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The deep music of tradition in the works of Kōda Rohan Cleary, Richard James 1982

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THE DEEP MUSIC OF TRADITION IN THE WORKS OF KODA ROHAN by RICHARD JAMES CLEARY B.A., Dartmouth College, 1968 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES DEPARTMENT OF ASIAN STUDIES  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required  standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1982  (cf> Richard James Cleary, 1982  DE-6  In p r e s e n t i n g  this  requirements  f o r an  of  British  it  freely  available  understood that financial  shall  for reference  and  study.  I  f o r extensive copying of  h i s or  be  her  g r a n t e d by  gain  shall  not  be  Date  (.3/81)  A p r i l 28, 1983  Columbia  make  further this  thesis  head o f  this  my  It is thesis  a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my  Asian Studies  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h 1956 Main Mall V a n c o u v e r , Canada V6T 1Y3  the  representatives.  copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of  the  University  Library  permission.  Department o f  the  the  s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may by  f u l f i l m e n t of  I agree that  permission  department or for  in partial  advanced degree at  Columbia,  agree t h a t for  thesis  written  ABSTRACT  Rising to prominence on a wave of n a t i o n a l i s t i c reaction to two decades of intense Western influence, Koda Rohan (18671947)  re-discovered the Japanese past i n the form of the Genroku  period (1688-1703) poets Saikaku and Basho, and led the way a l i t e r a r y flowering i n the 1890's. the tides of modernization  As this bloom faded  to  and  continued to r i s e capturing l i t e r a r y  c i r c l e s i n i t s currents, Rohan placed himself against the flow, dedicated to the v i t a l task of preserving the values of the East Asian t r a d i t i o n .  It i s for this reason his work i s valuable  today: i n his writing the voice of t r a d i t i o n speaks with great depth, breadth and beauty.  This thesis explores the character  of Rohan's writing by examining three of his novels. f i r s t work considered the focus i s on the iridividual.  In the The second  treats the individual within the framework of society.  The  last  is concerned with the shared cultural experience known as history. The introduction attempts to place the writer and his work i n h i s t o r i c a l perspective.  In recognition that the l i f e  was  admired as much as the creations of his pen, the f i r s t chapter i s a biographical sketch.  Chapter Two  suggests an approach to the  writing i t s e l f , noting salient points of style, influences, and development.  Attention i s focused on Rohan's use of t r a d i t i o n a l  - iii  -  p o e t i c d e v i c e s , the commanding rhythm of h i s prose, and the u n d e r l y i n g q u a l i t i e s of h i s n a r r a t i v e v o i c e . A n a l y z i n g thematic and s t y l i s t i c  f e a t u r e s , the t h i r d ,  fourth,  and fifth;.chapters t r e a t three r e p r e s e n t a t i v e works of f i c t i o n . Chapter Three deals with Taidokuro an e a r l y work.  ("Encounter With A S k u l l " ) ,  The a n a l y s i s shows how c l a s s i c a l forms and  m a t e r i a l s were employed i n an i n n o v a t i v e , powerful, and, at times, humorous f a s h i o n i n a piece of w r i t i n g d e a l i n g with the problem of attachment and s u f f e r i n g due to human p a s s i o n .  In Chapter  Four the d i s c u s s i o n of Goju no To ("The F i v e - S t o r i e d Pagoda"), the work which won Rohan an enduring r e p u t a t i o n , centers around i t s p o r t r a y a l of the energies of the i n d i v i d u a l and s o c i e t y i n opposition.  In b o l d , vigorous language the novel  dramatizes  the c o n f l i c t i n g i d e a l s of i n d i v i d u a l a s p i r a t i o n and s o c i a l harmony, while suggesting a r e s o l u t i o n represented by the balance and majesty  of the pagoda.  h i s t o r y as expressed  Chapter  F i v e examines Rohan's view of  i n h i s novel Renkanki ("Record of Linked R i n g s " ) .  A l a t e work, i t i s c o n s t r u c t e d with a s e r i e s of b i o g r a p h i c a l p o r t r a i t s of h i s t o r i c a l f i g u r e s i n tenth-century Heian Japan. Rohan's r e g e n e r a t i o n of the past r e v e a l s h i s v i s i o n of the f a b r i c of h i s t o r y as woven by the threads of karma and recorded i n the songs of poets. The c o n c l u s i o n i s devoted  to observations on d i f f i c u l t i e s i n  r e a p p r a i s i n g Rohan's work and r e f l e c t i o n s on h i s p l a c e i n the h i s t o r y of Japanese  literature.  - iv -  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Abstract  i i  Introduction  1  Chapter One  A Biographical Sketch  Chapter Two  Listening with the Eye: A Prologue to Reading Rohan  14  45  Chapter Three  Encounter With A Skull  65  Chapter Four  The Five-Storied Pagoda  98  Chapter Five  Record of Linked Rings  128  Conclusion  181  Bibliography  185  Introduction  To most contemporary readers Koda Rohan's l i t e r a r y world i s a distant realm a l l but lost i n an i r r e t r i e v a b l e past ( K%  Y£L / J ^ Rohan).  Koda Shigeyuki, 1867-1947; pen name: Reminded that Rohan lived into the postwar  era, many w i l l r e c a l l the very moving reminiscences daughter, Koda Aya (  \£J jL.  b. 1904).  of his  Her writing,  i  i n i t i a l l y , was of her father.  The remarkable response to  her early work led to a distinguished career as a novelist. It may well be more readers know the father through the daughter than by direct contact with his own writing. In spite of this distance there remains a sense of respect, a residue of esteem for a man who by the time of his death i n 1947 was something of a l i v i n g legacy of Meiji Japan. The years when modern Japanese l i t e r a t u r e came of age in the 1890's during a period of r e f l e c t i o n and consolidation after the tumultuous decades following the Meiji Restoration (1868) are commonly referred to as the Koro j i d a i ( £.3#r  4\) ), the era of Ozaki Koyo ( SL ify  and Koda Rohan.  &  ^  1867-1903)  Koyo's l i t e r a r y universe revolved around  erotic s e n s i b i l i t i e s , wealth, and the i n t r i c a t e network of s o c i a l obligations constituting Japanese society; Rohan's world centered on love, fortune, and t r a d i t i o n a l Eastern ideal of s e l f - c u l t i v a t i o n .  Together, their art represents nearly  the whole spectrum of mid-Meiji c u l t u r a l  life.  2  The Meiji twenties (1890's) were years of intense l i t e r a r y and i n t e l l e c t u a l a c t i v i t y i n Japan.  For Rohan, also i n his mid-  twenties, i t was a time for study, r e f l e c t i o n , t r a v e l , and prodigious l i t e r a r y output.  Some f i f t e e n years l a t e r , after  the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War, ambitious long novel, Sora Utsu Nami (  he abandoned his Q  >yL  "Waves  Striking the Heavens") and withdrew from his prominent position in the l i t e r a r y establishment.  His withdrawal  from the small,  rather well-knit community of writers, editors, and c r i t i c s known as the bundan (  ) was a calculated retreat, for  during this middle period he continued to write.  Works on s e l f -  c u l t i v a t i o n , h i s t o r i c a l biographies, and c r i t i c a l studies, rather than prose f i c t i o n , are most representative of those years. During the last decades of his long career he returned to writing novels, exhibiting a d i s t i n c t personal style i n sharp contrast with the self-consciously "modern" works of other Showa period novelists. Rohan's long estrangement from the bundan, occasioned i n part by his stance against naturalism and the genbun i t c h i ("unity of spoken and written language") movement, tends to obscure the fact that for a decade during the c r i t i c a l formative period of modern Japanese l i t e r a t u r e he was not an isolated figure, but a writer very much i n the mainstream of the times, indeed, an i n f l u e n t i a l leader of the flow. A good example of this i s Rohan's influence on Higuchi 1872-1896).  After her break with the  3  gesaku ("playful composition") novelist, Nakarai Tosui (  ^  Q  jtffc  7 ^  1860-1926), she turned to Rohan's work for  i n s p i r a t i o n , modeling some of her early stories on his "artisan novels" such as Furyubutsu ( 1889), Ikkoken ( ( ;£-^L  t%  "An A l l u r i n g Buddha" "One Sword" 1890), and Goju no To  "The Five-Storied Pagoda" 1891).  painter i n "Umoregi" ( ^ ^  The porcelain  "In Obscurity"), a story she  published i n the prestigious l i t e r a r y magazine, Miyako no Hana ("Capital Blossoms") i n Meiji 25 (1892), i s c l e a r l y drawn along - - who, the lines of Rohan's a r t i s t heroes.2 It was Rohan and Koyo with their vigorous neoclassical idiom much affected by the Genroku l i t e r a r y flowering, directed Ichiyo's attention toward the prose style of Ihara Saikaku ( i(-  1642-1693).  She then, perhaps more than anyone, made the rhythms and sympathies of the Genroku period novelist her own. Less commonly recognized i s the pervasive influence Rohan had on the members of the Bungakukai, a magazine at the heart of Japanese romanticism.  Hirata Tokuboku  ( ^  ^  ^C_, -4^-  1862-  1943), the scholar of English l i t e r a t u r e and translator of Defoe, Thackeray, Hardy, Conrad, and Yeats, admired the depth of Rohan's roots i n t r a d i t i o n and praised him for "giving b i r t h to a new 3 l i t e r a r y world swaddled i n genuine Japanese s p i r i t . " Tenchi ( %. ^ f j 'i^'/rf-  Hoshino  1862-1950), Kitamura Tokoku ( VL  1868-1894), and Shimazaki Toson (  j=3 i l % %r  fcl  J$ 1872-  1943) were attracted by the romantic character of Rohan's idealism.  4  They saw i n his writing, with i t s emphasis on love, poetic refinement, and l i b e r a t i o n ( j^,??L^ /o'  furyu shiso) ,  a possible means for harmonizing European romanticism t r a d i t i o n a l Japanese s e n s i b i l i t i e s .  and  Of course, as their  understanding of Western attitudes and principles increased, the contradictions became more p a i n f u l l y apparent and Rohan's paradigm lost some of i t s appeal.  We should remember, however,  that much of their thematic program, many of the problems these writers dealt with, originated with Rohan/  1,  Koda Rohan's impact on Meiji l e t t e r s seems to be beyond dispute.  Then too, when we consider the great appreciation  Japan's finest modern waka poet, SaitS Mokichi had for Rohan, or the unstinting admiration of Tanizaki Junichiro, one wonders why  the work of one of Japan's greatest early modern writers  has received so l i t t l e attention i n his own country and i s r e l a t i v e l y unknown abroad. While a seemingly endless number of monographs on Natsume Soseki (  1867-1916) and Mori Ogai  1862-1922) continue to appear, there are r e l a t i v e l y few booklength studies of Rohan i n Japanese.  Other than Chieko Mulhern's  l i t e r a r y biography, Koda Rohan (1977), a study which concentrates on the early works and devotes less than ten pages to the f i n a l t h i r t y years of active writing, i n English we have only three translations, a l l by Japanese translators, the last, published almost sixty years ago. ^  5  A few Japanese scholars and c r i t i c s have, i t i s true, endeavored to keep a l i v e and reappraise Rohan's l i t e r a r y corpus. Iwanami Shoten reissued the forty-one volume collected works, o r i g i n a l l y published from 1949  to 1958,  i n 1978.  Yamamoto  Kenkichi, son of the Meiji c r i t i c and Rohan associate, Ishibashi Ningetsu (  fa  *L >j  1865-1926), Shinoda Hajime, the  scholar of English l i t e r a t u r e , and Noborio Yutaka, whose provocative essays have appeared recently i n the journal, Bungaku, have a l l made notable contributions. The question remains: Why  the readerly and scholarly neglect?  This i s not a question this essay can hope to answer; i t does point, however, to a s i t u a t i o n i t may to redress.  serve i n some small  way  I believe there i s ample reason to attempt to do so.  In the concluding  section of the informative and well-known  symposium, Zadankai: M e i j i Bungaku-shi ("The  History of Meiji  Literature: A Symposium" 1961), a text edited by the foremost scholars i n the f i e l d , i n response to the question, "Who  represents  the highest peak i n early modern Japanese l i t e r a t u r e ? " the discussion revolves around Ogai, Soseki, Toson and Rohan.  The  interesting point i s that although the decision comes down i n favor of Soseki there i s general agreement that "when i t comes to representing Japanese l i t e r a t u r e to the world, i t i s Rohan who has the most d i s t i n c t i v e f l a v o r . "  "Were [Soseki's novels] a l l  translated into English and French and so on, and read by Westerners they just would not be very surprised.  For an exemplar  of Japanese or Asian culture, i t would have to be Rohan.  In  6  o t h e r words, i f one and impress  sought t o e l i c i t a d m i r a t i o n from Westerners  them w i t h something t r u l y d i f f e r e n t , Rohan's works  are the b e s t example of what i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y Japanese or Eastern."  6  Needless  to say, I f i n d m y s e l f v e r y much i n agreement w i t h  the o p i n i o n expressed.  Much of e a r l y Japanese f i c t i o n  reads  l i k e a p a l e i m i t a t i o n o f the more h i g h l y r e f i n e d Western form. I t would be unreasonable  t o expect o t h e r w i s e .  Of course  the  language i n e a r l y works o f f i c t i o n has a n o v e l t y t h a t s u s t a i n s interest.  As a r e c o r d of s o c i a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l developments  they m e r i t a t t e n t i o n . (  ^  But as a r t ?  F u t a b a t e i Shimei's  Ukigumo  " F l o a t i n g C l o u d s " 1887-89) f o r example, h a i l e d as  Japan's f i r s t modern n o v e l , d i d break new  ground i n e s t a b l i s h i n g  a l i t e r a r y r e a l i s m modeled on European, s p e c i f i c a l l y  Russian  t e c h n i q u e s . ^ As a work of a r t , however, e s p e c i a l l y f o r a r e a d e r f a m i l i a r w i t h the p s y c h o l o g i c a l s u b t l e t y of a Henry James or the r e a l i s m of a F l a u b e r t , i t f a i l s to meet the a l i e n , a l b e i t  self-  chosen s t a n d a r d s . For a Westerner approaching Rohan's w r i t i n g opens new  modern Japanese l i t e r a t u r e ,  v i s t a s and p r o v i d e s a r e a d i n g  experience  r i c h w i t h the elements o f a thousand years o f v e r b a l a r t i s t r y . Across the whole spectrum o f a r t s and l e t t e r s i t i s o n l y i n the area o f prose f i c t i o n t h a t p a r a l l e l forms d i d not develop when East met West i n l a t e n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y Japan.  U s u a l l y the  7  t r a d i t i o n a l form of a p a r t i c u l a r art was Western equivalent was  added.  preserved while i t s  In poetry, tanka and haiku are  a l i v e and f l o u r i s h i n g alongside other verse forms created i n i t i a l l y i n response to Western poetry. beside an active modern theatre. in music and painting.  Kabuki and Noh exist  The same phenomenon i s found  Only i n prose f i c t i o n were t r a d i t i o n a l  canons overthrown almost e n t i r e l y i n favor of Western models. Frequently have we heard the idea that i t was  the novel that  cultivated the modern sense of s e l f - i d e n t i t y (kindai jiga) i n Japan.  Undoubtedly i t played a large role, but too often, I  believe, at the expense of narrative and l y r i c a l q u a l i t i e s i n the t r a d i t i o n that writers today are struggling to recover  —  unique q u a l i t i e s a r t i s t s l i k e Koyo, Ichiyo, Kyoka, and Rohan sought to  preserve.  The development of modern prose styles i s a fascinating, involved subject which I w i l l merely touch upon below i n my discussion of Rohan's buntai  ("style") and his opposition to  the genbun i t c h i ("unity of spoken and written language") movement.  Here, I would l i k e to relate an anecdote which  c l e a r l y indicates the kind of c o n f l i c t most, i f not a l l ,  men  of l e t t e r s found themselves i n around the middle of the M e i j i period.  To a great extent, buntai  determined by how  'style' i n Meiji writing was  a writer resolved this c o n f l i c t .  In the preface to his M e i j i 39 (1906) Bungaku Ron "Essay on Literature") Natsume Soseki had this to say:  ( X.  "ttjj§  8  In my younger days I s t u d i e d Chinese l i t e r a t u r e and enjoyed i t quite a b i t . Although the time spent on those s t u d i e d was not great, i t formed my d e f i n i t i o n of j u s t what l i t e r a t u r e should be. Behind t h i s view, vague and obscure, l a y the great c l a s s i c s o f Chinese h i s t o r i c a l w r i t i n g . I thought to myself that E n g l i s h l i t e r a t u r e must be l i k e t h i s . I f i t was and I were to devote my l i f e to i t s study, I would c e r t a i n l y never have any cause f o r r e g r e t . Why I alone entered the unfashionable f i e l d of E n g l i s h l i t e r a t u r e was due s o l e l y to t h i s simple, i n f a n t i l e b e l i e f . ... A f t e r graduating, i n the bottom o f my heart I had the s i n k i n g u n s e t t l i n g thought I had been deceived by E n g l i s h literature.  After claiming e s s e n t i a l l y to a p p r e c i a t e ,  equivalent  competence i n , and a b i l i t y  both Chinese and E n g l i s h , he d e c l a r e d ,  "What i s  c a l l e d l i t e r a t u r e i n Chinese s t u d i e s and what i s c a l l e d  literatur  i n E n g l i s h cannot even be subsumed under the same d e f i n i t i o n . — they are e n t i t i e s of a wholly d i f f e r e n t  nature."  He a r r i v e d at  t h i s c o n c l u s i o n while l i v i n g alone i n London: about the same time he began to w r i t e the k i n d o f E n g l i s h s t y l e novel he had come to harbor i n t e n s e doubts about.  Discussing  the " r i v a l r y between  the o l d and new views o f l i t e r a t u r e t h a t arose i n Soseki's consciousness," Yamamoto K e n k i c h i  comments that i t was p r e c i s e l y  t h i s t e n s i o n that "produced d i s l o c a t i o n s and f i s s u r e s  everywhere.'  He goes on to add that while Soseki was w r i t i n g Meian ( 0fl  F-^f  " L i g h t and Darkness" 1916) he would devote h i s mornings to the n o v e l , but " c l e a r h i s head" by composing Chinese poetry  i n the  afternoon. Rohan p r e f e r r e d not to s t r a d d l e the f i s s u r e .  T h i s does not  imply a l a c k o f knowledge or awareness of Western l i t e r a t u r e . Indeed, h i s f i r s t p u b l i s h e d  n o v e l , Ro Dandan ( ^JJL ftf)  Q  9  "Dewdrops" 1889) has a number of Americans, a Chinese, and a single Japanese poet i n i t s cast of characters, i s set i n New York, and has individuals mouthing the tenets of Unitarianism. Nevertheless, "modernity"  for Rohan was negatively informing,  i t was seen as a symptom of deterioration and abrogation of c r u c i a l c u l t u r a l values.  He chose instead to a l i g n himself  with the immortal poets of Japanese t r a d i t i o n , Saigyo and Basho, and with the master s t o r y t e l l e r s of the pre-modern era, Saikaku and Bakin.  This stance permitted a more selective  absorption of Western elements.  He experimented  with new verse  forms (shintaishi) for example, and i n his f i c t i o n there are attempts to assimilate thematically Christian love with the Buddhist sense of compassion ( j i h i ) and the Confucian ideal of humanity (j jn).  His involvement  with Izaak Walton's (1593-  1683) The Complete Angler (1653), a c l a s s i c of Western contemplative l i f e , i s an indication of the type of l i t e r a t u r e he sought and admired i n the West. What then can a reader expect to find i n the writings of Koda Rohan?  F i r s t of a l l , a beautiful tapestry of language  moving with a rare power and rhythm.  In the early works i n  particular there i s a haibun-like flow turning the novels closer to poetry than prose.  Later works are infused with a dignity  and strength based on elements i n the style derived from kambun.' Then i t w i l l be discovered his works are brimming with.the  10  t r a d i t i o n a l c u l t u r e of East A s i a : the author takes  full  advantage of the icons of Buddhism and the r i c h e s of c l a s s i c a l a l l u s i o n based on a v a s t reading knowledge of the of who  Japan and China.  literatures  F i n a l l y , the reader encounters  a writer  endeavored i n h i s l i f e and a r t to embody and preserve  the  i d e a l s at the core of Japanese a e s t h e t i c and p h i l o s o p h i c sensibilities. michi en  ( ]^_^ "way"), makoto (  ( ^<_ s  Among these i d e a l s , ku  ( ^  "emptiness"),  " p u r i t y of s p i r i t " ) ,  " r e l a t e d n e s s " ) are p a r t i c u l a r l y important  works to be examined i n t h i s Taidokuro  ( jjTrJ »f|J  and  i n the  essay. "Encounter  with a S k u l l " 1 8 9 0 )  can be read as a m e d i t a t i o n on emptiness and the r e l a t e d notions of  attachment and r e l e a s e .  Goju no To  (  S t o r i e d Pagoda" 1 8 9 1 ) i s a kabukiesque novel concerned i n d i v i d u a l , an a r t i s t ,  f i n d i n g h i s way  "The  Five-  with  an  to s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n i n  c o n f l i c t with the conventions .of s o c i e t y .  Renkanki ( 2^r$$i Q^J  "Record of Linked Rings" 1 9 4 0 ) , an h i s t o r i c a l novel set i n the t e n t h century, presents a s e r i e s of b i o g r a p h i c a l sketches which u n r o l l before us i n a manner s i m i l a r to the medieval  emaki  ' p i c t u r e s c r o l l s ' r e c a p t u r i n g the s p i r i t of the age and  giving  the reader a remarkable sense of the s u b t l e karma at work l i n k i n g the c h a r a c t e r s i n an unbroken c h a i n .  11  " Koda Aya, Chichi. Korma Koto ("My Father", "Like This")  J  (Tokyo: Shinchosha, 1955); and Chigiregumo ("Scattered Clouds") (Tokyo: Shinchosha, 1956). 2 Robert Lyons Danly, In the Shade of Spring Leaves (New Haven and London: Yale Univ. Press, 1981). For a b r i e f treatment of Rohan's influence on Ichiyo see Chapter Five, "The Bundan," pp. 133-164. Danly notes that "Like the protagonist of The Five-Storied Pagoda, the hero of "In Obscurity" i s a man dedicated to the s o l i t a r y perfection of his c r a f t , ready to s a c r i f i c e himself for his c a l l i n g and to forsake a l l corrupting influences i n his single-minded revolt against the rampant, crass materialism of his age. In Rohan's novel, the art i s carpentry and the obsession i s the building of a perfect pagoda; i n Ichiyo's story, the art i s the painting of porcelain and the hero [ i s ] ... metamorphosed into a man of i n t e g r i t y and a r t i s t i c passion (p.76). 3 Sasabuchi Yuichi, "Koda Rohan to 'Bungakukai'," Bungaku, 46, No. 11 (1978), p. 1370. 4 Sasabuchi notes, for example, Kitamura Tokoku's "Waga Rogoku" ("My Prison"), f i r s t published i n Hakuhyo Jogaku Zasshi (June,1893), was written as a direct response to Rohan's "Furyugo" ("Love's Enlightenment") which appeared the previous year i n the newspaper, Kokumin no Tomo (August,1892). The term furyu ( ^ ) from the Chinese feng l i u ( l i t . "wind-flow") has a long and complex history i n the aesthetics of East Asiau Apparently an epicurean ideal of Taoist o r i g i n , i n T'ang poetry i t i s always found representing an ideal combination of wine, women, music, and poetry. In Japan during the late  12  medieval and Edo periods the expression lost some of i t s sense of gaiety and color and came to suggest a mood of greater sophistication and restraint with emphasis on t r a n q u i l i t y and simplicity bordering on the astringent. A key aspect of the furyu s e n s i b i l i t y i s the way i n which the past assumes a central role i n the formation of aesthetic values. A man of refined taste eschews the present popular norms i n favor of the forms of a preceding period. See Konishi J c n i c h i , "Furyu: An Ideal of Japanese Aesthetic L i f e " i n The Japanese Image, ed. by Maurice Schneps and A l v i n P. Cook (Orient/West, 1965). ~* Shioya Sakae, trans., The Pagoda (Goju no To), by Koda Rohan (Tokyo: Okura and Co., 1909); Miyamori Asataro, trans., "Lodging for the Night" (Taidokuro), by Koda Rohan i n Representative Tales of Japan (Tokyo: Sanseido, 1914); Nagura J i r o , trans., Leaving The Hermitage (Shutsuro) by Koda Rohan (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1925). While this was being written Chieko Mulhern published translations of three of Rohan's early works i n Pagoda, Skull and Samurai: Three Stories by Koda Rohan, Cornell Univ. East Asia Papers, No. 26 (Ithaca, N.Y., 1982). ^ Yanagida Izumi, Katsumoto Seiichiro and Ino Kenji, ed., Zadankai: Meiji Bungaku-shi (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1976), p. 473. ^ Marleigh Ryan, Japan's F i r s t Modern Ndvel: Ukigumo of Futabatei Shimei (New York and London: Columbia Univ. Press, 1971). Natsume Soseki, Bungaku Ron ("Essay on Literature") i n Soseki Zenshu (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1949), p. 9-10 Soseki says his d e f i n i t i o n of l i t e r a t u r e ( t e i g i ) was based on his reading of the Chinese h i s t o r i c a l works indicated by the phrase, "Sakokushikah" ( ). This refers to the  13  Lii-shi Chun-giu ("Spring and Autumn Annals of Mr. Lii") , Guo-yu ("Narratives of the States"), S h i - j i  ("Records of the Historian  Si-ma Qian"), and Han-shu ("History of the Former Han Dynasty"). 9 — Yamamoto Kenkichi, Soseki Takuboku Rohan (Tokyo: Bungei Shunju-sha, 1972), p. 196. 10 "Haibun" Donald Keene describes as, "Prose writing characterized by the e l l i p s e s and other s t y l i s t i c features of haikai poetry. Basho's travel diaries are examples of haibun." World Within Walls:•Japanese Literature of the Pre-modern Era 1600-1867 (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1976), p. 573. "Kambun" i s a Sino-Japanese hybrid prose written with Chinese syntax and glossed with Japanese readings of the characters.  14  Chapter  One  A Biographical Sketch  Koda Shigeyuki was  born on the eve of the Meiji  i n Edo, on the twenty-third  day of the seventh month i n the  t h i r d year of the Keio era (1867). for writers.  1914)  It was  a propitious year  Born that same year were Ozaki Koyo (d. 1903),  Natsume Soseki He was  Restoration,  (d. 1916), and Masaoka Shiki (d. 1902).  the fourth son of Koda Shigenobu ( $  and wife Yu ( J(j£  1842-1919).  1  1839?-  Both parents came from  hereditary l i n e s of direct retainers to the Shogun: his mother, from the Koda family who  were omote bozu; his father, from the  Imanishi family, ura bozu. family.  The Edo jo bozu (  Rohan's father married into the Koda f  %  or chabozu ^  $j 3L_  as they are sometimes c a l l e d ) , the monk-like o f f i c i a l s of the Edo Castle which was  the seat of government during the Tokugawa  period, were responsible for protocol, appointments, and general day to day functioning of the bureaus and  the  residences.  The role required d i s c i p l i n e , correct deportment, and a stock of ready knowledge i n subjects ranging from armour to  incense.  In short, the Castle bozu became a group whose professional duties involved c u l t i v a t i n g and preserving the finer points of Tokugawa culture.  Throughout his career, Rohan's writing reveals his  debt to the cultured, edifying milieu of his  upbringing.  15  Rohan's parents had a t o t a l of eight children, six boys and two g i r l s .  The t h i r d son died i n infancy and the l a s t ,  early i n l i f e .  His father i s said to have been f a i r l y s k i l l e d  at writing and to have had an interest i n music. evidently had considerable  His mother  talent for music, for she  played  a number of instruments, including the shamisen, quite well. She i s also said to have been an excellent calligrapher. They raised a talented and extremely successful family. Rohan' s elder brother,  Shigetada  ), married into  another bozu family and, known to history as Gunji T a i i ("Naval Lieutenant  Gunji") became famous as a leader of expeditions  the K u r i l e s , the islands north of Hokkaido. undertaking which led to the establishment ment and fishing bases i n 1893.  Due  He organized of the f i r s t  to  the  settle-  to his exploits claiming  land for Japan i n the north, he became a Russian prisoner of war when he was  captured  i n Kamchatka soon a f t e r the outbreak  of h o s t i l i t i e s between the two countries i n 1904. men  Adventurous  of action were part of Rohan's family as well as his f i c t i o n . The two s i s t e r s , Nobu (  ) and Ko ( 2fc  i n the study and introduction of Western music.  ) were pioneers Having studied  at the Tokyo Music School, Nobu went on a government scholarship to Boston (1890-91) and Vienna (1891-96), then returned to a distinguished career as a pianist and professor of music at the forerunner  to what i s now  Tokyo Geijutsu Daigaku.  The younger  16 s i s t e r , (Ando) Ko, studied i n Germany from 1896  to  1903,  became an accomplished v i o l i n i s t , and a professor of music at the university with her s i s t e r .  Both were music tutors  to the Imperial family and were elected to the  Imperial  Academy of Arts. Rohan's younger brother, Shigetomo  ), a graduate  of Tokyo Imperial University, became an authority i n the f i e l d s of Japanese economic history, the history of foreign trade, and C h r i s t i a n i t y i n Japan.  He was  a professor for many years at  Tokyo Shodai (Hitotsubashi University) and Keio University. Mori Ogai was ^  y v.  inspired to write his Oshio Heihachiro  1914)  (X~  by Koda Shigetomo's detailed treatment of  the r e b e l l i o n leader i n his monumental study of the history of the c i t y of Osaka. These outstanding achievements i n the a r t i s t i c and scholarly arenas, not to mention the world of p r a c t i c a l a f f a i r s , were due in no small way  to the family's background i n the bozu t r a d i t i o n  with i t s insistence on c u l t u r a l excellence. being of the family, however, was of the Shbgunate.  The f i n a n c i a l well  closely t i e d to the fortunes  The Restoration of 1868  saw a decline i n the  circumstances of many of the old Edo e l i t e s — was no  the Koda family  exception.  Rohan's father fared better than some.  The early years of  Meiji are r i f e with stories of once proud samurai p u l l i n g rickshaw through the streets of the c a p i t a l .  After the f a l l of  17  the Bakufu government, his father's annual stipend was continued but he was  able to obtain a position i n the newly  established Finance Ministry as a minor o f f i c i a l . from this job was  dis-  The income  on the paltry side, and limited resources  became a factor affecting the course of Rohan's formal schooling. By Meiji 18 (1885) even this employment was terminated and his father was to haikan). —  relieved of a l l o f f i c i a l government duties (h'ishoku During this period the Koda family moved frequently  always to smaller quarters, sharing the fate of "declasse  bushi." On the eve of the Restoration the Koda family had a large, impressive house with an imposing gate.  occupied  The bozu  were better o f f than their smallish yearly stipends would indicate.  Because of their function as intermediaries, their  control of access to power ( l i k e Kira Kozukenosuke Yoshitaka of Chushingura —  a bozu), they were often the b e n e f i c i a r i e s  of valuable g i f t s and p r i v i l e g e s .  During Rohan's childhood he  watched the family's fortune steadily decline. To see a photograph of Koda Rohan i n the prime of l i f e , from the look of the large, sturdy, robust man,  i t i s hard to  2  believe he was a weak and s i c k l y c h i l d .  The doctor attending  the b i r t h thought the infant would be too f r a i l l i f e , were i t able to survive.  to l i v e a normal  Dedicated parental care saw  the  baby through the early c r i s i s , but i l l n e s s plagued Rohan's youth.  18  There were no maids i n the Koda household and the family members were rather rigorous about d a i l y chores.  Rohan's  grandmother played a dominant role i n his early t r a i n i n g , teaching him a wealth of p r a c t i c a l lore, from i d e n t i f y i n g constellations to the use of Chinese medicines.  