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Murmured ConversationsA Treatise on Poetry and Buddhism by the Poet-Monk Shinkei$
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Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804748636

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804748636.001.0001

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Semantic Confusion

Semantic Confusion

Chapter:
(p.91) Thirty-One Semantic Confusion
Source:
Murmured Conversations
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804748636.003.0032

Waka includes a form of poetry which is frowned upon. Known as miraiki (prophetic record), this type of poetry purportedly predicts the future, in particular, the dark and final phase of Buddhism. Miraiki reportedly crops up in any renga session, but is met with disapproval, and is also the title of a collection of fifty poems once believed to have been written by Teika under a pseudonym, but now considered to be a forgery. The poems depend exclusively on various types of wordplay, including engo and kakekotoba, but are employed in a way that obscures the syntax and consequently the sense of the poem. In addition, miraiki is viewed as the pejorative equivalent of the shūku (double meaning) technique.

Keywords:   waka, miraiki, Japanese poetry, poems, engo, kakekotoba, shūku, double meaning

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