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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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Mutually Supportive and Antagonistic Arts

Mutually Supportive and Antagonistic Arts

(p.188) Fifty-Eight Mutually Supportive and Antagonistic Arts
Murmured Conversations
Stanford University Press

Sasamegoto is unequivocal in its opinion that one can achieve greatness in an art (nōgei, michi) only by specialization. However, anybody who wants to cultivate other arts in addition to poetry must focus exclusively on those that support it, namely, scholarship (gakumon), Buddhist discipline (butsudō shugyō), and calligraphy (shuseki), which together constitute the art of letters. During the medieval period, many of the poets were also monks, a reflection of the oneness of poetry and Buddhism. Moreover, a poet was also a scholar of poetry as a field of knowledge, with its own history, archives, and traditions of practice. In other words, the teachers and critics of poetry in premodern Japan were also practicing poets themselves.

Keywords:   Sasamegoto, arts, poetry, scholarship, Buddhist discipline, calligraphy, monks, Buddhism, Japan, medieval period

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