It seems to  have been from her that he acquired his strong sense of and s e l f d i s c i p l i n e .  devotion  Together they made the daily offerings to  the numerous household d i v i n i t i e s —  a practice Rohan continued  after the rest of the family abandoned their ancestral observances i n favor of C h r i s t i a n i t y —  and regularly v i s i t e d the family  graves. Rohan's formal education was school.  limited to primary and middle  He enrolled at the Tokyo English School (Tokyo Eigakko)  at age f i f t e e n but dropped out a f t e r a year to study at a private academy, the Keigijuku, run by a scholar of Chinese 1808-1886). during this period he began to frequent  It was  the Ocha no mizu Tokyo  Toshokan, the only public l i b r a r y at the time.  It was  around  this time too that he became acquainted with Awajima Kangetsu (  5*  % % W  1858-1926 )j who  introduced him to the writings  of Ihara Saikaku, the Genroku period a r t i s t . The question a r i s e s , why  a capable young man,  whose future  c l e a r l y would be best served by t r a i n i n g i n a Western language and higher education, would instead turn toward t r a d i t i o n a l Chinese studies and pre-modern Japanese l i t e r a t u r e . In a general  19  way, Rohan's whole l i f e and l i t e r a r y output may be offered as a response to this question. A more direct response i s suggested by Kimura Ki i n his a r t i c l e on Koyo, Rohan and - 3 Ichiyo.  He notes that u n t i l the Taisho period  (1912-26),  when such writers as Arishima Takeo ( 1923) and Satomi Ton ( €  @j  3S-  b  1878-  - 1888) appear, there  are no prominent l i t e r a r y a r t i s t s from the provinces (han) which led the anti-Bakufu movement (Choshu, Satsuma, Tosa, and Hizen).  He maintains the Edokko 'native Edoites' who  became leading figures i n Meiji l e t t e r s took a stance diametrically opposed to the Meiji government, and claims that even i f "many were not a c t i v e l y aware of t h i s , subconsciously they a l l were."  Being opposed to the government  implied less than enthusiastic support for the wholesale modernization cum Westernization then being fostered. In the same a r t i c l e , Kimura goes on to point out that the writers who promoted Japanese naturalism were a l l provincials (inakamono), people who moved to Tokyo from the countryside. Tayama Katai ( $  ^  ^  Shimazaki Toson ( J ;  1871-1930) was from Joshu, Irf  Kunikida Doppo' s ( )Q %- $J  1872-1943) was from Shinshu, %f  1871-1908) ancestors were  from Harima although he was born i n Chiba near Tokyo, and Masamune Hakucho ( ji_  ft—  Bizen, now called Okayama Prefecture. the real "Edokkd' who  1879-1962) was born i n It was the urbanites,  fought to preserve something of the old  20  style.  From this perspective, Rohan, Koyo and Ichiyo may  be  seen as representative of "the last of the old guard" opposing the usurpation of l i t e r a r y sovereignty by the uncultivated "country  folk."  This argument does suggest one very plausible explanation for the young Rohan's decision to switch from English school to a t r a d i t i o n a l academy (juku).  It was the beginning of a  l i f e - l o n g role which, with the exception of a decade i n the 1890's, increasingly took on the mantle of p o l a r i t y , a gracious opposition to the winds of modernization. In August of Meiji 16 (1883) Rohan decided to attend a government-run technical school, the Denshin Shugiko, i n order to become a telegraph operator.  The better students were given  an opportunity to continue their training at government expense with the proviso  of a three year assignment upon completion  of the two-year program.  The impetus for this move seems to  have been largely f i n a n c i a l ; behind i t was the desire to make his own way  i n the world and not be dependent on his family.  The fact that i t was a telegraph school —  the telegraph being  the most advanced means of communication at the time —  i s an  indication of the range of Rohan's inquisitiveness.  was  He  always very good at mathematics and showed an interest i n and 4 aptitude for applied science throughout his l i f e . In 1885,  at the age of eighteen, Rohan was  sent to the  21  Yoichi branch telegraph o f f i c e i n remote Hokkaido.  Yoichi  was a small town of fishermen, miners, and Ainu, northwest of  Sapporo, near the port of Otaru.  Even today i t i s rather  remote: i n those days i t was l i t t l e more than a f r o n t i e r settlement.  In a poem written on the boat taking him from  Yokohama to Hakodate, Rohan p l a y f u l l y pokes fun at his fate with the phrase "takusen o narau" (  J\£*  1^ h  ) , an  a l l u s i o n to L i Po, which captures the sense of his f a l l from grace.  The expression may be rendered, "learn how to l i v e as  an outcast from heaven."^ For  the more than two years he spent i n Hokkaido r e l i a b l e  information i s i n short supply.  From l a t e r personal accounts  and assorted anecdotes we can piece together a picture of a young man with enormous energy and l i t t l e in.the way of satisfactory outlets.  Like Ninomiya Sontoku  (  %,  1787-1856) — a man Rohan greatly admired and on whom he l a t e r published a book aimed at young people —  he helped the l o c a l  people b u i l d ice storage houses, encouraged  sericulture, and  sent to Tokyo for a Western book on s c i e n t i f i c hog r a i s i n g . He had archery contests with the Ainu, raided the l o c a l Buddhist temple for reading material, and developed a taste for tobacco, sake, and zazen.  His work at the telegraph o f f i c e must not have  been too demanding. „In the late summer of 1887, with one year s t i l l remaining on his work assignment, he sold some of his kimono, pawned his  22  books, said goodbye to a few friends, and quietly l e f t for Tokyo.  His t r i p back to the c a p i t a l which took about a month  and was accomplished by ferry, horseback, t r a i n , cart and on g  foot, i s recorded i n Tokkan Kiko ( of a Desperate Journey" 1890).  "Record  It begins:  Stricken by a malady, my heart was aching. Adverse karma was impossible to dispel; I saw no happy destination i n the future but only b i t t e r obstacles before me. I had desires but no money, ambition but no opportunity. At last I decided to break out of this predicament. S e l l i n g several kimono and pawning a trunkful df books, I bade farewell to a few friends and departed at once. Rohan's precipitous act has often been ascribed to the influence of events shaking the l i t e r a r y world i n the distant capital.  Certainly the promising s t i r r i n g s i n the bundan were  not without e f f e c t .  Tsubouchi Shoyo's celebrated t r e a t i s e ,  Shosetsu Shinzui ( /V %Xj ^  "  T h e  E  s  s  e  n  c  e  o f  t h e  Novel"),  which had been published the previous year, presented a new argument for psychological realism i n f i c t i o n .  Rohan appears  to have been most impressed by Shoyo's high appraisal of f i c t i o n and his insistence on the autonomy of a r t i s t i c writing.  Years  l a t e r however, he said i n an interview that the essay was not what had prompted his journey.^ Another influence not to be overlooked was the writer, Tokai Sanshi (  1852-1922).  After a number of years  studying economics at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania, he returned to Japan to warn of impending danger i n his widely read p o l i t i c a l novel, Kajin no Kigu (  A.  y$2^  23  "Beauty's Fortuitous Encounters") style prose and published i n 1887.  It was written i n kamburi In i t he examines the  unhappy fate of small nations at the hands of the major powers i n the nineteenth-century hero meets who  by tracing the stories of women the  are refugees from their homelands.  Rohan's  p a t r i o t i c "Nihonka" ("A Song for Japan"), a poem i n Chinese 9 written i n Hokkaido, seems to have been inspired by this novel. Ozaki Koyo with Yamada Bimyo ( J]A $  ^  ^pjr  1868-1910)  and others had formed the Kenyusha Society ( "Friends of the Inkwell") i n 1885  '  and began publishing the  first  dojinzashi (a journal edited and published by a group of writers with similar p r o c l i v i t i e s ) i n Japan, the Garakuta Bunko "Knick-Knack L i b r a r y " ) .  The writers contributing to  the magazine were, for the most part, Rohan's age.  His ambition  was  provoked and dreams of a d i f f e r e n t future must have troubled  his  sleep. S t i l l , at the time of his f l i g h t from Hokkaido, Rohan had  not committed himself to a l i f e as a writer.  The professional  writer was not a person of very high standing i n those days despite the approbation of leaders l i k e Shoyo.  Unlike today,  talented youth aspired to a vocation i n p o l i t i c s . diary, Tokkan Kiko c l e a r l y indicates, i t was depression,  As his travel  a combination of  ambition, and a reservoir of talent with i n s u f f i c i e n t  outlet that stimulated Rohan's departure.  24  Faced with l i m i t e d funds and l e s s than robust h e a l t h , for  the Hokkaido winters had taken t h e i r t o l l , i t was a  difficult  journey.  A r r i v i n g l a t e i n the day i n Fukushima  he d i s c o v e r e d he had j u s t enough money f o r the t r a i n from the next l a r g e town, Koriyama, to Tokyo.  fare  I f he spent  some f o r a n i g h t ' s l o d g i n g i n Fukushima he would not have enough f o r t i c k e t , and even i f he walked the next day he would have to spend a b i t , thus always f i n d i n g h i m s e l f i n a Z e n o - l i k e quandary- He d e c i d e d to walk t o Koriyama t h a t evening and spend the n i g h t on the road i n the open a i r . Sato t o s h i Iza tsuyu to nemu Kusamakura.  Far from home I share with the dew A p i l l o w of g r a s s . 1 0  This h a i k u , although not i n c l u d e d i n Tokkan Kiko, was e v i d e n t l y based  on h i s experience that p a r t i c u l a r  evening.  Rohan's b i o g r a p h e r , S h i o t a n i San, s p e c u l a t e s the poem was a c t u a l l y w r i t t e n upon r e f l e c t i o n subsequent to h i s r e t u r n to  Tokyo.  It f i r s t  l i n e s o f Taidokuro to  appears  i n p r i n t g r a c i n g the opening  ("Encounter with a S k u l l " ) .  I have gone  some l e n g t h to provide b i o g r a p h i c a l d e t a i l surrounding  this  poem not o n l y because i t i s the f i r s t modest jewel h i n t i n g a t the l i t e r a r y luminary to be, but a l s o because i t i s the source of  the gj5 'pen name' "Rohan" which means "companion of the dew."  25  Back i n Tokyo by September, 1887, Rohan, s t i l l  burdened  the twenty year o l d  with an "aching h e a r t " and out of f a v o r  w i t h h i s parents f o r renouncing h i s " c a r e e r " midstream, solace i n r e a d i n g and w r i t i n g .  sought  He immersed h i m s e l f i n Buddhist  t e x t s and borrowed and copied the works of Saikaku.  It i s this  combination of Buddhist d i c t i o n and haibun s t y l e that comes to the f o r e i n Rohan's e a r l y w r i t i n g , e s p e c i a l l y Furyubutsu  ("An  A l l u r i n g Buddha"). Due  to p o l i t i c a l r e o r g a n i z a t i o n h i s f a t h e r had l o s t h i s  p o s i t i o n i n the Finance M i n i s t r y .  He opened a shop d e a l i n g i n  s t a t i o n e r y and other paper goods c a l l e d the " A i A i Do" ).  (  "V  Rohan tended h i s f a t h e r ' s shop, wrote l e t t e r s f o r un-  t u t o r e d patrons, and spent great s t r e t c h e s of time at the l i b r a r y . A good d e a l of the r e s e a r c h f o r h i s f i r s t taken d u r i n g - t h i s p e r i o d .  few novels was  under-  I t has been shown, f o r example, that  much of the i n f o r m a t i o n on whaling used i n I s a n a t o r i  ("The  1891), i n c l u d i n g t r a n s c r i p t i o n s of whaling songs and  technical  d e t a i l s on the i n d u s t r y , was  Whaler"  garnered from m a t e r i a l s then  11 a v a i l a b l e at the l i b r a r y .  He read v o r a c i o u s l y ,  Rohan r e c a l l e d to Yanagida  Izumi having been very impressed at  the time by Ninomiya  Sontoku's Hotokki (  encyclopedically.  "Rewards  of V i r t u e and Economy") and claimed the Kamakura monk, Shoken ( t i l  d  "  1 3 4 5  )>  author of the Sanbu no Kanasho ( 212  ^£_-2^. / f ^ "  )J  a s  h i - " w r i t i n g master" s  ("bunsho no s h i " ) .  26  Rohan's father thought for a while i t was quite possible his son would become a monk. The whole Koda family had been converted to C h r i s t i a n i t y while he was away i n Hokkaido. of Uemura Masahisa  (  His father heard the preaching 1858-1925), gave up a long  standing b e l i e f i n the Hokkeshu (Nichiren Sect), and was baptized along with the other members.of the family.  Rohan had an  interest, read extensively and, acquiescing to his father's wishes, attended study meetings conducted by Uemura. refused to be baptized.  He, however,  (After the death of his f i r s t wife,  Kumiko, Rohan's unfortunate second marriage was to an "active 1 3  Christian."  The ceremony was conducted by Uemura.)  iJ  While minding his father's store, sometime i n 1888, Rohan wrote his f i r s t novel, "Zen Tenma" ( ^  "Demon Zen").  14  The work, not extant, was evidently modelled on Edo period sharebon.  Donald Keene gives Hi j i r i no Yukaku (The Holy Men's  Brothel 1757) as the prototype sharebon, the playful  compositions  largely devoted to descriptions of l i f e i n the pleasure d i s t r i c t s : The theme i s s t a r t l i n g : Shakamuni Buddha, Confucius, and Lao-tzu arrive i n Japan and at once go to the Osaka brothel run by L i Po, where Po Chu-i serves as a jester. Each holy man i s matched with a prostitute whose name suits his philosophy: "Fleeting World" goes with Buddha, "Great Way" with Confucius, and "Great Void" with Lao-tzu. ... The story concludes as Buddha and Fleeting World leave the licensed quarters bent on lover's suicide. They go o f f to the accompaniment of a r e c i t a t i o n in the t r a d i t i o n a l Joruri s t y l e . ^  27  Many years l a t e r Rohan recalled that his work was i n three parts.  In the f i r s t , two or three young sports f r o l i c i n  the pleasure quarters.  The second was a single man's  r e c o l l e c t i o n of experiences i n a Hokkaido licensed d i s t r i c t . The concluding section, e n t i t l e d "Toroba En" (Smoke from a Rare Incense), related the story of an Edo period Zen addict who meditates i n a courtesan's chamber. Before the work was destroyed (It i s said to have been used to repair fusuma ' s l i d i n g doors!.), i t was read by Awajima Kangetsu who showed i t to Ozaki Koyo.  Impressed, Koyo asked  Rohan to write a piece for the magazine he was editing. novel, Issetsuna ( -'** - ^ j  The  "One Instant") was published  the following year, 1889, i n three installments, beginning with the July issue of Bunko.  By the time this appeared, however,  Rohan was already well on his way to recognition and acclaim in the l i t e r a r y world. His f i r s t published work was not f i c t i o n but a c r i t i c a l a r t i c l e , "Oto to Kotoba" ( ^  X. "|BJ  "Sound and Words"), which  appeared i n a minor journal, Kunshi to Shukujo ("Gentlemen and Ladies"), i n January and February of 1887. The essay urged greater cooperation between composers and l y r i c i s t s i n order to further the creation of a new Meiji music.  It i s interesting  to note his l a s t completed work, sixty years l a t e r , was Ongenron ( ~0 ^"3  iM}  1947), a comprehensive study of sounds i n the  28  Japanese language.  T h i s concern with the r e l a t i o n s h i p between  music and words remained with Rohan throughout extensive r e s e a r c h on wasan ( -^pD  )  5  his l i f e .  His  Buddhist d e v o t i o n a l  hymns, i s but one example. Some might f i n d t h i s i n t e r e s t i n the m u s i c a l i t y o f language surprising.  Because of the preponderance of ideographs i n  Rohan's prose — writer —  to a degree unusual  readers tend to respond  even f o r a M e i j i p e r i o d  to the v i s u a l and semantic  aspects o f h i s w r i t i n g , o v e r l o o k i n g the musical s i d e of h i s style.  There are rhythmic and a l l i t e r a t i v e  uncommon i n modern Japanese prose.  elements a l l too  Rohan had a good ear; t h i s  was a g i f t that seems to have run i n the f a m i l y .  Many o f h i s  works have to be heard to be f u l l y a p p r e c i a t e d . In  1888, toward the end of the year, Rohan went with Kangetsu  to  the home of the s c h o l a r and t h e a t r e c r i t i c , Yoda Gakukai  (  "fee $  '•/&-•  1833-1909), with a r e c e n t l y completed  to ask him to w r i t e a foreword.  Yoda responded  numerous requests f o r such things and thought  novel  that he r e c e i v e d  i t was a l o t o f  t r o u b l e , adding, "Besides, j u s t my w r i t i n g a foreword won't make your work b r i l l i a n t .  I f i t i s a masterpiece, without my i n t r o -  d u c t i o n or anything at a l l , i t w i l l  shine."  Rohan i s s a i d to  have responded, "I am not seeking to add l u s t e r to my work with Master's  foreword.  My p i e c e i s e n t e r t a i n i n g .  n o v e l s , please read i t .  Since you enjoy  I f you f i n d i t i n t e r e s t i n g , please w r i t e  29  a foreword.  I f tedious, then please throw i t into the f i r e -  place and burn i t . "  At the end of this outrageous speech he  threw down the manuscript and hurried out.  Yoda, impressed  by the young man's cavalier confidence, but equally sure the gesture was f u t i l e , began reading the work.  He found i t so  unusual and amusing he could not put i t down.  The next day  he hurried by rickshaw to Kangetsu's residence, thence to Rohan's.  He i s said to have apologized for not seeing his  genius right away and agreed to assist i n having the novel published. ^ 1  The novel, Ro Dandan ( J^.  1^] ^  "Dewdrops" )^ was brought  to the attention of Yamada Bimyo who was then chief editor and writer for what was perhaps the most prestigious l i t e r a r y magazine of the day, Miyako no Hana ("Capital Blossoms").  After  reading i t he exclaimed, "Well, now here i s a r e a l l y fantastic piece!  Completely o r i g i n a l .  Right out of the blue!  You never  know where or when this thing called genius i s going to appear 18 just l i k e a comet!"  —  Ro Dandan's publication i n the magazine  from February to August of 1889 marks the departure point of Rohan's career as a writer.  The f i f t y yen he received for the  work, a sizable amount at the time, f a c i l i t a t e d a l i t e r a l departure as well.  With i t , he travelled for a month through the mountains  of Shinshu i n central Japan and to areas i n western Japan including Kyoto and Osaka.  30  While Ro Dandan may be considered Rohan's maiden work, i t was Furyubutsu  (  (CL  >n\^_/  "An A l l u r i n g Buddha") published  i n September of 1889 that established him i n l i t e r a r y c i r c l e s as a writer of d i s t i n c t i o n .  It i s here we f i r s t find his  jaunty, consciously ornate, haibun style — on poetry.  a prose verging  Here too are sounded the themes which continue to  concern the writer throughout his l i f e : the transformation of r e a l i t y with a r t , the potential of human love, antimodernism, and the salvation of the individual through absorbtion i n a way of s e l f d i s c i p l i n e . The success of Furyubutsu, which had an artisan, a sculptor of Buddhist images, as hero, prompted subsequent novels along similar l i n e s , a l l with t r a d i t i o n a l craftsmen playing the central role.  In these artisan novels the hero i s able to overcome a  c r i s i s , a problem i n his immediate existence, by d i s c i p l i n e and concentrated devotion to his chosen vocation. as Goju no To ( *L- * J L Ikkoken ( ^  ffe  O  Such works  "The Five-Storied Pagoda" 1891), "One Sword" 1890), Tsuji Joruri ( r K >  "Minstrel at the Crossroads" 1891), and i t s sequel,  Nemimi Teppo ( ^  5j  "Surprise Gunshot" 1891) are  representative of Rohan's meijin shosetsu, h i s "master craftsman novels." Although Rohan i s probably best remembered for these artisan novels —  selections from Goju no To were for many years included  31  in school text books —  they represent only a small f r a c t i o n  of his t o t a l body of writing.  His works span the spectrum  of l i t e r a r y genres, extending beyond the usual scope of b e l l e s lettres.  In addition to his f i c t i o n , verse, and commentary  on c l a s s i c a l texts, Rohan wrote treatises on self-development, natural science, and the social issues of the day.  Some readers  may be familiar with his vignettes on f i s h i n g , others with his essays on sh5gi, the Japanese version of chess. He was  an  accomplished practitioner of both. In his movement away from the novel as primary means of expression Rohan i s not unlike other M e i j i writers such as Mori Ogai or Shimazaki Toson who turned to history i n their later years.  After abandoning his last effort at the long novel,  Sora Utsu Nami ("Waves Striking the Heavens"), s e r i a l i z e d i n the newspaper the Yomiuri Shimbun from 1903 to 1905, his production of Imaginative f i c t i o n decreased sharply.  The ostensible reason  for discontinuing publication of the work was the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War.  Rohan wrote that he could not i n good  conscience continue because: To reveal the plot as I planned i t , this novel i s about to enter a chapter involving a woman and consequently [ i s ] infused with the scent of rouge and powder. ... I cannot find i t i n my heart to write amorous scenes for a public newspaper at this time, when a soldier i s going off to war the day after his wedding, or another i s leaving an old mother and young children i n the care of r e l a t i v e s . ... In short,  32  I believe that my freedom of creative choice cannot be compromised i n the least by conditions i n the world, but I am also convinced that inasmuch as my work i s meant for public consumption, i t i s only proper for me to take social situations into consideration.... 19 The fact that his elder brother, Gunji Shigetada,  had  become a Russian prisoner of war undoubtedly contributed to his decision to discontinue the ambitious novel which at the time was already i n excess of five-hundred pages.  Nevertheless,  c o n f l i c t s between Rohan's writing style and the prevailing winds of l i t e r a r y fashion may well have been an even more decisive factor.  The advent of naturalism and the widespread success  of the genbun i t c h i movement (the drive to abandon the t r a d i t i o n a l l i t e r a r y style i n favor of a form more closely  approximating  everyday speech) i n conjunction with the wholesale  adoption  of Western l i t e r a r y values occasioned Rohan's antipathy and freed him to go his own  way.  The last years of Meiji and the early years of the Taisho period brought a self-imposed withdrawal from the bundan.  The  extent to which contemporary trends were inimical to Rohan's l i t e r a r y standards can be seen i n his h i s t o r i c a l novel, Unmei (  l^f^ ^  piece.  "Destiny" 1919), a work some hold to be his masterThis tour de force was a judgement on, and challenge to,,  the l i t e r a r y scene i n the mid-Taisho period.  33  Away from serious f i c t i o n for over a decade, at the age of f i f t y - t h r e e , Rohan was asked to contribute a piece to the f i r s t issue of Kaizo (  3JE_X  "Restructuring") to be  published i n A p r i l , 1919.  The journal was  Sanehiko ( ik %  1885-1952) as a vehicle for views  on l i b e r a l i s m and social reform.  founded by Yamamoto  Asked to submit a novel,  Rohan offered Unmei, a powerful account of the struggle for imperial succession i n the early Ming dynasty based e n t i r e l y on the h i s t o r i c a l record.  Thematically i t deals with questions  concerning h i s t o r i c a l i n e v i t a b i l i t y , justice, and the d i f f i c u l t y of accounting for the v i c i s s i t u d e s i n personal fate.  It i s the  style of writing, however, that r e f l e c t s the magnitude of the divergence between Rohan's mature prose and mainstream modern Japanese s t y l i s t i c developments.  The work opens with:  Yo onozukara su to i u mono ariya. A r i to ieba aru ga gotoku, nashi to naseba naki h i mo n i t a r i . Kozui ten n i habikorumo, U no ko kore o osame, taikan chi o kogasedomo, To no toku kore o sukueba, su arugagotoki n i shite shikamo su naki ga gotoshi. Is i n e v i t a b i l i t y i n t r i n s i c to the world? If you say destiny exists then i t i s as though i t existed; i f you deny i t , i t i s as though i t did not. When vast waters threatened to flood a l l under heaven, the deeds of the Sage King Yu brought them under control; when the earth was parched by a great draught, the virtue of the Sage King '/Tang brought salvation. Destiny seems to exist and yet again i t appears not to.20 Upon reading Unmei, Tanizaki Junichiro experienced able  excitement:  unforget-  34  Despite i t s r e l a t i v e brevity, "Destiny" i s a grand work ... containing a cosmos i n i t s e l f . Its style is the t r a d i t i o n a l wakan konko bun [a mixture of Chinese and Japanese dictions J but strangely leaves no impression of being outmoded, thanks to i t s enormous v i t a l i t y and dignity. It i s beyond a mere historian's a b i l i t y to depict such world-shaking events with their extreme v i c i s s i t u d e s , bringing innumerable great and minor heroes to l i f e as he does.... In this day and age when things resembling pages from a mundane diary pass for f i c t i o n , this h i s t o r i c a l treatise i s a novel i n i t s genuine sense. Rohan refused to relinquish the riches of the c l a s s i c a l idiom, the rhythms available to the l i t e r a r y style, and the dignity associated with t r a d i t i o n a l poetic forms. . It i s interesting to note that h i s r e v i v a l as a novelist was predicated on his dispensing with contemporary notions of what the novel should be.  In Western l i t e r a t u r e not u n t i l the mid twentieth-  century did we encounter the "non-fiction novel," whereas pre-eminent Meiji writers such as Ogai, Toson, and Rohan were exploring the form much e a r l i e r . As he moved away from f i c t i o n , Rohan turned toward academic writing: essays, commentaries,  translations and biography.  1908, at the request of Ueda  In  1867-  1937), he was invited to lecture on Japanese l i t e r a t u r e at Kyoto Imperial University.  He declined the i n v i t a t i o n at f i r s t , then,  at the urging of Ueda and Okada Ryohei ( 1934), president of the university, he accepted.  1864The appoint-  ment caused a s t i r i n both academic and l i t e r a r y c i r c l e s because  35  Rohan's formal education had ended with middle school. At  the university he lectured on Soga Monogatari ( ^ a  ^ourteenth-century revenge tale —  one of his favorite  works), wasan (Buddhist hymns), Chikamatsu's ( 1653-1724) sewamono j o r u r i (puppet plays), and other Edo period literature.  Why he l e f t the university position after just one  year i s not clear.  He once claimed the primary reason he  returned to Tokyo was because i n Kyoto he was unable to do the 22  kind of f i s h i n g he enjoyed. In  1911 the academic world recognized Rohan's achievements  in scholarship by awarding him a doctor of l e t t e r s degree. That same year Natsume Soseki refused to accept the honor.  The  scholar who wished to l i v e as an a r t i s t and the a r t i s t  who  wanted to be respected for his scholarship found their ways crossing as the establishment moved to acknowledge their respective contributions to Japanese c u l t u r a l  life.  It i s commonly thought that Rohan did not write novels during the l a t e r period of his l i f e .  Part of this misconception  may stem from a confusion regarding genre.  A work such as  Unmei ("Destiny") can be read as a novel or as an essay i n history. Since i t has excluded the merely f a n c i f u l , the patently f i c t i t i o u s , and i s based on the h i s t o r i c a l record, relying heavily on authoritative texts, i t i s a fascinating exercise i n historiography, Yet  we know that an author of an h i s t o r i c a l narrative i s  36  constrained to provide a theme and, i n his particular emplotment of  events, give expression to his view of human nature. H i s t o r i c a l  writing, i n any form beyond mere chronology, has the added requirement that i t be expressed i n an aesthetically pleasing manner.  This i s especially true of l i t e r a t u r e s developed within 23  the sphere of Chinese c u l t u r a l influence. During  the last t h i r t y years of his l i f e as a writer Rohan  moved e a s i l y between history and f i c t i o n because of an increasingly strong b e l i e f i n their essential s i m i l a r i t y as verbal repositories of human emotion.  In this he provides a s t r i k i n g contrast to  Mori Ogai who, toward the end of his l i f e , worked at separating the l y r i c a l and f a n c i f u l from putative hard fact i n his textual 24 studies of h i s t o r i c a l documents. The power of imagination i s said to fade with age leaving r e c o l l e c t i o n and contemplation i n i t s place. a factor behind the preponderance  while this may be  of novels based on h i s t o r i c a l  materials i n Rohan's l a t e r work, such imaginative e f f o r t s as Kangadan (  Jli l3L  "Picture Viewing Tale" 1925), Gendan  ( & j t £ _ " I l l u s o r y Tales" 1939), and Yukitataki ( § fc> v i t a l i t y and c r e a t i v i t y . His f i n a l novel, "A Knock i n the Snow" 1940) attest to a tremendous reserve of "Record of Linked Rings"), which was published i n 1940 when he 25 was seventy-three, i s thought by many to be his f i n e s t . 1  7  37  He produced these works while writing his monumental study of  the Basho Shichibushu" ("The  Seven Collections of the Basho  School"), an anthology of verse by members of Basho's school of 26 haiku.  It was a labor which extended over a period of twenty-  five years.  The f i n a l chapters had to be dictated from his  sickbed to an amanuensis because severe cataracts impaired his vision.  Although some would claim this work, Rohan Hyoshaku:  Basho Shichibushu ( ||. 'f <|S  ^  $1  j£. "t  JjL_  "Rohan's  Commentary on the Seven Collections of the Basho School"), i s more a testament to his own vast learning and poetic insight than a cornerstone of modern haiku c r i t i c i s m , others recognize i t as a genuine c l a s s i c which must be reckoned with i n any serious - 27 analysis of the Shichibushu. During the concluding years of his l i f e , Rohan received a series of awards and honors culminating i n his nomination (along with his s i s t e r , Nobu) to the Japanese Imperial Academy of Arts i n 1937. He l i v e d through the P a c i f i c War which brought great hardship and loss. air  His house and l i b r a r y were destroyed during a Tokyo  r a i d on May 25, 1945.  As his diabetes worsened he  was  f i n a l l y confined to bed unable to walk, his sight and hearing fading. to  His dignity, strength of w i l l , and exemplary a b i l i t y 28 t e l l a good story stayed with him u n t i l the end. His daughter,  Koda Aya has written very movingly of the years she spent caring for her aged father, the last of the great Meiji of l e t t e r s . 1947,  men  Koda Rohan died at the age of eighty, on July 30  one of the few men  and certainly the only major l i t e r a r  figure to have l i v e d from the Edo period into the postwar era  39  For the b i o g r a p h i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n i n t h i s chapter I have r e l i e d on: Yanagida Izumi, Koda Rohan (Tokyo: Chuokoronsha,  1942);  S h i o t a n i San, Koda Rohan 4 v o l s . , Chuo Bunko ed. (Chuokoronsha, 1977); and Chieko Mulhern, Koda Rohan (Boston: Twayne, 1977). Some sources give h i s date of b i r t h as the t w e n t y - s i x t h of J u l y , 1867,  r a t h e r than the t w e n t y - t h i r d .  Rohan h i m s e l f was never  sure which was c o r r e c t . 2  3  Zenshu, V o l . 15, F r o n t . Photo.  _ _  _  _  _  _  Kimura K i , "Koyo, Rohan, I c h i y o no K y o t s u s e i t o I d o s e i , " Kokubungaku: Kaishaku to Kansho, 43 (May, 1978), p. 8. One  example from the P a c i f i c War years recounted by  Shimomura R y o i c h i , then an e d i t o r a t Nihon Hyoron and i n s t r u m e n t a l i n " i n d u c i n g " the author's f i n a l n o v e l s , concerns Rohan's knowledge o f l a c q u e r .  Shimomura r e l a t e s a c o n v e r s a t i o n which  moved from a d i s c u s s i o n of incense to how i t was d i s c o v e r e d lacquer-ware i s the best means o f p r e s e r v i n g the fragrance of rare incense.  