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Man'yōshū

man'yōshū, man'yōshū and kaifūsō
The Man'yōshū 万葉集, literally "Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves", but see Name below is the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry, compiled sometime after 759 AD during the Nara period The anthology is one of the most revered of Japan's poetic compilations The compiler, or the last in a series of compilers, is today widely believed to be Ōtomo no Yakamochi, although numerous other theories have been proposed The last datable poem in the collection is from AD 759 #45161 It contains many poems from much earlier, many of them anonymous or misattributed usually to well-known poets, but the bulk of the collection represents the period between AD 600 and 759 The precise significance of the title is not known with certainty

The collection is divided into twenty parts or books; this number was followed in most later collections The collection contains 265 chōka long poems, 4,207 tanka short poems, one tan-renga short connecting poem, one bussokusekika poems on the Buddha's footprints at Yakushi-ji in Nara, four kanshi Chinese poems, and 22 Chinese prose passages Unlike later collections, such as the Kokin Wakashū, there is no preface

The Man'yōshū is widely regarded as being a particularly unique Japanese work This does not mean that the poems and passages of the collection differed starkly from the scholarly standard in Yakamochi's time of Chinese literature and poetics Certainly many entries of the Man'yōshū have a continental tone, earlier poems having Confucian or Taoist themes and later poems reflecting on Buddhist teachings Yet, the Man'yōshū is singular, even in comparison with later works, in choosing primarily Ancient Japanese themes, extolling Shintō virtues of forthrightness 真, makoto and virility masuraoburi In addition, the language of many entries of the Man'yōshū exerts a powerful sentimental appeal to readers:

This early collection has something of the freshness of dawn There are irregularities not tolerated later, such as hypometric lines; there are evocative place names and makurakotoba; and there are evocative exclamations such as kamo, whose appeal is genuine even if incommunicable In other words, the collection contains the appeal of an art at its pristine source with a romantic sense of venerable age and therefore of an ideal order since lost2

Contents

  • 1 Name
  • 2 Periodization
  • 3 Linguistic significance
  • 4 Translations
  • 5 Mokkan
  • 6 Others
  • 7 See also
  • 8 References
  • 9 Bibliography and further reading
  • 10 External links

Nameedit

Although the name Man'yōshū literally means "Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves" or "Collection of Myriad Leaves", it has been interpreted variously by scholars3 Sengaku, Kamo no Mabuchi and Kada no Azumamaro considered the character 葉 yō to represent koto no ha words, and so give the meaning of the title as "collection of countless words" Keichū and Kamochi Masazumi 鹿持雅澄 took the middle character to refer to an "era", thus giving "a collection to last ten thousand ages" The kanbun scholar Okada Masayuki 岡田正之 considered 葉 yō to be a metaphor comparing the massive collection of poems to the leaves on a tree Another theory is that the name refers to the large number of pages used in the collection

Of these, "collection to last ten thousand ages" is considered to be the interpretation with the most weight4

Periodizationedit

The collection is customarily divided into four periods The earliest dates to prehistoric or legendary pasts, from the time of Emperor Yūryaku r456–479 to those of the little documented Emperor Yōmei r585–587, Saimei r594–661, and finally Tenji r668–671 during the Taika Reforms and the time of Fujiwara no Kamatari 614–669 The second period covers the end of the seventh century, coinciding with the popularity of Kakinomoto no Hitomaro, one of Japan's greatest poets The third period spans 700–c730 and covers the works of such poets as Yamabe no Akahito, Ōtomo no Tabito and Yamanoue no Okura The fourth period spans 730–760 and includes the work of the last great poet of this collection, the compiler Ōtomo no Yakamochi himself, who not only wrote many original poems but also edited, updated and refashioned an unknown number of ancient poems

Linguistic significanceedit

In addition to its artistic merits the Man'yōshū is important for using one of the earliest Japanese writing systems, the cumbersome man'yōgana Though it was not the first use of this writing system, which was also used in the earlier Kojiki 712, it was influential enough to give the writing system its name: "the kana of the Man'yōshū" This system uses Chinese characters in a variety of functions: their usual logographic sense; to represent Japanese syllables phonetically; and sometimes in a combination of these functions The use of Chinese characters to represent Japanese syllables was in fact the genesis of the modern syllabic kana writing systems, being simplified forms hiragana or fragments katakana of the man'yōgana

The collection, particularly volumes 14 and 20, is also highly valued by historical linguists for the information it provides on Japanese dialects5

Translationsedit

Julius Klaproth produced some early, severely flawed translations of Man'yōshū poetry Donald Keene explained in a preface to the Nihon Gakujutsu Shinkō Kai edition of the Man'yōshū:

"One 'envoy' hanka to a long poem was translated as early as 1834 by the celebrated German orientalist Heinrich Julius Klaproth 1783–1835 Klaproth, having journeyed to Siberia in pursuit of strange languages, encountered some Japanese castaways, fisherman, hardly ideal mentors for the study of 8th century poetry Not surprisingly, his translation was anything but accurate"6

The Man'yōshū has been accepted in the Japanese Translation Series of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO7

Mokkanedit

A total of three wooden fragments known as mokkan 木簡 containing text from the Man'yōshū have been excavated:891011

