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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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PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use (for details see www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 17 July 2019

Heredity, Social Status, and the Way

Heredity, Social Status, and the Way

Chapter:
(p.180) Fifty-Five Heredity, Social Status, and the Way
Source:
Murmured Conversations
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804748636.003.0056

In this chapter, Shinkei challenges the notion that a man who is obscure and lacks social status will not be held in high esteem even if he has achieved the ultimate in the Way of Poetry. Shinkei clearly does not dispute the assertion that worldly esteem is based primarily on an inherited name and social status, rather than genuine individual achievement. Instead, he refutes the ignorant belief in the prestige of inheritance, arguing that it is the individual rather than his father or his famous house that matters. For Shinkei, fame and obscurity (believed to be signs of a good and bad karma, respectively) are mere worldly and provisional distinctions with no permanent substance.

Keywords:   Shinkei, social status, inheritance, Way of Poetry, fame, obscurity, karma

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