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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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The Ten Virtues

The Ten Virtues

Chapter:
(p.200) Sixty-One The Ten Virtues
Source:
Murmured Conversations
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804748636.003.0062

This chapter argues that a man must possess all the ten virtues (intelligence, skill, learning, mental discipline, dedication to the Way, calligraphy, a sage teacher, dwelling in tranquility, old age, social position) in order to become a true sage of the Way of Poetry or renga. The man who does not lack any single one of these virtues is perfect, which is extremely rare. Thus, the sage appears only once in a hundred years and the saint only once in a thousand years. That is to say, anyone born in the age of a sage of the Way is almost impossible. The ten virtues (jittoku) represent Shinkei's ideal of the poet who has achieved the highest state. Two of these virtues, intelligence and artistic skill, are dedicated to high religious principles. The gist of Sasamegoto and of the popularizing slogans of the renga jittoku is the same: mental liberation through poetic practice. The difference is that the former addresses the essential question of what is actually required to attain it.

Keywords:   ten virtues, jittoku, Way of Poetry, renga, Shinkei, Sasamegoto, Japanese poetry, mental liberation, sage

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