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Masaoka Shiki Selected Poems

ISBN-10: 023111091X

ISBN-13: 9780231110914

Edition: 1997

Authors: Masaoka Shiki, Burton Watson, Shiki Masaoka

List price: $30.00
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Description:

Here are graceful and timeless poems by one of Japan's greatest modern writers, rendered by a master translator. Masaoka Shiki (1867--1902) is credited with modernizing Japan's two traditional verse forms, haiku and tanka. Born at a time of social and cultural change in Japan, Shiki welcomed the new influences from the West and responded to them by reinvigorating the native haiku and tanka forms. He freed them from outdated conventions, made them viable for artistic expression in modern Japan, and paved the way for the haiku to become one of his nation's most influential cultural exports. Burton Watson's excellent introduction explores the course of Shiki's life: his poverty-stricken childhood, his early love for literature, his education, and his work as a haiku editor for the newspaper Nippon, and as a correspondent during the Sino-Japanese war. Watson details Shiki's long struggle with tuberculosis and its poignant expression in his poetry. Confined to bed for months before his death, Shiki continued to devote his energies to literary pursuits: writing poems and critical essays, and joining with friends and followers who gathered in his sickroom to discuss literature. He died a few weeks before his thirty-fifth birthday. These poems -- more than a hundred haiku, several tanka, and three kanshi -- are arranged chronologically within each genre, revealing the development of Shiki's art and the seamless way in which he wove his life and illness into his poetry.
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Book details

List price: $30.00
Copyright year: 1997
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 4/7/1998
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 136
Size: 5.50" wide x 9.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

Burton Watson, award-winning translator of Chinese and Japanese literature and poetry, was born in New Rochelle, New York in 1925. When he was 17 years old, he dropped out of high school and joined the Navy. He experienced Japan through his weekly shore leaves while stationed at Yokosuka Harbor in 1945. Consequently, Watson attended Columbia University and majored in Chinese and Japanese studies. In 1951, he received a Ford Foundation Overseas Fellow and returned to Kyoto. Watson received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1956. He has taught English at Doshisha University in Kyoto, and Chinese at Stanford and Columbia. Columbia University's Translation Center awarded Watson the Gold Medal Award in 1979. Watson also won the PEN Translation Prize in 1981 for his translation of Hiroaki Sato of From the Country of Eight Islands: An Anthology of Japanese Poetry. He won this award again in 1995 for Selected Poems of Su Tung-p'o. Watson moved to Japan in 1973, where he currently resides.