Rohan then mentioned how he had been t a l k i n g w i t h  someone from the m i l i t a r y who t o l d him about problems having m a i n t a i n i n g the atmosphere altitudes.  i n aircraft  they were  f l y i n g at high  He suggested l a c q u e r as a s o l u t i o n and heard that  i t worked q u i t e w e l l . i n v o l v e d Okoch'i  Shimomura notes the s t o r y appears to have  Masatoshi ( 7v_2«J /£) jL-Jfr^  was head of the Tokyo Rikagaku Kenkyujo Research I n s t i t u t e " ) a t the time.  1878-1952) who  ("Physico-Chemical  Shimomura R y o i c h i , Bannen  no Rohan ("Rohan's L a t e r Years") (Tokyo: K e i z a i O r a i s h a , 1979), p. 20. 5  S h i o t a n i , V o l . 1, p. 46. Koda Rohan, Ninomiya  Sontoku  (1891), Zenshu, V o l . 11,  pp. 1-44. ^ Zenshu, V o l . 14, p. 1. Koda Rohan, p. 26.  The t r a n s l a t i o n i s Mulhern's,  The t r a v e l d i a r y was o r i g i n a l l y  published  i n the Osaka Asahi Shimbun between May 18 and June 5 o f 1890.  40  8  Shiotani, Vol. 1, p. 48-49.  9  Zenshu, Vol. 40, p. 37-38.  1  0  -  Zenshu, Vol. 1, p. 137. 11 Noborio Yutaka, "Isanatori Ron," Bungaku, 46, No. 11 (1978), pp. 1405-1417. 12 Shiotani, Vol. 1, p. 59. Ninomiya Sontoku's book was published i n a printed edition i n 1886. Rohan had previously copied i t by hand. Son of a poor farmer, Ninomiya i s known for his successful development of rural economies through rational farming techniques. Based on his own interpretation of Confucian, Buddhist, and Shinto texts he devised a pragmatic moral philosophy which exerted a tremendous influence on post-Restoration Japan. The Tendai monk Shoken, also known as Koa Shonin ( fc] |^) X— A— ) wrote the Sanbu no Kanasho to relate his experiences at the Shinyodo and S e i r y u j i temples i n Kyoto awakening him to the truth of Pure Land teachings. His prose i s embellished with poetry, including quotations from the imperial anthologies and verse from the Sutras. His style was highly regarded i n both Buddhist and l i t e r a r y c i r c l e s . For the text see Dainihon Bukkyo Zensho, Vol. 44 (Tokyo: Suzuki Research Foundation, 1971), pp. 1-153. 13 After the death of his f i r s t wife, Rohan was l e f t with two children to care f o r . The household experienced a series of illnesses and he married again with the thought that a woman at home would help to set things on even keel. The marriage was "unfortunate" because his second wife seems to have been unable or unwilling to provide the stable home l i f e and care for the children Rohan desired. She was active i n Church a f f a i r s , often not at home to prepare dinner for the family, and frequently complained about Rohan's drinking. See Shiotani, Vol. 2, p. 313.  41  1 4  The t i t l e , "Zen Tenma" ( t^-  from Nichiren ( £] Sect i n Japan. the  ) may have come  1222-1282), the founder of the Lotus  The phrase i s part of an/expression known as  shika kakugen ( U2 ^  "I"  ) Nichiren used to c r i t i c i z e other sects: "nembutsu mugen, zen tenma, shingon bokoku, r i t s u kokuzoku" ( \l* 4fe flfl ^ jj[ % "L /|3 $ )|3 Qfyj )• "Pure Land meditation leads into an i n f i n i t e h e l l , Zen i s the practice of demons, Mantric Esotericism w i l l destroy the country, and the followers of the Rules (vinaya) are the plunderers of the nation." See Nakamura Hajime, Bukkyogo Daijiten, (Tokyo: Tokyo Shoseki, 1975), p. 509. 15 Donald Keene, World Within Walls, (New York: Holt Rinehart and Winston, 1976), p. 402. 16 — Kawamori Yoshizo, i n the introduction to Koda Rohan Shu, Nihon Kindai Bungaku Taikei, Vol. 6 (Tokyo: Kadogawa, 1974), pp. 12-13. 17 Zenshu, Vol. 7, pp. 1-144. The novel evidently went by the t i t l e , "Tsuyu Dandan" i n i t s early editions. The f i r s t editor had a pronunciation gloss (furigana), "tsuyu," for the f i r s t character which may also be read "ro" i n the Sino-Japanese (onyomi). Rohan i s said to have remarked l a t e r that "ro" was the preferred reading. See Shiotani, VoL 1, p. 67. Despite the assertion i n Yoda Gakukai s diary that "this person [Rohan] has read a great number of western books and managed to grasp their essence — a genius hard to come by!" (Kawamori, p. 16), the i n s p i r a t i o n for Ro Dandan seems to have come from a Ming c o l l e c t i o n of vernacular tales known in Japan as the Kinko Kikan ( ^) ~h % c. 1633). It i s my guess the t i t l e comes from a l i n e of L i Po's i n the Gu Feng Shi ( ^ ffX "»^r ) which runs: "Countless droplets of autumn dew// Like beads of white jade covering the garden greenery." 3  1  <  % <a f o £. // is? @) T & jHfe.  '  42  Kawamori, p. 14 19 Zenshu, Vol. 10, pp. 221-222. The translation i s from Mulhern, Koda Rohan, p. 131. 20 Koda Rohan, Unmei ("Destiny"), Iwanami Bunko ed. (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1972), p. 5. The novel i s included i n Zenshu, Vol. 6. 21 Tanizaki Junichiro, "Jozetsuroku," i n Tanizaki Zenshu, Vol. 20 (Tokyo: Chuokoronsha, 1968), p. 165. Mulhern's translation Koda Rohan, p. 147. Tanizaki was a l i f e - l o n g Rohan reader. He kept two sets of the new Rohan Zenshu, one i n Tokyo and another i n his Kyoto residence. The old twelve-volume edition of Rohan's collected works published between 1929 and 1934 he had rebound i n fine bindings. See Fukumoto, p. 3-4. Shiotani, Vol. 2, p. 186. 23 Hayden White i n his study of the nineteenth-century European h i s t o r i c a l imagination, Metahistory (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1973), develops a view of h i s t o r i c a l writing not unlike the t r a d i t i o n a l Chinese attitude/ He defines an h i s t o r i c a l work as "a verbal structure i n the form of a narrative prose discourse that purports to be a model, or icon, of past structures and processes i n the interest of explaining what they were by representing them" (p. 2). In his analysis, he maintains h i s t o r i e s and philosophies of history contain a deep structural element which i s fundamentally poetic and which "serves as the p r e c r i t i c a l l y accepted paradigm of what a d i s t i n c t i v e l y ' h i s t o r i c a l ' explanation should be" (p. 1). He argues that the various modes of historiography "are i n r e a l i t y formalizations of poetic insights that a n a l y t i c a l l y precede them and that sanction the particular theories used to give h i s t o r i c a l accounts the aspect of an 'explanation' (p. x i i ) . And i n a l n  2 2  43  conclusion with which a t r a d i t i o n a l Chinese or Japanese h i s t o r i a n might r e a d i l y concur, he writes, "The best grounds for choosing one perspective on history rather than another are ultimately aesthetic or moral rather than epistemological" (p. x i i ) . 2 4* Richard J . Bowring i n h i s very informative study, Mori Ogai and the Modernization of Japan (London: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1979), shows how Ogai's western, s c i e n t i f i c training, what he c a l l s his "Apollonian" stance, led him to f i n a l l y reject the self-contained truth of f i c t i o n a l representations and embrace " f a c t " as an end i n i t s e l f . Ogai, he t e l l s us, refused "to f o i s t upon r e a l i t y a pattern he cannot apprehend" (p. 221). In h i s later work, Ogai wanted to exclude a l l f i c t i o n a l or imaginative elements from h i s attempt to come to grips with the past which had givenSbirth to his present-day Japan, "his aim was to write unadulterated h i s t o r y " (p. 237). The contrast with Rohan's view could not be greater. Recognizing the metaphoric nature of a l l discourse, including the description of " f a c t , " Rohan valued the aesthetic and moral dimension i n history that i s brought to bare on the " f a c t s " by the writer himself. Ogai chose "to study in.;detailoa series of f a i l u r e s " (p. 222). Rohan concentrated on men who led successful l i v e s . One of Ogai's studies,"Suzuki Tokichiro" (1917), part of a series of four short biographical notes, was a work requested by the descendants of the subject of the study. It seems Suzuki was mentioned i n a popular tale (kodan) told by the t e l l e r of battle s t o r i e s , Matsubayashi Hakuen (1812-1855). The reference implied Suzuki was an eta, a member of the outcaste group i n Japanese society. Ogai's work showed that there was no d e f i n i t e proof either way, but reveals very c l e a r l y that Ogai was more interested  44  i n questions of methodology and p r a c t i c a l research problems than i n the man being studied. This "depersonalized" writing has caused some to "argue that Ogai's study of history ended in a s t e r i l e world of unemotional reportage" (p. 239). Rohan too, "fought within himself a constant battle to j u s t i f y to himself the significance of f i c t i o n i n the modern world" (p.240), but i t i s clear, i n his case, the muse never abandoned him. 25 Saito Mokichi, Yamamoto Kenkichi, Mushanokoji Saneatsu, and Shishi Banroku are among those holding this opinion of the work. 26 — — — Koda Rohan, Rohan HyOshaku Basho Shichibushu (Tokyo: Chuokoronsha, 1956): Zenshu, Vols. 20-23. 27 Personal communication from Prof. Maeda Ai (Feb. 9, 1981). See the personal reminiscences of Kobayashi Isamu, Kagyuan Homonki ("Record of V i s i t s to the Snail's Hermitage") (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1956); and Shimomura Ryoichi, Bannen no Rohan ("Rohan's Later Years") (Tokyo: Keizai Oraisha, 1979). 2 8  45 Chapter  Two  Listening with the Eye: A Prologue to Reading Rohan  It i s possible to hear the deep music of t r a d i t i o n i n the works of Koda Rohan i f we know how to l i s t e n . Bunsho Yo Ron ( 5C_"^- J^-  %%  In his essay,  "Essentials of Writing" 1914),  we come across the following:  i:  Flowing water rends the earth and envelops massive rocks to take on the form of a r i v e r and reveal i t s character. Ultimately a r i v e r reaches the ocean. In a similar way, the mind, overflowing and released, strings together characters into words, piles up words into phrases, and combines them i n a sentence into a particular body. This then transmits energy, eventually communicating with others. Having reached the ocean, a river's being i s exhausted. So too, writing, when i t connects with the other, attains completion. 1  The point, that writing be a natural outpouring which ends i n communication,  i s straightforward enough.  The s t r i k i n g thing  about the passage i s just how apropos the water analogy i s . Sometimes the effect of Rohan's prose i s one of a mountain torrent as i n Taidokuro, or a waterfall as i n Kangadan ( "Picture Viewing Tale" 1925).  ^JjJ_,  $A  In Renkanki the impression i s  more one of a series of streams joining a wide r i v e r stretching to the sea.  In Renkanki and Gendan (  " I l l u s o r y Tales"  1938), another late work, l i k e the metaphorical r i v e r the f i n a l sentences seem to disappear into the same vast space the novels themselves end i n . It has become fashionable to question the v a l i d i t y of claims concerning "communication"  between text and reader.  In Rohan's  46  view, however, the idea that a piece of writing was  complete  and meritorious when i t communicated what Mathew Arnold c a l l e d "both sweetness and l i g h t " held a central place.  He did not  believe a work of l i t e r a t u r e could be confined to a simple moral, p r a c t i c a l , or philosophical category. seen solely i n aesthetic terms.  Nor could i t be  "Bungaku"'literature' was not  only poetry and f i c t i o n ; i t included a much wider range of written discourse.  Rohan's view was close to the t r a d i t i o n a l  Chinese and Japanese broad conception of the canons of l i t e r a t u r e . Actually, the "broad conception" appears to have prevailed i n Europe as well before the late nineteenth-century. that older conception l i t e r a t u r e comprises  "Under  everything worthy  to be read, preferably the best thoughts expressed i n the best manner, but above a l l the best thoughts."  Renaissance writers  spoke of bonnes l e t t r e s but gradually the "grand, broad, and noble conception of l i t e r a t u r e as les bonnes l e t t r e s disappeared and was replaced by the narrower, more decadent conception 2 expressed by les belles l e t t r e s . "  Literature i n Meiji Japan  underwent a similar, but much more rapid, transformation. Rohan developed a style of writing that for a period around the turn of the century was admired and i n f l u e n t i a l .  But by the  beginning of the Taisho era (1912) i t was already considered antiquated.  Masamune Hakucho (  1879-1962) wrote  that Rohan's prose reminded him of a s t o l i d samurai " i n f u l l battle array draging along behind a hefty iron club heavily  47  weighted with a fool's wisdom."  3  The fairness of this sardonic  characterization aside, i t i s true that "premature aging" was a fate encountered by many Meiji writers. For decades modes of written expression varied greatly; there was no concensus as to a standard prose s t y l e . time-honoured  d i s t i n c t i o n between bungo ' l i t e r a r y  and kogo 'spoken language' began to break down.  The  language' A sense of the  d i v e r s i t y i n prose styles can only be suggested by the following l i s t of different forms the language took i n print i n early M e i j i : kambun chokuyakutai (  ^  /  f$~  ) — - i n the manner  of translation from Chinese, following f a i r l y closely the syntax and d i c t i o n of the foreign language; ,«£ c j ^ 0 )  haishi yomihon no zokubuntai (  $a  "Z—tf^  ) —  the vulgar style of romantic potboilers; yobuntai (  5C_  ) —  style i n the manner of Western  a  languages; wabuntai  ( -jj^l  ) —  c l a s s i c a l Japanese l i t e r a r y style;  ^L. 5C^,^$  gazoku setchu buntai ( ^L^^%  ^ —  elegant  ( i . e . l i t e r a r y ) and c o l l o q u i a l styles mixed. The difference between any two would be somewhat greater than, say, the difference between the "Telemachus" and the "Molly" chapters of James Joyce's U l y s s e s .  4  A particular style might also be referred to by an author's name: Koson-cho after Aeba Koson ( Shiken-cho after Morita Shiken (  ^ sg)  1855-1922), 1861-1897),  48  Shoyo-cho after Tsubouchi Shoyo ( and so on.  1859-1935),  By the mid 1890's the range had narrowed somewhat  and to distinguish that juncture i n the history of style, the period has been c a l l e d the "Korosho'o period." the  This was when  styles of Koyo, Rohan, Shoyo, and Ogai were i n ascendancy. Rohan's early style i s said to have been greatly influenced  by his reading of Ihara Saikaku and Genroku period haibun.  This  i s a notion he himself later downplayed, but the s i m i l a r i t i e s are  unmistakable.  Saito Mokichi wrote that "no one other than  Rohan could write so powerfully i n the sublime vein of the language of the Buddhist classics.""' Some found his mature style too  Sinofied, others, quintessentially Japanese.  Let us examine  a b i t more closely the general contours of Rohan's s t y l i s t i c development. Noborio Yutaka, i n a recent a r t i c l e on Rohan's imaginative f a c u l t i e s and writing style, draws a d i s t i n c t i o n between buntai 'style' and bunsho 'composition'.  It i s a d i s t i n c t i o n I think  useful i n analyzing Rohan's work.  He maintains that buntai i s  the  expressive form of a writer's cognition 'Cninshiki no hyoshutsu  keishiki").  It must be deduced from bunsho but i s i t s e l f the  process through which cognition takes l i t e r a r y form — of channel through which writing takes place.  (We may be remind-  ed here of the r i v e r analogy Rohan himself uses.) at a l e v e l prior to expression, bunsho.  a type  Buntai exists  Thus matters such as  sentence length, quality of d i c t i o n , and so on are secondary  49  indications  o f a more f u n d a m e n t a l  f r o m work t o work, b u t readily  process.  Bunsho may  t h e b u n t a i o f an a u t h o r  changed because  change  i s not  i t i s the u n d e r l y i n g form  so  of the  writer's  6  cognition. While in  t h e r e seems t o be  Rohan's f i c t i o n ,  quality  a remarkable  e v i d e n t t o some e x t e n t i n t h e  o f the n a r r a t i v e v o i c e ,  a number o f c h a n g e s .  o f works s u c h as F u r y u b u t s u r e l a x e d prose  apparent Taidokuro  when we and  of buntai  unchanging  the outward e x p r e s s i o n undergoes  Over t h e c o u r s e o f h i s c a r e e r , Rohan's  mode o f e x p r e s s i o n moved from  flowing  continuity  the p o w e r f u l , t a u t ,  and  G o j u no To  o f Kangadan and  compare t h e o p e n i n g  the r e l a t i v e l y  late  toward  Renkanki. passages  Kangadan.  jaunty the  sentences  easy  This i s readily  o f the  early  Taidokuro  begins:  Ware g a n r a i s h a r e t o i u k o t o o s h i r a z u , mata s u k i t o t o n a e r u mono n i mo a r a d e , t a d a f u r a f u r a t o g o s h a k u no k a r a o ou dedemushi no u k a r e k o k o r o y a m i g a t a k u t o z a i nanboku n i h a i m a w a r i t e , o b o t s u k a n a k i k a k u t o no me n i c h i k a r a no oyobudake no yo o m i t a k u , i z a s a r e b a t o s e i E g u c h i no K i m i no yado k a r i s a z u , U j i no kazokusama k o s e n y u i p p a i o o s h i m i t a m a o tomo kamawaji y o , s a t o t o s h i i z a t s u y u t o nemu kusamakura ...  I , from t h e o u t s e t , i g n o r a n t o f what i s c a l l e d r e f i n e d humor, n o r b e i n g one t o s i n g t h e p r a i s e s o f e l e g a n t p u r s u i t s , m e r e l y t r i p a l o n g , w h i m s i c a l mind h a r d t o s u p p r e s s , l i k e a s n a i l b u r d e n e d by a s i x - f o o t c a r a p a c e , c r a w l i n g a r o u n d a l l p o i n t s o f t h e compass, i n t e n t on s e e i n g as much o f t h e w o r l d as t h e e y e s on my d o u b t f u l f e e l e r s c a n t a k e i n . Be t h a t as i t may, b e i n g t u r n e d away from a n i g h t ' s s t a y by a p r e s e n t - d a y E g u c h i no K i m i , o r m i s s i n g a cup o f w o n d e r f u l l y a r o m a t i c s p i c e t e a p r o f f e r e d by a r i s t o c r a t s from U j i , b o t h e r s me n o t i n the l e a s t . F a r from home I bed down w i t h t h e dew On a p i l l o w o f g r a s s . 1  50 The tension, pace and rhythm of the opening lines of Kangadan are quite d i f f e r e n t : Zutto_mae no koto de aru ga, aru hito kara kimiai no myo na hanashi o k i i t a koto ga aru. Soshite sono hanashi o imadani wasurete i n a i ga, jimmei ya chimei wa ima wa sudeni rinkan no tabi no kemuri no yo n i , dokoka shiranu tokoro n i i s s h i s a t t e i r u . It was a long time ago I f i r s t heard this astonishing yarn from someone. I s t i l l have not forgotten the story, but the personal names and place names have by now d r i f t e d away l i k e smoke from a campfire through the trees of a forest to who knows where. Rohan's early work has an unmistakable gesaku or haibun flavor.  His middle period f i c t i o n employs a less ornate  bungobun which slowly moved toward the c o l l o q u i a l (genbun i t c h i ) . This movement toward the developing mainstream was  suspended  after his f a i l u r e to complete the ambitious long novel, "The Minute Storehouse  Furyu Mijinzo ( of L i f e " 1893-95).  Yanagida Izumi maintains that while writing  Furyu Mijinzo Rohan became very i l l with what may have been typhus.  He almost died.  His view of l i f e underwent a change  and he f e l t his previous works were "too many empty words down from on high."  Subsequently, the challenging, explosive, shocking  tone of the stories with demons and lepers and nude bodhisattvas gave way to a more down to earth description of ordinary l i f e . That i s , the " c r i s i s " i s supposed to have turned Rohan i n the d i r e c t i o n of a greater realism. Although Yanagida attributes this change to some sense of mission Rohan f e l t , "the ideal of improving and purifying humanity  51  through the beauty of l i t e r a t u r e , " we s h o u l d r e c a l l t h a t a t the same time the a r t i s t was  p r o d u c i n g more and more r e a l i s t i c  type f i c t i o n i n a prose a p p r o a c h i n g the contemporary  colloquial  s t y l e , he was a l s o w r i t i n g such works as S h i n Urashima Jtj (  "The New \3  (  Z§f)  Urashima Taro" 1895) and Futsuka Monogatari  t <T>  " T a l e of Two  Days" 1898).  Both of these  n o v e l s are f u l l of the e a r l i e r demonic v i s i o n s and t h e i r baroque c l a s s i c a l s t y l e makes no c o n c e s s i o n s t o demands f o r r e a l i s m or t h e use o f common spoken forms i n a r t i s t i c  fiction.  The c o n f l i c t b e h i n d these v e r y d i f f e r e n t prose s t y l e s does not seem t o be the e t h i c a l o r p e d a g o g i c a l one suggested by Yanagida.  I t seems r a t h e r t o be a problem of how  potent n a r r a t i v e v o i c e — l i t e r a r y scene.  h i s buntai —  t o adapt h i s  t o the r a p i d l y  changing  Rohan e v e n t u a l l y abandoned a l l attempts i n the  d i r e c t i o n of n a t u r a l i s t i c or r e a l i s t i c f i c t i o n a f t e r the i n c o m p l e t e Sora U t s u Nami ("Waves S t r i k i n g the Heavens" 1903-05), where the j i n o b u n ( Pfc^O)  ) or n a r r a t i v e passages are i n the l i t e r a r y  s t y l e (bungo) and the d i a l o g i s w r i t t e n i n the c o l l o q u i a l . For Rohan, w r i t i n g i n the genbun i t c h i s t y l e was, as Noborio puts i t ,  " l i k e the o p p r e s s i v e n e s s o f borrowed  clothes.In  an  essay p u b l i s h e d i n 1914 e n t i t l e d "Bunsho o y o b i Gengo no K o j o "  (  /3L_~%  %x>  Language") he was conceded.  fe)  still  Rohan wrote:  "The  Improvement o f W r i t i n g and  f i g h t i n g a b a t t l e most would have a l r e a d y  52 The forms of w r i t i n g and the spoken language i n our country are not the same. The c h a r a c t e r s used are both signs f o r p r o n u n c i a t i o n and symbols of mental images [shinzo no shocho]. Sentences [bunsho] are two dimensionalT""not u n i - d i m e n s i o n a l . The h i s t o r y of s t y l e i n Japan confirms t h i s . ... To w r i t e sentences d i r e c t l y i n the spoken idiom, to t r y to make the form of the w r i t t e n conform e x a c t l y to the spoken, i s nothing more than s t r i v i n g f o r an " i d e a l . " The a c t u a l r e s u l t s of t h i s p u r s u i t are s t i l l very f a r from what i s envisaged. Consequently, p r o v i s i o n a l r u l e s are e s t a b l i s h e d and the d e s i r e to make the spoken and w r i t t e n conform r e s u l t s i n imprisoning sentences with the stocks of the -spoken language.. A r t i s something that r e q u i r e s freedom. Since any o b s t r u c t i o n to a r t i s t i c freedom, be i t ever so t r i v i a l , i s u n d e s i r a b l e , why i s i t that the great p i l l o r y of spoken language i s i n f l i c t e d on w r i t i n g and the freedom of l i t e r a r y a r t plundered? Those who would do so are going to great pains to be t h e i r own best enemy. They are b i n d i n g t h e i r arms and f a l l i n g i n t o a mold. In the end, they w i l l be unable to a t t a i n freedom of thought and a c t i o n .  In t h i s connection i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that both T a n i z a k i J u n i c h i r o and Kawabata Yasunari, i n t h e i r essays on (  •^r'  >~J^-  style  "bunsho tokuhon") , urge a g r e a t e r emphasis be  p l a c e d on the use of the c l a s s i c a l idiom i n modern w r i t i n g f o r e s s e n t i a l l y the same reasons  s t r e s s e d by Rohan i n the passage  quoted. Any n o v e l , i n a d d i t i o n to d i a l o g , u s u a l l y has some d e s c r i p t i o n and some e x p l a n a t i o n provided by the author or one of h i s The explanatory m a t e r i a l may katari —  personae.  be r e f e r r e d to i n Japanese as  the " t e l l i n g " or " r e l a t i n g . "  The k a t a r i element looms  l a r g e i n a pre-modern n o v e l i s t such as Bakin or Dickens.  In  modern f i c t i o n the d e s c r i p t i v e aspect i s u s u a l l y dominant and the explanatory m a t e r i a l suppressed. i s reversed.  In Rohan's work the  The dominance of k a t a r i i s what Noborio  situation  points out  53  as the c e n t r a l p i l l a r of Rohan's buntai ."^ Thus we  find in  the midst of d e s c r i p t i o n or " n e u t r a l f a c t s " w i t h i n a s t o r y , or even entwined with the s u b j e c t i v i t y of a c h a r a c t e r , author's presence as n a r r a t o r . Rohan never escaped h i s own  the  Put n e g a t i v e l y , one might  v o i c e or allowed  the freedom to s u r p r i s e the s t o r y t e l l e r .  his  say  characters  (A "freedom" which  i s none the l e s s an i l l u s i o n of a u t h o r i a l technique.)  On  the  other hand, t h i s can a l s o be seen as'a n a t u r a l l i m i t a t i o n of t r a d i t i o n a l n a r r a t i v e forms with compensating f e a t u r e s such as the d i r e c t channel to the reader  and  to d i s p l a y h i s medium with r h e t o r i c a l  freedom f o r the  narrator  bravura.  Rohan's k a t a r i suspends the o b j e c t i v e c a l c u l a t i o n of d i s t a n c e between o b j e c t and s u b j e c t i v i t y of s e l f and novels,  s e l f ; the o b j e c t i s p u l l e d i n t o the  expressed i n s u b j e c t i v e terms.  the d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of s t r a i g h t narrative,i  In h i s  dialogue,  i n t e r i o r monologue, and a u t h o r i a l comment, e v a l u a t i o n and same s i t u a t i o n obtains  aside  is rather d i f f i c u l t .  The  in classical  Japanese monogatari.  A s u b j e c t i v e l y strong n a r r a t o r , i n the  midst of the n a r r a t i o n , tends to obscure the s e l f - o t h e r d i s t i n c t i o n . Often t h i s resembles the phenomenon of the n a r r a t o r at times being h i m s e l f , and  at times being a c h a r a c t e r i n the n a r r a t i o n .  Rohan's n a r r a t i v e v o i c e was  based on t r a d i t i o n a l monogatari  prose.  With t h i s type of k a t a r i i t i s not p o s s i b l e to w r i t e  what we  have come to know as a modern r e a l i s t i c n o v e l .  I t seems  he maintained the t r a d i t i o n a l s t y l e p r i m a r i l y out of c o n s i d e r a t i o n  54  f o r i t s m u s i c a l i t y and u n i t y of n a r r a t i v e v o i c e . h i s bunsho, d i d of course  His  technique,  change over the s i x t y years he  w r i t i n g ; the u n d e r l y i n g deep s t r u c t u r e of h i s l i t e r a r y d i d not.  spent  imagination  Of the works d i s c u s s e d i n t h i s essay, Taidokuro  Goju no To are r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of Rohan's e a r l y bungotai —  his " l i t e r a r y style novels."  l e s s k o g o t a i , the "spoken s t y l e . "  and shosetsu  Renkanki i s w r i t t e n i n more or Yamamoto K e n k i c h i  has  c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h i s l a t e r "spoken s t y l e " as " k o e n t a i " ( "0 yfi "oral narrative style."  In t h i s mode, Rohan's w r i t i n g "gives  you the sense of s i t t i n g around the f i r e s i d e and l i s t e n i n g to a l i v e l y , i n f o r m a l t a l e from the mouth of one who realized  0) ^  h i s humanity [  -/C  has  fully  " j i n s e i no t a t s u j i n " ]. "  R e f l e c t i n g b r i e f l y on the o r a l / m u s i c a l b a s i s of so many of the Japanese l i t e r a r y a r t s ,  from court poetry and Noh  can begin to understand  why  modern s t y l e —=  Rohan was  to J o r u r i ,  we  u n w i l l i n g to adapt a more  i t would mean the f o r f e i t u r e  of so much.  To emphasize Rohan's s t r e s s on the importance of sounds, I would l i k e to quote from h i s commentary on a poem i n Basho's Fuyu no H i : Shigure no Maki ( Sun:  "The  Winter  E a r l y Showers Chapter") which reads:  Mikazuki no H i g a s h i wa kuraku Kane no koe.  Through the gloom East of the c r e s c e n t moon The t o l l of a temple b e l l .  N i g h t f a l l with a three-day moon and to the east i t i s a l r e a d y dark. A t a b l e a u of dusk s t r e t c h e s beyond  55  the h o r i z o n as Heaven and E a r t h are about to be l i n k e d by n i g h t . The sound of the temple b e l l passes slowly, echoing i n the shadowy f o r e s t and f a d i n g at the r i m of the c l o u d s , evoking a s o l i t a r y t r a n q u i l i t y . ... The poem has no need f o r theory and the l i k e . Previous commentaries say the c r e s c e n t moon i s seen i n the west and the b e l l heard i n the east. Some have i t that both moon and b e l l are i n the west and the east i s j u s t dark. Neither view i s c o r r e c t . Where'ever the sound of the b e l l comes from, i t i s f i n e : a r r i v i n g from the west or coming from the south, f a l l i n g from above or a r i s i n g from beneath the f e e t , i t admits no d i f f e r e n c e . There i s no b e l l tower i n view here, thus no need f o r t h i s k i n d of d i s c u s s i o n . Here we have only, from the midst of the darkness at dusk, the r i n g i n g of a temple's evening b e l l p r o c l a i m i n g the t r a n s i t o r i n e s s of a l l endeavor. In the t o l l i n g , l i k e v i l e thoughts being washed away with water, karmic d e l u s i o n i s immediately d i s s o l v e d , body and mind f a l l away, and suddenly the t r u t h i s grasped. The wonder of the poem's c o n s t r u c t i o n i s how a l l t h i s i s d i s c l o s e d , yet unspoken. Read i t three times! Enough to make anyone shed t e a r s of gratitude. There i s no room f o r tangled_arguments_ of east and west. As e x p l a i n e d i n the Surangama-sutra, the v i r t u e s of the eye are e i g h t hundred"^ of the ear, twelve hundred. ... 14 One of the elements of a prose s t y l e , which Yeats c a l l e d "the It  p l a y f u l demonstration of the medium i t s e l f , " i s rhythm. tends to r e c e i v e l i t t l e  a t t e n t i o n i n most d i s c u s s i o n s of  prose, but i n Rohan's w r i t i n g , e s p e c i a l l y the e a r l y work, rhythm i s a major  feature.  Simply put, rhythm r e f e r s to the p l e a s i n g flow of sounds. A s t r i c t e r d e f i n i t i o n can be a p p l i e d i n v o l v i n g an examination of  d u r a t i o n , s t r e s s , p i t c h , and tempo ( i n c l u d i n g pauses) i n a  s e r i e s of phrases or clauses which have been g i v e n a r e g u l a r pattern.  I t i s p r i m a r i l y tempo and m e t r i c a l rhythm we f i n d i n  56  Rohan's prose. aspects.  Here I w i l l l i m i t my remarks to a few general  S p e c i f i c examples are provided i n the d i s c u s s i o n o f  i n d i v i d u a l works. All  languages  have a k i n d of l a t e n t meter or a tendency  toward a c e r t a i n set p a t t e r n of s y l l a b l e s . the f i v e - s e v e n p a t t e r n .  In Japanese i t i s  T h i s i s the s y l l a b i c p a t t e r n o f  t r a d i t i o n a l Japanese v e r s e , the tanka, h a i k u , and t h e i r forms.  linked  I t s conscious use i n prose gives a n a t u r a l flow to the  sentences  and ( e s p e c i a l l y i n the modern period) evokes a  c l a s s i c a l ambiance.  Rohan's e a r l y works make e x t e n s i v e use  of the f i v e - s e v e n s y l l a b i c rhythm and the p o e t i c d e v i c e s t h a t have been developed line: kire j i  over c e n t u r i e s  ( j^J  5jL  f o r use with that p a r t i c u l a r  " c u t t i n g words"), kakekotoba ( $ \  " p i v o t words"), and engo (  " a s s o c i a t e d terms").  Another notable f e a t u r e o f Rohan's w r i t i n g i s the technique known as meishidome (  "^i] JL^.  "the noun s t o p " ) .  A sentence  i n Japanese normally ends with a verb, o f t e n the copula. O c c a s i o n a l l y , a sentence w i l l end with an a d j e c t i v e . The syntax o r d i n a r i l y runs: subject or t o p i c , o b j e c t , and then verb. However, m o d i f i c a t i o n s of nominals it  occurs before the noun so  i s p o s s i b l e to have a long s e r i e s of l o o s e l y r e l a t e d  phrases  a l l modifying the same noun.  descriptive  The noun becomes a f o c a l  p o i n t or c e n t e r of g r a v i t y with the weight of the previous h a l f dozen c l a u s e s balanced on i t .  The energy  o f the whole, o f t e n  57  extremely lengthy sentence, comes to rest with an abruptness because sentences do not normally end with nouns.  It breaks  the tempo and throws a spotlight on the noun i n a rather dramatic fashion.  