AUTUMN FIELDS. Akita haiku to the world. (a bilingual anthology) translated, edited and compiled by Alexander Dolin in collaboration with Hidenori Hiruta.
The book presents the final results of a unique project of transnational cultural cooperation launched by the Institute of Asian Studies and Regional Cooperation at Akita International University. The bilingual anthology provided with a comprehensive introductory article and academic commentary includes haiku by the leading poets from the most representative Akita haiku assocations along with the works by foreign participants from over 20 countries, Compilation, editing, intoductory article, translation from the Japanese into English and academic commentary by Alexander Dolin (with technical assistance of Dr. Hidenori Hiruta).
The book constitutes the third part of a unique research project presenting to the Western scholars the history of Japanese poetry in the New and Modern times - from the second half of the XIX c. through the end of the XX c.. The book analyzes a brode scope of social and cultural problems scrutinizing the activity of the leading poetic associations and groupings. Literary portraits of the leading poets give a panoramic view of the age.
The general introduction to the book places the traditional genres of Japanese poetry in the national and global context by defining the typical features of tanka and haiku as a specific aesthetic system. The overview of the medieval tanka poetry since the eighth century through the first half of the nineteenth century gives the reader a general idea of the principal poetic and aesthetic concepts, to which later authors would constantly refer.
The new tanka and haiku poetry, which emerged after the Meiji Restoration was the direct successor to the classical medieval schools, transformed and renovated in the age of modernization. Since the end of the nineteenth century, tanka and haiku authors developed a novel worldview by over- coming the restrictions and regulations of the rigid poetic canon.
The pioneers of the new tanka and haiku schools, in their quest for a creative national identity, opposed the overwhel- ming flow of Western culture and instead chose to revitalize the traditional poetics, albeit in a modified form, for which they were nonetheless severely criticized by the shintaishi and kindaishi poets.
The beginning of the romantic revival in tanka was heralded by Yosano Tekkan’s literary criticism and his poetic manifesto. Tekkan was the first tanka poet of the new times who instilled in his verse civil feelings, military vigor, and masculine passion. As a response both to Tekkan’s challenge and to the European decadent trend of the fin de siècle period, there followed the outburst of erotic lyrical confessions by Yosano Akiko. Her work represents a wonderful fusion of the French Symbolist and British Pre-Raphaelite poetics projected onto Japanese tanka. The Myojo journal led by Tekkan and Akiko remained for many years the most significant literary hub in the country.
Another great reformer, Masaoka Shiki, regarded himself and his school mostly within the mainstream of tradition and considered renovation of the classic genres possible only on a conventional basis, not going to any extremes. His major shasei (“reflection of nature”) concept was derived from medieval Chinese aesthetics and had a dramatic impact on both tanka and haiku poetry of the twentieth century. Shiki propagated “objective realism,” focusing first on haiku and then applying the same principles to tanka.
Ito Sachio became the official successor of Shiki and widely promoted rgw shasei theory in his journal Ashibi. The works by Shimagi Akahiko, Nagatsuka Takashi, Koizumi Chikashi, Naka- mura Kenkichi, and other followers of Shiki who rallied around the Araragi poetic journal, eventually gained for the shasei trend poets a dominant position in the world of tanka. Their landscape poetry and “daily routine” sketches were marked by a profound comprehension of the harmony of nature. The poetic genius of Saito Mokichi, with his sharp psychological vision and original interpretation of shasei theory, remained unrivaled in modern Japan.
Some poets of the shasei trend like Tsuchiya Bunmei, Shaku Choku, and Aizu Yaichi studied early medieval art and ancient Japanese poetic monuments in search of new ways.
Meanwhile, Yoshii Isamu, Wakayama Bokusui, Kubota Utsu- bo, and Maeda Yugure chose another path and developed a refined trend of Romanticist and “Naturalist” poetry focused on human sentiment in the current of mundane metamorphoses. They expanded the boundaries of verse and enriched tanka with impressive new imagery. Their poetic collections shaped another colorful facet of the tanka world in the first half of the twentieth century.
