That sounds like interesting times!
I think this is a good idea too.
I’m happy to play it by ear a la this for the thread creation.
I’m also happy with the poll idea.
I read the introduction and now I wish I had bought a set of cards to go with it.
Lock down activity: make your own custom karuta deck.
And, of course, just now (well, 3 hours ago) a billion emergencies happened at once at work. I’m still swamped, and there’s no sign it’s going to get better in the next few hours so… I don’t know when I’ll be able to post the starting post. Sorry for the delay.
Well, I finished some things, so let’s celebrate that with a poll for the first week!
Feel free to post your findings as you go (cf this post, I guess?). We (?) will then compile them in the first post at the end of the week.
I would like to research…
- 1 秋の田の かりほの庵の 苫をあらみ わが衣手は 露にぬれつつ （天智天皇）
- 2 春過ぎて 夏来にけらし 白妙の 衣ほすてふ 天の香具山 （持統天皇）
- 3 あしびきの 山鳥の尾の しだり尾の ながながし夜を ひとりかも寝む （柿本人麻呂）
- 4 田子の浦に うち出でてみれば 白妙の 富士の高嶺に 雪は降りつつ （山部赤人）
- 5 奥山に 紅葉踏みわけ 鳴く鹿の 声きく時ぞ 秋は悲しき （猿丸大夫）
- I’m only here for the discussion, I’m not researching anything.
- I’m only here.
There, I already tricked you into reading them. Now go self-organize!
I don’t think I am curious enough to do any in depth research. I’ll just read the book as is
Yay, thanks for the poll!
BTW is it possible to let everybody see the poll results before voting? Because I for one would like to pick a poem that is not covered yet (or not covered as much), so that we can eventually research them all, and that would be easier that way… Problem solved!
Can’t you just look at the results before voting, or vote and then adjust your vote accordingly?
The poll has an option “Results: Always visible” but I don’t know if that is what I’m looking for here.
Of course your solutions are good workarounds, but if I can go without workaround, I’d always prefer that XD
Edit: Oh, now I see. It works via the button “Show Results” hehe. That was too easy for me
I think the target audience of this book club (kindof?) is significantly more advanced than me, so I will consider reading the poems (with a lot of looking up words) to be a success for my skill level. Also I’m planning to participate in レンタルお兄さん AB々C, which will be more appropriate to my skill level, and will have to give that precedence even though I’m quite interested in the content here.
I’m happy to do the research for the Yamabe Akahito poem. Unless someone desperately wants it and I’ll concede it to them.
I actually read the first two already and it’s a little bit easier than I first anticipated.
I guess (hope? ) that we will have more people than poems, so it should not be an issue if several people want to research the same poem (as long as we get them all covered). Several people could post their findings individually or could work together even.
2 春過ぎて 夏来にけらし 白妙の 衣はすてふ 天の香具山（持統天皇）
I found some neat info on the literary significance of Ama-no-Kaguyama:
First of all, a quick introduction to the mountain: it is part of the “Yamamoto Sanzan” (大和三山), three mountains of particular importance to the ancient Japanese state of Yamamoto, which refers to Japan from its earliest beginnings and through the Asuka period at the end of which Empress Jitou reigned. The first emperor is said to have had his palace as well as place of burial on another of the three mountains, Unebi, and acc. to Wikipedia there is a legend in which he used soil from Mt. Ama-no-Kaguyama as part of a ritual to subdue some bandits. The whole area is designated a “Place of Scenic Beauty” by the government, and according to Google maps it is a 30 minute walk from where Empress Jitou moved the capital to.
This mountain seems to be associated with the practice of Kunimi/国見/realm viewing, in which one climbs a mountain to survey one’s country, and often also to extol it’s praise in song or verse. The second poem of the Manyoshu (a very famous collection of Japanese poetry from the Nara period) is such a poem, for which Ama-no-Kaguyama is the poet’s mountain of choice (translation here: https://www.japanpitt.pitt.edu/essays-and-articles/culture/poetry-and-power-ancient-japan?page=2). This seems to be an important example of Kunimi poetry, since I found several websites in English using it as an example while trying to research the practice itself. Since Emperor Jomei, the author of MYS 1:2, was Empress Jitou’s predecessor, I think the odds are decent she would have been familiar with the earlier poem.
I think it’s really cool to think of this poem as a kind of Kunimini as well, though perhaps a little less majestic and a little more domestic. If so, perhaps it is can function as a balance for Jitou herself and her turbulent reign, as described in the little 解説, as well as a wider evaluation of her time as a monarch? The changing of seasons could maybe be a metaphor for the big political changes in her reign too. She moved the capital and I’ve found several websites calling Jitou the woman who made Japan, and she achieved a lot of firsts. Changing seasons are sort of a staple of Japanese poetry and life, and societies are always changing, but I think the main support for such an interpretation still has some merit with the connection between the mountain in question and Yamamoto statehood/identity.
I think the main issue with the Kunimi interpretation is that this poem doesn’t have the direct description of climbing the mountain and looking that the Jomei poem does…perhaps I’m influenced by how she’s looking out the window in the comic in our book. Still, I think it’s a very cool thought that I was very excited to share.
This poem (百人一首#2) also seems to appear in the Manyoshu as poem 28. I feel cool having now read a poem from that collection.
Also, for those of you who like ukiyo-e, Hokusai, famous for the Great Wave off Kanagawa, did illustrations for a 27 of the 100 poems we’re looking at. Here’s the one for this poem: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/56967
The mental image I get from this poem is closer to that of the manga in our present book than what Hokusai presents (probably because I say the former first lol).
Wowee that’s a wall of text. Should I be making them shorter?
Nope, that’s perfect! If you are worried about the “scrollability” of the thread, you can put it under a detail section.
Like this. Cogwheel -> hide details
Thank you! I will aim to design my next long post with that sort of organization.
I think that’s an interesting thing to point out. Maybe I’m reading too much into it but I got the vibe when I read it that she was observing others living life rather than experiencing it herself.
Maybe instead of viewing this poem as a type of Kunimini it could be viewed as its opposite.
What would you describe its opposite as? Being the land observing its people?
Not a literal opposite haha.
Rather than going up the mountain and observing her country she’s observing her country going up the mountain.