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to various objects, places and actions, but which in most cases by the process of phonetic decay, by being used in connection with the expressions having but a very distant affinity to the expressions they originally served to define," etc, "have become almost unrecognisable and practically devoid of meaning." "They are prefixed to other words merely for the sake of euphony. Almost every word of note has some Pillow-word.' Dr. W. G. Aston in his

admirable work on "Japanese Literature" names “Pillow-words" "stock conventional epithets," something after the fashion of Homer's 'swift-footed' Achilles, or 'many-fountained' Ida." They are "survivals from a very archaic stage of the language."

The special" Pillow-words," "Introductions" or "Prefaces" used in the Hyakunin-isshu will properly be noticed as they occur in the following pages. Here, by way of illustration of what has been said, it will suffice to note the "first part" of the Third Song of the collection. This tanka contains the "Pillow-word," ashibiki no, "footdrawing" associated with yama dori, "mountain pheasant." The first part of the tanka is a "Preface" for the sentiment that follows. Ashibiki no yama dori no o no shidari o no, is literally, "the downward curving feathers of the foot-drawing mountain-pheasant;" a phrase practically meaningless as here used, except as it may be a combination of sound and thought that tends to intensify and to fix the dreary plaint of the second "part" of the tanka, which tells of the loneliness of the long, long night.

Another very common special device in Japanese poetry is the use of the pun, or of kenyogen, a word subjected to two definitions, to convey the writer's meaning. This interpretation is thereby often accomplished gracefully and with special clearness. At times the kenyōgen occasions most agreeable intellectual surprises. In the Tenth tanka, for example, the poet helps along his meaning quite pleasantly with play upon the word-sound, "Ōsaka," which means, as thus written," Great Hill," or "Slope," and, when written "Ausaka," "Hill of Meeting." The same fact is true of like words in many others of the songs. A third word-play of little worth, and considerably

wanting in dignity to Western literary judgment, is the use of so-called "Pivot-words." These words serve to complete one thought and to begin another, neither having logical connection with the other. As such words occur they will be explained in the notes that follow. Here, this English sentence may serve to illustrate how a "Pivotword" works:-"As the chariot approached, I said to the driver, Alight!' (a light) that guides our footsteps through the dark ways." The command " Alight!" to "descend" has the same sound as the words, "a light," that "guides;" but between the two there is no logical connection. Yet, while the word closes the sentence of command, it serves, also, to open the descriptive passage that follows. Speaking of these and other word-plays special to Japanese serious poetry, Professor Chamberlain remarks:-"There is nothing in the nature of things constraining us to associate plays upon words with the ridiculous. Each literature must be a law unto itself."

The subject-matter, or content, of the poetry of the Japanese, to characterize it generally, is simple and, ordinarily, serene emotion in reference to persons, or to objects in nature. Still broadly characterizing it,—it is, in general quality of expression, in a high degree, refined, dainty, elegant and subdued. It is meditative, not didactive. It is suggestive and impressionist, like Japanese painting. It is given over to small fancies wrought under the lyric impulse. Poetic imagination, as known in the West, has no place in Japanese verse. There never could have been a Dante, Milton, Shelley, Wordsworth or Browning under Japanese poetic limitations. Poetry is not, in Japan, a means chosen for sounding and recording the depths of profound spiritual experience. It has never been, and could not be, the vehicle of an epic.

Yoshida Kenko, in Fourteenth Century, wrote in his delightful reveries, called "Weeds of Idleness" (Tsure-zure gusa);"Japanese poetry is especially charming. Even the toil of an awkward peasant or of a woodman, expressed in poetic form, delights the mind. The name of the terrible wild boar, also, when styled 'fusui no toko' sounds elegant." This passage seems to disclose the

Japanese poetic "charm," an effect produced by the embodiment of simple fancies in brief, refined speech.

Ki no Tsurayuki, long before Kenkō's time, wrote in his preface to the Kokinshu,-"Poetry began when heaven and earth were created. In the age of the swift gods it would seem that as yet there was no established metre. Their poetry was artless in form and hard of comprehension. It was in the age of man that Susano-o made the first poetry of thirty and one syllables. And so, by the vain multiplication of our thoughts and language we came to express our love for flowers, our envy of birds, our emotion at the sight of the hazes which usher in the spring, or our grief at beholding the dew. As a distant journey is begun by our first footsteps and goes on for months and years; as a high mountain has its beginning in the dust of its base and at length arises aloft and extends across the sky like the clouds of heaven, so gradual must have been the rise of poetry." Tsurayuki thus also discloses the Japanese poetic ideal,-the commonest notions in the form of simple but refined verse as patterned for man by a god in the far past. In Tsurayuki's catalogue of the themes which through poetic expression had "soothed the hearts of the Emperors and the great men of Japan in bygone days," he does not anywhere carry the reader beyond such things as, joy in spring flowers, and in autumn moons, and their like; beyond love, eternal as Mount Fuji's smoke, or yearning like a cricket's cry, and grief made deeper by flowers shed from their stalks in the spring, or leaves falling in autumn.

