By Shuichi Kato (auth.)
Shuichi Kato's two-volume background of jap literature is notable for its serious and comparative grab in addition to for its historic scholarship. it's also a special contribution to the topic insofar because it accommodates the significant unfold of kambun (classic chinese language) literature written by way of jap authors. via relocating past the dialogue of literary kinds and elegance into the social historical past which has formed the works, Professor Kato presents the 1st actual heritage of eastern literature in its context; actually, given the significance of literature in eastern cultural heritage quite often, Professor Kato's paintings might both be seen as a examine of Japan's highbrow heritage via literature.
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Additional resources for A History of Japanese Literature: The First Thousand Years
Again almost to a man they ignored the grief of wars, the hardships of poverty and resentment of corrupt politics. This closed tendency in monogatari fiction after The Tale of Genji grew more and more marked. These monogatari concerned themselves exclusively with the emotional life of the aristocracy and ignored other sections of society. Apart from touching on them as incidentals to round out a picture, the artisans of the cities, the peasants of the country, soldiers and robbers make no appearance in their pages.
No attempt was made to place these articles in any sort of order and general principles and specific instructions are intermingled at random. There are many remarkable characteristics to be found in the articles of general principles. First the basic principles to create a united country are written from the point of view of Confucian concept. Article 12, for example, contains the words: 'A country does not have two lords, nor the people two masters. ' This saying parallels numerous others found in Chinese Confucian literature.
This is the impor- THE AGE OF THE MANYOSHU 31 tant point and whether the work was in existence before those reforms or not is not of great consequence. The original text of the Jushichi-jo kempo is in Chinese and simply presents the articles of the 'Constitution' without any kind of preamble. The articles deal with the duty and conduct of officials and range from general principles such as 'Good faith is the foundation of right ... ' (article 9) to specific exhortations such as 'Ministers should attend court early in the morning and not retire until late in the evening' (article 8).
A History of Japanese Literature: The First Thousand Years by Shuichi Kato (auth.)