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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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Renga History

Renga History

(p.12) Two Renga History
Murmured Conversations
Stanford University Press

Sasamegoto offers an account of renga history. Man'yōshū 1635 was cited as the oldest example of linked poetry, that is, its archaic form as “short renga” (tanrenga) in the Yakumo mishō (Eightfold Cloud Treatise [1221]) by Retired Emperor Juntoku (1197–1242; r. 1210–1221). This is essentially a waka poem featuring the formal elements of the basic renga verse form as an individual link, as well as its pragmatic aspect as dialogical discourse. Nijō Yoshimoto (1320–1388) traced the origins of renga to the examples of katauta mondō (half-poems) in the ancient chronicles Kojiki (712) and Nihongi (720). Another significant milestone in renga history is the rise of so-called chain renga (kusari renga) with multiple links. Shinkei's reference to the Minase River provides evidence that Shinkokinshū poets such as Fujiwara Teika (1162–1241) and Ietaka (1158–1237) played a major role in the formation of the long form and its aesthetics during the early Kamakura period. However, renga flourished thanks to the so-called jige renga, leading to a “broadening of the Way.”

Keywords:   renga, linked poetry, Sasamegoto, waka, Nijō Yoshimoto, chain renga, Shinkei, Kamakura period, jige renga, Japanese poetry

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