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The Rise of Popular Arts in Pre-Modern Japan

2 The Rise of Popular Arts in Pre-Modern Japan


Vol. D ( ) Also Called The Edo PeriodCommon images of pre-modern Japan include those of
heroic but brutal samurai, beautiful but oppressed geisha, elegant gardens, the tea ceremony, and
enlightened Zen monks.

2 Pre-modern Japan

3 Chapter OverviewTo sustain peace, the Tokugawa shoguns expelled Portuguese traders and
Christian missionaries, who tended to play one feudal baron against another in order to subvert local
power, and prohibited any Japanese from traveling abroad.During this period of peace and stability,
the role of samurai retainers in maintaining shogunal authority shifted from warriors to
bureaucrats.Often indifferent to tradition, this new merchant class developed a culture of its own,
reflecting the fast pace of urban life in woodblock prints, short stories, novels, poetry, and plays.

4 Overview ContinuedIhara Saikaku is known as a founder of new, popular "realistic" literature,


writing about the foibles of the merchant class in urban Osaka.Meanwhile, cultivating the persona of
the lonely wayfarer, Matsuo Basho's austere existence was the antithesis to Saikaku's
prosperity.Ueda Akinari is known for his successful insinuation of the supernatural into everyday life
and his keen understanding of the irrational implications of erotic attachment.

5 Political RealitiesFrom the middle of the fifteenth century until the beginning of the seventeenth,
Japan was splintered by chaos and bloodshed until the Tokugawa clan reunited it under a strict but
peaceful rule.To sustain peace, the Tokugawa shoguns expelled Portuguese traders and Christian
missionaries, who tended to play one feudal baron against another in order to subvert local power,
and prohibited any Japanese from traveling abroad.This policy of isolation was designed to freeze
political, social, and economic conditions.

6 How the Culture Affected the Arts


During this period of peace and stability, the role of samurai retainers in maintaining shogunal
authority shifted from warriors to bureaucrats.Urban samurai developed needs that were quickly met
by enterprising merchants, artisans, and laborers.Although the new commercial class that emerged
from these changes was denied access to political power, as the nation's bankers and suppliers they
did control much of the real power.

7 Often indifferent to tradition, this new merchant class developed a culture of its own, reflecting the
fast pace of urban life in woodblock prints, short stories, novels, poetry, and plays.Pun and parody
were central to popular literature.As publishing is itself a commercial enterprise, books began to
circulate in printed form rather than manuscript form, so that literature came to the urban masses.

8 Japanese PoetryJapanese poets first encountered Chinese poetry when it was at its peak in the
Tang Dynasty (June 18, 618June 4, 907)). It took them several hundred years to digest the foreign
impact, make it a part of their culture and merge it with their literary tradition in their mother tongue,
and begin to develop the diversity of their native poetry.For example, in the Tale of Genji both kinds
of poetry are frequently mentioned. (Since much poetry in Japan was written in the Chinese
language, it is perhaps more accurate to speak of Japanese-language poetry.)A new trend came in
the middle of the 19th century. Since then, the major forms of Japanese poetry have been tanka
(new name for waka), haiku and shi.
9 Murasaki ShikibuNot part of this section living as she did from 1014 or 1025).Lady Murasaki as
she is often known in English, was a Japanese novelist, poet, and a maid of honor of the imperial
court during the Heian period of Japan.She is best known as the author of The Tale of Genji, written
in Japanese between about 1000 and 1008, which is the earliest known novel in human history.

10 Early-modern literature (16031868)


Literature during this time was written during the largely peaceful Tokugawa Period (commonly
referred to as the Edo Period).Due in large part to the rise of the working and middle classes in the
new capital of Edo (modern Tokyo), forms of popular drama developed which would later evolve into
kabuki.The jruri and kabuki dramatist Chikamatsu Monzaemon became popular at the end of the
17th century. Matsuo Bash wrote Oku no Hosomichi (1702), a travel diary. Hokusai, perhaps
Japan's most famous woodblock print artist, also illustrated fiction as well as his famous 36 Views of
Mount Fuji.

11 Theater DefinitionsJoruri, or puppet theater, now more commonly called bunraku, after the name
of the Osaka theater that by 1909 was the only remaining venue for performances.For a time,
though, joruri was more popular than kabuki, with the dolls acquiring all manner of refinements
during the 1730s, such as moveable eyes and articulated fingers. The dolls also came to measure
some 1.2 meters in height, which required three men to operate.