All his long list of themes lies on the same level of thought and feeling. "Poetry," he said, "drew its metaphors from the waves and the fir-clad mountains, or the spring of water in the midst of the moor. Poets gazed on the under leaves of the autumn lespedeza, or counted the times a snipe preens its feathers at dawn, or compared mankind to a joint of bamboo floating down a stream, or expressed their disgust with the world by the simile of the river Yoshino, or heard that the smoke no longer rises from the Mount Fuji." Beyond these things Japanese poetry does not go. It remains where, according to Western ideals

and aims; poetry is but little advanced from the place of its beginnings, or where its highest excellence consists in merely the refinement of rudimentary form and content.

In carrying on our study, it is desirable that we should have in mind, further, somewhat the circle of men and women in which devotion to poetic composition was dominant, and also the social environment of the writers.

The Hyakunin-isshu is a collection of verse whose parts date from the latter part of the Seventh to the beginning of the Thirteenth Centuries. Most of the songs were written in the Ninth and Tenth Centuries. Throughout most of the period covered by this anthology, the production of poetry was one of the chief pastimes of the Imperial Court and of the members of the higher aristocracy. This fact, one readily sees, explains much that is characteristic of the compositions. Poetry was a polite accomplishment, and it varied with the varying fortunes of its exalted source. Before the Eighth Century, that is, "the age of Nara," the Imperial Capital was changed almost as often as the Emperors were changed. Court-life thus was consequently comparatively barren and commonplace. Pomp and grandeur were almost unknown, and luxury did not tempt to indolence and vice. At Nara, however, through the larger part of the Eighth Century, seven Emperors reigned in succession; and on account of a growing intercourse with China court-life then became increasingly ceremonious and ornate.

Towards the end of the Eighth Century, under the Emperor Kwammu, the site of Kyōto was chosen for the Imperial capital. Then the Imperial residence became fixed, to remain unchanged for eleven hundred years. At that time, too, and for the next four hundred years, the career of the Japanese aristocracy was one of increasing wealth and luxury. The comparatively unpolished, frugal and industrious habits of the Nara age by degrees disappeared. The ruling classes entered upon a career of high culture, refinement and elegance of life, that passed, however, in the end into an excess of luxury, debilitating effeminacy and dissipation. It was during the best part of these memorable centuries that Japanese

literature, as belles-letters, culminated, leaving to aftertimes, even to the to the present day, models for pure Japanese diction. The court nobles of the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries had abundant leisure for the culture of letters. They devoted their time to that, and to the pursuit of whatever other refined or luxurious pleasures imagination could devise. For instance, among the many notable intellectual dissipations of the age were re-unions at daybreak among the spring flowers, and boat rides during autumnal moon-lighted nights, by aristocratic devotees of music and verse, who vied with one another in exhibits of their skill with these arts. Naribira (No. 7), it is said, "the celebrated beau and dilettante of the times of the Emperors Montoku and Seiwa, was a typical specimen of these devotees of refinement and sensuous gratification." In much of the verse of this "Century of Song," the sentimentality, the refinement and the laxity of morals of the pleasure-loving courtiers and aristocrats of the latter half of the Heian age (8001186 A.D.) are exhibited. The poems are, in good part, an instructive comment on the life of the high classes of the times.

The treatment of the Hyakunin-isshu offered in these pages is to be accepted as a literary rather than as a scholastic work. Here, results rather than processes have been given. Only such technical exegetical notes as are needed to make exceptionally obscure words and passages more intelligible, have been attached to the translations. The translations themselves are, as strictly as is possible for English renderings, made literal, both in prose and in metrical form. The metrical renderings have been attempted as exact reproductions of the original measures of the tanka, and, where possible with fidelity to literalness, have been clothed in poetic terms. Some biographical information, and some illustrative comments upon the writer's meanings have been attached to each poem. These last named notes, it is hoped, will be found helpful and of special interest to readers generally. An attempt has also been made to give appropriate titles to the metrical translations.

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