Analysis of Japanese Literature ---Okuno Hosomichi

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Argumentation In advance to conclude whether "Oku no Hosomichi" is a representative work of the period, we will see the issue from three different dimensions. They are respectively the technique of writing, the ideas in the poets and the successfulness of representing writer ideas.

The poetry itself included Haiku and verse. For Haiku, the generally used technique was Kigo(seasonal words), a word which has the nature of specific seasons and is used to symbolize the season. In "Oku no Hosomichi", it was written from spring to summer and it can be found in many part of the poem. For example, in Nikko "Aoba"???? is a season word for summer; "wakaba"???? is a season word for spring (Asianinfo, 2005). We know that Basho and Sora visited the Toshogu Shrine on the First Day of the Fourth Month which marks the first day of summer, so in a sense they were right at the transition point between spring and summer, so both season words work.

Likewise, in Ayame(??) in Sendai???), hototogisu(Cuckoo) in Matsumasu (??), Natsugusa(??) in Hiraizumi(???etc. are also the season word indicating summer (Asianinfo, 2005). Thus, it was written with the technique of haiku writing.

The poem has also references to Confucians, Saigyo, ancient Chinese poetry and even the Tale of Heike. All of them had greatly affected the style and pattern of many other poets whose poems were drastically affected. Among those poets, one of them was Basho. Basho adopted and applied the thinking from the references. For instance, Basho took on the view of Tu Fu and Li Po, which can be reflected onto his poems. In Prologue, days and months is an allusion to an essay by the Chinese poet Li Po, a work which was popular in Japan in Basho's day. This particular...