12 Kabuki is classical Japanese dance-drama


Kabuki is classical Japanese dance-drama. Kabuki theatre is known for the stylization of its drama
and for the elaborate make-up worn by some of its performers.It apparently began with a female
priestess or shaman who performed a new style of dance drama in the dry riverbeds of KyotoThe
structure of a kabuki play was formalized during the Edo period, as were many elements of style.
Conventional character types were established. Kabuki theater and ningy jruri, the elaborate form
of puppet theater (that later came to be known as bunraku) became closely associated with each
other, and each has since influenced the other's development.

13 Katsushika HokusaiIn Japanese: ( ) September 23, 1760 May 10, 1849He was a
Japanese artist, ukiyo-e (wood cuts depicting the floating world painter and printmaker of the Edo
period.Born in Edo (now Tokyo), Hokusai is best known as author of the woodblock print series
Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji

14 Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji ( c. 1831)

17 Many other genres of literature made their dbut during the Edo Period, helped by a rising
literacy rate among the growing population of townspeople, as well as the development of lending
libraries.Yomihon (Reading books) they had few illustrations, and the emphasis was on the
textAlthough there was a minor Western influence trickling into the country from the Dutch
settlement at Nagasaki, it was the importation of Chinese vernacular fiction that proved the greatest
outside influence on the development of Early Modern Japanese fiction..

18 Ihara Saikaku ( ) might be said to have given birth to the modern consciousness of the novel in
Japan, mixing vernacular dialogue into his humorous and cautionary tales of the pleasure
quarters.Jippensha Ikku ( ) wrote Tkaidch Hizakurige, (Shanks Mare) which is a mix of
travelogue and comedyTsuga Teisho, Takebe Ayatari, and Okajima Kanzan were instrumental in
developing the yomihon, which were historical romances almost entirely in prose, influenced by
Chinese vernacular novels such as Three Kingdoms,Shui hu zhuan, and Journey to the West
(Monkey).Chonin:("townsman") was a social class that emerged in Japan during the early years
of the Tokugawa period. The majority of chnin were merchants, but some were craftsmen, as well.
("townsman") was a social class that emerged in Japan during the early years of the Tokugawa
period. The majority of chnin were merchants, but some were craftsmen, as well.

19 Two yomihon masterpieces were written by Ueda Akinari: Ugetsu monogatari (Tales of the
Moon and Rain) and Harusame monogatari. (Tales of Spring and Rain)Kyokutei Bakin wrote the
extremely popular fantasy/historical romance Nans Satomi Hakkenden (106 vols) The Eight Dog
Chronicles, in addition to other yomihon.Sant Kyden wrote yomihon mostly set in the gay quarters
until the Kansei edicts banned such works, and he turned to comedic kibyshi (graphic novels).

20 Beauties of Yoshiwara Admiring Brocade Rolls

21 Ritar stands confused, torn between the good and bad souls in the corridor outside the
courtesans parlor.

22 Genres included horror, crime stories, morality stories, comedy, and pornographyoften
accompanied by colorful woodcut prints.Nevertheless, in the Tokugawa, as in earlier periods,
scholarly work continued to be published in Chinese, which was the language of the learned much
as Latin was in Europe.Tokugawa: Refers to a feudal regime of Japan established by Tokugawa
Ieyasu and ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family during the Edo period.

23 Ihara SaikakuHe is known as a founder of new, popular "realistic" literature, writing about the
foibles of the merchant class in urban Japan.Inheriting his family's business at a young age, Saikaku
"retired" after the death of his wife before his thirtieth birthday. A few days after her passing in an act
of grief and true love Saikaku started to compose a thousand-verse haikai poem in a matter of
twelve hours. When this work was published it was called Haikai Single Day Thousand Verse
(Haikai Dokugin Ichinichi).

24 Scholars have described numerous extraordinary feats of solo haikai composition at one sitting;
most famously, over the course of a single day and night in 1677, Saikaku is reported to have
composed at least 16,000 haikai stanzas, with some rumors placing the number at over 23,500
stanzas.Later in life he began writing racy accounts of the financial and amorous affairs of the
merchant class and the demimonde (mistresses). These stories catered to the whims of the newly
prominent merchant class, whose tastes of entertainment leaned toward the arts and pleasure
districts.

