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The Poetry Contest in Six Hundred Rounds

A Translation and Commentary

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Thomas E. McAuley

For the monumental Poetry Competition in Six Hundred Rounds ( Roppyakuban uta’awase), twelve poets each provided one hundred waka poems, fifty on seasonal topics and fifty on love, which were matched, critiqued by the participants and judged by Fujiwara no Shunzei, the premiere poet of his age. Its critical importance is heightened by the addition of a lengthy Appeal ( chinjō) against Shunzei’s judgements by the conservative poet and monk, Kenshō. It is one of the key texts for understanding poetic and critical practice in late twelfth century Japan, and of the conflict between conservative and innovative poets.
The Competition and Appeal are presented here for the first time in complete English translation with accompanying commentary and explanatory notes by Thomas McAuley.

Alexander Vovin

A Sense of the City

Modes of Urban Representation in the Works of Nagai Kafū (1879-1959)

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Gala Maria Follaco

In A Sense of the City, Gala Maria Follaco examines Nagai Kafū’s (1879-1959) literary construction of urban spatialities from late Meiji through the early Shōwa period. She argues that Kafū’s urban critique was based on his awareness of the cultural sedimentation of the cityscape and of the complex relationship that it bore with the historical framework of modern Japan.

With the overall aim to define Kafū’s position within pre-war Japanese literature, Follaco touches upon key issues such as memory, class difference, and language ideologies; draws connections between his sojourn abroad and strategies of “mapping” the city of Tokyo in his literature; and takes into account works previously understudied, including his biography of Washizu Kidō and his photographs.

Alexander Vovin

Alexander Vovin