was done over the
telephone, but the two poets seem to be responding to each other
with great sensitivity, and the links suggest that they developed
a strong sense of solidarity as they wrote.
I apologize if this comes to you out of the future. The date on
my computer is right, but there may be a problem with the server.
Although we have passed beyond pre-Meiji in our discussion
of renshi etc, I
cannot quite resist the temptation of sharing an episode from my life, a
renshi we did with Ooka, Kai Nieminen (Finland) and Lars Hulden
(Sweish-writing poet from Finland). It happened in 1991, in the town called
Lahti (where the next EAJS is going to be), during an international writers'
conference. We were locked into a room with excellent room service for 2
days and came out with a kasen. Each poet originally wrote his parts in his
own language, so the original is tetralingual. Richard Lemm, a poet
participating in the conference, helped us to shape the final English
version, which we then read, in turns, to everybody present. As far as I
know, the English version has not been published anywhere. But here it is:
FOUR POETS IN LAHTI (Lahti yongin kasen)
On the young grass of Lahti,
the gnats of delayed summer are gnawing
the pipe of a poet living not far from Helsinki:
Let us start gnawing too, gnawing
the hard nucleus of poetry, radiating mild light.
The summer that never wanted to begin
will begin for the poets in the cool room.
Paper and pen, signs of summer.
Full of memories
always when I look
white and empty space.
Should I really start it
every day from the beginning?
Waking up in the morning
the rays of the same sun
from the other side of the seas
However, on the islands of Asia
Unzen, and then in the Philippines
the eruptions go on. People grow pale.
The fuse on the bottom of the sea, somebody
set fire to it.
If the moon should explode into pieces, the axis of
the earth would stand upright and the climate would be equalized,
a researcher has stated. Has it begun from the earth?
Whence do they come to my ears
the voices of children, peals of laughter
small cries, tender whispers.
Someone is living inside me who says:
there is tomorrow.
Listen if you have ears
the same question is answered by
the cow who says MU
Our practice has lead us to
doubt the Big Bang.
This is the result for today.
Tomorrow we will be ripe
for a new theory.
rocks will bear flowers,
each man will be distributed a womb.
There is always somebody something
whose return we long for - the only ones who come
are shadows of twilight butterflies
once people - the snow
of unlived years.
As a dandelion
I would burst to glow for a moment
and then be scattered in all the winds.
Yes, the wind took everything
it took you, it took me
on different paths.
First you, then me
just a while ago.
A belt of blood is strangling the Earth.
Still, always and everywhere I see you in my mind,
in dewdrops on the moss, your eyes.
Just as the moon
is reflected in my dreams
on these cold nights
until my yearning grows
from a pebble to a rock.
A strange land, me a foreigner
familiar only the pebble
which always chafes in my shoe.
Under the cherry-trees people are gathered -
feel welcome to join them:
a Japanese who speaks no foreign language
can only then be your interpreter -
Sake, song and dance are his language.
Suddenly, unexplainably, we have been gathered
under the trees by the old manor,
all of us who have been promised Paradise.
The cars have their car-talks,
glass is screaming and swearing
lights fling needles into eyes.
I sit all the evenings swallowing dust
- and I would eat again that apple if somebody would come and offer it to
Tomorrow I'll start a new life
I'll get up early do my exercises eat my fill
and discover the new law of Nature
What a shame! This morning all the papers
are accusing me:
"Best-known preacher commits giant tax fraud!"
Just when today, in the name of God's Law
I had planned to preach about the sin of avarice.
The cell is shared by the four of us.
>From outside only weak noises can be heard.
Whenever we want we can open the door and go.
I see you already from afar
then your face drowns in the crowd.
And if you have disappeared
when I finally get there
I have no way of knowing if you saw me.
A wet black bough
is growing in through the window
looking for my hand
September has come. The bumblebees
will be tired. The nights are
dark again. The promises
that have not been kept are now
For the cocoons sleeping underground
the autumn moon does not exist.
They are raised by utmost darkness.
In the corner of the wardrobe rag-dolls
waiting for years to be
waken up from dust by
a new life's first
>From behind the newspaper
the scent of coffee,
reflection on the spectacles.
Which flower will be my
contribution to our garland?
Shall it be the mountain ash, that disappears
most quickly? Or marsh tea
that gives us a headache?
Next week, on the Wimbledon tennis courts
much sweat will wet the grass
Instead of wreaths, cups will be given - to whom, to whom?
If it were not you
to whom would I dare say:
the last wind of spring
that carries secret messages
passed from me
In the shirt pocket
some coins and
a phone number on a soggy pub receipt
A butterfly with new wings is our pilot
showing us the course through the blooming
width. Never forget for you should
Marilyn Monroe sang
The River of No Return
- why are all the men and women on this earth
so fascinated with rootlessness?
A cherry blossom as a book-mark
the sound of the flute fades under the window
knock on my door three times
on a dark autumn evening.
White bright light dance of the snow
one trail of footsteps from the gate through the yard:
the world dropped by
and decided to stay.
Translated from Japanese, Swedish, Finnish and Estonian originals
authors and Richard Lemm
Thank you for posting that renshi and your account of its background,
It was really enjoyable. I would also be interested in any commentary you
have on it, concerning the links. Janine
From: Michael Watson
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 09:47:43 +0900
Subject: Melanie Trede asks
Melanie Trede had some technical problem sending the following
the list and has asked me to relay them for her. She also apologizes for
cross-listing--some of you have given helpful answers already to her posting
on the Japan Art History Forum.
Wonder whether anybody could help me with the following questions:
1. Could someone provide any references (apart from the ayashii
or even publications about the positioning of folding screens within
architectural spaces prior to, say, the 1700s?
2. Does anyone know where to find proofs of the idea that people
popular narratives (in the broadest sense) in the 16-1700s (and earlier)
were convinced of their historical truth?
I once asked Tokuda Kazuo about this problem, and he was
dead sure that readers at the time took stories at face value. But he
diddn't know about references either.
3. A student asked me today whether there was any research
done on the
interrelationship between rock-garden design and sliding door
paintings/iconography (e.g. in the Ryoanji hojo). being a complete
ignorant in garden history etc., I wonder whether you had any suggestions?
Institute of Fine Arts, NYU
1 East 78th Street
New York, NY 10021