Kakinomoto no Hitomaro (fl. ca. 690) is generally regarded as one of the pre-eminent poets of premodern Japan. While most existing scholarship on Hitomaro is concerned with his poetry, this study foregrounds the process of his reception and canonization as a deity of Japanese poetry. Building on new interest in issues of canon formation in premodern Japanese literature, this book traces the reception history of Hitomaro from its earliest beginnings to the early modern period, documenting and analysing the phases of the process through which Hitomaro was transformed from an admired poet to a poetic deity. The result is a new perspective on a familiar literary figure through his placement within the broader context of Japanese poetic culture.
Anne Commons received her Ph.D. in premodern Japanese literature from Columbia University in 2003 and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Alberta. Her research interests include premodern Japanese poetry and poetic criticism.
Table of contents
Chapter 1: Hitomaro and the
Man’yôshû: The Birth of a Legend
Chapter 2: Hitomaro in Heian Texts: A Sage of Poetry
Chapter 3: Worshiping Hitomaro: From Text to Image
Chapter 4: Medieval Reception: Poetic Deities in the Secret Commentaries
Chapter 5: Hitomaro in the Early Modern Period: Poetic Icon and Popular Deity
Scholars and students of premodern Japanese literature and religion, particularly those interested in Japanese poetry, in canon formation in premodern Japan, and in the intersection of Japanese literature and religion.