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Japan's Frames of MeaningA Hermeneutics Reader$
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Michael F. Marra

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834609

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834609.001.0001

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Yūgen, Sabi

Yūgen, Sabi

Take, Sabi, and Yūgen in Japanese Short Poems (Tanka)

(p.185) Chapter Six Yūgen, Sabi
Japan's Frames of Meaning

Ueda Juzō

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter states that the representations of things (mono) that are expressed by words in poetry and other literary arts tend to be remarkably vague from a visual standpoint. At the same time, however, no matter how vague it is from a visual point of view, when the shape of things is expressed in words, it becomes sufficiently clear. In this way, the function of the artistic spirit is seen from a higher perspective—it sets up one aspect of reality. The variety of topics in Japanese short poems (tanka) bespeaks the splendid diversity of the development of this artistic spirit. Moreover, what is spoken in tanka is the greatness and depth of the spirit's transcendental power of imagination—a spirit that unifies what speaks with what is spoken about.

Keywords:   mono, poetry, literary arts, tanka, short poems, artistic spirit, reality, imagination

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