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Imagining HarmonyPoetry, Empathy, and Community in Mid-Tokugawa Confucianism and Nativism$
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Peter Flueckiger

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780804761574

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804761574.001.0001

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Kamo No Mabuchi and the Emergence of A Nativist Poetics

Kamo No Mabuchi and the Emergence of A Nativist Poetics

(p.145) Five Kamo No Mabuchi and the Emergence of A Nativist Poetics
Imagining Harmony
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines how a new discourse on waka emerged in the eighteenth century, and how this discourse defined itself in relationship to both Confucianism and court poetics. It discusses the work of Kamo no Mabuchi, who was a pivotal figure in the systematization of ideas about waka and its relationship to Japanese identity. Eighteenth-century writers such as Mabuchi put forward their theories of waka as a vehicle for the formation of interpersonal relationships marked by complete transparency, which they believed would spontaneously give rise to the virtues that Confucianism unsuccessfully tried to impose through artificial rules and rationalistic modes of thinking. One way Mabuchi differed from Sorai and his followers was in looking to ancient Japan, rather than ancient China, as his source of literary and political norms.

Keywords:   Kamo no Mabuchi, waka, Confucianism, court poetics, Japanese identity, ancient Japan

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