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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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On Bashō

(p.276) Chapter Eight
Japan's Frames of Meaning

Nishitani Keiji

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter talks about Matsuo Basho, a famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. Despite the many people who have dealt with the ins and outs of Basho, in him was a deeply developed sense of self-reflection as a poet in his theoretical work on haiku—a reflection on what a human being and a poet are and on what they should be. Basho talked about poetry in terms of fuga (elegant style). The chapter argues that fuga can be given a larger meaning and be applied to Japanese poetry in general or to poetry as an art form, including thirty-one-syllable poems (waka), linked poems (renga), as well as haikai. Fuga also includes what people today call “poetic”; thus, in a sense, fuga is poetic and poetic existence.

Keywords:   Matsuo Basho, Japanese poetry, self-reflection, fuga, waka, renga, haikai, poetic existence

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