The Symbolist spirit represented so brilliantly by Kitahara Hakushu in his kindaishi poetry was also projected onto his early tanka, which were marked by eloquent mannerism with a strong touch of exoticism. However, the evolution of aesthetic concepts later made Hakushu return to traditional values. Thus, his poems composed in the 1930s present a typical Zen vision of the universe.
A fusion of realistic worldview with expressionist techniques makes the poetry by Sasaki Nobutsuna, Kawada Jun,and Kino- shita Rigen the most fascinating product of the new tanka diction.
The poetic concept put forward by Ishikawa Takuboku and Toki Aika is known as the “Life School.” The talent of Takuboku elevated the most prosaic topics taken from daily life to the level of lyrical revelation. His successors were less gifted and eventually the social trend in tanka, which had emerged from the legacy of Takuboku, ended with extremist proletarian propaganda slogans.
In the postwar period the tanka revival contributed greatly to the formation of the new national identity of the Japanese. Kondo Yoshimi, Miya Shuji, Sato Sataro, Saito Fumi, Kimata Osamu, and many other masters of tanka poetry paved the way for the new generations.
The triumph of Tawara Machi, whose tanka collection became the number one bestseller of the twentieth century, proves that the old classic genre is still able to attract the young, overcoming the dogmatic regulations and forging a totally new stylistics.
The introductory chapter to Part II of the book gives a broad overview of the haiku world since the middle of seventeenth century and introduces the reader to the great haijin of the Edo period— Basho, Buson, Issa, et al. Their works laid the foundation of classic haiku and therefore strongly influenced the preferences of the poets after the Meiji Restoration.
New haiku were initiated by the endeavors of Masaoka Shiki, who dared to doubt the authority of Basho, opposing to his poetics the brighter style of Buson. Shiki elaborated and applied to haiku his shasei concept based on the principle of objective realism, which later developed into the most popular poetic theory of the twentieth century and founded a school, which soon would become the mainstream haiku trend in Japan.
After the death of Shiki, his major disciples followed two different paths. Kawahigashi Hekigoto treated shasei theory mostly as a call for further reforms. His concept of the “new trend” in haiku, that is, short verse not bound by any regulations and restrictions, found many adherents. Nagatsuka Ippekiro, Ogiwara Seisensui, Ozaki Hosai, and many other poets were inspired by the idea of non-orthodox haiku. The climax of this movement can be traced in the beautiful and deeply philosophical Zen haiku of Taneda Santoka.
Meanwhile, Takahama Kyoshi remained faithful to the legacy of Shiki and transformed the initial shasei doctrine into a coherent aesthetic teaching. Kyoshi remained for many decades the leader of the “Hototogisu” group and gave his blessing to such renowned poets as Murakami Kijo, Iida Dakotsu, Hara Sekitei, Maeda Fura, and Hino Sojo.
The disciples of Kyoshi who would not support the “flowers and birds” poetics of the old master formed a new society around the old Ashibi journal under the leadership of Mizuhara Shuoshi. The pure and transparent lyricism of Yamaguchi Seishi and Hashimoto Takako can be numbered among the most successful poets of this school.
Another trend in haiku was marked by a powerful humanist drive, which can be regarded as an easily recognizable trait of the poetry of Nakamura Kusatao, Kato Shuson, and Ishida Hakyo. These haiku poets, who became known in the pre-war period as members of “The Search for the Human” school, also shaped the postwar haiku world, instilling in it a vital humanist component. The poets of this trend played a crucial role in the revival of Japanese culture, opening to their readers a window to eternal ethical values and giving them hope in the abyss of pain and humiliation. They brought to life the new generations of authors in Japan and also fostered interest in modern haiku in the West.
