I heard you had a message for me at pmjs. How are you? Yes, I understand your desire for concrete historical evidence of the Muromachi poets reading Dogen and regret that I don't have it. When I said hunch, I was speaking as a reader of literature. I meant that the cast of mind in Shobogenzo-- definitely the nondualism, perhaps the uji or time-being idea, and then the use of language in such a radical fashion, operating at the edge of meaning and non-meaning, evoking a sense of dizziness, the elevation to ''transcendent" poetry and thought of such images as moon, water and ice, mountains--these are to be found also in the Muromachi poet-monks I mentioned, definitely Shinkei and Shotetsu, and I think at some level undergirds the ideas and attitudes of the Kyogoku-Reizei school.
You could say, of course, that these are general Zen ideas. Yet it seems to me Dogen's writing is much more poetic--that is, imaginative-- than the others and would immediately have appealed, for that reason, to the poets. But was there a direct influence? For instance, Shinkei's ideas are similar to Zeami's in the treatises, and he mentions Zeami and Zenchiku as cultural luminaries in one of his essays, but since the No treatises are said to have been tightly guarded, Shinkei could not have seen them. But I wonder if that was true. He was, after all, the head-priest of Jujushin-in, a shogunal temple, connected to the Shogun Yoshinori (Yoshimitsu's descendant and earlier abbot of Hiei) and was, like others, an avid collector of old manuscripts. He credited another of Zeami's patrons, Nijo Yoshimoto, who is said to have influenced Zeami's employment of Zen concepts in his treatises, with elevating renga, and even tried his hand at adding verses to ones composed by Yoshimoto and Gusai in an earlier day. Shotetsu, Shinkei's waka mentor, was a scribe at Tofukuji, a Zen temple, and as you know, worshipped Teika, ridiculed by some for his "Daruma-sect" poems. Would not Dogen's ideas or texts (whether directly or by hearsay) have circulated in the monk-poets' discourses?
I don't know if Dogen’s Eiheiji was still operating in the 15th c., but some of the renga milieu in the Kanto during the Onin War who participated in Shinkei's and Sogi's sessions were monks from Echizen; his disciple Kenzai was also a Zen follower. Was not Dogen known in the Gozan temples in both Kyoto and Kamakura, the government seat in the East, visited by the Kyoto poets during their exile there? The Uesugi retainer Ota Doshin, master of the Kawagoe stronghold and Shinkei's patron in the Kanto, was also a Zen follower and had a Zen monk adviser. Again, would not Mount Hiei, where Shinkei trained, have had Dogen's works, since he trained there as well? My point is that the Muromachi intellectual/poetic milieu was quite monkish; if they were reading Makashikan on Hiei and Higashiyama and the Gozan temples, why not Shobogenzo? I suppose one could write a monograph on Shobo genzo and medieval poetry, just on the strength of the use of language and the kokoro evoked by it. But it might be wiser to do some archival research on the location and history of the Dogen manuscripts and their circulation and/or transmission first.
Re a review of ET by ''outsiders,'' I don't know of any, unless you mean something like the Journal of Japanese Religions? Keller Kimbrough, you know, did one there, but he's a literature person too. I also saw the piece on H-Net Reviews by a Victor J. Forte, who is in Buddhism, I believe. Please read it and tell me what you think after finishing ET. I was disappointed that Forte apparently did not think the links with deconstruction and such Western contemporary “philosophy” necessary, since it was Derrida's writing that showed me that the tsukeku is essentially a deconstruction of the maeku, and it was phenomenology's concept of horizons that led me to raise the issues about what understanding and linking up to the maeku means. True, I could have written more chapters elaborating on the philosophical issues per se but to me, it was their application to a theoretical analysis of the poetics of linking that was important, and he missed all that. I doubt I could have theorized the link, renga’s essential event, without the insights from Derridean differance. Without it, we are left with an inadequate grasp of the genre or at least, a wholly inadequate, conventional understanding. On the other hand, this is the only review that noted the book's concern with an ethics of nondualism and took it seriously. I do hope the Buddhists also take Murmured Conversations seriously, because there's a lot there that needs to be the object of more research regarding Buddhist thinking and medieval cultural practices, not least how they were understood conceptually. Simply Haiku, a website for poets of that form, also reviewed the books briefly; they were also noted in someone's blog; the author told me he sent MC to the poet Gary Snyder, who was moved by it, which is intriguing. There too it must be the Buddhist connection.
Be that as it may, I think so far Keller’s review and the Watanabe piece in Japanese Language and Literature are those that have taken a just measure of the book. I like Forte's too, except for the inexplicable miss.
Well, you certainly got me started on this and that and the other. Thanks for reading ET, even if it’s only to put you to sleep!
P.S. That remark by your sensei sounds profound. It's a case of filtering Dogen through Heidegger in order to understand him—the renga link all over again. It took years of hard reading and thinking to make those links and openings to the West. Even if I had reconstructed a trail to each one, would it have led to that place? Which reminds me, I received last summer the first ever Danish translation of Sein und Zeit (Vaeren og Tid, 2007). Hoping it will read clearer in Danish (my German being rusty) than English. Tell me whether or not you noticed that translation (trans-formation) is one of the most important analogues for linking in ET. A student in Comp Lit responded most to that idea.