The technique was evidently derived from  Saikaku, the master of rhythmic Japanese prose. The purpose of rhythm, Yeats t e l l s us, i s to "prolong the moment of contemplation, the moment when we are both asleep and awake, which i s the one moment of creation, by hushing us with an a l l u r i n g monotone while i t holds us waking by i t s variety, to keep us i n that state of perhaps real trance, i n which the mind, liberated from the pressure of the w i l l , i s 16 enfolded i n symbols." The meishidome 'noun-stop' device serves to prolong this "moment of contemplation."  It does so by causing a break i n  the rhythm and a c r y s t a l l i z a t i o n around a particular image. This abrupt stop on a noun i s something l i k e the "point of charm" Yamazaki Masakazu refers to i n his discussion of Zeami's ' 1363-1443) aesthetics. The point of charm" i s ( ML R the instant of emotional impact between the ha and kyu movements 17 i n Noh, "the marvelous point of the opening of ears and eyes." The Noh technique i s a more sophisticated, yet fundamentally similar, application of the p r i n c i p l e of ma ( pg j ). "Ma" refers  to the art of using an interval or space to heighten an a r t i s t i c effect.  The mie or "climatic freeze pose" i n kabuki i s another  58  example of the application of the principle of ma. This description of Saikaku's prose, a description which could e a s i l y be applied to some of Rohan's own best writing, centers on the use of ma,  the opening or space i n  the flow of language: It has a pleasant lightness and marvelous s p i r i t u a l i t y . One has the impression of being i n a boat made from the petal of a flower, shooting the rapids, f l y i n g through mountains, and dashing over boulders. After going beyond a stretch where there was no time to pause and examine i n d e t a i l the flowers, grasses and trees, you come out into a vast ocean — only then do you have the opportunity to look around and r e f l e c t . By then the t r a i l behind you i s already being buried i n white clouds and the way before you i s wrapped i n an amorphous vapor.18 Before leaving this b r i e f sketch of the salient features of Rohan's prose, one other important influence should be mentioned.  With respect to individual works, i t i s of course  possible to point to immediate influences such as Noh texts and Basho's travel diaries on Taidokuro, Joruri and Kabuki on Goju no To, the principles of renku  'linked verse  1  on Kagyuan  Linked Tales from the Snail's Hermitage" 1943), and so forth.  But on a deeper l e v e l , the  l e v e l referred to above as "buntai," I think i t i s important to note the following.  Despite forays into c o l l o q u i a l language  writing i n mid-career and a number of successful novels not written i n bungobun ' l i t e r a r y style' toward the end of his l i f e ,  59  Rohan was kundokutai  most comfortable with h i s v a r i a n t of the kambun bungobun s t y l e , that i s , l i t e r a r y Japanese tempered  with s t r i n g s of Chinese c h a r a c t e r phrases. There have been, and presumably s t i l l  are, v a r i o u s schools  or s t y l e s of r e a d i n g kambun (Chinese) i n Japan. the monzen yomi (  "the Wen  xuan  One  of them,  r e a d i n g " named  a f t e r the c l a s s i c a l Chinese a n t h o l o g y ) , has been d e s c r i b e d as f o l l o w s : "Whenever p o s s i b l e i t repeats the Chinese word to be g l o s s e d i n kan'on [Japanese v e r s i o n of Chinese p r o n u n c i a t i o n ] and then e x p l a i n s i t with Japanese kun  [ n a t i v e Japanese f o r the  term i n question] o f t e n i n t r o d u c e d by the Japanese q u o t a t i v e p a r t i c l e to_.  Here as i n other r e s p e c t s i t c l e a r l y shows i t s 19  o r i g i n s i n the o r a l t r a d i t i o n s of the classroom." Rohan, we remember, withdrew from middle  s c h o o l , the Tokyo  F i r s t Middle School i n Kanda, and the Tokyo E n g l i s h School i n favor of a t r a d i t i o n a l Confucian s c h o o l .  He i s known to have  v o r a c i o u s l y read a wide range of Chinese t e x t s as a youth. seems c l e a r i t was  It  t h i s kambun t r a i n i n g that had a tremendous  a f f e c t on h i s s t y l e .  The  important p o i n t i s to keep i n mind  that although kambun looks l i k e a s e r i e s of signs meant mainly f o r the eye, kundoku, the Japanese r e a d i n g , was developed  for aural  originally  understanding.  Terada Toru, d i s c u s s i n g Rohan's essay on L i e h Tzu, "Resshi o Yomu" ( "Reading L i e h Tzu" 1927), a text r a t h e r dense with Chinese c h a r a c t e r s , w r i t e s , "As you begin  60  r e a d i n g , as the eye a powerful  f o l l o w s the c h a r a c t e r s , deep i n the  v o i c e begins  to be heard.  f e e l i n g of h e a r i n g an e x p l a n a t i o n . "  That i s , one has  ear the  Terada claims the  flow  of thought i s much c l o s e r to language as i t i s a c t u a l l y spoken, s t o r y t e l l i n g s t y l e , than what i s now —  c a l l e d "spoken s t y l e "  20  (kogobun).  This agrees with Yamamoto's observations  mentioned  above and with what has been s a i d about k a t a r i : the v o i c e of the n a r r a t o r permeates the t e x t as a u n i f y i n g f o r c e .  The  s t r e n g t h of t h i s v o i c e i n Rohan's w r i t i n g , both f i c t i o n n o n f i c t i o n , whether or not we  and  a t t r i b u t e the e f f e c t to a kambun  kundoku b u n t a i , gives the reader a strange heard an i n t i m a t e s t o r y from the t e x t .  sense of  having  A f t e r f i n i s h i n g Kangadan  ("Picture Viewing Tale") or Gendan ("Mystifying Tales") sound of the n a r r a t o r ' s v o i c e l i n g e r s i n the ear while d e t a i l s of his conjured 1  the the  space begin<;to fade from view.  Having i n d i c a t e d why  Rohan's prose s t y l e d i d not lend  itself  to the c r e a t i o n of a modern European-type n o v e l , I hope I need not add  t h i s was  not the k i n d of l i t e r a t u r e he  Yet he has been widely  criticized  sought to w r i t e .  f o r j u s t t h i s supposed  Above and beyond c o n s i d e r a t i o n s of s t y l e , i t was of r e a l i s m that Rohan and  "failure."  over the i s s u e  the bundan parted company.  In a recent  essay Denis Donoghue had t h i s to say about r e a l i s m : A work of l i t e r a t u r e i s r e a l i s t i c when the reader f i n d s i t easy to f o r g e t that i t i s l i t e r a t u r e , the f i c t i o n i s so continuous with what he already knows  61  of l i f e . Realism t r i e s hard to g i v e the impression that the work of a r t i s r e a l l y a work of nature and that the a r t i s t has merely taken d i c t a t i o n from the t r u t h - t e l l i n g f o r c e i n l i f e i t s e l f . ... i t proceeds as though i t s p a r t i c u l a r form and s t y l e arose so spontaneously from the experience i t presents that the gap between the experience and the s t y l e seems to be closed.21 Faced with the m a n i f e s t l y s u p e r i o r technology and m a t e r i a l c i v i l i z a t i o n of the West which was the M e i j i  Japanese  based on s c i e n t i f i c o b s e r v a t i o n ,  sought to emulate  those achievements.  Their  l i t e r a t u r e moved c l o s e r to the r e a l i s m f o s t e r e d by a naive science.  N a t u r a l i s m and i t s outgrowth,  the watakushi-shosetsu  ("I-novel") won  the day to the detriment of o l d e r l i t e r a r y  sensibilities.  A r e a l i s t i c sentence says " b e l i e v e me"  sentence i n d i f f e r e n t  to r e a l i s m says "enjoy me'."  claims upon t r u t h the way inclination  1  s c i e n c e does.  but a  Realism makes  A l i t e r a t u r e with  toward r e a l i s m i s more concerned with beauty  little  and  p l e a s u r e : i t i s able t o , as Donoghue puts i t , "take p l e a s u r e in  the extravagance of the s i g n i f i e r . " The l i t e r a r y taxonomist  o f t e n t r i e s to i n c l u d e Rohan under  the r u b r i c "Romantic I d e a l i s t . " concerned i t would be d i f f i c u l t  As f a r as the e a r l y works are to deny t h i s  characterization.  The tenor of h i s l a t e r work might be b e t t e r d e s c r i b e d as realist." freedom  "anti-  An a n t i - r e a l i s t would h o l d that r e a l i s m "impedes the  of i m a g i n a t i o n , f a n t a s y , [and] the metaphorical p o s s i b i l -  i t i e s to be d i s c o v e r e d w i t h i n the a r t i s t i c medium; and t h e r e f o r e  62  c o n s p i r e s with a complacent s o c i e t y to maintain  i t s common-  p l a c e s , e s p e c i a l l y those o f c h a r a c t e r , i d e n t i t y and h i s t o r y . " The  22  g r e a t e s t danger of r e a l i s m from t h i s p o i n t of view i s  that i t attempts to employ signs that conceal t h e i r as signs and pretend During  to be the t r u t h i t s e l f .  a critical  was a t J igokudani,  character  juncture e a r l y i n h i s c a r e e r , while he  a hot springs r e t r e a t , Rohan wrote " A  Commentary on the Secondary S i g n i f i c a n c e o f the Heart  ( JffL,$i Aj' 1890).  %> ^  >£_  Sutra"  "Hanya Shingyo D a i n i g i c h u "  He e x p l a i n s h i s commentary can only deal with  secondary  meanings because the e s s e n t i a l t r u t h s of the s u t r a can not be grasped with language. the t i t l e s  ( T h i s , by the way, i s the reason why  of so many of h i s works begin with " f u r y u " — the  term emphasizes the s e c u l a r , e q u i v o c a l nature  o f the w r i t i n g . )  Rohan's a r t i s t r y l a y not i n making the t r i v i a l and t r a n s i t o r y appear to be true and enduring,  but i n h i s a b i l i t y to express  i n the p l a y of language, i n the sounds of a s t o r y , deep human emotion and a t a s t e of the sublime.  63  Koda Rohan, "Bunsho Yo Ron" ("The Essentials of Writing"), i n Rohan Zenshu ("The Complete Works of Koda Rohan"), 41 vols.; I  (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1949-58), Vol. 25, pp. 50-51. Subsequent references to the Rohan Zenshu w i l l be cited as Zenshu with the appropriate volume and page numbers. 2 E. D. Hirsch,Jr., The Aims of Interpretation, (Chicago and London: The Univ. of Chicago Press, 1976), pp. 140-141. 3 Masamune Hakucho, as cited in, Koda Rohan Shu, Nihon Kindai Bungaku Taikei Series, No. 6 (Tokyo: Kadokawa, 1974), p. 595. The Japanese i s : "omoi yoroi o k i t a ue n i , r o c h i j i n no motte i t a yo na nanjukan mo suru tetsunobo o hikizutte i r u yo na bunsho." 4 For a number of informative a r t i c l e s on modes of written expression i n the Meiji period see the special issue "Meiji no Buntai" (PMeiji Prose Styles") of Kokubungaku, 25 (August, 1980). ^ Saito Mokichi, "Kadan Mankaku Cho" ("Notes on Myriad Awakenings i n the Poetry C i r c l e " ) , as cited by Fujioka Takeo, Saito Mokichi to no Shuhen (Tokyo: Komyosha, 1973), p. 301. 6 — — Noborio Yutaka, "Koda Rohan no Sozoryoku to Buntai" ("Rohan's Imagination and Style"), Kokubungaku, 25 (August,1980), pp. 98-103. Zenshu, Vol. 1, p. 137 Zenshu, Vol. 4, p. 383 9 Yanagida Izumi, Meiji Bungaku Zenshu, Vol. 25 (Tokyo: Chikuma Shobo, 1968), as cited by Noborio, p. 100. 10 12 Noborio, p. 101. 103. II Zenshu, Vol. 25, p. 55. 7  8  64  13  Yamamoto Kenkichi, Soseki Takuboku Rohan (Tokyo: Bungei Shunju-sha, 1972), p. 176. Koda Rohan, Rohan Hyoshaku Basho Shichibushu ("Rohan's Commentary on The Seven Collections of the Basho School") (Tokyo: Chuokoronsha, 1975), p. 91 William B. Yeats, "The Tragic Theatre," i n The Cutting • of an Agate (London: MacMillan, 1922), p. 35. Yeats, p. 86. 17 Yamazaki Masakazu, "The Aesthetics of Transformation: Zeami's Dramatic Theories," trans, with intro. by Susan Matisoff, The Journal of Japanese Studies, 7 (Summer, 1981), p. 249. 18 Fukumoto Kazuo, Nihon Runessansu-shiron kara mita Koda — Rohan ("Koda Rohan Viewed from the Perspective of Japanese 1 5  1 6  Renaissance Theory") (Tokyo: Hosei Daigaku Shuppan Kyoku, 1972), p. 25. 19 Roy Andrew M i l l e r , The Japanese Language (Chicago and London: The Univ. of Chicago Press, 1967), p. 118. Terada Toru, "Rohan no Kosho," ("Rohan's Textual Studies") Bungaku, 46, No. 11 (1978), p. 1354. 21 Denis Donoghue, "The Real McCoy," rev. of Essays on Realism, by Georg Lukacs, and The R e a l i s t i c Imagination, by George Levine, New York Review, 19 November, 1981, p. 44. Donoghue writes i n the same review, "Realism encourages the reader to believe that what he thinks he knows i s indeed the case, and that what he doesn't know i s continuous with what he thinks he knows. Unrealism diverts him from knowledge to his heart's desire, i n keeping with the fact that f i c t i o n i s f i c t i o n because, without i t , he would die of fact", (p.44) . 22 Donoghue, p. 44.  65  Chapter Three Encounter With A Skull  Deep i n the Snowy Mountains Would I vanish In search of the brew that i s death For those who love.-'On the back page of the magazine Shincho Hakushu for September, 1889, an issue which included Rohan' s f i r s t piece of r e a l l y masterful writing, Furyubutsu ("An A l l u r i n g Buddha"), there i s an advertisement for Taidokuro ( 2 "Encounter with a Skull"). It reads i n part:  rg ^ ^jf-. 7  A novel beyond the law! Never before such a controv e r s i a l work! Never before such eroticism [iroppoki]! 2 Never before such an unusual, perplexing work as t h i s ! We may forgive the hyperbole, such i s the nature of advertising, but the r e p e t i t i o n of "never before" challenges the prospective reader to find elements i n the novel that have been encountered i n previous l i t e r a t u r e . Even a cursory reading of Taidokuro reveals i t s great debt to c l a s s i c a l sources going back as far as the Tale of Genji from which the poem quoted above has been taken.  The work mines  t r a d i t i o n a l l i t e r a r y forms, especially the Noh theatre, for both thematic material and s t y l i s t i c devices. Like the best of premodern Japanese l i t e r a t u r e , i t too develops a poetic tension  66  between " t h i s world" and a "beyond;" i t evokes a sense of the pleasures of the body at odds with the freedom of s p i r i t . i t does while managing to maintain a reverence and mystery of r e a l e x i s t e n c e . as encountered  This  f o r the complexity  The "mystery o f r e a l e x i s t e n c e "  i n many Japanese poems and some prose n a r r a t i v e s  might be expressed i n the f o l l o w i n g paradox: Mundane e x i s t e n c e i s nothing but the l i f e of the Buddha h i m s e l f . Should one loathe and t r y to abandon i t , that i s p r e c i s e l y to l o s e the l i f e o f the Buddha. Should one stay with i t and c l i n g to mundane e x i s t e n c e that a l s o would mean to l o s e the l i f e of the Buddha. At the same time we note Taidokuro' s debt to the pas^t we should a l s o p o i n t out the o r i g i n a l i t y and s k i l l with which c l a s s i c a l elements are reworked i n t o a f r e s h , modern e x p r e s s i o n . It  i s an e x c e l l e n t example of how t r a d i t i o n always i n v o l v e s a  p a t t e r n of p e r s i s t e n c e and change.  The hero o f the novel goes  by the author's own name and the temporal have c l o s e a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l parallels.~*  and s p a t i a l  details  I t reminds us of the  Edo p e r i o d t r a v e l d i a r i e s while a n t i c i p a t i n g the watakushishosetsu ("I-novel")  development.  Although  the e r o t i c i s m i n  the novel stays w i t h i n the bounds of the l i g h t t i t i l l a t i o n of Edo p i l l o w books, the work concludes with a very graphic passage d e s c r i b i n g a woman i n an advanced stage of l e p r o s y which must have profoundly shocked its  the M e i j i audience.  Taidokuro  honors  predecessors while developing d i f f e r e n t pathways of e x p r e s s i o n  67  and e l i c i t i n g new l e v e l s o f response. The novel t e l l s the s t o r y of a young man, "Rohan" (  ) ,  who, while attempting t o t r a v e r s e some rugged mountain country in  e a r l y s p r i n g , l o s t and exhausted,  chances upon the l o n e l y  d w e l l i n g of a b e a u t i f u l young woman, "Otae" ( ^ ^pj?" to  )• I n v i t e d  spend the n i g h t , the p r o t a g o n i s t w r e s t l e s with h i s d e s i r e s  and f e a r s with r e s p e c t to the woman who seems a t once p r o v o c a t i v e , t h r e a t e n i n g , and motherly. That there i s only one s e t of bedding occasions some amusing c o m i c - e r o t i c banter, but temptation i s f i n a l l y overcome and the s i t u a t i o n r e s o l v e d by both s t a y i n g up through the n i g h t . passes q u i c k l y as Otae r e l a t e s her l i f e  Time  s t o r y , e x p l a i n i n g how  she came t o abandon the world and achieve freedom and e n l i g h t e n ment i n her s o l i t a r y mountain abode.  Dawn breaks and the young  man f i n d s no house or companion, only a white s k u l l a t h i s f e e t : ... j u s t then, with the morning sun sending f o r t h i t s f i r s t streaks of r e d , the house and woman vanished i n t o the r i s i n g m i s t . Alone, crouching i n l a s t year's withered brush t o t i e my b o o t l a c e , g l encountered a t my f e e t , a bleached, white s k u l l . He b u r i e s the s k u l l b e l i e v i n g i t t o be that of the woman i n h i s v i s i o n and f o l l o w s a stream down to a hot springs v i l l a g e . An innkeeper responds  t o h i s query about a woman wandering i n  the v i c i n i t y with a grotesque d e s c r i p t i o n of a leprous woman he witnessed e n t e r i n g the mountains the previous year.  She was  68  i n a r a g i n g f r e n z y , stumbling along chanting, "Cast o f f by the world, I throw i t a l l away!" ("yo n i s u t e r a r e t e yo o s u t e t e " ) Each o f the three s e c t i o n s of Taidokuro begins with a b r i e f three--line heading  p l a y f u l l y t e a s i n g the reader with an  i r o n i c comment on the n a r r a t i v e to f o l l o w .  The f i r s t  heading  reads: Tabi n i michizure no a j i wa shiranedo yo wa nasakearu onna no kotogoto t a d a s h i dokoyara n i kowai tokoro a r i g a t a i  tokoro.  Don't y e t know the t a s t e of companionship on the road, though the world i t s e l f be a compassionate woman, somewhere f o r sure i s that witch to f e a r , that which to h o l d dear. " T h i s i n t r o d u c e s the m i c h i y u k i ( i C ^ ^ J  ) s t r e t c h of the s t o r y .  A m i c h i y u k i i s a d e s c r i p t i o n of a journey, u s u a l l y i n h i g h l y p o e t i c language,  d e r i v e d from the conventions  l a t e r J o r u r i and Kabuki took on a dramatic  of Noh.  In the  t h e a t r e s the m i c h i y u k i was expanded and  f u n c t i o n while r e t a i n i n g i t s l y r i c  emphasis.  Such passages u s u a l l y c o n t a i n a l l u s i o n s t o , or quotations from, classical  literature.  The m i c h i y u k i i n Taidokuro  presents the p r o t a g o n i s t , a young  l i g h t - s p i r i t e d t r a v e l l e r , as he moves through a s e r i e s of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s to reach the space i n which the c e n t r a l occurs.  action  In the three l i n e s of the heading we have the main  elements o f the f i r s t  part of the s t o r y :  A lone t r a v e l l e r , the  69  thought  of a compassionate female, and the caveat that the  combination  may induce e i t h e r f e a r or g r a t i t u d e .  The heading ( /(^  of the second  s e c t i o n , a l l u d i n g to Ise Monogatari  "The T a l e s o f I s e " ) , the tenth-century song  narrative  (uta monogatari),  Shutendoji  ( ^  and Chikamatsu's J o r u r i ,  ;j§ T  p  "  "  T  h  e  Keisei  Amorous Brigand of  Mt. Oe"), reads: I r o j i k a k e i n o c h i ayauki o n i h i t o k u c h i t o n i g e t e mawarishi okubyo mono s h i s a i uketamawareba s h i s a i n a k i k o t o . An a r t f u l s e d u c t i o n threatens t o d i s p a t c h h i s l i f e i n one f e l l swoop as the coward runs t h i s way and that t o escape, yet once the f a c t s are known, there i s nothing to i t a t a l l . ^  The  l i n e s r i d i c u l e the i n t e r p l a y of lone t r a v e l l e r and a l l e g e d  temptress, while suggesting the u l t i m a t e innocence of  or v a n i t y  the a f f a i r . The t h i r d p a r t of the s t o r y i s i n t r o d u c e d w i t h the l i n e s : Kikeba kikuhodo s u j i no wakaranu k o i j i no hajime t o s a t o r i no owari yokuyoku t a d a s h i t e mireba seken n i o i koto. The more you l i s t e n , the l e s s you understand t h i s n a r r a t i v e from i t s beginning on the path of love to a f i n a l awakening, i f you look very ,yery c a r e f u l l y , nothing c o u l d be more common. •I  This f i n a l  u  s e c t i o n , which i n c l u d e s a lengthy t a l e w i t h i n the t a l e ,  70  i s given over to Otae's l i f e young man's confusion face value,  but  and  story.  advises  The  us not  heading winks at to take the  the  s t o r y at  to look i n s t e a d at the l a r g e r s i g n i f i c a n c e of  the n a r r a t i v e .  The  s a t o r i 'awakening' r e f e r r e d to occurs more  than once. Numerous r e f e r e n c e s c e r t a i n passages, and  to s p e c i f i c c h a r a c t e r s ,  the  the rhythm of  s i m i l a r i t y of o v e r a l l s t r u c t u r e remind 11  the reader of t h i s novel's debt to c l a s s i c a l Noh Noh  i s u s u a l l y d i v i d e d i n t o three  The  Jo s e c t i o n  agonist,  (  s e c t i o n s or dan  ) introduces  o f t e n a t r a v e l l i n g monk.  the waki ( *7 ^  drama. ( ^-^L,  The ).  ) or deuter-  In Taidokuro the p o r t i o n  of  the n a r r a t i o n r e l a t i n g the young t r a v e l l e r ' s experience from the i n n at the hot  springs  to h i s f i r s t encounter with the woman  corresponds to the Jo_ movement i n Noh. music and  In t h i s movement, rhythmic  i n t e n s i f i e d p o e t i c language work to set a mood and  draw the waki and  audience i n t o a realm somewhat removed from  waking consciousness.  The  s t r u c t u r e of Rohan's s t o r y  what i s known as f u k u s h i k i mug en no literally,  " m u l t i p l e dream Noh,"  (  "t[^ ^  follows  £~^J  )>  o f t e n c a l l e d simply, " v i s i o n  Noh."  In such a p l a y , a t r a v e l l e r meets the s p i r i t of a deceased person i n the form of a dream or h a l l u c i n a t i o n . s t o r y , views t h e i r dance, and  He hears t h e i r  g e n e r a l l y commiserates with t h e i r  t a l e of woe.  A f t e r a pause or i n t e r v a l , the  s p i r i t returns  true form and  d i s c l o s e s i t s o r i g i n a l i d e n t i t y to the  in i t s  traveller.  71  The  middle development or ha (  o f t e n composed of three p a r t s . mae j i t e  (fll)y J  ) movement i s i t s e l f  First  i s the entrance of the  ), the p r o t a g o n i s t  of the f i r s t  part.  This  i s followed by a c o n v e r s a t i o n  between t h i s maejite  conducted i n song and dance.  F i n a l l y , the h i g h point i s reached  when the p r o t a g o n i s t  and the waki,  completes the communication of h i s or her  s t o r y with an emotional chant and dance known as the kuse ( y part.  7  )  In a s i m i l a r way, i n Taidokuro we have the appearance of  Otae to the young t r a v e l l e r , Rohan, followed by a s e c t i o n of s u s t a i n e d serio-comic  banter between the two which e s t a b l i s h e s  the p r e t e x t f o r Otae's long l i f e  story.  Her account i s a complete  drama w i t h i n t h i s drama, which ends a b r u p t l y with the coming o f dawn and the d i s s o l u t i o n o f the v i s i o n . In the t h i r d part or kyu ( there i s a quickening finale.  ) movement of a Noh p l a y  o f the pace as the drama moves toward i t s  i n " v i s i o n Noh" the n o c h i j i t e  protagonist  (  > jT  ) the 5  of the second p a r t , appears and d i s c l o s e s h i s ' o r her  t r u e i d e n t i t y , then dances a very powerful dance expressive of t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r a f f l i c t i o n or attachment. of the leprous woman d e s c r i b e d  The macabre "dance"  i n extremely graphic  terms by  the v i l l a g e r i n Ogawa corresponds c l o s e l y to the f i n a l dance 12 of the nochi j i t e i n Noh.  More s p e c i f i c a l l y , the mad woman's  f r e n z y can be thought of as a v a r i a t i o n on the k a k e r i  (  *3  ])  ),  72  the "rush dance" of a crazed woman or warrior often accompanied by rapid f l u t e .  The v i l l a g e r ' s account concludes:  From time to time she would pause, catching her breath, heaving as i f to vomit forth the poisons flooding her viscera. It wasn't only the dogs and birds that fled her path, a single glance f i l l e d a person with a t e r r i b l e nausea. Just the thought of that t e r r i b l e smell recollected during a meal would d i s p e l l the pleasure of eating miso soup.. Remember the oozing pus and you'd have to pass up such''delicacies as salted, fermented f i s h e n t r a i l s . Nobody had the heart to provide her with even a handful of boiled r i c e . She was l e f t to manage as best she could. You could hear, despite wretched a r t i c u l a t i o n , what sounded l i k e a song chanted with great sorrow, "Cast o f f by the world, I throw i t a l l away!" She tottered uncertainly, wavering back and forth, her voice a wheezing rage. "Aargh!" Glaring at the empty sky, and brandishing her bamboo s t a f f , winding c r a z i l y , s t r i k i n g out at the roadside rocks and trees, she leaped and lunged, her heart burning i n flames of wrath, i n madness, pure madness, she went o f f without a t r a c e . 1 3  While the overall structure of the work r e f l e c t s the basic pattern of '-'vision Noh," history —  the encapsulated tale —  Otae' s l i f e  serves to develop i n straight narrative the same  thematic material presented i n d i r e c t l y i n the frame.  Otae's  tale i s reminiscent of the narrative line i n Kayoi Komachi (  jfL/|-$J  1406?).  ), a Noh play by Kan'ami ( $%Jffi  ^  1332?-  Donald Keene has summarized the play this way: An unknown woman ... appears each day to offer f r u i t s and firewood to a p r i e s t . He asks her name, but after hinting that she i s Ono no Komachi, the poet, she  73  d i s a p p e a r s . L a t e r , the p r i e s t o f f e r s prayers f o r the woman's s a l v a t i o n and she r e t u r n s asking that he administer to her Buddhist o r d i n a t i o n . But a v o i c e c a l l s out f o r b i d d i n g t h i s . Komachi pleads to be g i v e n the chance of s a l v a t i o n , but the ghost of her r e j e c t e d l o v e r Fukakusa ... seeks to prevent Komachi from d e s e r t i n g him i n h e l l . In the end h i s wrath i s appeased and both a t t a i n the way of the Buddha. 1 4  The  young l o r d who  Fukakusa who,  pines away f o r Otae puts us i n mind of  legend has  i t , v i s i t e d Komachi and was  refused  for  n i n e t y - n i n e n i g h t s before he f i n a l l y d i e d .  had  l a r g e l y r e s i g n e d h e r s e l f to her l o n e l y f a t e s e a l e d by her  mother's l e t t e r informing her of her t e r r i b l e  Although  Otae  communicable  d i s e a s e , her r e s o l v e i s shaken by the young l o r d ' s l o v e .  Like  Fukakusa's love f o r Komachi, that love becomes both an o b s t a c l e to  her s a l v a t i o n and the impetus p r o p e l l i n g her toward her  enlightenment. The  title  of t h i s work, Encounter  with a S k u l l ,  indicates  t h a t , c o n t r a r y to the s i t u a t i o n i n Noh where the s h i t e has  the  main r o l e , here, the waki, "Young Rohan" i s the focus of the story.  I t i s h i s encounter  begins with t h i s young man spring?  to which the t i t l e r e f e r s . who  has  stopped  The  novel  f o r a cure at a hot  deep i n the mountains of Chuzenji i n c e n t r a l Japan.  As  mentioned above, the "hero" of the t a l e i s i d e n t i f i e d with the w r i t e r , Rohan -'The hero r e c o g n i z e s that he i s a s s o c i a t e d with 1  the l i g h t , t r a n s i e n t , " f l o a t i n g world" of appearances. "a buoyant s p i r i t with no f i x e d abode."  He  He i s r e s i g n e d "to  has  74  wander through the u n i v e r s e , always r e s t l e s s , " the "ebb and f l o w o f h i s f a t e determined by t h e winds o f karma." not a l t o g e t h e r l a c k i n g i n a s p i r a t i o n f o r s p i r i t u a l  He i s cultivation  as h i s mocking r e f e r e n c e t o h i m s e l f as "a t h r e e day monk w i t h p a r t - t i m e d i s c i p l i n e " shows. He d i s r e g a r d s t h e innkeeper's  a d v i c e and, r a t h e r than  r e t u r n t h e way he has come, i n s i s t s on t r a v e r s i n g an i n f r e q u e n t l y t a k e n , r a t h e r d i f f i c u l t pass through t h e mountains.  The h i g h  p o i n t on t h i s r o u t e separates  Kozuke and Shimotsuke p r o v i n c e s ,  "the upper and lower f i e l d s . "  I n s p i t e o f a warning t h a t t h i s  journey should n o t be u n d e r t a k e n l i g h t l y , he a l l o w s a s t r e a k of stubborness and t h e o p p o r t u n i t y f o r a show o f bravado t o influence his decision.  A c t i n g a g a i n s t common sense and honest  a d v i c e he s e t s out w i t h a s t u r d y  giant of a guide, only to  r e a l i z e v e r y q u i c k l y what an uncommon, f o r m i d a b l e has  begun. The  a t t e n t i v e r e a d e r r e a l i z e s from t h e o u t s e t j u s t how  uncommon a space a w a i t s t h e young h e r o .  The opening passage  c o n t a i n s a l l u s i o n s t o the s t o r y o f Eguchi no Kimi and Basho's t r a v e l j o u r n a l , N o z a r a s h i "The  journey he  Kiko  (  Records o f a Weather-Exposed S k e l e t o n " ) .  ( >X- *0 <P) ^ h> ^ " ^ t j ^"J v  Eguchi no K i m i  i s mentioned by name and r e f e r s t o famous c o u r t e s a n , Tae (^^7 who appears i n a s t o r y t o l d o f Saigyo ( $3 g r e a t p o e t - p r i e s t o f medieval Japan.  ),  1118-1190) , the  She r e f u s e s t h e t r a v e l l i n g  p r i e s t l o d g i n g f o r the n i g h t i n an exchange o f poems f i l l e d  with  )  75  double entendre.  In some v e r s i o n s she i s l a t e r r e v e a l e d to  be an i n c a r n a t i o n of the B o d h i s a t t v a Samantabhadra.  The  legend  17 was  adapted by Kan'ami i n h i s Noh p l a y e n t i t l e d  Eguchi.  ;The  c o n j u c t i o n of p r o s t i t u t e and s a v i o u r i s not q u i t e so s t a r t l i n g as we might  imagine.  During the Edo p e r i o d , f o r example, ukiyo-e  p r i n t s of popular courtesans i n the guise of b o d h i s a t t v a s were very popular.  The p r o s t i t u t e as b o d h i s a t t v a , a model of  without attachment,  i s p a r t i c u l a r l y poignant s i n c e i t i s probably  the women of the n i g h t who of the p a s s i o n s .  compassion  know b e t t e r than anyone the v a n i t y  The a l l u s i o n to Eguchi no Kimi i n the text  serves to a l e r t the reader to the age-old p a t t e r n being i n t r o d u c e d and set the mood of the n a r r a t i v e to f o l l o w . The Saigyo theme i s continued i n the same passage with the phrase, "... negoto n i b a k a r i wa ukiyo sosogabaya gibberish that,  to hakanaki  shizuku tokutoku kokoromi n i  senjo ..."  ( " ' t i s only l o n e l y  'Would that the watery d r o p l e t s undertake  wash away the f l o a t i n g world,' mere f u t i l e d e f i a n c e  to  ...").  — 18 Rohan has taken part of t h i s phrase from Nozarashi Kiko.  Refer-  ence to Basho's j o u r n a l , which opens with the image of a s k e l e t o n ( p o s s i b l y Basho's v i s i o n of h i s own) the appearance  by the wayside,  of the s k u l l toward the end of t h i s t a l e .  phrase from Basho comes from the end of a passage the poet's v i s i t Koya.  prefigures The  describing  to Saigyo's hermitage near Oku no In on Mount  Basho notes that the c l e a r water running from a s p r i n g  76  near of  the  site  Saigyo —  o f the hermitage i t is still  seems unchanged from  percolating  concludes w i t h the v e r s e quoted Rohan has  changes t h e  first  Basho's v e r b ,  wash."  The  original  susugu poem  takes  hero's  the mountains,  passage  should note,  ("dew") t o s h i z u k u  becomes s o s o g u ,  b o t h meaning " t o  Would t h a t t h e s e d r o p l e t s o f dew U n d e r t a k e t o r i n s e away .~ This d o l e f u l f l o a t i n g world. an u n e x p e c t e d ,  a g u i d e d a s c e n t and  supramundane  free descent.  as a c o l d w i n d blows down h i s b a c k and  i n g becomes l a b o r e d , he  then  goes:  movement i n t o  the formoof  time  i n the prose p r e c e e d i n g h i s  Tsuyu tokutoku Kokoromi n i u k i y o Susugabaya. The  The  above e x c e p t , we  word, t s u y u  ('droplets") , a word Basho u s e s haiku.  