A challenging study offering a new perspective on classical Japanese poems and how they interact with and are part of material culture
This generously illustrated volume offers a fresh perspective on classical Japanese poetry (waka), including many poems treated here for the first time in a Western-language publication. Edward Kamens examines these poems both as they relate to material things and as things in and of themselves, exploring their intimate connections to artifacts and works of visual art, sacred and secular alike, and investigating the unique rhetorical messages and powers accessed and activated through these multimedia productions. This book makes a major contribution to Japanese literary and cultural studies.
Edward Kamens is Sumitomo Professor of Japanese Studies at Yale University and author of Utamakura, Allusion, and Intertextuality in Traditional Japanese Poetry. He lives in New Haven, CT.
“Anyone interested in Japanese court poetry, court ritual and culture, and painting should read this book with pleasure and come away with a more profound knowledge of the cultures it describes.”—Steven D. Carter, Monumenta Nipponica
“Kamens . . . explores, with profound erudition, the nature of the art of waka.”—Choice
"Through the adroit use of four multivalent case studies, this authoritative work demonstrates with eloquence and insight the vital importance of material, social, conceptual, and other approaches to premodern Japanese poetic culture."—H. Mack Horton, University of California, Berkeley
“Waka and Things, Waka as Things is a major contribution to the field and will be widely acknowledged as a major scholarly accomplishment. The research, writing, and exegesis on display in the book are all absolutely top-notch.”—Morgan Pitelka, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“The theoretical framework is sound, engrossing, and wholly applicable. The scholarship and research that went into the book are superior, and the integration of primary and secondary sources is adroit and engaging.”—Joseph T. Sorensen, University of California, Davis
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