From: pm...@googlegroups.com [pm...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Lewis Cook [lc...@earthlink.net]
Sent: Saturday, December 18, 2010 2:49 PM
Subject: Re: [PMJS] New publication of Japanese thought
Just an aside: I'm also fascinated by Dogen's prose, though I'd rather call it impassible (or aporetic, deliberately so) than impossible.
(My Japanese professor of _Genji_ - the venerable Nomura Seiichi - once assured me that Dogen was more intelligible in English translation than in Japanese, largely, so he suggested, because the various translators were thinking through translations of Heidegger, in effect).
I am (or wish I could be) sympathetic with your hunch about Dogen's influence on Shotetsu, Sogi, et al. This makes good sense, but I'd really like to see evidence that they could have had access to the texts. Were they disseminated that far afield, at the time?
Allow me to append a quasi-personal query: I've recently been immersed in _Emptiness and Temporality_, my favorite pillow book for now. Am curious to know whether any reviews have been published by 'outsiders'.
On Dec 18, 2010, at 1:18 PM, Ramirez-Christensen, E wrote:
> Hi, Rein,
> Thanks for sharing this source. I'm fascinated by Dogen. I assign some of his work (in translation) for one of my premodern literature/culture courses and have a hunch that his intellectual influence, whether directly or indirectly, was more widespread than commonly thought. I feel this in the Muromachi Zen poet-monk milieu of Shotetsu, Shinkei, Sogi, Kenzai, etc. The prose is impossible, of course, and requires thinking both inside and outside a frame simultaneously. I look forward to finding out what the modern academics think; I did read Nishitani many years ago . . . .
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It's stylish in the west to abjure plain old soy sauce for "tamari." Some do this for a good reason: they're gluten-intolerant and tamari is gluten-free. But others believe that tamari is the "real" Japanese word and thing, and that "soy sauce" is something Chinese (never mind that it's made by Kikkoman, who also manufacture "tamari soy sauce"). Wikipedia says that shooyu and tamari can be used interchangeably, that the latter is more common in the Chuubu region, and that it's also closer to the "original" version from China than today's commonly-used product, whether usukuchi or kokuchi. My problem is that I don't recall hearing the word tamari used in Japan, except perhaps by health-food proponents who also value "macrobiotic" brown rice etc. I long ago learned to look clever in sushiya by asking for "o-murasaki." Now don't get me wrong - I adore haigamai and real home-made takuan. But is the word tamari more commonly used than I know?
University of Rochester
Koji ruien, Inshokubu, pp. 840-849 has a section on soy sauce and
cites Gareki zakkou which takes tamari as an incorrect reading for
I just looked through Ryori Monogatari (1643). Although there is a
recipe for "Masaki Shoyu" in Chapter 20, I couldn't find a reference
to it in the recipes--they all mention simply "tamari", which is not
otherwise described. This may be indicative, I would think, of
"shoyu" being a special case of tamari, initially. Today, most things
seem to treat them as separate--then again, it may be the kind of
distinction only worried about by those with a culinary bent and not
by the average person, I don't know.
On another subject, while I can't abide the "processed seafood product" kamaboko, I do enjoy nattou, another soybean product. Nattou is attested in the mid-eleventh century, and its bacillus has apparently been found at Yayoi sites. There is even a "nattou no hi" on 7/10. Kamaboko is attested a bit later as having been served on skewers at a feast celebrating the change of residence of Fujiwara no Tadazane in 1115, from which date the official trade association has declared 11/15 to be Kamaboko no hi.
It used to be said that when a westerner began to crave nattou it was time to go home. The same might be said for fu-ru (doufu-ru, fermented soy milk) in China.
Sorry to natto on, I shall say no more.
University of Rochester
Happy New Year.
Does anyone know of English translations of major Bunraku works, such as Shinju Ten-no Amijima?
|Play Title:||The Love Suicides at Amijima / Shinjū ten no Amijima / 心中天網島|
|Bibliography:||Major Plays of Chikamatsu, translated by Donald Keene, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1961); Hironaga, Shūzaburō, The Bunraku Handbook (Tokyo: Maison des Arts, 1976); Kokuritsu Gekijō jōen shiryōshū, edited by Kokuritsu Gekijō Geinō Chōsashitsu, vol. 224, February 1984; Bunraku October 1986 Performance Program|
Eric C. Rath
Department of History
University of Kansas
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Sent: Sun 1/2/2011 5:54 AM
To: Abridged Recipients
Subject: [PMJS] Abridged summary of pm...@googlegroups.com - 2 Messages in 1 Topic
Today's Topic Summary
- shooyu v. tamari [2 Updates]
Topic: shooyu v. tamari
---------- 1 of 2 ----------
From: JL Badgley <tats...@gmail.com>
Date: Jan 01 10:12PM +0700
Of possible interest to the topic, though not immediately relevant to
I just looked through Ryori Monogatari (1643). Although there is a
recipe for "Masaki Shoyu" in Chapter 20, I
---------- 2 of 2 ----------
From: David Pollack <david....@rochester.edu>
Date: Jan 01 10:24AM -0500
Thanks to everyone for the enlightening discussion of tamari. I gather that I might have heard the word more often, if at all, had I lived in Kansai or perhaps even some other less Tokyocentric