  • From the archaeological site in Kizugawa, Kyoto A 234 cm long, 24 cm wide, 12 cm deep fragment Dated between 750 and 780, it contains the first eleven characters of poem #2205 volume 10 written in Man'yōgana Inspection with an infrared camera indicates other characters suggesting that it was used for writing practice
  • From the Miyamachi archaeological site in Kōka, Shiga A 2 cm wide, 1 mm deep fragment was discovered in 1997 and is dated to mid 8th century It contains poem #3807 volume 16
  • From the Ishigami archaeological site in Asuka, Nara A 91 cm long, 55 cm wide, 6 mm deep fragment was found Dated to the late 7th century, it is the oldest of the known Man'yōshū fragments It contains the first 14 characters of poem #1391 volume 7 written in Man'yōgana

Othersedit

More than 150 species of grasses and trees are included in 1500 entries of Man'yōshū More than 30 of the species are found at the Man'yō Botanical Garden 万葉植物園, Manyō shokubutsu-en in Japan, collectively placing them with the name and associated tanka for visitors to read and observe, reminding them of the ancient time in which the references were made The first Manyo shokubutsu-en opened in Kasuga Shrine in 19321213

See alsoedit

  • Kotodama
  • Umi Yukaba

Referencesedit

  1. ^ Satake 2004: 555
  2. ^ Earl Miner; Hiroko Odagiri; Robert E Morrell 1985 The Princeton Companion to Classical Japanese Literature Princeton University Press pp 170–171 ISBN 0-691-06599-3 
  3. ^ Uemura, Etsuko 1981 24th edition, 2010 Man'yōshū-nyūmon p17 Tokyo: Kōdansha Gakujutsu Bunko
  4. ^ Uemura 1981:17
  5. ^ Uemura 1981:25–26
  6. ^ Nippon Gakujutsu Shinkōkai 1965 The Man'yōshū, p iii
  7. ^ Nippon Gakujutsu Shinkōkai, p ii
  8. ^ "7世紀の木簡に万葉の歌 奈良・石神遺跡、60年更新" Asahi 2008-10-17 Archived from the original on October 20, 2008 Retrieved 2008-10-31 
  9. ^ "万葉集:3例目、万葉歌木簡 編さん期と一致--京都の遺跡・8世紀後半" Mainichi 2008-10-23 Retrieved 2008-10-31 dead link
  10. ^ "万葉集:万葉歌、最古の木簡 7世紀後半--奈良・石神遺跡" Mainichi 2008-10-18 Archived from the original on October 20, 2008 Retrieved 2008-10-31 
  11. ^ "万葉集:和歌刻んだ最古の木簡出土 奈良・明日香" Asahi 2008-10-17 Retrieved 2008-10-31 dead link
  12. ^ "Manyo Shokubutsu-en萬葉集に詠まれた植物を植栽する植物園" in Japanese Nara: Kasuga Shrine Archived from the original on 2009-08-05 Retrieved 2009-08-05 
  13. ^ "Man'y Botanical garden萬葉植物園" PDF in Japanese Nara: Kasuga Shrine Archived from the original PDF on 2009-08-05 Retrieved 2009-08-05 

Bibliography and further readingedit

texts and translations
  • "Online edition of the Man'yōshū" in Japanese University of Virginia Library Japanese Text Initiative Retrieved 2006-07-10  External link in |publisher= help
  • Cranston, Edwin A 1993 A Waka Anthology: Volume One: The Gem-Glistening Cup Stanford University Press ISBN 0-8047-3157-8 
  • Kodansha 1983 "Man'yoshu" Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan Kodansha 
  • Honda, H H tr 1967 The Manyoshu: A New and Complete Translation The Hokuseido Press, Tokyo 
  • Levy, Ian Hideo 1987 The Ten Thousand Leaves: A Translation of the Man'yoshu Japan's Premier Anthology of Classical Poetry, Volume One Princeton University Press ISBN 0-691-00029-8 
  • Nippon Gakujutsu Shinkokai 2005 1000 Poems From The Manyoshu: The Complete Nippon Gakujutsu Shinkokai Translation Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-43959-3 
  • Suga, Teruo 1991 The Man'yo-shu : a complete English translation in 5–7 rhythm Japan's Premier Anthology of Classical Poetry, Volume One Tokyo: Kanda Educational Foundation, Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages ISBN 4-483-00140-X , Kanda University of International Studies, Chiba City
general
  • Cranston, Edwin A 1993 A Waka Anthology: Volume One: The Gem-Glistening Cup Stanford University Press ISBN 0-8047-3157-8 
  • Nakanishi, Susumu 1985 Man'yōshū Jiten in Japanese Tōkyō: Kōdansha ISBN 4-06-183651-X 
  • Satake, Akihiro; Hideo Yamada; Rikio Kudō; Masao Ōtani; Yoshiyuki Yamazaki 2004 Shin Nihon Koten Bungaku Taikei, Bekkan: Man'yōshū Sakuin in Japanese Tōkyō: Iwanami Shoten ISBN 4-00-240105-7 

External linksedit

  • Man'yōshū – from the University of Virginia Japanese Text Initiative website
  • Manuscript scans at Waseda University Library: 1709, 1858, unknown
  • Man'yoshu - Columbia University Press, Nippon Gakujutsu Shinkokai translation 1940, 1965

man'yōshū, man'yōshū and kaifūsō, man'yōshū sample


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