purity.  the  reaches  the f i n a l  realm  Deep i n his breath-  stage o f the c l i m b :  The t r a c k s o f r a b b i t and d e e r m a r k i n g t h e snow f i n a l l y d i s a p p e a r e d and t h e sound o f b i r d c a l l s g r a d u a l l y f a d e d away. My body p e r s p i r e d h e a v i l y from the s t r a i n o f the a s c e n t . I t was as t h o u g h t h e d e f i l e d garments o f the f i v e d e s i r e s c o v e r i n g and c o n c e a l i n g t h e mind were b e i n g p e e l e d o f f l a y e r by l a y e r and t h e demon k i n g , u n t i l a moment ago r e v e l l i n g i n the g l o r y of i t s u n l i m i t e d miraculous power a t t h e ego c e n t e r i n t h e s i x t h l e v e l o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s , s u d d e n l y became b e r e f t o f camp f o l l o w e r s and a l l i e s , and was r e d u c e d t o a v a c u o u s , tenuous sadness. Somehow, I had become a d e f e a t e d w a r r i o r f l e e i n g the world i n f e a r . P e r h a p s t h e s t a t e was something l i k e t h e s e m i - d e a t h o f t h e s e n s e s a t t h e dawn o f o l d age when t h e body draws t o w a r d s i t s end. How h e a r t l e s s ! S u c h a l o s s o f s t r e n g t h and so l i t t l e t o r e l y on. As a p r o f o u n d s a d n e s s w e l l e d up u n c o n t r o l l a b l y , from  77  out of the darkness o f the treetops came the scream of a b i r d s h r i l l enough to p i e r c e stone. At that p o i n t , a shock went up my spine and before my eyes r e e l e d a w i l d f o u n t a i n of arabesques. "Here's where we p a r t , " .... 20 The  guide gives him p e r f u n c t o r y d i r e c t i o n s and departs,  him  alone, h a l f f r o z e n , and soon t o l o s e h i s way on the descent. The  changes i n the hero and h i s environment d u r i n g the  climb prepare him and the reader ken  leaving  they are about to e n t e r .  disappear.  f o r the space beyond normal  F i r s t , the signs of animal e x i s t e n c e  Then the f i v e senses a r e p u r i f i e d .  t h e i r attachment to t h e i r corresponding  P u r i f i e d i n that  objects i s weakened or  broken due to the s t r a i n and c o n c e n t r a t i o n of the ascent. hero's ego (here Rohan employs the vocabulary epistemology —  The  i t s t i e s to the mundane world are  and p e n e t r a t i o n to a deeper r e g i o n made p o s s i b l e .  s t o r y adheres c l o s e l y t o the t i m e l e s s p a t t e r n of h e r o i c  adventure d e r i v e d from mythology. severe hardship, the descent: snowslide; his  o f Buddhist  " d a i r o k u s h i k i mao;" Skt., mano-vijnana-mara) i s  s t r i p p e d of i t s defenses, loosened,  The  Although the climb was a  the hero must experience  f u r t h e r s u f f e r i n g on  he i s b r u i s e d , scratched, and h a l f b u r i e d by a  h i s c l o t h e s are t o r n by the brush and the soles o f  shoes cut through.  the q u o t i d i a n  severed.  As night f a l l s he i s l o s t , h i s t i e s to  78  It i s worth n o t i n g that i t i s i n v a r i a b l y s u b s t a n t i a l e f f o r t c a l l e d f o r t h by a p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n that s u s t a i n s and Rohan's c h a r a c t e r s to the i n s i g h t or s a t i s f a c t i o n they  carries  achieve.  In the a r t i s a n novels of h i s e a r l y p e r i o d , c h a r a c t e r s such as Shozo of Ikkoken ("One  Sword") or Jubei of Goju no To  ("The  S t o r i e d Pagoda") are r e q u i r e d to e x e r t tremendous e f f o r t ,  Fiveto  draw on resources and energies they were only dimly aware of p o s s e s s i n g , i n order to become masters of t h e i r own both n o v e l s , and to some degree i n Taidokuro  fate.  In  as w e l l , a sense  of p r i d e i s what t r i g g e r s the i n d i v i d u a l ' s c o n f l i c t with h i s workaday world and provides the i n i t i a l to some form of The  impetus f o r the d r i v e  transcendence.  realm the hero i s t r a n s p o r t e d to i s c l e a r l y demarcated.  As he s i t s despondently  i n the f o r e s t about to r e t i e a broken  shoelace, he sees a l i g h t he d i s c o v e r s a "simple  f l i c k e r i n g i n the d i s t a n c e .  c a b i n with thatched r o o f set beneath a 22  l a r g e , mountain cherry t r e e j u s t beginning i s watered by a stream. running it  Approaching,  to bud.  The water s i g n a l s l i f e ,  The  l i k e the streams  through Shinto s h r i n e s i d e n t i f y i n g the place as  a l s o marks the way  spot  sacred;  back to c i v i l i z a t i o n and company, f o r a  mile and a h a l f downstream i s the v i l l a g e , Ogawamura. A more s t r i k i n g marker i s the yamazakura 'mountain c h e r r y . ' In the deepening darkness i t c a s t s an aura of beauty desolation. with s p r i n g .  The  and  yamazakura i s a season word (kigo) a s s o c i a t e d  In our n a r r a t i v e i t i s A p r i l .  Rohan has  just  79  descended from a cold, snowfilled pass —  a deathly place  to l i g h t , water, and the promise of flowers.  —  The tree, harbinger  of the woman within the dwelling, i s not yet i n bloom.  The buds,  analygous to a woman's nipples, are tight ("tsubomi no kataki") either i n anticipation or from the lingering night c h i l l . The yamazakura i s a very evocative image used by countless poets.  Two examples are i n s t r u c t i v e .  Gy5son (  F i r s t , a waka by Daisojo  1057-1135): Moro tomoni Aware to omoe Yamazakura Hana yori hoka n i Shiru hito mo nashi.  Together we sense a deep yearning The mountain cherry and I, Other than your blossoms _„ Who else i s there that knows?  The eleventh-century poet, grandson of the Emperor Sanjo, i s famous for his mountain asceticism (yamabushi shugendo). poem, one of Fujiwara Teika's ( ^ Hyakunin Isshu ( g /  H  ^  %jff^  This  1162-1241)  ) select ions, was composed deep  i n the mountains at Omine i n early spring. Yosa Buson ( J ? -  ^  ^}  1716-1783) captures the  loneliness, fear, fondness and beauty associated with the yamazakura i n this series of three haiku (rensaku Sabishisa n i Hana sakinu meri Yamazakura.  \  sanku):  It seems to blossom Out of i t s loneliness, The mountain cherry.  80  It  I s h i k i r i no Yubi y a b u r i t a r u T s u t s u j i kana.  A stonecutter's Smashed f i n g e r and Scattered azaleas!  Hirachi yukite Kotoni t o i yama Sakura kana  Ah, now as I approach lower ground There on a d i s t a n t mountain A f l o w e r i n g c h e r r y . 24  i s thus w i t h a sense o f a n t i c i p a t i o n and t r e p i d a t i o n  that our hero makes h i s p l i g h t known to the occupant of the house who, to h i s alarm, i s found to be a young woman.  She i s an  extraordinaryywoman, one of the best p o r t r a y a l s of female c h a r a c t e r i n Rohan's f i c t i o n . Otae.  The young man i s i n v i t e d i n t o the world of  Her name i s w r i t t e n with a c h a r a c t e r  ) signifying  that which i s marvelous, mysterious, charming or strange.  She  becomes i n t u r n , mother, temptress, s a i n t and w i t c h , r o l e s which are  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s or r e f l e c t i o n s o f Young Rohan's consciousness.  Otae h e r s e l f , we are l e d to b e l i e v e , a c t u a l l y i n h a b i t s a realm 25 "informed by sublime t r u t h " ("friyotai o u r u n i i t a r u " ) . The c o n t r a s t between the l i g h t ,  f l o a t i n g , almost c h i l d l i k e  e x i s t e n c e o f the man and Otae's weighty, deeper presence i s s h a r p l y drawn and developed.  Doubts the young man has about  t h i s unaccountable female c a r r y the reader along i n v o l v i n g him i n the same q u e s t i o n s .  The mood f l u c t u a t e s from t i t i l l a t i o n to  f e a r , from f e a r to d o m e s t i c i t y , as the hero i s bathed, f e d , and bedded down f o r t h e m i g h t .  The banter between the two i s f i l l e d  with humor and s u g g e s t i o n mixed with a h i n t o f r e a l  terror.  81  There i s some marvelously humorous w r i t i n g with a l i v e l y rhythm resembling the d i a l o g i n J o r u r i and Kabuki: How s h a l l I respond [to Otae's i n v i t a t i o n to share her bed]? Just what should I do? Ah yes, I r e c a l l h e a r i n g an o l d s t o r y about Basho who when a woman grasped h i s sleeve remained p e r f e c t l y s i l e n t and immobile. When the woman f i n a l l y l e t go and was about t o move away, Basho caught h o l d o f her robe from behind and with the poem, "Turn t h i s way, I too am l o n e l y , In t h i s autumn t w i l i g h t " t r i e d to guide her to d e l i v e r a n c e . I f i r m l y r e s o l v e d to f o l l o w Basho's example and remain completely s i l e n t . With my mind f i x e d on contemplating the nine aspects of decomposition o f the body, I s a t down with an energy f i r m and s t a l w a r t enough to s p l i t y i n from yang. The woman, growing impatient, i n c r e a s e d the f o r c e i n her hand c l a s p i n g mine. "Well, j u s t what have you been t h i n k i n g ? Come t h i s way, come on!" She began to p u l l me to my f e e t . As she p u l l e d harder and harder I mustered the s t r e n g t h of my whole body to r e s i s t her. "Oh please come t h i s way! For a l l your t a l k of l i g h t - h e a r t e d t r a i p s i n g through mountains and f r o l i c k i n g over water, when a l l i s s a i d and done, you are r e a l l y a p r e t t y r i g i d , s t r a i t l a c e d person, aren't you," she s a i d c o n t i n u i n g to t u g . This i s i t , I thought, i f t h i s enchantress ever moves me a s i n g l e step. L i k e a stone buddha guarding a c r o s s r o a d s , I braced myself a g a i n s t the woman's deliberate pull.a F e e l i n g myself s l i p p i n g , i n v o l u n t a r i l y , I l e t out a scream, shook f r e e my hand, and s t a r t e d to f l e e . She pursued and grabed my s l e e v e , g i g g l i n g . "Oh no! You must r e a l l y t h i n k I'm the a p p a r i t i o n of some monster to despise me so much. Though I b e l i e v e d you courageous and s p i r i t e d , my k i n d i n t e n t i o n s have served o n l y to alarm you. A grave mistake to have upset you so. S i n c e r e l y now, I am n e i t h e r the emanation of a demoness nor one who has abandoned the f l o a t i n g world only to be caught up i n the d e l u s i o n s of d e s i r e . In any case, I would never i n s i s t on anything you found abhorent. But were I t o allow you t o leave now t o f i n d your way i n the n i g h t , i t would be an u t t e r f a i l u r e  82  in hospitality. There would be no end t o my r e g r e t . So please, please s i t down and s t a y . " Once r e s t r a i n e d , and a f r a i d t o b l u n t l y r e f u s e h e r e n t r e a t y , I sat down a t the f a r s i d e of the h e a r t h . She picked up a hatchet and stood up! N o t i c i n g a s t a r t l e d , anxious look come over me again, she laughed, s l i p p e d on her straw sandals, and went out. "Crack! Crack!" came the sharp r i n g of wood being s p l i t . 26 A f t e r a meal i s served i n elegant but incongruous u t e n s i l s , the hero t r i e s t o analyze t h i s remarkable woman whom he observes, " s i t s under the lamp sewing up the t o r n seams of my kimono l o o k i n g f o r a l l the world l i k e she has been my wife f o r t e n years, y e t s t r a n g e l y , managing t h i s without the l e a s t t r a c e of sexuality."  Otae has a l r e a d y f r i g h t e n e d him and mothered him  and i s about t o tempt him w i t h an o f f e r t o share her bed, but the young man i s s t i l l who has abandoned  a t a l o s s , "Just what i s she? A woman  the world?  says she i s no nun.  Maybe, but her f r a g r a n t b l a c k h a i r  But i f she has not chosen to forsake the  world, what i s she doing alone deep i n the mountains with a b s o l u t e l y nobody t o n o t i c e her beauty? allay  suspicion...."  I t does nothing t o  ?7  The questions thrown back and f o r t h i n the man's mind are t r e a t e d l i g h t l y here, but do p o i n t t o the problem of attachment and s u f f e r i n g , a problem a t the heart of t h i s work.  In Taidokuro  the object of d e s i r e , the cause of attachment, has been d i f f e r e n t i a t e d i n t o three images: b e a u t i f u l , red-blooded Otae, transcendent white s k u l l , and mad leprous woman. The promise and the dangers i n v o l v e d i n a male-female  83  r e l a t i o n s h i p are h i g h l i g h t e d i n the e n t e r t a i n i n g serio-comic s i t u a t i o n r e v o l v i n g around the i s s u e of who sleeps i n the only set of bedding i n the house.  When Otae f i r s t  share the bed with her, he begins  suggests  Rohan  t o r e c i t e to h i m s e l f  lines  of Chinese v e r s e , "On the Suppression  of D e s i r e . "  The poem  r a i s e s the specter of s u f f e r i n g i n a s e r i e s o f t r a n s m i g r a t o r y h e l l s because of l u s t and e n j o i n s a man t o view a l l women as his  sisters. S t i l l weighing h i s options when t h i s f a i l s to c o o l h i s  excitment,  the hero compares h i m s e l f t o o t h e r s , legendary and  otherwise,  who had t o cope with s i m i l a r circumstances.  examples w i l l  A few  s u f f i c e t o i n d i c a t e the k i n d o f company Rohan  imagines h i m s e l f i n . He admits he cannot p o s s i b l y measure up to the wise and ) of the Spring and Autumn Annals p e r i o d who, when begged by a b e a u t i f u l woman t o provide her l o d g i n g f o r the n i g h t , g r a c i o u s l y o f f e r e d t o share h i s own bed with her and then s l e p t soundly  through u n t i l morning.  He then imagines h i s s i t u a t i o n i n l i g h t of the "Old Lady's Burnt  Hermitage," a Zen koan.  Go To Egen ( J Z - Tvff >^  7Qj  This r e f e r s t o a s t o r y from the ) c o l l e c t i o n which t e l l s of an o l d  woman who b u i l d s a hut and o f f e r s i t t o a monk who l i v e s i n i t p r a c t i c i n g m e d i t a t i o n and a u s t e r i t i e s with her encouragement. Years pass.  One day the woman sends her p r e t t y , young daughter  84  to him.  The monk s i t s r e s o l u t e l y i n h i s m e d i t a t i o n  d e c l a r e s , "My  body i s l i k e a w i t h e r e d t r e e on c o l d r o c k , "  s ends her away ( gotoshi").  posture,  /f*-;^ ^  and  "koboku kangan no  "^H?  When the o l d l a d y hears what happened, i n g r e a t  anger, she chases the monk away and burns the hermitage to the ground.  Rohan doubts whether he would be a b l e t o b r i n g  warmth to the w i n t e r a i r w i t h a s i m i l a r  frigidity("kono  u t s u k u s h i k i onna t o ... nemuraba koboku kangan n i y o r i t e  santo  98  n i d a n k i n a r u b e k i ya i n a y a " ) . On another  o c c a s i o n he compares h i m s e l f w i t h the w i z a r d  s e n n i n ) , Kume (  a h o l y man  who  appears i n  t a l e s as f a r back as the t e n t h - c e n t u r y .  I n the f o u r t e e n t h -  c e n t u r y work, Tsurezuregusa ( -^pby the Buddhist p r i e s t Yoshida Kenko (  \23  "Essays i n I d l e n e s s " ) ^fe^^T 1283?-  1350?) a b r i e f s e c t i o n i s devoted t o the f a t e o f Kume: N o t h i n g l e a d s a man a s t r a y so e a s i l y as s e x u a l d e s i r e . What a f o o l i s h t h i n g a man's h e a r t i s ! Though we r e a l i z e , f o r example, t h a t f r a g r a n c e s are s h o r t - l i v e d and the scent burnt i n t o c l o t h e s l i n g e r s but b r i e f l y , how our h e a r t s always l e a p when we c a t c h a w h i f f of an e x q u i s i t e perfume! The h o l y man of Kume l o s t h i s magic powers a f t e r n o t i c i n g the whiteness o f the l e g s of a g i r l who was washing c l o t h e s ; t h i s i s q u i t e u n d e r s t a n d a b l e c o n s i d e r i n g t h a t the g l o w i n g plumpness o f her arms, l e g s and f l e s h owed n o t h i n g t o a r t i f i c e .  ? q  The  power he l o s t was  the freedom t o f l y through  the a i r .  s i m p l y notes t h a t he f e l l from the c l o u d s a f t e r n o t i c i n g woman's w h i t e c a l v e s .  S t o r i e s of h o l y men,  Rohan  the  monks and a s c e t i c s  85  who have labored for years to achieve supramundane powers, losing those powers i n a single encounter with an a t t r a c t i v e woman, are legion throughout Asia.  (Couples such as Merlin  and Vivian, or even Samson and Delilah, remind us, however, the motif i s universal.)  The young man  i s Taidokuro  reflects,  "Were Master Kume to sleep i n the same bed as this woman, he would, without f a i l , plunge into the depths of a bottomless 30 hell."  J U  While these comparisons are largely facetious, there i s a serious undertone i n the hero's i n t e r i o r monologue suggested perhaps by the reference to Ikkyu Sojun ( -— f^~-- )jL /  1  1394-  1481), a Zen monk well known for his indulgence of the carnal appetites.  The overall effect of the young man's r e f l e c t i o n s  i s to make Otae seem ever more desirable.  The object of desire,  i f distanced by r e s t r i c t i o n s , avoided by capricious s e l f - r e s t r a i n t , or,  i n the manner of Japanese poetry, i f endowed with a pervasive  aura of ephemerality, becomes that much more a t t r a c t i v e . Immediately after searching his memory for models of s e l f r e s t r a i n t , i n a scene reminiscent of sharebon, the comic-erotic novels of the Edo period, Rohan imagines himself sharing the bed with Otae: For me to keep calm would be d i f f i c u l t indeed under such circumstances. It would be nearly impossible with her downy locks brushing against my cheeks and her radiant face right i n front of my nose. Where would she put her soft arms? Where could her breasts  86  hide? This s u r e l y i s a s e r i o u s s i t u a t i o n . How could I p o s s i b l y f a l l asleep as calmly as i f h o l d i n g a female c a t i n my arms? Oh, no! Suppose our c l o t h e s became undone through c a s u a l movements of our bodies, unseen under the cover? And what i f her shapely legs or f e e t touched my own h a i r y shins? Good Heavens! That would be a moment o f l i f e and death f o r me! 31 A s o l u t i o n t o the bedding problem i s reached by both  agreeing  to stay up a l l n i g h t .  f o r Otae  to t e l l her l i f e It  This provides  story —  the o p p o r t u n i t y  what i n Noh would be the s h i t e ' s t a l e .  i s the s t o r y of an impossible  love.  When approached by a young man of noble b i r t h and experience abroad with p r o t e s t a t i o n s of l o v e , Otae had to r e f u s e to see him. We l e a r n three reasons f o r t h i s .  As a young woman, her f a t h e r ' s  death taught her the t r a n s i t o r y nature of e x i s t e n c e . ( mujo).  Her a v i d reading of f i c t i o n showed her the v a n i t y of  the world, the d e s p i c a b l e nature o f men, and the u n r e l i a b i l i t y of people i n general  (  .  ttkiyo) .  F i n a l l y , her mother's  death and d r e a d f u l l e t t e r s e a l s her f a t e by r e v e a l i n g her l e p r o s y (at  the time thought to be g e n e t i c a l l y transmitted)  aku  innen)••  Otae waxes e l o q u e n t l y on the f i r s t  does not d i s c l o s e the contents  two but,  of course  of her mother's l e t t e r to Rohan.  As t o j u s t what message the small black lacquer box o f - p e a r l i n l a y of p e t a l s f l o a t i n g i n water contained, reader  ^^C^  (  remain m y s t i f i e d u n t i l the shocking  f a t e becomes c l e a r a t the end of the work.  with motherhe and the  t r u t h of her wretched  87  Otae abandons the world not out of choice or by r e l i g i o u s c o n v i c t i o n but because f a t e has chosen t o brand her. she i s abandoned by the world; f o r her.  love and marriage become impossible  The o r i g i n a l and, f o r some time, a l t e r n a t e t i t l e of  t h i s n o v e l , Engai no En (  jt\  "A T i e Beyond A l l T i e s " ) ,  r e f e r s to the f a c t that her i n h e r i t a n c e , her disease has  Actually,  placed Otae o u t s i d e a l l normal r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  (innen),  She r e f u s e s  the young noble out of f e a r of p e r p e t u a t i n g her p e r n i c i o u s karma but has not y e t r e s o l v e d t o r e l i n q u i s h a l l connection with the world.  Heartbroken, the man languishes away i n d e j e c t i o n , and  she witnesses text.  h i s death.  At t h i s p o i n t , two Otaes enter the  One, f o r not having heeded her mother's warning and f i n a l l y  f a l l e n i n love with the now departed  s u i t o r , i s overcome with  g r i e f and the onset of the symptoms o f l e p r o s y .  She i s the one  d e s c r i b e d wandering o f f i n t o the mountains i n an advanced s t a t e of decay and madness. The tale.  other Otae i s the young woman i n the dream t e l l i n g her  D i s t r a u g h t a t the death of her would-be s u i t o r , she  roams i n t o the mountains, meets a v i r t u o u s monk, and achieves i n s i g h t and r e l e a s e from her s u f f e r i n g .  She has l e f t  the world  and a t t a i n e d an e n l i g h t e n e d s t a t e of being where e v e r y t h i n g i s seen t o be the " t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of mind" ( " i s s h i n no henka") and "worthy o f compassion" ( " a i s u b e s h i " ) . I t should be remembered-that the Otae i n Rohan's v i s i o n , i s  88  an i l l u s i o n and the a t t r i b u t e s of enlightenment p r o p e r l y belong not to the red-blooded form but to her s k u l l .  Noborio  Yutaka puts i t t h i s way: "What s a i d i t had transcended  all,  that e v e r y t h i n g was l o v a b l e , was i n f a c t , not Otae, but her skull."  He reminds us that i n mugen no, or " v i s i o n Noh" the  s h i t e appears  i n a borrowed form and while n a r r a t i n g " o f t e n  f o r g e t s i t i s a borrowed or temporary  form and r e v e r t s to the  32 language  of i t s o r i g i n a l state."  I n t e r p r e t e d t h i s way, the  s k u l l i t s e l f can be considered the nochi j i t e , the p r o t a g o n i s t of the second  part.  The transcendence  of the s k u l l i s expressed d i r e c t l y i n  a s e c t i o n appended to the n o v e l , "Engai no En no Nochi n i Shosu" ("Epilogue to A T i e Beyond A l l T i e s " ) .  Here, the w r i t e r Rohan  e x p l i c i t l y a s s o c i a t e s h i s novel with t r a d i t i o n a l accounts of encounters with s k u l l s beginning with the famous episode i n ). In that episode, Chuang-tzu while on Chuang-tzu ( ^± a journey sees a bleached s k u l l by the r o a d s i d e .  Hitting i t  r e p e a t e d l y with h i s whip, he i n t e r r o g a t e s i t as to the cause of i t s present c o n d i t i o n .  He asks i f i t was due t o m i l i t a r y  s e r v i c e , punishment by the government, decadent and hunger, or simply because of o l d age.  cold  Then, u s i n g the s k u l l  f o r a p i l l o w he goes to sleep f o r the n i g h t . the ghost o f the s k u l l appears  living,  As i n Taidokuro,  i n a dream and claims to e x i s t  i n a s t a t e of enjoyment and t r a n q u i l i t y , very much l i k e the  89  e x i s t e n c e Otae d e s c r i b e s .  Chuang-tzu does not b e l i e v e the  s k u l l and enquires, "Were I able to get the r u l e r of your d e s t i n y to b r i n g your form to l i f e  again with bones and f l e s h  and s k i n , and r e t u r n you t o your mother and f a t h e r , wife and c h i l d r e n , and a l l your f r i e n d s i n the v i l l a g e , would you d e s i r e that I do so?" The s k u l l asks with " k n i t t e d brows" how i t could p o s s i b l y give up i t s t r a n q u i l plaesures to r e t u r n to the s u f f e r i n g of human  life.  33  The problem posed by t h i s anecdote developed p o e t i c a l l y i n Taidokuro. glimpse i n t o emptiness. the ephemeral,  i s a m p l i f i e d and  The hero, Rohan, has a  H i s dream deep i n the mountains r e v e a l s  i l l u s o r y nature of the world.  Otae's  ence i s r e a l , but i t i s the r e a l i t y o f the s k u l l .  transcend-  In the f l e s h  her r e a l i t y was the s u f f e r i n g o f the leprous dying woman. The l e p e r and the s k u l l r e p r e s e n t i n g the s u f f e r i n g and death of b e a u t i f u l Otae serve i n an unexpected a t t r a c t i v e n e s s of that marvelous  way to enhance the  beauty while reminding us of  her ephemerality and utimate emptiness. of  Japanese  L i k e the f i n e s t works  l i t e r a t u r e , t h i s novel e l i c i t e s a complex response,  evoking both a forbearance and a yearning f o r t h i s world o f ours, a "tremulous  causeway l i n k i n g dream to dream."  34  90  1  Edward Seidensticker, trans.. The Tale of Genji, by  Mursaki Shikibu (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1977), p. 869. The poem i s sung by Kaoru after the death of Oigimi: Koi wabite Shinuru kusuri no Yukashiki n i Yukinoyama ya Ato o kenamashi. Genji Monogatari, No. 17 of the Nihon Koten Bungaku Taikei Series,(Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1962), Vol. 4, p. 466. 2 Taidokuro was o r i g i n a l l y published under the t i t l e "Engai no En" ("A Tie Beyond A l l Ties") i n the bi-weekly, Nihon no Bunka ("Japanese Culture") i n three installments beginning January, 1890. At the same time "Dokushushin" ("Venomous Coral Lips") was published i n the magazine, Miyako no Hana ("Capital Blossoms"). In June of the same year when Shinyodo published the work i n an edition of collected novels, the t i t l e was changed to "Taidokuro" ("Encounter with a S k u l l " ) . The o r i g i n a l t i t l e was not dropped e n t i r e l y because i n subsequent collections published by Hakubunkan (1902 and 1909) the t i t l e "Engai no En" was retained. In 1897 i t was published together with "Dokushushin" under the t i t l e . " D a i s h i j i n " ("The Great Poet") i n a special e d i t i o n of the magazine, Taiyo ("The Sun") to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Hakubunkan publishing house. There are s l i g h t differences i n the texts of the two publishers and there appears to have been some minor revision undertaken for the various editions. I have used the text i n the Rohan Zenshu, Vol. 1, pp. 135-167 Subsequent references are to this text and cited as TDR.  91  For a detailed publication history see Noborio Yutaka, "Taidokuro Ron," Bungaku, 44, No. 8 (1976), p. 1047. Yanagida Izumi, Koda Rohan,(Tokyo: Chuokoronsha, 1942) p.,97. Dogen (1200-1253) i n the "Shoji" chapter of Shobogenzo ("Essentials of the True Law") trans, by Nakamura Hajime, Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples (Honolulu: East-West Center Press, 1971), p. 371. 4  ^ Some months before the publication of Taidokuro, i n A p r i l of 1889, Rohan travelled to Nikko and crossed the mountainous region north-west of Lake Chuzenji v i a Konsei Pass to reach the Joshu d i s t r i c t . 7  TDR, p. 166.  8  TDR, p. 137.  Q  TDR, p. 148. The phrase onihitokuchi 'one gulp of the demon' i s a common expression for danger stiking suddenly. Here, the words may be p l a y f u l l y alluding to the appearances of oni 'demons' i n works such as those mentioned. In the sixthnsection of Ise Monogatari, "Akutagawa" ( >oJ" ), for example, a man steals away with a woman who has refused him for years. They come to Akutagawa on a dark night, the woman asks a question about the glimmering l i g h t on the grass, but the man puts her off by responding that they are i n a dangerous area frequented by demons: "Encountering a woman, a demon devoured her i n one gulp" ("oni haya onna oba ... hito kuchi n i kuite k e r i " ) . It begins to rain, they stop at an open kura 'storehousej' he pushes her i n and guards the door through the night. In the kura a demon quickly devours the woman, her cry for help drowned by thunder. The empty kura i n the morning sets the scene for a poem about the evanescent dew, the "glimmering l i g h t " his lover had asked about. Nihon Bungaku Zenshu, Vol. 8 (Tokyo: Shogakkan, 1969), p. 138.  92  TOR, p. 154. Noh plays s p e c i f i c a l l y mentioned include: Eguchi ( by Kan' ami, and Gio ( ) , Hotokenohara ( ffi^ 1 0  ),  and Kogo ( j)^ ) by Zeami. The f i r s t three are "woman plays" (kazuramono), the last i s a "maskless play" (hitamenmono). The "maskless play" usually has a r e a l man, as opposed to a god or ghost, as the protagonist. The "woman plays" contain some of the most beautiful poetry i n Noh and usually deal with memories of love and the problems a r i s i n g from attachment to this world. 12 Noborio argues that the skull rather than the leprous woman might be considered the nochi j i t e since i t i s the skull that i s the present form of the s p i r i t of Otae (p. 1055). TDR, p. 166. 14 Donald Keene, No The C l a s s i c a l Theatre of Japan (Tokyo and Palo Alto: Kodansha, 1966), p. 251. 15 The opening lines include the phrase, "goshaku no kara o ou dedemushi" ("a s n a i l burdened with a five-foot carapace"). "Dedemushi" ( ) may also be read "Kagyu" ("snail") which suggests the g_o or pen name Kagyu-an ("The Snail's Hermitage") Rohan used especially i n connection with haiku. The words "tsuyu no tomo" ( <7) "friend of the dew") are also used, suggesting, of course, the pen name "Rohan" which means "companion of the dew." TDR, p. 137. 17 The play, Eguchi, was based on an incident recorded i n the Senjusho, a medieval c o l l e c t i o n of edifying tales. Saigyo was on his way to Tennoji when, caught i n a sudden shower near Eguchi no Sato (present day Osaka, Yodogawa-ku, Eguchi-cho) he attempted to secure lodging for the night at the house of a woman of pleasure. The woman was named "Tae." Her refusal 1 3  1 6  l e d t o the f o l l o w i n g exchange o f poems: Yo no naka o Itou made koso Katakarame K a r i no y a d o r i o Oshimu k i m i kana. - Saigyo Hoshi I t i s hard, perhaps, To hate and part with the world; But you are s t i n g y Even with the n i g h t I ask of you, A p l a c e i n your s o o n - l e f t i n n . Ie o i z u r u Hito to s h i kikeba. K a r i no yado n i Kokoro tomuna t o Omou b a k a r i zo - Yujo Tae I t ' s because I heard You're no l o n g e r bound t o l i f e As a householder That I'm l o a t h to l e t you get attached To t h i s i n n of b r i e f , bought, s t a y s . In Kan'ami's Noh p l a y i t i s not Saigyo who meets a woman a t Eguchi no Sato but a monk i n l a t e r time.  The monk (waki) a l s o  on h i s way t o T e n n o j i hears from a v i l l a g e r that he i s near the p l a c e along the r i v e r where Saigyo met Eguchi no Kimi. recites  phrases from Saigyo's poem a woman appears (maejite)  and reminds him there was a response t o the poem. the  As he  She says  exchange i n v o l v e d nothing so p e t t y as begrudging a n i g h t ' s  l o d g i n g : She wanted t o save Saigyo from forming even a b r i e f  94  attachment  t o the f l o a t i n g world.  She then confesses to be  Eguchi no Kimi's ghost and v a n i s h e s .  The monk wants t o perform  a memorial s e r v i c e but the v i l l a g e r reappears and t e l l s him that Eguchi no Kimi was a c t u a l l y an i n c a r n a t i o n of the B o d h i s a t t v a Samantabhadra. In  a boat on the r i v e r , the s p i r i t o f Eguchi no Kimi  appears  ( n o c h i j i t e ) as a woman of p l e a s u r e accompanied by two others o f the same p r o f e s s i o n of  (funeasobi).  the f l o a t i n g world and responds  b e a u t i f u l language  She sings about the sadness to the monk's questions i n  e x p l a i n i n g the c y c l i c a l t r a n s m i g r a t i o n of  human e x i s t e n c e and the path t o enlightenment. of  Toward the end  the p l a y she has t h i s exchange with the chorus: Shite: In the great ocean o f t r u t h with no outflows, although the winds o f the f i v e d e f i l e m e n t s and s i x d e s i r e s blow not Chorus: The waves o f suchness r i s e and f a l l day i n and day out a c c o r d i n g t o the laws of karma. Shite: Why i s i t that these waves are produced? The mind has taken up l o d g i n g i n a temporary d w e l l i n g ; Together: Because the mind ha;s found a r e s t i n g p l a c e . Chorus: With no mind f i x e d upon i t the f l o a t i n g world of sadness  i s no more.  