This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: ny courtiers had already departed from the capital
during the war for safety elsewhere, and others followed after the end of
hostilities. A number of prominent courtiers with special artistic and
scholarly abilities accepted invitations to visit the more stable and prosperous provincial daimyos, who wished to infuse some of the cultural
brilliance of Kyoto into their domainial capitals.
The cultural interests of the courtiers of the late fifteenth century were
overwhelmingly antiquarian. They produced very little literature or art of
note but rather devoted themselves to exegetical studies of the glorious
poetry and prose works of their Heian predecessors, works such as the
Kokinshû, The Tales of Ise, and The Tale of Genji. Ever more covetous of
their role as custodians of the past, they even established secret or arcane
interpretations of these classics which, in their increasingly straitened
financial circumstances, they eagerly sought to purvey for cash.
Like the courtier class in general, the imperial family also suffered
grievously in the age of provincial wars. Emperors, although still theoretically sovereign over the land, had long been mere figures of ceremony at
court. From about the time of the Ònin War they gradually withdrew
from participation in all but the most essential courtly functions, and
often they found themselves embarrassingly unable even to defray the
costs of the latter. The coronation of an emperor of the early sixteenth
century, for example, was postponed for more than twenty years for lack
of funds. The Country Unified 141 Still another group whose influence was greatly reduced by the Ònin
War was the Zen priesthood of the Gozan temples of Kyoto. Along with
the courtiers, the Gozan Zen priests depended heavily on the patronage
of the Ashikaga shogunate, especially the opportunity this patronage gave
them to accompany the cultural and trading missions to Ming China.
With the collapse of the shogunate as a central governing body in the
Ònin War, initiative in the Ming trade was more and more assumed by
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 02/08/2013 for the course ANTH 142 taught by Professor Hans during the Spring '13 term at The University of British Columbia.
- Spring '13