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Breeze Through Bamboo Kanshi of Ema Saiko cover
  • ISBN: 9780231110655
  • ISBN10: 0231110650

Breeze Through Bamboo Kanshi of Ema Saiko

by Hiroaki Sato

  • List Price: $32.00
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 02/01/1998
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Description
Assembled in this book are beautiful translations of kanshi poetry -- verse written in classical Chinese, but read as Japanese -- by the only known woman writer of the form in the Tokugawa period.

Ema Saiko (1787-1861) distinguished herself as a writer of kanshi at a time when composition in Chinese was the strict province of men. She wrote poems considered the equal of those by male poets and scholars.

Organized chronologically, these poems provide an engaging portrait of an artist's life. A leading member of three kanshi-writing groups, she counted among her friends poets, scholars, painters, physicians, and other prominent people. Saiko used kanshi as a diary, a canvas, and a mirror, weaving observations of her Wends and of simple pleasures: intoxication, reading, painting, contemplation, the excitement of trips and the joys of evening walks. But Saiko also uses kanshi to reflect on changes in her life -- the growth and illnessesz of family members, as well as her own physical decline. Because of its greater length than shorter forms, tanka and haiku, kanshi encompasses a greater range of subjects and offers richer, more sustained descriptions.

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