The p l a y concludes with Eguchi no Kimi transformed  into  Samantabhadra and the boat i n t o a white elephant, t h i s b o d h i s a t t v a ' s vehicle.. off  Bathed i n l i g h t they mount a marvelous  i n t o the western sky.  c l o u d and f l o a t  95  Maruoka Akira, ed., Kanze Ryu Koe no Hakubanshu, No. 59 "Eguchi" (Tokyo: Chikuma Shobo, 1969), p. 4. The poems exchanged by Saigyo and Eguchi no Kimi are numbers 978 and 979 i n the Shinkokin Wakashu, ed, by Hisamatsu Senichi, Vol. 28 of the Nihon Koten Bungaku Taikei (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1958), p. 215. I have used the translations i n William LeFleur, Mirror for the Moon (New York: New Directions, 1978), p. 37. 18 — — Matsuo Basho, "Nozarashi Kiko" ("Records of a WeatherExposed Skeleton"), i n Basho Shu, ed. by Imoto Shinichi and Hori Nobuo, Vol. 5, Koten Haibun Bungaku Taikei (Tokyo: Shueisha, 1970), p. 441. ^ Ibid., p. 441. TDR, pp. 139-140. 21 My reading of Goju no To developed i n the next chapter suggests that i t i s more " t y p i c a l l y Japanese" than Rohan's other artisan novels i n that the victory represented by the pagoda i s shown to be the consequence of a group e f f o r t propelled by the dedication and s a c r i f i c e of both Genta and Jubei. TDR, p. 140. 23 Hakunin Isshu Hitoyogatari, compiled by Ozaki Masayoshi (1755-1827), ed. by Furukawa Hisashi, 2 Vols. (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1972), p. 413. 24 Yosa Buson, as cited i n Haiku no Kaishaku to Kansho Jiten, ed. by Ogata Tsutomu (Tokyo: Obunsha, 1979), p. 238. 25 TDR, p. 163. Rohan's female characters are not usually painted as a t t r a c t i v e l y as Otae. In Ikkoken ("One Sword" 1890) O-Ran i s a s e l f i s h , unsympathetic wife who runs o f f with the money her husband Shozo received on commission to make a sword he has l i t t l e prospect of ever completing. The women i n Isanatori ("The Whaler" 1891) are repeatedly unfaithful to their husbands, while i n Furyubutsu ("An A l l u r i n g Buddha" 1889) Otatsu abandons Shu'un, the Buddhist sculptor, on the eve of their marriage to return only i n idealized form through the sublimation of his 2 0  2 2  96  passion for her into a beautiful work of a r t . TDR, p. 150-151. 2 6  2 7  28  TDR, p. 143-144. TDR, p. 148.  For one version of the anecdote and sources  see Mochizuki Shinko  Bukkyo D a i j i t e n 2nd ed. (Tokyo: Sekai  Seiten Kanko Kyokai, 1954), p. 1267. 29 Yoshida Kenko, Essays i n Idleness,itrans. by Donald Keene (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1967), pp. 8-9. TDR, p. 149. TDR, p. 149-150. The translation i s from Mulhern, Koda Rohan, p." 48. Noborio, p. 1055. 33 Ichikawa Anshi and Endo Tetsuo, ed., Soshi, Vol. 2 i n the 3 0  31  3 2  Shinyaku Kanbun Taikei series (Tokyo: Meiji Shoin, 1979), pp. 494496. 34 Arthur Waley, trans., The Tale of Genji, by Murasaki Shikibu (Tokyo and Rutland, Vermont: Tuttle, 1970), p. 370. One of the most succinct, a l b e i t not t e r r i b l y l y r i c a l , expressions of the problem of attachment and release i s found i n this poem from the Shikashu ( -^fij  1151) t r a d i t i o n a l l y attributed  to Saigyo:  Mi o sutsuru Hito wa makoto n i Sutsuru ka wa Sutenu hito koso Sutsuru nari k e r i . Has the one resigned from the world Found true abandonment? Or i n not throwing i t a l l away Is there the greater renunciation? A tension between the demands of Buddhist detachment and a poetic absorbtion i n the beautiful carnality of the world represented by  97  a mountain f u l l of blossoms on a spring evening i s at the heart of Saigyo's poetry. Taidokuro i s perhaps the best expression of t h i s tension i n Rohan's own l i f e . For a discussion of the poem quoted above see Hirohata Yuzuru, Chusei Inja Bunsei no Keifu (Tokyo: Ofusha, 1978), pp. 178-184.  98  Chapter Four The Five-Storied Pagoda  When Goju no To (  "The Five-Storied Pagoda")  appeared i n the Kokkai Shimbun, a popular newspaper, i n Meiji 24 (1891) i t was received with wide acclaim and propelled the twenty-four year old Rohan to the top of the l i t e r a r y world of 1 the day. approval.  E a r l i e r works had attracted attention and Furyubutsu  Shiki ( j E _ 1 ^  3f-  critical  ("An A l l u r i n g Buddha") so impressed Masaoka 1867-1902), a university student at  the time, he wrote a novel i n a very similar style and moved 2  to within a few minutes walk of Rohan's residence.  Rohan was  l i v i n g beside the Yanaka Tennoji, with the temple's f i v e - s t o r i e d pagoda v i s i b l e from his house.  The l a s t section of Goju no To  describing the force of a storm descending upon Edo and the newly erectedi'pagoda startled readers with the boldness of i t s v i s i o n and the power of i t s imagery. The previous year had seen the f i r s t general election i n Japan, the a b o l i t i o n of the Genroin ( -rC* ycL J^/CJ  "Council of  Elders"), and the issuance of the Imperial Rescript on Education. The turbulence of the decade before, with i t s people's rights movement, r i c e r i o t s i n the provinces, and pervasive aura of r i s i n g expectations, had subsided somewhat and the 1890's began  99  a period o f r e f l e c t i o n and reaction.  The Western Powers were  then scrambling for colonies i n A f r i c a , China having already been carved into spheres of interest.  The external threat to  Japan's sovereignty had diminished, but the doctrines of social-Darwinism had found wide acceptance among the i n t e l l e c t u a l elite. Amidst the demands for modernization the following four points may  from a l l quarters,  serve to characterize the climate  of the period beginning i n the t h i r d decade of the Meiji era: 1. Continued efforts by various elements i n the society to use the newly gained p o l i t i c a l freedom to extend and insure human rights. 2. The growth of s e l f awareness and individualism.  Fostered by  greater social and economic mobility and stimulated by WesternChristian notions, such concepts as "modern selfhood" (kindai jiga) and "individualism" (kojin shugi) enter the marketplace of ideas.  (And, on occasion, practice: 1891 was  Uchimura Kanzo' s ( (£]  ^i^O. ^—  the year of  1861-1930) refusal to  bow  before the Imperial Rescript on Education for reasons of p r i n c i p l e , an incident known as the fukei jiken ( ^  ^xC__j^"  ) •  3. Materialism, capitalism, u t i l i t a r i a n and technological values were displacing the value structures nurtured throughout the pre-Restoration period.  Village l i f e was beginning to break  down due to the demands of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and cooperative group units were losing their  traditional  cohesion.  100  4. Largely i n response to the above, the 1890's ushered i n a period of reaction, a time of vigorous nationalism grappling with an awakening sense of the national identity c r i s i s . Ernest Fenollosa (1853-1908) and Okakura Tenshin's ( \0] ^/% 1862-1913) work to r e v i t a l i z e appreciation for t r a d i t i o n a l aesthetic ideals (Kokka [ l^i} J ^ to Japanese art, was  ], a p e r i o d i c a l devoted  f i r s t published i n 1889), and the  of the conservative Seikyo Sha  (  i£>C^)L^-^~"  founding  " P o l i t i c s and  Learning Society") along with the publication of Nihonjin  ( fc3 ^  A-  "The  Japanese") by Miyake Setsurei  (E-^'jz^f! 3  1860-1945) and others, are i n d i c a t i v e of the mood of the times. Even i n this b r i e f characterization we can see the kinds of problems that began to be consciously debated once the euphoria and novelty of "modernization"  had faded.  initial  The second  chapter of Goju no To ends with the sounds of children playing tops (koma ate no asobi) i n the street.  The innocent children  are involved i n a game i n which the v i c t o r of one match i s immediately confronted by another challenger i n an ongoing struggle.  The children mimic the struggle for existence, their  play accompanied by shouts of "I've got ya" and "You're dead!" It i s within this world of c y c l i c struggle ( U||| %  f) "j^l 4  "junjun gataki no yo") that the pagoda must be b u i l t . The novel begins with a detailed description of Okichi, wife of the master carpenter, Kawagoe Gentaro, known as Genta.  The  101  old-fashioned  d i c t i o n and  reference  draw the reader back i n time. i n t o her  The  to mid-Edo f u r n i s h i n g s d e s c r i p t i o n flows e a s i l y  i n t e r i o r monologue which sets f o r t h i n o u t l i n e the  c o n f l i c t at the core of the n o v e l .  In ways s i m i l a r to  classical  Japanese prose, the n a r r a t i v e moves from t h i r d - p e r s o n d e s c r i p t i o n to d i a l o g and  i n t e r i o r monolog., with the  i n mid-sentence.  s h i f t s often  occurring  Throughout the work, the author, although  c a r e f u l to l e t the c h a r a c t e r s  speak f o r themselves, never  h e s i t a t e s to i n t e r j e c t h i s o p i n i o n on the flow of events i n a manner s i m i l a r i n some r e s p e c t s English. use  to the V i c t o r i a n n o v e l i s t s i n  This n a r r a t i v e technique, along with the  of a s e v e n - f i v e  p a r a l l e l clauses  (  cadence ( -t-£-  fe)>ffc  ^ft|  a p l e a s i n g rhythm, achieves what was natural effect.  The  111  s h i c h i - g o cho)  (  and  t s u i k u s h i t a t e ) to e s t a b l i s h regarded to be a  language i s a modified  style' incorporating Meiji colloquialisms. devices  occasional  such as kakekotoba (  bungobun  life-like, 'literary  T r a d i t i o n a l poetic  " p i v o t words") and  engo  " f i x e d a s s o c i a t e d words") are a l s o used. The  work i s d i v i d e d i n t o t h i r t y - f i v e chapters.  With the  exception of the storm scene which ranges over the e n t i r e c i t y , each chapter i s constructed One  within a rather l i m i t e d s e t t i n g .  can e a s i l y imagine most of the scenes on stage as part  a Kabuki sewamono ("domestic t r a g e d y " ) .  of  Thus i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g  102  to learn that the novel was  adapted for the theatre  and  successfully performed We do not meet the protagonist, the slow-witted but highly s k i l l e d Jubei, u n t i l the f i f t h chapter. time, the reader has formed an impression  By this  of the obtuse,  rather grating fellow through a series of u n f l a t t e r i n g references and rumors. His outstanding  expertise at his  craft i s never i n doubt but his c h a r a c t e r i s t i c slowness y  and lack of worldly finesse have earned him the nickname "Nossori," a perforative implying " d u l l " or "sluggish." The novel's 1909 6 "the slouch." his  translator, Sakae Shioya, rendered him  It i s , however, Jubei's impulse to escape  l o t i n l i f e that triggers the c o n f l i c t i n the work.  His being cast as an outsider from the start makes his subsequent actions more plausible. Due  to the presence of the virtuous and revered Abbot  of Kannoji, Roen Shonin, donations from people i n a l l walks of l i f e were collected to make additions to the temple. surplus funds, the Abbot suggests a pagoda be b u i l t .  With  When  Jubei hears of the plan he seizes on this "once i n a lifetime opportunity" and submits his own the monument.  proposal  for the erection of  He does this knowing that Genta, a well establish-  ed master carpenter who  has already b u i l t some of the existing  103  temple s t r u c t u r e s and under whom he has been employed, a l r e a d y presented h i s plans and estimate The  q u e s t i o n as to what sparks  f o r the c o n s t r u c t i o n .  t h i s impulse,  whether i t i s  essentially  e g o t i s t i c a l ambition,  aspiration,  or the spontaneous c r e a t i v e urge of an  becomes a c e n t r a l  some form of  model, the Abbot c a l l s the two  is  craftsmen  together, t e l l s a House" parable  Sutra, and asks them to determine between themselves  i s to b u i l d the pagoda. the simple  truth  The  and  p o i n t of the Abbot's  homily  that c o m p e t i t i v e , a g g r e s s i v e s e l f aggran-  dizement b r i n g s only misfortune abnegation  artist,  and h i s p a i n s t a k i n g l y b u i l t  parable along the l i n e s of the "Burning  i n The Lotus who  religious  problem i n the work.  Impressed by jQbei's i n t e n s i t y  Buddhist  has  or mundane reward, whereas s e l f -  c o o p e r a t i o n y i e l d happiness and  spiritual  recompense. Genta, a man of s o c i a l p o s i t i o n  i n the t r a d i t i o n a l mold, i s a c u t e l y yet generous by nature.  conscious  He takes both h i s  work and pleasure quarter amusement very s e r i o u s l y .  After a  good deal of r e f l e c t i o n , he takes the Abbot's teaching to heart and r e s o l v e s to b u i l d the pagoda j o i n t l y with J u b e i .  Genta  confides i n h i s wife: T h e r e s nothing to be concerned about. I always thought our f i n e , gentle Abbot would f i n d a way of t u r n i n g me i n t o a good man. Ha ha ha! O k i c h i , the t r u e e l d e r b r o t h e r i s the one who r e a l l y c h e r i s h e s h i s l i t t l e b r o t h e r , r i g h t ? There are times when even i f i t ' s a l i t t l e rough you have to share your food with someone who i s r e a l l y hungry. Not that I'm the s l i g h t e s t b i t a f r a i d of anyone, but being a man i s n ' t always j u s t a q u e s t i o n of s t r e n g t h . You know, sometimes a man has to r e s i g n h i m s e l f to being weak. Ah, i t ' s a s p l e n d i d f e l l o w indeed who i s able to do t h a t ! But a f i v e - s t o r i e d 1  104  pagoda i s such p r e s t i g i o u s work! How I would l i k e to leave a superb monument, one b u i l t by me alone, to endure f o r a thousand years before the eyes of multitudes. Oh, j u s t to be able to bequeath a work — Genta's masterpiece — known not to i n v o l v e the hands and thoughts of anyone but myself! Ah, yes, i t takes a man to c o n t r o l h i s f i e r y p a s s i o n s . Yes, a man, a r e a l man. The Abbot i s a b s o l u t e l y c o r r e c t . I t ' s u t t e r l y abhorrent to concede h a l f of a job I had set a l l my hopes on to another ... Ah, I t ' s hard! A good buddy, r i g h t ! Ha ha ha. Well you t e l l me O k i c h i , i s n ' t my g i v i n g h a l f to the slouch — w e ' l l b u i l d the pagoda between us — i s n ' t that a s p l e n d i d openness to see i n a man? P r a i s e me O k i c h i ! Without your p r a i s e , i t j u s t becomes too d i s c o u r a g i n g , h a r d l y worth the words.  I t i s a p a i n f u l d e c i s i o n , f o r he too r e a l i z e s that t h i s i s a once i n a l i f e t i m e o p p o r t u n i t y to achieve enduring  fame.  Were  i t not f o r Jubei's sudden i n s p i r a t i o n and the Abbot's i n t e r c e s s i o n , he would have had architect.  s o l e c l a i m and the r i g h t to be  Instead, he f e e l s m o r a l l y compelled  principal to make a b i t t e r  but s i n c e r e compromise, a compromise Jubei r e f u s e s to even c o n s i d e r . For Jubei i t i s a l l or nothing, a p o s i t i o n he makes c l e a r with n e i t h e r t a c t nor  eloquence:  That's r e a l l y h e a r t l e s s of you S i r . To say l e t ' s do i t together i s r e a l l y h e a r t l e s s . For you to so k i n d l y o f f e r to allow me h a l f the work, though seemingly generous, i s t e r r i b l e u n f e e l i n g . I am a f r a i d I must r e f u s e . Although I d e s i r e nothing more than to b u i l d the pagoda, I have a l r e a d y given up a l l thought of doing so. On my way home a f t e r h e a r i n g the Abbot's i n s t r u c t i o n I thoroughly abandoned the thought, I was wrong to have had ideas so beyond my s t a t i o n . Ah, what I f o o l I've been! I w i l l f o r e v e r be the slouch, lucky  105  even to be considered a f o o l . I s h a l l spend the r e s t of my l i f e pounding r a i n g u t t e r s and so be i t ! Please f o r g i v e me, S i r . I t was wrong of me. I won't say anything more about b u i l d i n g the pagoda. I t i s not as though you were a s t r a n g e r . You are the boss to whom I am very much indebted. I w i l l be happy to stand a s i d e and watch you c o n s t r u c t a a magnificent monument. The crux of the novel i s t h i s deeply r e v e a l i n g s t r u g g l e between s e l f a f i r m a t i o n and negation that i s enacted Jubei-Genta has  relationship.  suggested  Rohan's biographer,  i n the  S h i o t a n i San,  that the f i v e l e v e l s of the pagoda r e f l e c t the  a l t e r n a t i n g stages of c o n f l i c t and accord i n the n o v e l . "The c o n s t r u c t i o n of the pagoda proceeds with s u c c e s s i v e l e v e l s of 9  s t r u g g l e and r e c o n c i l i a t i o n forming  i t s central  pillar."  C e r t a i n l y i n terms of p l o t development t h i s r i s i n g  oscillation  between antagonism and c o o p e r a t i o n does p a r a l l e l the pagoda's construction.  Taking i t a step f u r t h e r , I t h i n k t h i s image of  the pagoda as c o n f l i c t r i s i n g to higher and higher l e v e l s i s an e x c e l l e n t r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the s t r u g g l e at the center of Meiji intellectual l i f e .  The s t r u c t u r e of the n o v e l , i f not  the pagoda i t s e l f , m i r r o r s the a n t i t h e t i c a l momentums of the age: the s p i r i t of a g g r e s s i v e s e l f advancement r i s s h i n s h u s s e i shugi and i n d i v i d u a l i s m  ( J^-Jf  ko j i n  shugi) versus the urge to e s t a b l i s h a u n i f i e d , harmonious n a t i o n s t a t e while p r e s e r v i n g the s o c i a l order and p u b l i c m o r a l i t y of t r a d i t i o n a l values.  106  The  s t r u c t u r e of both novel and pagoda may  also  be  i n t e r p r e t e d i n l i g h t of the Tendai Pure Land d o c t r i n e of j£>. jJF  k e c h i e n goju (  ) •  The  f i v e l e v e l s of the  pagoda correspond to the f i v e stages of r e l i g i o u s ) , Sho Shin  (  stages.  ) .  (  gjT-  Both Genta and Jubei proceed  " K i " r e f e r s to b a s i s , r e a d i n e s s , and  practice:  ) and  through  these  individual  endowment, as w e l l as o p p o r t u n i t y  f o r contact  w i t h the Buddhist dharma or t e a c h i n g .  The d e c i s i o n to b u i l d  the pagoda at Kannoji and Jubei and Genta's d e s i r e to do the work are the f i r s t  stage, "Ki'. " !  This leads to t h e i r  w i t h the teachings i n the person of Roen Shonin.  encounter  Roen  i n s t r u c t i o n and m a n i p u l a t i o n of the s i t u a t i o n i s "Ho," dharma.  Shonin's the  R e f l e c t i o n on the Abbot's parable b r i n g s i n t e l l e c t u a l  understanding  and the d e c i s i o n on the p a r t of both men  r e l i n q u i s h t h e i r personal ambitions. standing and r e l e a s e .  T h i s i s "Ge"  —  to under-  Genta's compassion and p a t i e n c e and  J u b e i ' s a b s o r b t i o n i n the work l e a d to the next stage, "Sho," which r e f e r s to e x p e r i e n c i n g the f r u i t s of i n s i g h t .  "Shin,"  or "true f a i t h " i s r e a c h e d d a t the very end when t h e i r withstands  the a t t a c k by demons and the f r u i t of t h e i r  practice effort,  the r e a l i z e d stupa i s a u t h e n t i c a t e d by Roen Shonin. We  can see how  i n the r i s i n g d i a l e c t i c a l movement of the  n a r r a t i v e , Genta's o r i g i n a l p o s i t i o n of power —  he i s a f t e r a l l  107  "Oya  k a t a , " the boss —  becomes the b a s i s of h i s weakness.  By the same token, Jubei's l a c k of w o r l d l y power — despised  "Nossori" —  c o n f l i c t over who to  gain and  actions.  i s the source  of h i s s t r e n g t h i n the  i s to b u i l d the pagoda.  precious l i t t l e  he i s the  Jubei has  everything  to l o s e by h i s audacious, w i l l f u l  Were Genta to use h i s p o s i t i o n of a u t h o r i t y to  secure  s o l e r i g h t s to the pagoda he would l o s e h i s i n t e g r i t y i n both the Abbot's eyes and h i s own. of s t r e n g t h .  As he  naremashita ka" haven't It ing  I").  says to the Abbot, "Okage de otoko n i  ("Thanks to you,  to be a  man,  was  able to p o r t r a y women very  Whether or not t h i s i s the case with a l l of Rohan's  i n t h i s work the female c h a r a c t e r s p l a y d e c i d e d l y minor This i s not to say they are not  O k i c h i and  f u l l - b o d i e d characters;  even S e i k i c h i ' s o l d mother, who  appearance, are memorable and no  learned how  i s s a i d Rohan i s a very masculine w r i t e r , o f t e n c o n t r a s t -  effectively.  roles.  I've  1 0  him with Ozaki Koyo who  fiction,  He must l e a r n the true meaning  important  lifelike.  makes only a b r i e f  Nevertheless,  f u n c t i o n i n the c e n t r a l c o n f l i c t .  they have  Although aware  of t h e i r husbands' problems, n e i t h e r O k i c h i nor Onami, Jubei's w i f e , seems to understand or sympathize to any Both are s t i l l the world.  s i g n i f i c a n t degree.  f i r m l y rooted i n a f e u d a l , role-bound  view of  Both h o l d f a s t to g i r i n i n j o a t t i t u d e s , that i s ,  108  have a strong sense of s o c i a l o b l i g a t i o n s i n o p p o s i t i o n to human passions with the emphasis placed on f u l f i l l i n g e x p e c t a t i o n s of a p a r t i c u l a r r o l e . of  o b l i g a t i o n and  very s t r o n g l y .  the  O k i c h i f e e l s the demands  the perogatives of s u p e r i o r s o c i a l  She u n i n t e n t i o n a l l y i n c i t e s one  position  of her husband's  workers to take revenge a g a i n s t Jubei f o r " h i s shameless grab for  fame" and l a c k of due r e s p e c t f o r the debt of g r a t i t u d e  he owes her husband. his  Onami pleads with her husband to remember  place and acknowledge h i s o b l i g a t i o n s . Genta f i r s t  o f f e r s to l e t Jubei act as h i s a s s i s t a n t , while  he r e t a i n s the p o s i t i o n of p r i n c i p l e a r c h i t e c t . r e f u s e d he swallows h i s own  ambition  When t h i s i s  and makes a deeper  concession:  J u b e i , you s t i l l don't understand? That's not enough f o r you? Of course i t ' s r e g r e t a b l e to have to do something together you set your heart on doing alone. Maybe i t ' s being a s s i s t a n t with me as boss t h a t i s so t r o u b l i n g . A l l r i g h t , you win! L e t ' s do i t l i k e this. I ' l l be the a s s i s t a n t and you stand at the c e n t e r . How's that? Come on, give me your okay. L e t ' s agree to b u i l d i t together! Despite h i s wife's p l e a d i n g f o r him  to accept  the generous  o f f e r , Jubei s t e a d f a s t l y r e f u s e s : Whether as head or a s s i s t a n t , f o r two to do one piece of work i s j u s t unacceptable. No matter what, I cannot do i t ! Please go ahead.and b u i l d i t y o u r s e l f . I ' l l be a f o o l t i l l the e n d . H Thoroughly angered by t h i s r e b u f f , Genta c a l l s him u n g r a t e f u l and  i n s e n s i t i v e to human f e e l i n g s .  He  storms out, determined  109  to b u i l d the pagoda by h i m s e l f , d a r i n g Jubei to f i n d  fault  with i t . Genta however, being a compassionate man and mindful of the Abbot's teachings, i s f o r c e d to r e c o n s i d e r .  Finally,  both  he and Jubei inform the Abbot they can reach no agreement and request  that he decide how the pagoda be b u i l t .  i n f l u e n c e they both seem to have suppressed d r i v e and stand ready  to do h i s b i d d i n g .  Under h i s  their  competitive  In Genta's words to  Roen Shonin: However i t i s to be, Jubei or myself or the two of us together^ please j u s t say the word and i t s h a l l be done. Jubei and I have given up the s p i r i t of s e l f i s h competition and are w i l l i n g to do whatever you decide. Throughout the novel i t i s the Abbot's wisdom and compassion that serves as a c a t a l y s t f o r the s p i r i t u a l growth o f both men. Needless to say, i t i s a l s o Rohan's way o f c r i t i c i z i n g the opportunism and misguided egotism  of h i s own times.  The Abbot  however, d e s p i t e h i s c r u c i a l r o l e as mediator, and even t a k i n g i n t o account the l a r g e r than l i f e , kabukiesque c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n we f i n d i n t h i s n o v e l , i s too much the t y p i c a l "wise o l d monk." For a Western reader not o v e r l y f a m i l i a r with the stereotype, the Abbot c h a r a c t e r f u n c t i o n s t o l e r a b l y w e l l .  The language  used to d e s c r i b e him i s r i c h with the c u l t u r a l accoutrements of Buddhism which helps to create an ambiance and presence  sufficient  110  to spark the i m a g i n a t i o n .  I t i s easy to see, however, why a  Japanese reader might f i n d Roen Shonin the "unimaginative model - 13 of an eminent monk" ("kataddri no koso").  T h i s i s , I suppose,  a common f a u l t with any c h a r a c t e r designed to be the standard bearer o f an i d e a l . The p r i v i l e g e o f b u i l d i n g the pagoda i s granted to J u b e i . His g r a t e f u l , t e a r f u l acceptance  i s wholly w i t h i n c h a r a c t e r ,  but one questions what there i s about him that allows him to accept the kindness  of the Abbot with such g r a t i t u d e , y e t , with  such f i r m r e s o l v e , r e f u s e so i n g r a c i o u s l y any overture on Genta's part. A f t e r the matter has been decided, Genta vows to be as h e l p f u l as p o s s i b l e .  He i n v i t e s J u b e i to a teahouse and o f f e r s  to provide a l l kinds o f a s s i s t a n c e , from s u p p l y i n g workers and access to m a t e r i a l s , t o o f f e r i n g h i s own d e t a i l e d plans and even trade s e c r e t s handed down over g e n e r a t i o n s .  A l l t h i s Jubei  awkwardly r e f u s e s , once again enraging h i s would-be b e n e f a c t o r . Jubei's  a t t i t u d e and a c t i o n s have to be understood  from  two d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e s , each y i e l d i n g a q u i t e d i f f e r e n t evaluation.  From one p o i n t o f view he i s undeniably  ambitious, and concerned a c h i e v i n g a l a s t i n g fame.  selfish,  only with improving h i s s t a t u r e and He t h i n k s to h i m s e l f :  Ill  I f I give up t h i s o p p o r t u n i t y there w i l l never be another chance to e r e c t a f i v e - s t o r i e d pagoda. Will my whole l i f e be spent l i k e I am now, a man who never amounted to anything? Ah, i t ' s j u s t too c r u e l , too bitter. 1  4  He appears to r e p r e s e n t what I t o S e i c a l l e d "the egoism of the modern a r t i s t . "  To a t t a i n h i s g o a l , to produce a work of l a s t i n g  v a l u e , to achieve prominence f o r such a man.  Compassion  and fame, are a l l that i s important and moral o b l i g a t i o n i n human r e l a t i o n -  ships become s u p e r f l u o u s i n the consuming  d r i v e f o r success.  In h i s d i s c u s s i o n of Goju no To, I t 5 w r i t e s that "the reason t h i s work achieved such a deep sympathetic response from the l i t e r a r y world of the day was the  i t s p o r t r a y a l of Jubei a s s e r t i n g  independent world of h i s own work by t h r u s t i n g a s i d e h i s  master.  I t captured the modern a r t i s t i c ego which was  i n the  process o f budding f o r t h i n the minds o f w r i t e r s at t h a t time." He goes on to suggest that what e x c i t e d and p l e a s e d the g e n e r a l r e a d i n g p u b l i c was  the d e p i c t i o n of Jubei's m a s t e r f u l a r t i s t r y  and s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e which s a t i s f i e d the r i s i n g mood of s e l f a s s e r t i o n and upward m o b i l i t y sweeping through Japanese  society  15 d u r i n g the 1890's. T h i s view, however, misses the ambivalence i n the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n and f a i l s to a p p r e c i a t e the d i s t i n c t i o n which can be drawn between "modern ambition" and t r a d i t i o n a l aspiration."  The extremely s k i l l f u l  "artistic  carpenter i n Goju no To  112  i s but one of a s e r i e s of craftsmen heroes  (swordsmith,  s c u l p t o r , etc.) appearing i n Rohan's e a r l y f i c t i o n . maintained he wrote so much about  society.  and c o n t r i b u t i n g  directly  His c h a r a c t e r s stand i n sharp c o n t r a s t with, f o r  i n s t a n c e , Soseki's " a e s t h e t e " or the innumerable, " s e n s e i " ' t e a c h e r s ' so prominent of  Rohan  craftsmen because they were  s o l i d people, producing something, to  Buddhist  in Meiji fiction.  unproductive In h i s c r i t i q u e  modernism Rohan presented the d e d i c a t e d craftsman, the  for  whom a r t i s t i c  way  of l i f e .  skill  man  and s p i r i t u a l endeavor formed a u n i f i e d  In response to the shallow, s e l f - s e r v i n g e n t r e -  preneurs, b u r e a u c r a t s , and engineers, he o f f e r e d a v i s i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l f i n d i n g f u l f i l l m e n t and s a l v a t i o n i n s e l f - m a s t e r y through committment to an a r t . s t a n d i n g , one might almost  The v i s i o n i s based on  say, medieval, c u l t u r a l  long-  ideals  somewhat a k i n to the European n o t i o n of craftsmanship.  These  i d e a l s embodied s p i r i t u a l v a l u e s r a p i d l y d e c l i n i n g under the impact life  of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n .  L i k e the medieval craftsman whose  f r e q u e n t l y depended on the s u c c e s s f u l completion of a  piece of work, J u b e i wagers h i s own with the pagoda.  The energy,  with which he goes about  l i f e on t o t a l  involvement  s t r e n g t h , and s e l f l e s s d e v o t i o n  c o n s t r u c t i n g t h i s r e l i g i o u s monument  i n s p i r e s h i s f e l l o w workers and gives the reader a powerful  16  sense of Rohan's b e l i e f i n human p o t e n t i a l .  C o n s t r u c t i o n of the pagoda proceeds with Jubei the g u i d i n g  113  force.  Both aspects of the hero, h i s t o t a l commitment to  the task and h i s l a c k of sympathy toward h i s f e l l o w beings are c l e a r l y  expressed:  A hawk i n f l i g h t sees nothing but i t s prey. If a crane, then c o n c e n t r a t i n g s o l e l y on the crane i t w i l l p i e r c e the clouds and defy the wind u n t i l i t g r i p s i t s quarry f i r m l y by the t h r o a t . J u b e i , once the c o n s t r u c t i o n of the pagoda was f i n a l l y awarded to him, awake or a s l e e p , had h i s mind c o n s t a n t l y focused on the task. At mealtime a l l he could t a s t e was the r i s i n g t o w e r ; i n h i s dreams h i s s p i r i t c i r c l e d the nine r i n g s of the upper s p i r e . So i n v o l v e d was he i n h i s work, h i s wife was completely ignored, h i s c h i l d too, f o r g o t t e n . Yesterday's s e l f never emerged i n r e c o l l e c t i o n , nor d i d he imagine h i m s e l f tomorrow. But when he swung h i s adz to dress a l o g he put h i s whole body i n t o the s t r o k e ; when he drew a p l a n he i n s t i l l e d i n i t the s i n c e r i t y of h i s whole heart ;  Jubei's dream i s almost brought  to an abrupt end when  S e i k i c h i , spurred on by O k i c h i ' s anger at Jubei's a t t a c k s him with a h a t c h e t .  insensitivity,  The carpenter s u r v i v e s the sudden  a s s a u l t , s u s t a i n i n g only a minor shoulder wound and the l o s s of an ear.  Although not d i r e c t l y r e s p o n s i b l e , Genta assumes  the blame and a p o l o g i z e s to J u b e i and the Abbot f o r the  incident.  O k i c h i s e c r e t l y pawns her kimono to provide money f o r S e i k i c h i to t r a v e l to another c i t y u n t i l things q u i e t down.  The  d e s c r i b i n g O k i c h i removing one b e a u t i f u l kimono a f t e r from her wardrobe i s a wonderful  attempt  prose  another  at kimonozukushi  exhaustive c a t a l o g u i n g of s p l e n d i d gowns) i n the manner of Chikamatsu's J o r u r i .  (an  114  In spite of his wounds and protest from his wife, Jubei appears at  work the very next morning right on time.  hitherto l a c k a d a i s i c a l workers are startled to find him as they straggle i n l a t e .  His there  His example inspires their work and  the pagoda i s soon completed. Apparently the novel was About half way a severe storm.  o r i g i n a l l y intended  through the s e r i a l i z a t i o n , Tokyo was h i t with Rohan, concerned about the condition of  Tennoji's pagoda (The temple was 1833;  to end here.  i n fact called Kannoji u n t i l  i t belongs to the Tendai Sect of Buddhism), went out a  number of times to walk around the structure and examine the 18 effects of the storm. The f i n a l chapters of the novel, published as "Goju no To Yoi" (  Jz-  1L P§ &  t -  "Afterthoughts  on The Five-Storied  Pagoda") appeared several weeks after the o r i g i n a l installments ended.  