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In Defense of Rules or Creative Innovation?: On the Essence of the Topic Spring Rain in Japanese Haiku
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Japanese. (ISTUD)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8111-7603
2018 (English)In: International Perspectives on Translation, Education and Innovation in Japanese and Korean Societies / [ed] David G. Hebert, Springer, 2018, p. 297-308Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Seasonal topics are important to most modern and premodern Japanese haiku. These are words or short expressions that are related to the season in various ways. One aspect of them that is often discussed in theoretical writing is the hon’i, the “essence” these topics have. It is often seen as a set of specific characteristics associated with a certain topic, which have been established by tradition and knowledge of these essences are regarded as essential for writing haiku and appreciating haiku as a reader.

In this paper I will investigate how the topic “spring rain” has been described in theoretical texts and compare these results with how its essence has been used in a number of poems. I will especially put focus on the works of the eighteenth-century poet Yosa Buson, who wrote an unusually large number of poems on this topic. The discussion will cover earlier interpretations of some of these poems and will show how these both adhere to and turn away from its predefined essences. The essence as such will be shown to be much richer than what is possible to define with a set of rules.

I will argue that the search for essences is not necessarily a process of defining limits and setting up rules, but a search for ever new perspectives that may make a topic come to life; a creative search for how to “catch” a certain phenomenon rather than a process of defining right and wrong according to tradition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2018. p. 297-308
National Category
Specific Literatures
Research subject
Intercultural Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-27492ISBN: 9783319684321 (print)ISBN: 9783319684345 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-27492DiVA, id: diva2:1198731
Available from: 2018-04-18 Created: 2018-04-18 Last updated: 2018-04-19Bibliographically approved

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Jonsson, Herbert

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf