Japanese poetry, reclusion, Saigyo, medieval Japan, Buddhist poetry, Jakunen, Jakuzen
Examining a set of poems exchanged by the monks Saigyō and Jakuzen, the author argues for their importance as records of a crucial moment in the development of religious reclusion imagery in waka. The author focuses on Saigyō, demonstrating how he created a new poetic space marked by a deepening of the tropes of sōan and yamazato, yielding a previously unarticulated realm of expression for his rigorous ideal of mountain seclusion. As “grass huts” and “mountain homes” became more commonly associated with hermits monks such as Saigyō, many of whom in fact spent the majority of their lives in the remote and indigent circumstances of mountain reclusion, the imagery relating to these spaces both shifted and expanded. Saigyō was a key figure in this development in Japanese poetics, and his yama fukami poems played an important role in the deepening and expansion of these topoi in the medieval period.
Original Publication Citation
Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 68.2
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Stoneman, Jack C., "So Deep in the Mountains: Saigyo's Yama fukami poems and Reclusion in Medieval Japanese Poetry" (2008). Faculty Publications. 5403.
Harvard-Yenching Institute, Harvard University
Asian and Near Eastern Languages
Copyright 2008, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies
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