Sustaining the so-called ‘international standard’ is a challenging necessity nowadays. In modern dynamic world it is absolutely inappropriate to remain static and stick only to internal regulations. One of the most important things today is to integrate into a global system of education, which gives one a splendid opportunity to be involved in modern processes in order to be highly competitive on the world market. Speaking several foreign languages, i.e. being bilingual, becomes vitally important, as these languages are keys to open the doors to success and fame. English claims to be the language of the universe, the language which is widely spoken in the whole world. The exam which tests the level of English language competence is IELTS - a versatile, internationally accepted leader among various language testing systems. This exam allows each person, especially a young professional, to adapt to a new academic and professional environment in our modern globalized hi-tech world. Unfortunately, in Russia the system of checking knowledge of foreign languages, our internal method of evaluation, leaves much to be desired, being quite self-centered and input-based, thus not allowing the students to integrate into a foreign educational environment. Making international exams a compulsory final examination in Russian universities, as it is already done in our leading institutions (Higher School of Economics for example), will allow local students to continue studies abroad and, with the knowledge and skills obtained, improve our internal system of quality control.
Selected haiku by one of the best disciples of Masaoka Shiki and the only classical poet from Akita.
The article compares Russian haiku poetry of the 21st century to the Japanese haiku tradition and the earliest and most important translations of this poetry in Russian.
The book, being the second part of the fundamental History of New Japanese Poetry, examines the developments in the realm of kindaishi and gendaishi verse of the Meiji – Taisho– early Showa period. The names of the great bards like Takamura Kotaro and Hagiwara Sakutaro, Nakano Shigeharu and Oguma Hideo, Murano Shiro and Nishiwaki Junzaburo , Miyoshi Tatsuji and Kaneko Mitsuharu are introduced along with the names of minor Japanese classics of the time. The concepts of the leading kindaishi and gendaishi schools analyzed in the monograph show the closest interaction of the Japanese authors with their counterparts in the West, which has resulted in the creative fusion of the indigenous and borrowed poetic traditions.The book is richly illustrated with portraits of the poets and lithographs by early modern artists.
The article considers the Views of L. N. Tolstoy not only as a representative, but also as a accomplisher of the Enlightenment. A comparison of his philosophy with the ideas of Spinoza and Diderot made it possible to clarify some aspects of the transition to the unique Tolstoy’s religious and philosophical doctrine. The comparison of General and specific features of the three philosophers was subjected to a special analysis. Special attention is paid to the way of thinking, the relation to science and the specifics of the worldview by Tolstoy and Diderot. An important aspect is researched the contradiction between the way of thinking and the way of life of the three philosophers.
Tolstoy's transition from rational perception of life to its religious and existential bases is shown. Tolstoy gradually moves away from the idea of a natural man to the idea of a man, who living the commandments of Christ. Starting from the educational worldview, Tolstoy ended by creation of religious and philosophical doctrine, which were relevant for the 20th century.
This important new book offers the first full-length interpretation of the thought of Martin Heidegger with respect to irony. In a radical reading of Heidegger's major works (from Being and Time through the ‘Rector's Address' and the ‘Letter on Humanism' to ‘The Origin of the Work of Art' and the Spiegel interview), Andrew Haas does not claim that Heidegger is simply being ironic. Rather he argues that Heidegger's writings make such an interpretation possible - perhaps even necessary.
Heidegger begins Being and Time with a quote from Plato, a thinker famous for his insistence upon Socratic irony. The Irony of Heidegger takes seriously the apparently curious decision to introduce the threat of irony even as philosophy begins in earnest to raise the question of the meaning of being. Through a detailed and thorough reading of Heidegger's major texts and the fundamental questions they raise, Haas reveals that one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century can be read with as much irony as earnestness. The Irony of Heidegger attempts to show that the essence of this irony lies in uncertainty, and that the entire project of onto-heno-chrono-phenomenology, therefore needs to be called into question.
The article is concerned with the notions of technology in essays of Ernst and Friedrich Georg Jünger. The special problem of the connection between technology and freedom is discussed in the broader context of the criticism of culture and technocracy discussion in the German intellectual history of the first half of the 20th century.