By Shuichi Kato (auth.)
Shuichi Kato's two-volume heritage of jap literature is extraordinary for its severe and comparative take hold of in addition to for its historic scholarship. it's also a special contribution to the topic insofar because it comprises the mammoth unfold of kambun (classic chinese language) literature written via eastern authors. through relocating past the dialogue of literary types and magnificence into the social heritage which has formed the works, Professor Kato offers the 1st genuine background of jap literature in its context; in truth, given the significance of literature in jap cultural background commonly, Professor Kato's paintings may possibly both be seen as a research of Japan's highbrow background via literature.
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Additional resources for A History of Japanese Literature: The First Thousand Years
Aesthetic concepts such as mono no aware in the Heian period, yugen in the Kamakura period, wabi and sabi in the Muromachi period, and iki in the Tokugawa period did not perish in the age in which they were created, but survived to exist alongside the aesthetic thought of the succeeding age. Even after the Meiji period (1868-1912) poets continued to strive for mono no aware, No actors for yugen, tea masters forsabi andgeisha foriki, and all this is just as true today. Because of this basic pattern of historical development in the sense that the old is never lost, there is a considerable unity and continuity in Japanese literary history.
From the first the material advantages of Buddhism, which was used by the Yamato court along with other continental imports such as legal systems, magic and writing, were stressed. The Buddhist monks played an important role in the Japanese state in that through prayer they sought to preserve the peace of the country, they provided other prayers and incantations to bring rainfall for the crops and to cure sickness, and in the temples they provided education. Even today, Buddhism's vast influence on Japanese culture can be seen in temple architecture and Buddhist images of the time.
This saying parallels numerous others found in Chinese Confucian literature. The relationship between the ruler and the people as a whole is clearly laid down as are the duties owed by the latter to the former, such as 'loyalty'. As far as the country's officials are concerned, great stress is placed on the harmony which should exist between them and the people. The first article opens with the line, 'Harmony is to be valued', and the final article contains the stricture, 'Weighty matters should not be considered by one person alone; they should be discussed with many people'.