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Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons

Nature, Literature and the Arts

Haruo Shirane    Columbia University, New York, USA    

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abstract

This paper examines the major functions of the representations of nature in traditional Japanese culture with an emphasis on the following: 1) the codification of nature and the seasons in a wide range of Japanese cultural phenomena, beginning with classical poetry (waka) and scroll paintings (emaki), from at least the tenth century onward; 2) the cause, manner, and function of that codification, particularly the social and religious functions; 3) a major historical change in the representation of nature in the late medieval period (fourteenth to sixteenth centuries) to include more farm-village based views of nature and the seasons; and 4) the dynamic of intertwining courtly and popular representations of nature in the early modern period (seventeenth to nineteenth centuries).

Published
Dec. 15, 2017
Accepted
March 27, 2017
Submitted
Oct. 7, 2016
Language
EN
ISBN (PRINT)
978-88-6969-172-0
ISBN (EBOOK)
978-88-6969-171-3

Keywords: Social and talismanic functionsJapanese cultureNatureFour seasons

Copyright: © 2017 Haruo Shirane. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.