This segment depicts the violent assault of a tempest  upon the c i t y of Edo.  The natural forces of destruction are \  personified as yasha (  _____  )•  T n e  yasha (a t r a n s l i t e r a t i o n  of the Sanscrit yaksa) are demons which have been assimilated into the Buddhist pantheon (hachibushu J \^~%^  )•  Thus  they are said to be protectors of the dharma, feeding on the wicked elements of humanity and safeguarding of this they are generally considered  the good. In spite  malevolent.  The wrath of the demons i s f i r s t directed at the moral f a i l i n g s of the inhabitants of the c i t y .  Pride, l u s t , avarice,  115  dishonesty,  and i n s e n s i t i v i t y to nature  (the s i l k i n d u s t r y i s  taken to task) are the charges that s t i r the f u r y o f the yasha. However, as the storm grows i n v i o l e n c e , the Demon King urges h i s myriad f o l l o w e r s t o : F l y on w i l d l y , abide only i n the l a w l e s s ! Shamelessly indulge yourselves! Away with p r i n c i p l e s and l a y a l l to waste. On! On! With rage and f r e n z y f i g h t even the Gods and tumble the Buddhas to the ground! Crush a l l principles! Once destroyed, a l l under heaven w i l l be ours! The  part o f the p o w e r f u l l y w r i t t e n d i a t r i b e  i s aimed a t  a c o r r u p t humanity; the second, a t the p r i n c i p l e s  of morality  and  first  order.  Throughout the storm the completed pagoda sways  back and f o r t h , "the precious  jewel a t i t s p i n n a c l e d e s c r i b i n g  19 an unreadable c h a r a c t e r i n the sky." J u b e i , c o n f i d e n t o f h i s work and secure  i n the Abbot's  t r u s t , remains a t home (a house h a l f demolished by the storm) unconcerned about the e f f e c t o f the d r i v i n g wind on the pagoda. officials  A messenger from worried,  faithless  f a i l s to budge him u n t i l he i s deceived  the Abbot has sent f o r him. he climbs  r a i n and r a g i n g temple  into believing  H i s own f a i t h t e m p o r a r i l y  shaken,  to the highest l e v e l of the pagoda determined to  c o n f r o n t the challenge o f the storm and r e s o l v e d to s a c r i f i c e his  life  i f the work s u s t a i n s even the s l i g h t e s t damage.  unaware o f the f a c t that Genta a l s o maintains  a vigil,  around the base of the s t r u c t u r e through the n i g h t .  He i s  circling  116  The  f i v e - s t o r i e d pagoda s u r v i v e s the tempest  Other b u i l d i n g s i n the c i t y do not f a r e so w e l l . promoter's t h e a t r e i s damaged, an unscrupulous arrangment' teacher's second another l a r g e temple,  unscathed. A  greedy  ikebana  'flower  s t o r y a d d i t i o n i s blown away, and  because of p r o f i t e e r i n g and s l o v e n l y  workmanship, i s p a r t i a l l y destroyed.  Someone jokes that the  l a r g e p i l l a r s of the temple's main h a l l might j u s t a s v w e l l I have been empty b a r r e l s stacked one  on another.  T h i s suggests, of  course, that i n c o n t r a s t to Kannoji, only the outward form of r e l i g i o n i s p r a c t i c e d and the a r t i s a n s and craftsmen no  longer  do " s o l i d work" being unable  i n their'  to f u l l y i n v e s t themselves  undertakings. Turning to the craftsmanship of the novel i t s e l f , we t h a t i t i s w r i t t e n i n bungobun ' l i t e r a r y s t y l e . '  recall  C e r t a i n passages  i n s e v e n - f i v e rhythm are i n conscious i m i t a t i o n of Saikaku. Masaoka S h i k i , Japan's g r e a t e s t modern h a i k u poet p r a i s e d Rohan's 20  e a r l y prose f o r i t s "marvelous haiku f l a v o r . "  In the t e x t ,  v a r i o u s t r a d i t i o n a l p o e t i c devices are employed.  Kakekotoba  'pivot words' f o r example: meshita n i mo j o s a i n a k u aikyo o kunde yaru sakurayu i p p a i ... c o n s i d e r a t e of i n f e r i o r s , she put her charm i n t o the cup of cherry blossom tea she poured f o r him ...  117  Kunde i s a kakekotoba.  I t p i v o t s between "aikyo o kunde"  ("with charm" or " f u l l o f a f f a b i l i t y " ) and "sakurayu i p p a i [o] kunde y a r u " together").  ("make a cup of cherry p e t a l t e a to d r i n k  The sentence  continues:  kokoro n i hana no a r u a s h i r a i wa kuchi n i kotoba no adashigeki y o r i n a t s u k a s h i k i ... h o s p i t a l i t y from a deeply s i n c e r e heart i s more pleasant than being t r e a t e d to a mouthful of compliments. Here, hana 'flower' i s the engo ( a s s o c i a t e d word) f o r the sakurayu 'cherry p e t a l t e a ' i n the preceding The forward  clause.  2 1  s e v e n - f i v e cadence adds m u s i c a l i t y and a strong momentum to the flow of the prose.  Consider  this  i n s t a n c e where Jubei s i t s a n x i o u s l y a n t i c i p a t i n g the Abbot's decision: ... moshi mata ware n i wa meijitamawazu Genta n i makasu to kimetamaishi o ware n i kotowaru tame yobareshika, so n i mo araba nantosen, ukamu y o s h i n a k i umoregi no waga mi no sue n i hana sakamu tanomi mo nagaku nakunarubeshi ... Then again, i f I am not rewarded with the order but i t has been decided i n favor o f Genta and I have been summoned only to be r e j e c t e d , i f that i s the case, what then? With no hope of ever r i s i n g i n the world, w i l l I f o r e v e r remain b u r i e d timber, p o t e n t i a l blossoms l o s t to o b l i v i o n ? The  seven s y l l a b l e phrase "ukamu y o s h i n a k i " ("no hope of r i s i n g " )  i s followed by the f i v e s y l l a b l e "umoregi no" ("buried  wood" by  118  extension, " l i v i n g i n o b s c u r i t y " ) .  The c l a u s e employs the  a l l i t e r a t i v e device of head rhyme (torn) to c r e a t e euphony. A f t e r the next seven s y l l a b l e phrase, "waga mi no sue n i " ("at the t i p s of my  limbs") we  f i n d the engo "hana sakamu"  ("flowers blooming") a s s o c i a t e d with the word "umoregi" ("deadwood").  The a s s o c i a t e d terms together form the o l d  idiom, umoregi n i hana ga saku, which means to r i s e out of o b s c u r i t y by d i n t of noteworthy achievement.  T h i s type of  complex f i g u r a t i v e language i s used f r e q u e n t l y i n Goju no and  To  f a s c i n a t i n g examples can be found i n most of Rohan's  early  fiction. Other  f e a t u r e s of Rohan's prose technique which might be  p o i n t e d out i n c l u d e h i s use of p a r a l l e l c o n s t r u c t i o n ( t s u i k u s h i t a t e ) , noun-stop c l a u s e s (meishidome), and the use of Chinese c h a r a c t e r s f o r both v i s u a l and a u r a l e f f e c t . i l l u s t r a t e , here i s how  To  the t w e n t y - f i f t h chapter of the novel  begins: Hand axes chopping away, planes shaving planks, c h i s e l s knocking h o l e s , n a i l s being d r i v e n , crack c r a c k c l i c k c l i c k the sounds r e v e r b e r a t e d i n busy d i s a r r a y as wood chips flew l i k e leaves s w i r l i n g i n a sudden gust and sawdust danced l i k e snow f a l l i n g out of the blue i n the p r e c i n c t s of the temple where carpenters i n s t y l i s h dark blue aprons drawn t i g h t l y around t h e i r waists over r a t h e r n a t t y white b r i t c h e s stepped s h a r p l y i n t h e i r stapped sandals a g i l e l y about t h e i r t a s k s , while from an o l d man i n a shabby jacket with a f i l t h y towel slung over h i s shoulder squating i n a sunny spot comes the sound zzz zzz t i n g of a c h i s e l being sharpened; here, a l i t t l e u r c h i n bungling about i n search of a misplaced t o o l , t h e r e , a d a y - l a b o r e r i n t e n t l y sawing wood, and amidst these people of a l l  119  kinds engaged i n t h e i r work, p e r s p i r i n g and out of breath, the p r i n c i p l e a r c h i t e c t , the slouch J u b e i , moved from worker to worker, s u p e r v i s i n g with i n k pot, bamboo s t y l u s , and T-square, d i r e c t i n g the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of model i n t o r e a l i t y . "Cut i t here. Bevel i t there a b i t . What are you doing? Set i t at t h i s angle!" With plumb l i n e and v o i c e d i d he i n s t r u c t , i n d i c a t i n g the dimensions of tongue and groove, even t r o u b l i n g to score lumber, eyes l i k e a f a l c o n ' s , ever v i g i l a n t , d e s p e r a t e l y d r i v e n , when, as he stopped to draw some f i g u r e s f o r a young a s s i s t a n t to carve i n r e l i e f , t h e r e , out o f a c l o u d o f dust, f a s t e r than a charging w i l d boar, f l y i n g at him with hatchet r a i s e d high, was S e i k i c h i . 23 The  phrase "wood chips flew l i k e leaves s w i r l i n g i n a  sudden gust and sawdust danced l i k e snow f a l l i n g out o f the b l u e " (" koppa wa tonde shippu n i konoha no h i r u g a e r u ga gotoku, ogakuzu matte s e i t e n n i y u k i f u r u ...") i s an example o f p a r a l l e l c o n s t r u c t i o n , a device used q u i t e o f t e n i n Rohan's e a r l y works.  The e f f e c t of the technique  i s purely decorative.  P a r a l l e l i s m i s s u r e l y one o f the b a s i c a e s t h e t i c p r i n c i p l e s of p o e t i c u t t e r a n c e i n any language. This opening passage of chapter twenty-five makes use of a s y n t a c t i c a l manipulation which I have c a l l e d the "noun-stop." I t i s used f o r both .dramatic one  and a e s t h e t i c e f f e c t .  paragraph i n Japanese, contains two sentences.  The passage, Each sentence  ends with a noun; the f i r s t , with the term " i i t s u k e " ( " i n s t r u c t i o n s " ) the> second, with the proper name, S e i k i c h i .  I have t r i e d to  i n d i c a t e i n the t r a n s l a t i o n how a whole s t r i n g of clauses  120  describing the immediate circumstances i s brought to focus on the action (supervising/directing) i n the f i r s t instance, and on S e i k i c h i , Jubei's assailant, i n the second.  The pause  or break i n the rhythmic prose creates a dramatic tension, a grammatical as well as narrative suspense.  It also opens  an interval or space (ma) i n the text by "freezing" a particular tableau, compelling the reader to contemplate the force and beauty of the language. In Goju no To canvas.  Rohan presents the reader with a very dense  Sounds and' images move through this space i n a rhythmic,  almost musical way.  The manner i n which concrete visual image  and the sounds of language are.woven together r e f l e c t s the author's views on the nature of writing.  In his essay "The  Improvement of Writing and Language" ( *xC 4 p  @)  "Bunsho oyobi Gengo no Kojo" 1914), mentioned above, Rohan argues that writing i n Japanese should take advantage of the two-dimensionality  of the writing system.  He notes that the characters used  are, at the same time, signs for pronunciation and symbols of mental images ( / C  ^)  f£xL_  "shinzo no shocho" ) .  2 4  i s a position l a t e r echoed by Akutagawa Ryunosuke (  This ^_/\\  1892-1927) and put into practice so b e a u t i f u l l y by Tanizaki Junichiro ( ^  fc^f  ;^Fj —  1886-1965).  Rohan maintained  that the d i r e c t i o n taken by modern s t y l i s t i c s i n Japan obstructed  121  artistic  freedom and was  based on an u n r e a l i z a b l e i d e a l s i n c e ;  the w r i t t e n and spoken forms of any language w i l l always have irreconcilable differences. In Goju no To the language works w e l l i n both Consider the passage quoted above.  One  dimensions,  can "see" how  the  sounds and images work i n tandem:  *To^e>;r * tr*>  4l  ... kugi u t s u yara chocho k a c h i k a c h i ... d r i v i n g n a i l s , bam clack clack  We not only hear, but see n a i l s going I n J i one a f t e r another.  the  bam  We have p i c t u r e , s o u n d , and mood of the o l d man sharpening a c h i s e l .  ... yu yu zen to nomi o togu ... j i j i mo a r i calmly, d e l i b e r a t e l y , zz zz t i n g , an o l d man sharpening a c h i s e l  The  language i n Goju no To c a l l s a t t e n t i o n to i t s e l f , i t  i s t h e a t r i c a l , f u l l of b o l d exaggeration and elegant of l i m i t s .  T h i s i s the reason we  Toru saying, "The  find a c r i t i c  straining  such as  language used i s j u s t too strong and  serves to make the novel seem emptier."  The  only  The n o v e l , he t h i n k s ,  takes on the q u a l i t i e s of the pagoda i t s e l f : and d u r a b i l i t y but not much e l s e .  Terada  i t has a firmness  overall  impression i s ,  122  he f e e l s , "one  of something  hollow w i t h r i g i d contours. " "'The Z  r i g i d i t y Terada w r i t e s of comes more from the u n d e r l y i n g s t r u c t u r e of the work than the s t y l e . is,  The hollowness he p e r c e i v e s  I b e l i e v e , a r e s u l t of the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n .  Looking f o r  r e a l i s t i c treatment, he f i n d s i n s t e a d i d e a l i z a t i o n of types. Modern f i c t i o n u s u a l l y takes the e x t e r n a l world as i t s o b j e c t and seeks to represent t h i s world "as i s . "  This i n s i s t e n c e  on mimesis coupled with the w r i t e r ' s personal response experience came to be the dominant f i c t i o n a l mode. drama, however, tend to take language  to  Poetry and  as t h e i r o b j e c t and r a t h e r  than l i m i t t h e i r scope to works p r i m a r i l y expressions of s e l f although t h i s type of work i s not l a c k i n g —  have sought  —  the reason  f o r l i t e r a t u r e i n the e x p r e s s i o n of a u n i v e r s a l order that goes beyond the i n d i v i d u a l .  A novel i n form, Rohan's Goju no To i s  c l o s e r to the nature of e p i c poetry and drama than what we have come to know as modern f i c t i o n , w h e r e the s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s of the hero i s s o v e r e i g n . Most commentators on Goju no To take Jubei to be the unequivocal hero of the work.  As we have seen, It5 S e i sees  J u b e i as a k i n d of prototype of the modern i n d i v i d u a l ready to go i t alone i n h i s p u r s u i t of fame and g l o r y . appearance may  He a l s o notes that h i s  be taken as s i g n a l l i n g the end of the o p t i m i s t i c  123  e a r l y years of M e i j i with the a r r i v a l of the problem  of ego-  c e n t r i c i n d i v i d u a l i s m i n modern s o c i e t y . S e r i H i r o a k i , i n h i s study of Rohan as c r i t i c of modern civilization,  takes J u b e i to be the embodiment of the i d e a l Xv^.  °f s h i n j i n (  ^>  i s t r y i n g to show how of  t  n  "  e  t  r  u  e  man."  He maintains that Rohan  the development of the pre-modern s p i r i t  craftsmanship ("shokuno s e i s h i n " ) might be an avenue of  26 l i b e r a t i o n f o r modern man. exemplar of makoto ( J ^ .  Seen t h i s way,  J u b e i becomes an  ), that c h a r a c t e r i s t i c which Ivan  M o r r i s has c a l l e d the " c a r d i n a l q u a l i t y of the Japanese hero." Makoto, which may  be t r a n s l a t e d " s i n c e r i t y , " has as i t s b a s i s  "a p u r i t y of motive which d e r i v e s from man's l o n g i n g f o r an a b s o l u t e meaning out of time and from a r e a l i z a t i o n that the s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l world i s e s s e n t i a l l y a place of c o r r u p t i o n whose m a t e r i a l i t y i s incompatible with the demands of pure s p i r i t and t r u t h . "  M o r r i s goes on to say that "the man  makoto proceeds not by l o g i c a l argument, pragmatic or  a common-sense e f f o r t  of  the times,' but by the f o r c e of h i s own  of  depending  of  compromise,  to attune h i m s e l f to the 'movement true f e e l i n g s .  on c a r e f u l , r a t i o n a l plans and adjustments  Instead  he i s  27 p r o p e l l e d by an unquestioning s p o n t a n e i t y . "  There i s l i t t l e  doubt many of the heroes of Rohan's master craftsman novels are i n f u s e d with t h i s " c a r d i n a l q u a l i t y " of s i n c e r i t y of h e a r t .  124  Chieko Mulhern, who  has w r i t t e n the only study of Rohan  i n E n g l i s h , f e e l s that "Jubei i s undoubtedly h i s i d e a l hero." She w r i t e s , "Jubei must transcend  the customary h e r o i c s such  as the t y p i c a l Edoite g e n e r o s i t y d i s p l a y e d by Genta or the human sentiments by which h i s wife l i v e s . "  And  t h a t , "Jubei  28 i s the d i v i n e l y i n s p i r e d a r t i s t - p r i e s t p r o t e c t i n g the pagoda." What a l l of the above c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s f a i l to emphasize i s the c r i t i c i s m l e v e l l e d at Jubei throughout the n o v e l . i s c o n s i s t e n t l y d e s c r i b e d as i n s e n s i t i v e . ceremony h i s very w o r l d l y ambition  He  At the ground-breaking  w e l l s to the s u r f a c e .  He i s  s a i d to be " h a l f i n a dream, h a l f i n r e a l i t y " when f a c i n g S e i k i c h i ' s attack.  Upon r e t u r n i n g from a c o n s u l t a t i o n with  the Abbot he "seems to be h a l f dead" ("hanbun shinda yo n i n a t t e " ) . His son,  l n o , has  a p r o p h e t i c dream i n which Jubei's head i s  "smashed i n h a l f by a sledgehammer" ("atama o butte ikudomo  29 b u t t e , atama ga hanbun kowareta"). r e f e r e n c e s to J u b e i ' s onesidedness.  There are numerous other To see him  only as  " i d e a l hero" i s to overlook h i s f a u l t s , h i s incomplete We  are meant to recognize  the humanity.  that h i s l a c k of compassion i s a r e a l  weakness; that love i s love i s not  something that can  be  j e t t i s o n e d i n the p u r s u i t of i n d i v i d u a l goals r e g a r d l e s s of the motive. It i s compassion that provides  Jubei with h i s  opportunity.  125  Even the temple's name i m p l i e s t h i s : where the Gods and Buddhas respond (  ).  Kannoji i s the temple ( J ^ J " )  (  ) to human f e e l i n g s  Roen Shonin d i s c e r n s i n the carpenter a p o t e n t i a l ,  a d e d i c a t i o n to h i s a r t , which can be the v e h i c l e of h i s l i b e r a t i o n . He  speaks to him while f i n g e r i n g h i s beads made from the  fruit  of the bodhi t r e e ("bodaiju no mi no zuzu") and r e s o l v e s to  30 awaken the man's b o d a i s h i n , h i s a s p i r a t i o n f o r  enlightenment.  As the Abbot i n d i c a t e s i n the f i n a l chapter, the pagoda i s " B u i l t by Jubei of Edo and Completed by Kawagoe Gentaro" no  ("koto  j u n i n Jubei kore o tsukur*i, Kawagoe Gentaro kore o nasu").  Among the other t h i n g s we  l e a r n about c o n s t r u c t i n g a pagoda i s  that the l e v e l l i n g and s o l i d i f y i n g of the ground at i t s base  i s the most important I t i s Genta who He  f a c t o r - ( " t o wa nani y o r i  j i g y o ga  31 daiji").  maintains a v i g i l at the base d u r i n g the  storm.  i s probably the most f u l l y drawn c h a r a c t e r i n the work. We  see him i n i n t i m a t e c o n v e r s a t i o n with h i s w i f e , c a r o u s i n g i n the pleasure d i s t r i c t ,  l o s i n g h i s temper, eavesdropping,  and  a l t o g e t h e r too r i g i d l y c o n s t r a i n e d by s o c i a l p r o p r i e t i e s .  Yet,  h i s s e l f - a b n e g a t i o n with r e s p e c t to the c r e a t i o n of the pagoda may  represent a h i g h e r order of attainment  triumph.  I t may  w e l l be Genta's uncreated pagoda should be  as the e s s e n t i a l component i n the project.  than Jubei's a f f i r m a t i v e seen  s u c c e s s f u l r e a l i z a t i o n of the  I t should not be necessary to add that the p r i n c i p l e  a r c h i t e c t i s Roen Shonin.  He combines compassion, s k i l l f u l means,  and wisdom, the main elements of a pagoda which, a f t e r a l l , for s p i r i t u a l  victory.  stands  126  1  Koda Rohan, Goju no To ("The Five-Storied Pagoda") i n  Koda Rohan Shu, Nihon Kindai Bungaku Taikei Series, Vol. 6 (Tokyo: Kadokawa, 1974). Vol. 5.  The novel i s included i n Rohan Zenshu,  References are to the Kadokawa edition which has the  advantage of copious notes and commentary; hereafter cited as GJT Ito Sei, Nihon Bundan Shi, (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1969), Vol. 3, p. 15. Shiki believed Rohan had succeeded i n fusing Western ideas of love and human aspiration with the Buddhist world view. He considered Furyubutsu the best contemporary novel he had read and became an avid reader of Rohan's subsequent work. Shiki actually went so far as to retrace the steps of Shu'un, the sculptor i n Furyubutsu, taking the same route through the mountains of Kiso Rohan had travelled two years e a r l i e r . 3 See Irokawa Daikichi, Meiji ho Bunka (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2  1977).  Chapters One and Two outline the social history of the  period. £JT, p. 290. ^ The novel was f i r s t adapted for the stage by Takeshiba Shinkichi and performed at the Tokyo-za i n November, 1904. More recently, a play with a script based on Goju no To written by Tsugami Tadashi was produced by the Nihon Engeki Kyokasho i n 1966. 4  ^ Sakae Shioya, trans., The Pagoda, by. Koda Rohan (Tokyo: Okura and Co., 1909). GJT, pp. 308-309. 5 J T , pp. 315-316. 9 _ Shiotani San, Koda Rohan (Tokyo: Chuokoronsha,1977), Vol. 1, 7  8  p. 165.  127  1 0  1 1  1 2  13  GJT, p. 325. GJT, p. 317. GJT, p. 224.  This i s a f a i r l y common c r i t i c i s m of the characterization. Here, the appraisal i s by Terada Toru,"Rohan no Kosho," Bungaku, 46, No. 11 (1978), p. 9. GJT, p. 306. Ito, pp. 25-26. 16 On Rohan's heroes as representatives of t r a d i t i o n a l ideals of craftsmanship and s p i r i t u a l endeavor see Seri Hiroaki, Bunmei Hihyoka toshite no Rohan (Tokyo: Miraisha, 1971). In particular the chapter, "Rohan no Meijinmono to Zen" ("Rohan's Master Craftsman Novels and Zen"). GJT, p. 334. 18 Shiotani, p. 164. GJT, p. 351-352. 20 Ito, p. 29. Ito devotes a section of the t h i r d volume of his long history of modern Japanese l i t e r a r y c i r c l e s to "Rohan's Goju no To and Reactions to the Work" ("Rohan no Goju no To to sono Hanbiki"). GJT, p. 288. GJT, p. 301. GJT, p. 337-338. Zenshu, Vol. 25, pp. 53-57. Terada, p. 9. Seri, p. 203. 27 Ivan Morris, The Nobility of Failure: Tragic Heroes i n The History of Japan (New York: Meridian, 1976), p. 22-23. 1 4  1 7  1 9  2 1  2 2  2 3  2 4  2 6  2 8  98,99.  Chieko Mulhern, Koda Rohan (Boston: Twayne, 1977), pp. 87,  GJT,, p. 299. GJT, pp. 298,326 30 GJT, pp. 358, 330.  2 9  3 1  128  Chapter  Five  Record o f Linked  In h i s essay Eliot,  Rings  " T r a d i t i o n a n d t h e I n d i v i d u a l T a l e n t " T. S.  enumerating h i s c r i t e r i a  f o rgreatness,  wrote:  [The] h i s t o r i c a l s e n s e ... we may c a l l n e a r l y i n d i s p e n s a b l e t o anyone who w o u l d c o n t i n u e t o be a p o e t b e y o n d h i s t w e n t y - f i f t h y e a r ... The h i s t o r i c a l s e n s e c o m p e l s a man t o w r i t e n o t m e r e l y w i t h h i s own g e n e r a t i o n i n h i s bones b u t w i t h a f e e l i n g t h a t t h e w h o l e o f t h e l i t e r a t u r e o f E u r o p e f r o m Homer a n d w i t h i n i t t h e w h o l e o f t h e l i t e r a t u r e o f h i s own c o u n t r y h a s a s i m u l t a n e o u s e x i s t e n c e a n d composes a simultaneous o r d e r . 1  Koda Rohan's n o v e l , R e n k a n k i  ( TJJL  HC_J  "Record o f Linked 2  Rings")  succeeds i n c a p t u r i n g t h i s  I t i s not of course great l i t e r a r y  sense o f t r a d i t i o n a l  order.  back t o t h e a n c i e n t Greek poet b u t t o t h e  f l o w e r i n g i n Heian  Japan t h a t h i s work  Renkanki r e v e a l s t h e tremendous scope o f t h e a u t h o r ' s e r u d i t i o n and t h e s e e m i n g l y  effortless  skill  reaches. historical  w i t h w h i c h he weaves  together a series of biographical p o r t r a i t s , astute  observations  on human n a t u r e , a n d commentary on t h e l i t e r a t u r e o f a n e p o c h i n t o a work o f l i t e r a t u r e o f t h e h i g h e s t o r d e r . l i t e r a r y h e r i t a g e was c r y s t a l l i z e d work, t h e r e a d e r of time p a s t .  Much o f J a p a n ' s  i n Rohan, t h e man; i n h i s -  i s given a v i s i o n of the m u l t i f a c e t e d mystery  The a u t h o r r e a d h i s t o r y w i t h h i s h e a r t a n d b r i n g s  to h i s w r i t i n g a profound  understanding  o f t h e empty c e n t e r a n d  d e l i c a t e web o f i n t e r r e l a t e d c i r c u m s t a n c e I n an o f t e n noted  i n human  lifea  c r i t i c i s m , Tanabe H a j i m e  1885-1962), t h e K y o t o U n i v e r s i t y H e g e l i a n , once c h a r a c t e r i z e d  129  Rohan's work as "zatsugaku"'miscellaneous s t u d i e s ' , a term with the negative connotation of " i n t e l l e c t u a l hodgepodge." t h r u s t of h i s c r i t i c i s m was of thought supporting  that there  his writing.  The  i s no u n i f y i n g system  'This i s the type of remark  a l s o d i r e c t e d at a w r i t e r such as T a n i z a k i J u n i c h i r o , although never having ventured f a r from the realm of  who, fiction,  i s . a t t a c k e d f o r h i s l a c k of i n t e l l e c t u a l s u p e r s t r u c t u r e ga n a i " . ) .  While on a s u p e r f i c i a l l e v e l there  of t r u t h i n Tanabe's c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n — do,  after a l l ,  include  to c i t y planning from the  -- and  standpoint  ("shiso  i s some element  Rohan's c o l l e c t e d works  s t u d i e s on t o p i c s ranging from p h i l o l o g y however v a l i d the o b s e r v a t i o n  might  be  of modern s c i e n t i f i c d i s c i p l i n e s with t h e i r  need to s p e c i a l i z e and  fragment knowledge, i t r i n g s f a l s e when  seen i n the l i g h t of Rohan's e f f o r t to maintain a humanistic, comprehensive approach to the world. tions, discovers  His w r i t i n g seeks connecr  s i g n i f i c a n t coincidence;  " p o e t i c t h i n k i n g " Northrop Frye  i t involves  the  describes:  P o e t i c t h i n k i n g , being m y t h i c a l , does not d i s t i n g u i s h or c r e a t e a n t i t h e s e s : i t goes on and on l i n k i n g analogy to analogy, i d e n t i t y to i d e n t i t y . ... This means, not that i t i s merely f a c i l e or l i q u i d t h i n k i n g without form, but that i t i s a d i a l e c t i c of l o v e : i t t r e a t s whatever i t encounters as another form of i t s e l f . ^ I f a conceptual tag must be a p p l i e d , r a t h e r than the "romantic i d e a l i s m , " I p r e f e r Yamamoto Kenkichi's "philosophy pf i n t e r r e l a t e d n e s s "  (en no  shiso).  usual  suggestion, Yamamoto c o n t r a s t s  130  the warm, personal world view based on en (  x  %j|j<_.  ) which was ;  d e r i v e d from the Buddhist n o t i o n o f karmic c a u s a l i t y , t o the impersonal,  t h e o r e t i c a l systematizing  the modern temper.  ( r i r o n t e k i na t a i k e i ) o f  During much of the M e i j i p e r i o d the r e s i d u a l  e f f e c t s o f c e n t u r i e s of Neo-Confucian d o c t r i n e kept man, contemporary man, at the center o f s c h o l a r s h i p and modern s c i e n t i f i c methodologies at a d i s t a n c e .  In h i s t o r i o g r a p h y i n  p a r t i c u l a r , the r a p i d i t y o f change during the p e r i o d generated a strong sense of l i v i n g w i t h i n , being part o f , the subject matter  itself.  7  Tortdescribe her f a t h e r ' s methodology Koda Aya r e l a t e s an analogyhhe used t o e x p l a i n h i s approach t o knowledge: [Rohan] You don't concentrate on j u s t one area, but spread out i n a l l e i g h t d i r e c t i o n s , f i r m l y f o r c i n g your way to the f u r t h e s t extent l i k e an advancing army. ... S i m i l a r to the way when i c e forms i t f i r s t sends out needles which begin to p u l l each other together c r e a t i n g l i n k s . Then a t h i n membrane s t r e t c h e s over the whole r i g h t to the c e n t e r . What we c a l l knowledge works l i k e t h i s . [Taking t h i n g s ] one by one does not work w e l l . Instead you should reach out widely i n everywhich d i r e c t i o n . At some p o i n t , bing! a l l w i l l be drawn together and connected, the space i n the gaps w i l l be f i l l e d i n . That i s what i s c a l l e d knowledge. 8 T h i s i c e analogy suggests that Rohan would be i n agreement with some o f the recent a n t i - e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l stances and  philosophy.  Hans-George Gadamer 's concept of Bildung f o r  i n s t a n c e , which r e f e r s to a process education  i n criticism  ;  o f s e l f - f o r m a t i o n and  that i s to r e p l a c e a search  f o r "knowledge" i n the  sense o f some p u t a t i v e o b j e c t i v e t r u t h .  T h i s g e s t a l t approach  131  is  very  much i n k e e p i n g w i t h  the  tenor  o f the  works on  self-  Q  cultivation  Rohan p u b l i s h e d  H i s t o r y , viewed  from t h i s  because of  something gained  happened —  an u n a t t a i n a b l e  worth l i e s  i n how  consciousness philosopher (about  i t can  Richard  Rorty  of expressing as  i n any  event —  used to e f f e c t As  the  changes i n  puts i t , " g e t t i n g the  to f i n d i n g  ourselves."  He  the  a new  possessions  things  are s a i d 10  of t r u t h s . "  s e n t e n c e s and  I will  poems a r e  poems i n a v e r b a l m a t r i x  return to t h i s  v i e w and  skillful  linking  a lyrical use  of  'linked verse'  i s able  than i t can  Decades o f s t u d y i n g  techniques  point  educa-  i s the  in  implicit  His  my  assumption  sentences  to m i r r o r  by  and  complex human  represent  of verse  of  the  the  objective  h a i k a i l i t e r a t u r e , which i s  of l i n e s  way  i n Renkanki.  narrative whole,certainly  language.  than  connected to other  that  e m o t i o n s much more c l e a r l y  to create  right  t h a t "from the  i s more i m p o r t a n t  T h r o u g h o u t Rohan's w r i t i n g t h e r e  upon t h e  facts  more i n t e r e s t i n g  d i s c u s s i o n of the view of h i s t o r y expressed  world.  American  h i s t o r y of Europe) i s  and  maintains  our  opposed to e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l or t e c h n i c a l p o i n t  v i e w , t h e way  that  not  rather, i t s  contemporary  the v o i d , or about  merely propaedeutic  value  a s c e r t a i n i n g what a c t u a l l y  goal  be  career.  p e r s p e c t i v e , has  by  of ourselves.  atoms and  tional,  i n mid  built  a group o f  poets  a f f e c t e d Rohan's  mastery of h i g h l y developed  s u c h as monozuke'word l i n k ' ,  renku  kokorozuke  132  ' h e a r t l i n k ' , and n i o i z u k e ' f r a g r a n c e l i n k ' seamless f l o w o f h i s mature The w o r k o f a r t was,  e s s a y s and  c o n t r i b u t e d to the  stories.  h o w e v e r , n e v e r a n end i n i t s e l f .  For  Rohan t h e a r t work c o u l d n o t be d i s e n g a g e d f r o m i t s m o r a l o r religious  implications.  I n a c c o r d a n c e w i t h b o t h C o n f u c i a n and  Buddhist views, the u l t i m a t e  j u s t i f i c a t i o n of l i t e r a t u r e  i s to  be f o u n d i n i t s f u n c t i o n as h o b e n ' e x p e d i e n t means' f o r t h e e d i f i c a t i o n and e n l i g h t e n m e n t o f s o c i e t y . communities  are connected byrfchehflow o f symbols  of communication. and i n f l u e n t i a l  U n t i l r e c e n t l y , l i t e r a t u r e was  channel.  Quite c l e a r l y ,  symbols which h e l p s the group realities symbol  Individuals i n through channels t h e most  i t i s this  public  system of  f o r m i t s s e l f - i m a g e and i m a g e s o f  e x t e r n a l t o the i n d i v i d u a l .  The  s y s t e m i s what m i g h t be c a l l e d d h u m a n  aggregate of society.  this  Thus i t  became a m o r a l d u t y f o r t h e w r i t e r t o f u r t h e r t h e good o f  society  by e s c h e w i n g t h e f r i v o l o u s and v u l g a r w h i l e e s p o u s i n g t h e  lofty  teachings o f the sages.  The  p r o b l e m f o r t h e a r t i s t was  to create  a s e t o f s t r u c t u r a l and s t y l i s t i c d e v i c e s t o m e d i a t e b e t w e e n t h e r e a l i t i e s o f t h e commonplace w o r l d and t h e i n j u n c t i o n s o f t h e i d e a l one.  L a n g u a g e was  n o t a l w a y s up t o t h e t a s k .  