25 As Saikakus popularity and readership began to increase and expand across Japan so did the
amount of literature he published.When he died in 1693 at the age of fifty-one Saikaku was one of
the most popular writers of the entire Tokugawa period.Yet at the time his work was never
considered high literature because it had been aimed towards and popularized by the
chonin.Saikaku's 1686 novel Kshoku Ichidai Onna was adapted in 1952 into Mizoguchi's movie The
Life of Oharu (poster pictured).Chnin (?, "townsman") was a social class that emerged in
Japan during the early years of the Tokugawa or Edo period.

26 Men take their misfortunes to heart, and keep them there


Men take their misfortunes to heart, and keep them there. A gambler does not talk about his losses;
the frequenter of brothels, who finds his favorite engaged by another, pretends to be just as well off
without her; the professional street-brawler is quiet about the fights he has lost; and a merchant who
speculates on goods will conceal the losses he may suffer. All act as one who steps on dog dung in
the dark.Ihara Saikaku,"What the Seasons Brought to the Almanac-Maker" (1686)Yomihon(,
yomi-hon, "reading books") is a type of Japanese book from the Edo period (16031867), that was
influenced by Chinese vernacular novels.

27 The Haiku Frosty morn, sun clouds Small hand, chattering high voice,
Dad walks girl to school.Haiku () is a mode of Japanese poetry which developed from the
combination of Hokku (the opening stanza of an orthodox collaborative linked poem, or renga), and
of its later derivative, renku (or haikai no renga).By the time of Matsuo Bash (16441694), the
hokku had begun to appear as an independent poem, and was also incorporated in haibun (a
combination of prose and hokku), and haiga (a combination of painting with hokku). the late 19th
century revision by Masaoka Shiki of the older hokku (, hokku?), the opening verse of a linked
verse form, haikai no renga. The traditional hokku consisted of a pattern of approximately 5, 7, 5 on.

28 The Japanese word on, meaning "sound", corresponds to a mora, a phonetic unit similar but not
identical to the syllable of a language such as English. (The words onji, ("sound symbol") or moji
(character symbol) are also sometimes used.) A haiku contains a special season word (the kigo)
representative of the season in which the renga is set, or a reference to the natural world.In Japan
Hokku usually combines two (or rarely, three) different phrases, with a distinct grammatical break
(kireji) usually at the end of either the first five or second seven morae.Graphic taken from

29 These elements of the older hokku are considered by many to be essential to haiku as well,
although they are not always included by modern writers of Japanese "free-form haiku" and of non-
Japanese haiku. Japanese haiku are typically written as a single line, while English language haiku
are traditionally separated into three lines.Japanese hokku and haiku are traditionally printed in one
vertical line, though in handwritten form they may be in any reasonable number of lines. Here are
some examples of classic hokku by Bash: Furu ike ya kawazu tobikomu
mizu no otoOld pondFrog jump-inWater soundHatsu shigure saru mo
komino wo hoshige narithe first cold shower;even the monkey seems to wanta little coat of straw.[At
that time, Japanese rain-gear consisted of a large, round hat and a shaggy straw cloak.]

30 Haiku in EnglishThis is a development of the Japanese haiku poetic form in the English
language.Contemporary haiku are written in many languages, but most poets outside of Japan are
concentrated in the English-speaking countries.It is impossible to single out any current style, format,
or subject matter as definitive. Some of the more common practices in English include:* Use of three
lines of up to 17 syllables;* Use of a season word (kigo);* Use of a cut or kire (sometimes indicated
by a punctuation mark) to compare two images implicitly.

31 Matsuo BashoEven before his "retirement," he was well known as an "amateur" poet, particularly
for the new form of "chain poetry" that involved the collaboration of several poets in a stream-of-
consciousness-like manner.Restrained by poetry, he turned to prose fiction at age forty.After the
death of his friend and poetry companion, Matsuo Basho moved to Edo (now Tokyo) to better his
chances at establishing a career as a teacher and corrector of poetry.

32 Cultivating the persona of the lonely wayfarer, Matsuo Basho's austere existence was the
antithesis to Saikaku's prosperity.As a prose equivalent of a linked sequence of haiku, Basho
embedded haiku into the travel narrative of The Narrow Road of the Interior.Some 250 years after
his death, the publication of the second diary of Sora, Basho's traveling companion, revealed that
Basho was more practical and wily than in his own recording and that he had altered details of their
trip in order to cultivate patrons and students.
33 Ueda AkinariA physician and scholar, (although he started as a merchant) Ueda Akinari is best
remembered as a writer of ghost stories. (Healed as a child)Ueda Akinari is known for his successful
insinuation of the supernatural into everyday life and his keen understanding of the irrational
implications of erotic attachment.He was a student of Japanese classics, medieval Japanese
folktales, Chinese literature, and the theater.

