The Aesthetics of Discontent: Politics and Reclusion in Medieval Japanese Literature

By Michele Marra | Go to book overview

Epilogue

F ar from dying out with Kenkō, the tradition of the enlightened recluse continued in the Azuchi Momoyama ( 1574-1600) and Tokugawa periods ( 1600-1868) and remains a potent part of Japanese culture to the present day. In tracing back his aesthetic roots to the world of refinement, the traveler-poet Matsuo Basho ( 1644-1694) mentioned four names that may well be included in the tradition of reclusion: Saigyō -- a poetic and existential model for Chōmei, Lady Nijō, and Kenkō; the master of linked verse (renga) Sōgi ( 1421-1502), whose travels all over Japan were fundamental in spreading among military leaders the poetry of reclusion and its political implications; the master of ink painting Sesshu ( 1420-1506), whose monochromatic technique is an eloquent expression of the aesthetics of reclusion; and the master of the tea ceremony Sen no Rikyiũ ( 1522-1591), whose tea- house was the simple grass-thatched hut.1

Bashō's heroes are all linked by their common capacity to create an alternative space that he calls "the world of refinement" (fũga), where men "follow nature and are friends of the four seasons."2Bashō seeks a place in this tradition by humbly referring to himself as the Gauze-in-the-Wind Priest (Fũrabō),3 apologizing with this self-inflicted joke for daring to associate himself with the giants of the past. The components of Bashō's "refinement" are the same as those of Kamo no Chōmei: a deep grasp of courtly culture that the poet questions from a Buddhist angle. No wonder that Bashō's arrival at Ise compelled the poet to write a verse on the legend of the "mad" Zoga Shonin, who gave his clothes to the poor, remaining totally naked in front of the Ise Shrine. Because of the cold of early spring, Bashō can hardly imitate the holy man:

Hadaka ni waHow could I be naked
Mada kisaragi noIn this stormy wind
Arashi kanaOf the Second Month?4

The political implications of Bashō's travels have been pointed out by the Japanese scholar Muramatsu Tomotsugu, whose theory on Bashō's role as "a Tokugawa shogunate agent (ninja) on a secret information-gathering mission around rural Japan" has recently reached popularity by appearing in the pages of the daily press.5 As in the case of the other authors of reclusion,

-153-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Aesthetics of Discontent: Politics and Reclusion in Medieval Japanese Literature
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 222

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.