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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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Motoori Norinaga and the Cultural Construction of Japan

Motoori Norinaga and the Cultural Construction of Japan

(p.173) Six Motoori Norinaga and the Cultural Construction of Japan
Imagining Harmony
Stanford University Press

This chapter shows how Kamo no Mabuchi's follower Motoori Norinaga presented a more complex vision of poetic authenticity, one that revealed more concern than Mabuchi had with the difficulties of connecting to other people, while still ultimately finding a way to use Japanese poetry, to eliminate interpersonal conflicts. It argues that his writings on literature presented certain ideas about how cultural forms inherited from the Japanese past should structure and mediate interpersonal relationships in the present. Norinaga declared that the waka tradition's norms of feeling and expression are in fact natural and universal, and that people's failure to perceive them as such is a result of having lost touch with their original human nature.

Keywords:   Kamo no Mabuchi, Motoori Norinaga, poetic authenticity, Japanese poetry, waka tradition

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