34 Bewitched Ueda Akinari (1734-1809): Real name: UEDA SENJIRO


My thanks toDr. Theresa ThompsonWho made the following slides for her English 2130 classFall
2009

35 More of Ueda Akinaris Biography


Probably born in Osaka in 1734, in the Sonezaki pleasure quarter, to an unwed mother by the name
of Matsuo Osaki.When Akinari was four years old he became the adopted son of Ueda
Mosuke.Shortly before death he said, "Born in Naniwa [Osaka] I have been a guest in the Capital for
sixteen years. I had no father; I do not know the reason why. When I was four years old my mother
also cast me away. Fortunately I was taken in by Mr. Ueda.1776: Tales of Moonlight and RainDied
August 8, 1809, age 76.

36 Bewitched The actual title Jasei no in has been translated as (Lust of the White Serpent
also The Serpent's Lust)Screen shots from the 1953 film version of Ugetsu monogatari -- Tales of
the Moon and Rain

38 Some Literary Western Gothic Features


Ancient prophecy, especially mysterious, obscure, or hard to understand.Mystery and suspense.Sex
and Death: Fainting, frightened, screaming, near-naked women. Women threatened by powerful,
impetuous male.High emotion, sentimentalism, but also pronounced anger, surprise, and especially
terror.Supernatural events (e.g. a giant, a sighing portrait, ghosts or their apparent presence, a
skeleton).Omens, portents, dream visions.

39 Ancient spaces and places: castles, etc.


The metonymy (part for the whole) of gloom and horror(wind, rain, doors grating on rusty hinges,
howls in the distance, distant sighs, footsteps approaching, lights in abandoned rooms, gusts of wind
blowing out lights or blowing suddenly, characters trapped in rooms or imprisoned).The vocabulary
of the gothic (use of words indicating fear, mystery, etc: apparition, devil, ghost, haunted, terror,
fright).

40 Japanese Gothic Features


The universe is governed by rules.The rules of the universe are beyond human
understanding.Society offers no protection from spirits and ghosts.Perseverance in the face of utter
destruction.Dank, confined spaces are most conducive to the appearance of ghostly spirits..

41 Yuurei: ghosts or spirits stranded on this world because they have unfinished business or died in
the throes of intense emotion

42 Fear Depends on Cultural Belief Systems


Shinto is Kannagara (Kami no michi: The way of the kami)Not a revealed religion with a divinely
inspired scriptureTradition and the family, physical cleanliness, Matsuri festivals to worship the kami
(spirits).Love of natureLittle emphasis on death or afterlife.Obake undermine the certainties of life as
we usually understand it.An Obake (shape-shifter)
43 Buddhism Independent sense of self creates alienation & suffering
Six Realms of Existence: Skandhas, not soul, reincarnate (think Avatar and Yangs series of
chakras.)Ambivalence about immortality (not about reincarnation)Concept of non-
attachmentCharacterization & Radical non-dualismUncanny Beings: not-natural

44 Bewitched and its Gothic Elements


Mythic / dreamlike qualitiesSubversion of religious & social normsAncient spacesObsession with sex
and deathPresence of the supernatural or unknown (uncanny)Reflection of unspeakable social
issues

45 What actions make Toyo-o a man?


If Managa is desire incarnate (made physical), what is the (physical) nature of desire?Significance of
serpent?How does Tomiko compare to Managa?What does the dead snake indicate about Toyo-os
conquest of desire?

47 Cited SitedGrove, Richard Tales of Moonlight and Rain Booklad 8 March 2012"Ihara Saikaku"
Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 11 March 2010Matsuo Basho's "Narrow Road to the Deep North
March 2007.Matsuo Bash Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 6 March 2007.

48 Norton Anthology of World Literature http://www. wwnorton


Norton Anthology of World Literature 5 March 2011"Ueda Akinari Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.
11 March 2010.The Wizard and the White Snake Video Trailer

49 HAIKUS: BASHO & ISSA <http://www. wisdomportal

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