The drinking of tea also found a place in buddhist

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: to its highest level. Of these, Shinkei (1407–75) is well remembered, not only for his superior poems but also because of his critical writings on renga. An active Buddhist priest, Shinkei said much about the essential oneness of pursuing an art, such as poetry, and seeking religious enlightenment. He also spoke, perhaps more feelingly than anyone else in the medieval age, about advancing aesthetics “beyond beauty” into the realm of the cold, withered, and lonely. Here is how he put it in Sasamegoto (Whisperings): When a master poet of the past was asked how poetry should be composed, he replied: “Grasses on the withered moor/The moon at dawn.” This was his way of saying that one should concentrate on things that cannot be expressed with words and should become aware of the sphere of cold and loneliness (hie, sabi). The poems of those who have attained the highest level in the art of poetry are invariably in the cold and lonely style.30 The most famous of all renga masters was Sògi (1421–1502), a Zen priest of the Higashiyama epoch who rose from very humble origins and drew inspiration from his contacts not only with the courtier and samurai aristocrats of Kyoto but also with the myriad folk he encountered on his frequent travels into the provinces. Sògi achieved renown as a traveler similar to that of Saigyò in the early Kamakura period. Although he may not have been as brilliant a composer of pure poetry as Shinkei, he was superb in the art of renga, which required a special skill in artistic cooperation with other poets for the purpose of linking verses together. In 1488 Sògi and two other poets (Shòhaku and Sòchò) met at the shrine of Minase, a village south of Kyoto, where they engaged in what is probably the most famous session of linked verse composition in Japanese his- The Canons of Medieval Taste 124 tory. The opening lines of their hundred-verse poem, now known as “The Three Poets of Minase,” go like this: Sògi: Snow yet remaining The mountain slopes are misty— An evening in spring. Shòhaku: Far away the water flows Past the plum...
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.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online