In h i s  "Commentary on t h e S e c o n d a r y M e a n i n g  of the Heart  (the  a d i s t i l l a t i o n o f Mahayana  P r a j n l p l r a m i t l - h r i d a y a Sutra —  Sutra"  B u d d h i s t t e a c h i n g s ) Rohan e x p l a i n s t h a t t h e e x p l i c a t i o n i s p e r f o r c e a s e c o n d a r y meaning because t h e compass o f  language.H  t h e p r i m a r y m e a n i n g i s beyond  133 I n September-; Gendan (  1 9 3 8 , when Rohan was s e v e n t y - t w o y e a r s o l d , "Mystifying Tales"  ) was p u b l i s h e d i n t h e  12 p e r i o d i c a l , Nihon Hyoron.  The p i e c e , w r i t t e n i n t h e e a s y ,  raconteur style of h i s late f i c t i o n ,  j o i n s two s t o r i e s o f t h e  s u p e r n a t u r a l , one W e s t e r n a n d o f t h e m o u n t a i n s , t h e o t h e r E a s t e r n and o f t h e s e a . The f i r s t  deals with the o r i g i n a l  t h e M a t t e r h o r n i n t h e Swiss A l p s i n 1865.  conquest o f  On t h e d e s c e n t  half  the c l i m b i n g p a r t y plunges f o u r thousand f e e t and i s l o s t . s u r v i v o r s then w i t n e s s t h e appearance t h e s k y e n c l o s e d by a n a r c h .  o f two l a r g e c r o s s e s i n  The s e c o n d , somewhat l o n g e r s t o r y  r e l a t e s t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f a f i s h e r m a n a n d h i s boatman d u r i n g t h e l a t e Edo p e r i o d .  The  Out f i s h i n g one d a y a r o u n d  companion dusk  t h e y encounter a f i s h i n g r o d bobbing i n t h e water w i t h t h e hand o f a d r o w n e d man s t i l l  t i g h t l y grasping i t .  Noticing the excellent  q u a l i t y o f t h e bamboo r o d , t h e y , w i t h some t r o u b l e , remove i t from t h e p o s s e s s i o n o f ^ t h e dead  f i s h e r m a n a n d r e t u r n home. Out  f i s h i n g a b o u t t h e same t i m e a d a y l a t e r , t h e same a p p a r i t i o n a p p e a r s t o them.  Awe-struck, they c a s t t h e r o d back i n t o t h e  s e a i n v o k i n g t h e name o f A m i d a Buddha. F a v o r a b l e r e a c t i o n t o t h i s work may h a v e p r o m p t e d  Rohan's  f i n a l burst o f c r e a t i v e e f f o r t which r e s u l t e d i n h i s l a s t three novels: Yukitataki May-June),  Gacho  and R e n k a n k i July) .  ( H (^  ( \ ^ ~ % Z j  * %^  VA K n o c k i n t h e Snow" 1 9 3 9 ,  "A P a i r o f G e e s e " 1 9 3 9 , D e c e m b e r ) , "Record o f L i n k e d R i n g s " 1940, June-  T h e y were o r i g i n a l l y p u b l i s h e d i n N i h o n H y o r o n  and i n  134  1941  a l l f o u r were i s s u e d t o g e t h e r i n a s i n g l e v o l u m e u n d e r  title  Gendan.  1 3  S h i o t a n i San,  Rohan's b i o g r a p h e r ,  a c t u a l l y conceived beginning  b e s t w o r k t o bow  " N a r a no  b e l i e v e s Renkanki  much e a r l i e r , p e r h a p s as  of the Taisho  of h i s t o r i c a l  era  out w i t h .  1 4  (1912),  and  ^j^jg-f  (J)  we  I n an a g r e e m e n t w i t h a p u b l i s h e r  —  "  A  n  Oak  Leaf")  We  4*?UjiL  know t h a t t h e b e g i n n i n g  entitled  w h i c h was  o t h e r s o f h i s p e r i o d i n a manner s i m i l a r t o t h e f i n d i n Renkanki.  the  saved h i s  f i c t i o n a t t h e t i m e Rohan o f f e r e d a w o r k  Ichiyo" (  was  f a r b a c k as  the author  h a v e d e a l t w i t h Kamo no Y a s u t a n e ( and  ?  "  2 ?  treatment  of the  novel  w r i t t e n ( o r r e w r i t t e n ) much l a t e r b e c a u s e i n a l e t t e r  his  s i s t e r Nobuko, d a t e d A u g u s t 2,  1929,  f o r Y a s u t a n e ' s f a m i l y name i n k a t a k a n a  " Y o s h i s h i g e " s h o u l d a c t u a l l y be r e a d d i c t i o n a r i e s today shows how  still  read  (phonetic s c r i p t )  "KamoV"  as  discovered Biographical Rohan  Yasutane s i m p l y changed c h a r a c t e r s , u s i n g k a n j i  ^^.i*.  )•  T h i s was  to reading  t h e name as Y o s h i s h i g e b u t  e q u i v a l e n t meanings ( i j i d o g i : became  Rohan g i v e s t h e  I t must h a v e b e e n a f t e r t h a t he  to  1°0 )  was  "Yoshishigey"  the  became  with  , while  done i n o r d e r t o show r e s p e c t f o r h i s  e l d e r b r o t h e r , Kamo no Y a s u n o r i  ( ^  7^  917  -  977).  I n R e n k a n k i Rohan c i t e s a s i m i l a r c h a n g e by Y a s u t a n e ' s nephew Tanemasa, one  of the authors  o f t h e S h o k u Honcho M o n z u i (  R e n k a n k i i s a n a r r a t i v e t r e a t i n g a number o f f i g u r e s i n m i d - H e i a n J a p a n and  Sung C h i n a .  The  historical  period coincides  135  with  the  great  achievement.  f l o w e r i n g of Heian court The  characters  are  Michinaga  c u l t u r e and  literary  contemporaries of Fujiwara  966-1027) t h e model f o r M u r a s a k i ' s  h e r o i n The  Tale  of G e n j i .  e r i b e d as h i s t o r i c a l n o v e l  W h e t h e r r t h e n a r r a t i v e be (rekishi  shosetsu),  ( s h i d e n ) , o r some f o r m o f h i s t o r i c a l goes b e y o n d t h e  already  complicated  best  des-  biography  essay i s a question  that  arguments c o n c e r n i n g  genre  i n t o problems concerning the r e l a t i o n s h i p between f i c t i o n a l h i s t o r i c a l modes o f d i s c o u r s e . comments t o make on the  context The  Since  o f r e l a t e d i s s u e s r a i s e d by  narrative involves  h i s t o r i c a l record. s t r u c t u r e d as  The  hagiographic  be  t e x t has  discussed  the work  main a c t o r s  numerous  a t t e s t e d to i n  vignettes,  ( j o u r n a l s , poems,  t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s are  chart:  the  i n t h i s account which i s  w r i t i n g s ) w h i c h have been p r e s e r v e d . and  below i n  itself.  a s e r i e s of b i o g r a p h i c a l sketches or texts  and  a number o f  s i x m a j o r f i g u r e s and  o f t e n s p e a k t h r o u g h t h e i r own  characters  the  t h i s matter, i t w i l l  i n c i d e n t a l c h a r a c t e r s , a l l o f whom a r e  following  no  indicated i n  Central the  136  (917-1003) Enryakuji Betsu-in Sugawara no Fumitoki  f  &  i t  ^  (899-981) Kamo no Yasutane (? - 1002) Genshin  ^ <1  Jakushin  (942-1017) Eshin Sozu LIJ.II  Oe no Masahira  OUZU  (952-1012) Oe no Sadamoto  Akasaka no Osa no Riki ju  (964- 1036)Jakusho  Akazome Emon  ( f l . 10th C.) (? - ? )  Ding Wei  ( f l . 10th C.)  Taira no Kanemori  3-  The n a r r a t i v e opens w i t h Kamo no Y a s u t a n e , a d e v o u t B u d d h i s t , one o f t h e c o u r t l i t e r a t i ,  and a u t h o r o f t h e  first  Japanese ojoden 'accounts of r e b i r t h i n the Pure Land', the N i h o n 0 j 5 g o k u r a k u k i ( r3 %^  4jt- %~ ijs.  $1  ~tL  988  ).  Y a s u t a n e i s a l s o r e f e r r e d t o by h i s B u d d h i s t name, J a k u s h i n , and known t o h i s c o n t e m p o r a r i e s as " N a i k i no H i j i r i " ( |^| "ifcL ), his  " t h e Sage o f t h e P a l a c e S e c r e t a r i a t . "  We  learn  t e a c h e r s and h i s w e l l - d e v e l o p e d l i t e r a r y and c r i t i c a l  ^  about skills.  A number o f i n c i d e n t s t a k e n f r o m H e i a n p e r i o d s o u r c e s r e v e a l the  depth of Yasutane's compassion.  Chiteiki  ( ;  ~% ZJ  "  A n  From h i s own  diary,  A c c o u n t o f My P o n d - s i d e  the  Villa"),  15 p a s s a g e s a r e s e l e c t i v e l y q u o t e d and commented o n .  He  reflects  o n t h e c o r r u p t s t a t e o f t h e w o r l d and on t h e s o l a c e he at  home, removed f r o m t h e s e c u l a r demands o f c o u r t I t was  his  a t h i s modest r e t r e a t  life.  s o u t h o f R o k u j o t h a t he  wrote  " R e c o r d o f R e b i r t h s i n t h e P u r e L a n d P a r a d i s e " b a s e d on t h e  C h i n e s e m o d e l o f t h e T'ang monk, S h i J i a - c a i the  finds  J i n g Tu L u n  (  ( -^J>#^  fl.627)  " T r e a t i s e on t h e P u r e L a n d " ) .  Some y e a r s l a t e r , Oen.no M a s a f u s a  (  1^/^  1 6  1041-1111),  g r a n d s o n o f a n e l d e r c o u s i n o f Oe no Sadamoto, c o m p i l e d a n o t h e r r e c o r d o f P u r e L a n d r e b i r t h s , t h e Z o k u Honcho 0 j o d e n (  4f\ own  1099-1104) w h i c h r e l a t e s i n d e t a i l  r e b i r t h i n the PureLand.  Ji^J^p^l  Yasutane's  Rohan comments on t h i s c o u r s e o f  e v e n t s : " t h e k a r m i c n e x u s o f t h e dharma i s t r u l y p r o f o u n d , l i k e the  l i n k i n g together of jeweledrrings" 17  a i t s u r a n a r u ga g o t o s h i  ).  ( h o e n mdmyo g y o k u k a n no  138  These  words sound  behind the s t r u c t u r a l we  find  a series  individual  t h e main theme and  o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t h e work.  of v a r i a t i o n s  i s linked  on t h i s  to i n d i v i d u a l  reciprocal  here  causal  (  "su" (  cyclical  should  related  (  e x e r t h i s utmost  to f a t e . "  In another e a r l i e r  1  use  Minute  Storehouse  a similar  linking  referred  endeavor  and  to  from  the  ("Book  of "waiting f o r  "According to t h i s  doctrine  man  l e a v e whatever  is  unsuccessfully  to  8  novel, Furyu Mijinzo ( Q  1  "The  principle  are  force  a concept d e r i v e d  to Mencius'  i n moral  suggest  historical  on number i n t h e I_ C h i n g  d a i ming).  beyond our c o n t r o l  the unfathomable  t h e p r o c e s s o f h i s t o r y was  t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s based  follows  interconditionality.  I n Rohan's e a r l i e r  literally,'number'),  o f Changes") and destiny"  and  I n what  c e n t r a l m o t i f as  of  "Destiny"),  b e h i n d human f a t e  principle  (en) between i n d i v i d u a l s  expressed i n Buddhist terms.  n o v e l , Unmei  as  connections  the  i n a manner meant t o  t h e m y s t e r i o u s o p e r a t i o n s o f t h e web The  indicate  of L i f e " ) ,  Rohan t r i e d  t e c h n i q u e which  Yanagida  Izumi  called  20 "renkantai" dlinked portrays Meiji  the l i v e s  era.  another  The  of ordinary people  studies  to Balzac.  more t h a n one thirty-five  style'.  I t s s c o p e , use  minutely detailed comparison  ring  hundred  o f them f u l l y  i n the e a r l y  o f melodrama, and of the s o c i e t y  With and  lengthy, unfinished  thirty  i n an e v e r w i d e n i n g  g r e a t number o f  than h a l f  c h a r a c t e r s had  developed. circle.  years of the  o f t h e day  the n o v e l l e s s  One While  work  suggest completed  made an  s t o r y gave  appearance,  birtheto  t h e r e i s some o v e r -  139  l a p p i n g of c h a r a c t e r s between chapters, the o v e r a l l design c a l l e d f o r the l i v e s of a young man  and woman i n t r o d u c e d at  the outset to serve as c e n t r a l warf threads with other c h a r a c t e r s becoming the interwoven weft. because of too many loose ends.  The experiment  f a i l e d , i n part,  As the novel expanded, with  the number of c h a r a c t e r s and unresolved episodes  multiplying,  21 i t began to l o s e i t s s t r u c t u r a l  integrity.  Rohan abandoned the novel but not the i d e a .  In Renkanki,  by l i m i t i n g to s i x the number of main f i g u r e s , he preserves a manageable s t r u c t u r e without d i m i n i s h i n g the h i s t o r i c a l sweep of the narrative.?.  The  f i g u r e s chosen provide an h i s t o r i c a l  ground with j u s t the r i g h t contours f o r developing the " l i n k e d ring" structure.  Jakushin, Jakusho, and Genshin were a l l  members of a group c a l l e d "The S o c i e t y f o r Study and Endeavor" Kangaku-e ). Consider the f o l l o w i n g account of the group's r e l i g i o u s  practice:  In 964 a group of young i n t e l l e c t u a l s and minor a r i s t o c r a t s , persons from the s o c i a l stratum upon which the c o n t r a d i c t i o n s and i n s e c u r i t i e s of the time f e l l most h e a v i l y , formed a d e v o t i o n a l s o c i e t y . I t was c a l l e d The S o c i e t y f o r Study and Endeavor. ... I t met f o r a whole day twice each year. In the morning the assembled members l i s t e n e d to a sermon on the Lotus S u t r a , i n the evening they composed poetry on Buddhist themes, and throughout the n i g h t they c u l t i v a t e d nembutsu 'fa Pure Land m e d i t a t i o n ] . The meetings of the s o c i e t y ... were as much f r i e n d l y reunions as r e l i g i o u s gatherings' (many of the members had been f e l l o w students at the N a t i o n a l C o l l e g e ) . ... The S o c i e t y f o r Study and Endeavor d i s s o l v e d i n 984. Two years l a t e r , i t s former l e a d e r Y o s h i s h i g e no Yasutane [Jakushin] ... together with the r e s p e c t e d Tendai p r i e s t Genshin formed a f a r more thoroughgoing  140 nembutsu s o c i e t y c a l l e d t h e Nembutsu-samadhi S o c i e t y of T w e n t y - f i v e . ... Composed o f t w e n t y - f i v e d e d i c a t e d Pure Land d e v o t e e s , b o t h c l e r g y and laymen, t h i s g r o u p met e a c h month on t h e day o f t h e f u l l moon. They h e a r d a l e c t u r e on t h e L o t u s S u t r a and p a s s e d t h e n i g h t i n nembutsu. The g r o u p was a r e l i g i o u s f r a t e r n i t y as w e l l as d e v o t i o n a l s o c i e t y . The members t o o k vows t o a c t as s p i r i t u a l b r o t h e r s t o one another e s p e c i a l l y at times of s i c k n e s s or death, t o a s s i s t one a n o t h e r a t p r a y e r and nembutsu, and t o h e l p one a n o t h e r i n e v e r y way, i n t h i s l i f e and a l l f u t u r e l i v e s , t o w a r d t h e g o a l o f Pure Land s a l v a t i o n . 22  In the purports every of  t o be  narrative, especially  i n Renkanki.  "New  designates  instance  i n the  with h i s wife appears e i t h e r  interpretation  I n t e r p r e t a t i o n may  n a r r a t i v e or d i r e c t  explicitly for  o f any  historical,  juncture.  new  both  life  over  take  is called the  his affair  (fabrication),  with  f o r at  Rohan u s e s  n a r r a t i v e , " w h i c h a t one "detarame"  that  form o f i n v e n t i o n  a u t h o r i a l commentary.  s e c t i o n dealing with  i n the  i n one  point  he  i s employed  Sadamoto's q u a r r e l  Rikiju.  D i r e c t commentary  form o f c h a r a c t e r e v a l u a t i o n used  affirm  trans-historical  reason  f o r c e r t a i n n a r r a t i v e l e a p s when t h e d o c u m e n t a r y  is  silent.  Very l i t t l e  however, t o e s t a b l i s h  —  the  is  due,  o r as  i n t h e way  the  members o f h i s r e l i g i o u s Thus t h e  values,  society.  The  record  imagination.  recorder  i s required,  i s very  the  explicit.  argument i n Rohan's n a r r a t i v e  of s u b t l e karmic  threads  linking  I b e l i e v e , i n l a r g e measure t o h i s c h o i c e  o t h e r words, i d e a l  the  between Y a s u t a n e and  a r o u n d Y a s u t a n e d e s c r i b e d above f o r h i s s u b j e c t . in  to  aside to e x p l a i n  of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n  connections  remarkable cogency o f the  identification  an  I  material, ripe  f o r Rohan's  individuals  of the They  group  provide,  historical  —  141  A f t e r r e l a t i n g , i n some d e t a i l , v a r i o u s anecdotes i n v o l v i n g J a k u s h i n and Genshin, the focus s h i f t s t o the e c c e n t r i c Zoga, a h i g h l y r e s p e c t e d Tendai monk w i t h a zenl i k e penchant f o r hyperbole and absurd pranks.  He teaches  Jakushin the i n n e r s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the Maka Shikan, the " T r e a t i s e on C o n c e n t r a t i o n and I n s i g h t " ( J^: %*J"jfc. and provides a c o n t r a s t t o Jakushin's "render unto a t t i t u d e s with h i s outrageous encounter, seen as a meeting  behavior a t c o u r t . o f wisdom with  ),  Caesar" Their  compassion,is  expressed t h i s way: From t h i s man whose knowledge was l i k e a sheer p r e c i p i c e , Jakushin, l i k e a jewel i n the shallow waters o f a t r a n q u i l pure stream, sought i n s t r u c t i o n on the T r e a t i s e on C o n c e n t r a t i o n and I n s i g h t . ^ 3 The next f i g u r e t o be g i v e n f u l l is  biographical  treatment  Oe no Sadamoto, poet, s c h o l a r , and c o u r t o f f i c i a l  t h i r d rank.  The events o f h i s l i f e  encompass the dramatic  h i g h p o i n t s o f the i n t e r l o c k i n g s t o r i e s .  The d e p i c t i o n o f h i s  involvement with b e a u t i f u l R i k i j u and subsequent difficulties  o f the  domestic  i s the only p o r t i o n o f t h i s work i n any way  resembling a " n o v e l " as i t i s u s u a l l y understood.  His t r a g i c  l o v e a f f a i r w i t h R i k i j u ends only a f t e r the stench of her decomposing corpse causes him t o abandon her and the world. He becomes a d i s c i p l e of Jakushin t a k i n g the name Jakusho and l a t e r , a t the request of Genshin, t r a v e l s t o C h i n a . ^  4  142  Juxtaposed to the account of Sadamoto's passionate entanglement  and t r o u b l e d marriage are the s t o r i e s o f h i s  o l d e r c o u s i n Oe no Masahira  (a d i s c i p l e  of Sugawara no Fumitoki  along with Kamo no Yasutane) and Masahira's w i f e , the famous poetess Akazome Emon.  While t h e i r l i v e s are r e l a t e d o n l y i n  p a r t , a s u r p r i s i n g range o f s i t u a t i o n s and emotions are represented i n the poems and events recounted.  Ambition,  j e a l o u s y , and c o u r t l y prowess, along with touching scenes of maternal love and domestic harmony are presented i n a manner somewhat s i m i l a r to the c l a s s i c a l u t a monogatari  'poem-tale';  The p r e s e n t a t i o n d i f f e r s i n that the a n c i e n t "poem-tales"  such  as Ise Monogatari used prose n a r r a t i o n t o s e t the scene f o r poems, whereas i n Renkanki  the poems provide touchstones f o r  the n a r r a t i o n . The f i n a l p o r t i o n o f the n a r r a t i v e i s devoted p r i m a r i l y to Jakusho and h i s encounter with Ding Wei i n China.  Genshin  had a number of d o c t r i n a l questions which he wanted to present to the Hunan monk Z h i L i ( ^  ^fL_j ) .  H i s questions have been  preserved as the Tendaishu Glmon Ni j u s h i c h i jo ( 7^^^L.Js|[_^jf| -~—-t-^  "Twenty-seven Questions Concerning the Tendai S e c t " ) .25  Jakusho, as Genshin's d i s c i p l e , agreed to take the questions to China d e s p i t e having to leave h i s aging mother. Before h i s departure Jakusho holds a s p e c i a l s e r v i c e f o r h i s mother ( crowd:  1s  ^~^  r  Hokke Hachiko) which a t t r a c t s a great  143 As t h e t i m e a p p r o a c h e d f o r h i s d e p a r t u r e f r o m t h e c a p i t a l t h e r e was a tremendous t u r n i n g o f t h e w h e e l o f t h e dharma. A g r e a t w i n d swept o v e r t h e s e n t i e n t throngs with c o u n t l e s s beings e c s t a t i c a l l y embracing t h e way. When t h e M a s t e r P r e c e p t o r , _ J a k u s h o , b e g a n t o d e l i v e r h i s m e m o r i a l and c h a n t t h e s u t r a s , ox-drawn c a r r i a g e s p i l e d up i n t o pagodas a n d , u n a b l e t o w i t h h o l d t h e i r e m o t i o n s , t h e crowd wept o p e n l y . A g r e a t many p e o p l e abandoned t h e w o r l d t h a t d a y : i t i s e v e n s a i d t h e r e were l a d i e s o f t h e c o u r t who, i n t h e i r c a r r i a g e s , cut t h e i r h a i r and s e n t i t t o J a k u s h o . 2 6  * A year  after  as  colorful  is  the " t h i n ,  J a k u s h o ' s d e p a r t u r e , Zoga d i e d , h i s f i n a l  as e v e r .  to  Among t h e e q u a l l y odd i n c i d e n t s d e s c r i b e d  withered,  gaudy h o r s e b l a n k e t dance a r o u n d  almost  n i n e t y - y e a r o l d monk p l a c i n g a  over h i s f r a i l  like  boy  he h a d once s e e n  had  f o r g o t t e n about to innocence:  behind  the western  body a n d u s i n g i t f o r wings  a butterfly."  He e x p l a i n e d t h a t  some o t h e r y o u n g s t e r s i tu n t i l  return  days  then.  playing  as a s m a l l  t h e game b u t  Rohan's comment dh t h i s  "On a c l e a r d a y as t h e s u n i s a b o u t  to set  mountains, i t i s the t e x t u r e o f the e a s t e r n ?7  hills  that Due  life  c a n be s e e n  largely  i n China  delivering  so c l e a r l y . "  '  t o t h e l a c k o f documentary evidence, Jakusho's  i s treated  Genshin's  rather briefly.  We l e a r n t h a t i n  q u e s t i o n s he i m p r e s s e d  Z h i L i with the  a d v a n c e d s t a t e o f J a p a n e s e Buddhism. He a l s o o f t h e t h i r d Sung emperor, Zhen Zong ( exquisite various honorary  b r u s h w o r k and b r i l l i a n t  literary  p r e s e n t s , l o d g i n g i n a temple name E n t s u D a i s h i (  the P e r f e c t  Crossing  ) .  g a i n e d t h e esteem ) with-his  skills.  He r e c e i v e d  i n the c a p i t a l , "Great  and t h e Master o f  144  F i n a l l y Jakusho  meets D i n g W e i ,  been g i v e n s h o r t s h r i f t  a man  Rohan b e l i e v e s  i n t h e Sung h i s t o r i e s .  i s common t r e a t m e n t i n t h e d y n a s t i c h i s t o r i e s  T h i s , he  and  Sun He  notes,  f o r anyone  associated w i t h e i t h e r Taoist or Buddhist teachings. D i n g Wei  has  "Although  3 were h i g h l y a c c l a i m e d w r i t e r s i n  [^^ (aj /  e a r l y Sung t h e y were l a t e r e c l i p s e d by Ou-yang X i u [ 1007-72], Su  Wang A n - s h i  [ JH-  fl«  D i n g Wei  was  Hth  There  C]  /S  1 0 2 1 - 8 6 ] and  the  and a r e n o t so w e l l known  today."  2 8  had him b a n i s h e d a f t e r the emperor's  i s some e v i d e n c e f o r b e l i e v i n g t h a t b e f o r e h i s  m i s f o r t u n e D i n g Wei not have remained  h a d become J a k u s h o ' s  b e n e f a c t o r , f o r he c o u l d  long i n China without a patron.  The  h i s t o r i e s r e m a r k on D i n g W e i ' s e s p o u s a l o f t h e d o c t r i n e k a r m i c c a u s a l i t y and Rohan s u g g e s t s t h i s was Jakusho's  Three  f a v o r e d by t h e e m p e r o r Zhen Zong b u t d e s p i s e d by  a n i m p e r i a l c o n s o r t who death.  [ 2_.^  Sung of  the result,.of  influence.  Jakusho  never returned to  Japan:  J u s t a s a l l r i v e r s when t h e y e n t e r t h e o c e a n become i n d e e d t h e o c e a n , so t o o p e o p l e o f any f a m i l y e n t e r i n g t h e r e l i g i o u s o r d e r o f S a k y a m u n i t h e r e b y become S a k y a s . T h u s , t h e r e was no s p e c i a l r e a s o n t o draw a d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n e a s t and w e s t and r e t u r n t o J a p a n . 29 F o r o v e r t h i r t y y e a r s i n C h i n a he l e d many t h r o u g h t h e g a t e the Sakya  f a m i l y and ended h i s l i f e  amidst acolades to h i s v i r t u e .  Rohan c o n c l u d e s t h i s w o r k w i t h a s k e t c h o f D i n g W e i . i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d w i t h a few  of  He  s u g g e s t i v e b r u s h s t r o k e s , t h e empty  145 spaces Ding  s e t o f f by  a handful  Wei's poems f r o m t h e  of quotations.  We  read  p e r i o d o f h i s 'Jbarbarous  one  of  island  exile:"  Good c a u s e h a v e - I t o l a m e n t My a r r i v a l on t h e s e s h o r e s . Dreams c o n s t a n t l y f i n d me R e s i d i n g i n the s p l e n d i d c a p i t a l , A mere t e n t h o u s a n d m i l e s away From t h i s p l a c e o f t h r e e h u n d r e d d w e l l i n g s . E v e n i n g s I l i s t e n t o t h e d i s t a n t sound Of a monkey h o w l i n g i n a l o n e l y palm, W h i l e dawn b r i n g s a n o x i o u s h a z e R i s i n g w i t h the morning t i d e . Of c o u r t c i v i l i t i e s l o c a l o f f i c i a l s know n o t h i n g : The g o v e r n o r ' s s t a t i o n i s f r e q u e n t e d by d e e r . And  a verse  composed when h i s t h r e e y e a r  banishment  ended:  N i n e t y t h o u s a n d l e a g u e s a g a i n and a g a i n The p h o e n i x s e t s out o v e r t h e o c e a n One t h o u s a n d l e a g u e s once a g a i n The c r a n e r e t u r n s t o i t s n e s t . 30  The  island  of Ding  Wei's e x i l e ,  incense  production.  to  p a r t i c u l a r karmic  the  this  first  essay  Rohan e m p h a s i z e s  praising  4A  (  ^  connection  the  §ffc  /  Sung h i s t o r i a n Wei  the a r t of incense,  known f o r i t s t h a t i t was  t h a t he  ("Ji^Jjfc-  due  authored  the T i a n Xiang  Zhuan  Incense").  a q u o t a t i o n f r o m t h e Dong Xuan B i  "Records of W r i t i n g s Tai  fact  (innen)  "Commentary on H e a v e n l y  R e n k a n k i ends w i t h  ( IJL^  H a i n a n d a o , was  from the  ) d e s c r i b i n g Ding  East") Wei's  Lu  by  the  death:  F o r two weeks b e f o r e h i s d e m i s e D i n g Wei had g i v e n up eating. He j u s t s a t i n a m e d i t a t i o n p o s t u r e b u r n i n g incense. S i l e n t l y he r e a d t h e s u t r a s and f r o m t i m e t o t i m e w o u l d a l l o w h i m s e l f a s i p o f t e a brewed w i t h incense [ j i n k o ] . With u n d i s t u r b e d l u c i d i t y , c o r r e c t l y a t t i r e d , he p e a c e f u l l y p a s s e d on [ e n z e n t o s h i t e k a s h i s a r u toe]. 1  146 By  curious coincidence  Rodandan China.  ("Dewdrops") b e g i n s Critics  especially dislikes and  the  by  remarking  period,  link,  j e w e l " but  marks r e m a i n i n g . "  f a m i l i a r with, characters  He  " b a s e d on  deals with appearing  are  The  l a t e r h a l f has betrays  are  used"  first "un-  h i s b i a s , however,  Japanese  the  work,  Mushanokoji  face i n places." the  ends i n  s e c t i o n of the  of the n o v e l because "jokes  is "like  the  last  novel,  his last  i s superfluous.  t h a t the b e g i n n i n g  are and  t h a t the  original  a  published  i n t h e west and  show t h e i r  chisel  names we  Wei  second h a l f  says  finished  have a r g u e d  the Ding  "sources  h a l f he  Rohan's f i r s t  best  sources  has  historical  pleasant,  agreeable 32  Japanese" By  (detekuru  extending  j i n b u t s u wa  kimochi  no  i i n i h o n j i n de  t h e n a r r a t i v e t o China, Rohan has  work g r e a t e r s c o p e , made a number o f none t o o comments  ( i f we  r e e a l - l e t h e 1940  the u n i v e r s a l i t y it  may  w e l l be  beginning  with  Ding  Yamamoto K e n k i c h i Xuan B i L u  the $j old  and  m a t e r i a l i n the  with  the  linkages  i n Ding  Sung h i s t o r i e s  Jakusho back to Japan.  >>  t e x t s the  Akazome Emon Shu  emphasized  he  fact,  backward.  Wei.  of the  Dong  Finding  pursuedithe  (  J^J  In  order,  In h i s s e a r c h  N i h o n 0 j o G o k u r a k u k i , Genko Shakusho "ft  political  i n reverse  t h a t Rohan's r e a d i n g  early interest  the  i n human d e s t i n y .  uncovered  tracing  speculates  prompted an  insufficient connection  Wei  subtle  p u b l i c a t i o n d a t e ) , and  o f the karmic p r o c e s s  t h e n a r r a t i v e was  given  aru). .  through ^  |^  p a t t e r n f o r t h e n a r r a t i v e emerged.  ) and  ), other  147 Rohan's i n t e r e s t i n Ding Wei was t h e i r a f f i n i t y with incense. treatment  undoubtedly  Ding Wei wrote the f i r s t  of the a r t of incense (  l a t e r years was  extremely  r e l a t e d to serious  kodo ) . ^ Rohan i n h i s 4  i n t e r e s t e d i n incense and  was  acknowledged to be something of an expert,with o p p o r t u n i t y to sample o l d and r a r e specimens. is  I t i s my  impression Renkanki  i n f u s e d with o l f a c t o r y s t i m u l i which have an a f f e c t on the  reader comparable to m o t i f s of v i s u a l or a u d i t o r y images. is,  Smell  of course, the sense most i n t i m a t e l y a s s o c i a t e d with memory:  the use of o l f a c t o r y suggestion to evoke mood seems p a r t i c u l a r l y a p p r o p r i a t e i n an h i s t o r i c a l n o v e l . But beyond the r e l a t i v e l y simple e v o c a t i o n of i s o l a t e d moods, i n Renkanki aromas ( u s u a l l y , but not l i m i t e d to the fragrance of incense) are used to s i g n a l the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of c h a r a c t e r s i n the e f f i c a c y of the dharma.  ( ^5 to way  y^jjL  &%L.  ^  t  n  e  In the Surangama-samadhi-sutra  e f f e c t of incense i s s p e c i f i c a l l y  the f u n c t i o n of m e d i t a t i o n (  jL*  nembutsu).  likened  In the same  that t h i n g s i n f u s e d with incense take on a p e r p e t u a l f r a g r a n c e ,  prolonged m e d i t a t i o n leads to constant contemplation of the Buddha. A w e l l known Pure Land g a t h i (  ^fjrf  koge) comparing incense to  the merits and e f f i c a c y of the dharma runs: In the v e s s e l of a p u r i f i e d body With the flame of the mind's wisdom I vow to p e r p e t u a l l y burn The incense of p r a c t i c e and m e d i t a t i o n In o f f e r i n g to the Buddhas „, Of the ten d i r e c t i o n s and three worlds.  E a c h o f t h e main f i g u r e s i n R e n k a n k i i s a s s o c i a t e d a particular with  the  scent.  corpse  clouds  connect  ka  Jakushin  fragrance  moments.  ] no  directly  While  terrible kuchi  with  spirit  of the  t h e way  aromatic  example o c c u r s "The  o f the  o f perfume o r various  Pure L a n d .  what one  has  Other  smells  would c a l l  'permeating' r e f e r s effect  the  rhapsody indicating  literature, a simile  the for  A w e l l known  ( /v^ ^JE_  f~=  /  term kunju~( t o the  the  final a  l o n g been u s e d as  dharmas i n f l u e n c e e a c h o t h e r .  o f c a u s e and  to  Wei's  In Buddhist  D a i j o K i s h i n Ron  her  celery  a kind of l e i t m o t i f  Awakening o f F a i t h " ) where t h e  interaction  of aromatic  tea of Ding  dharma.  incense  i n the  'perfuming' or  from  i d e k i t a r i k e r u n i zoj .  o f Bodhidharma's z e n ,  t h e work i s n o t  subtle efficacy  effect  yori  the  experience  aroma i s s u i n g  garden f u l l  aromas, s m e l l does f u n c t i o n as  the  i s Sadamoto's  e x t r e m e s : f r o m Zoga's e x c r e t i o n s a t  ceremony i n t h e  tranquil  of  [^  "the  o f p u r p l e h a z e and  r a n g e between t h e s e palace  most s t r i k i n g  of R i k i j u :  mouth" ( a s a m a s h i k i The  The  with  process  produces "the  ^  )  whereby  defiled  the  states  37 and  the As  pure s t a t e we  have n o t e d ,  creating this subordinate are  in  to the  yet  continue  i n the  tenth century.  characters portrayed,  life-blood  o f t h e work.  s c h o l a r l y treatment  a l l his historical  uninterrupted."  Rohan u s e d a g r e a t number o f s o u r c e s  panorama o f l i f e  p a r t of the  informal,  [ w h i c h ] emerge and  narratives.  —  the  a balance At  one  While  o l d books  They a r e  in  given  themselves an  Rohan s t r o v e f o r  p o i n t when J a k u s h i n  is  149 about to receive instruction on the Maka Shikan, we read: Even i f Jakushin had not yet been able to obtain the T'ang monk Kan Ran's commentary, the Zfii Guan ^ Xing Zhuan Hong Jue, he had already lived half E i s l i f e i n l e t t e r s Lhansei moji no naka n i kurashite] and was so thoroughly imbued with the fragrance of sutras and .sastras [kyoron no koke no mi n i shimijimi to ajiwatte i r u ] , there i s no reason to suppose he would not be able to follow the text. 38 u  The passage serves to i l l u s t r a t e how closely wedded character and text are i n Rohan's writing. from a poem by Su Shih (  1^  He liked to quote a phrase 1037-1101) with the three  characters for "inky" "polish," and "person"  (^  )|| /C_  )  which refer not to a person rubbing an inkstick to produce ink, 39 but to "Ink c u l t i v a t i n g and r e f i n i n g the person." Texts are compared and judged, the touchstone being their use of language, their poetry —  how well they accord with the  emotional tenor of the h i s t o r i c a l space Rohan i s creating.  A  good example i s the treatment of Sadamoto's experience beside the corpse of his beloved which he has refused to part from for several days.  The author quotes f i r s t  from the Ujishui Monogatari  version: So great was his grief he could only l i e beside her talking, day and night. He was tasting her l i p s when a t e r r i b l e odour came forth. Abhorrence, heart and t e a r f u l l y he buried her. And comments: Living, she was a person, dead, a mere object. O r i g i n a l l y , the attachment Sadamoto f e l t was for a person, i t was not attachment to an object. Nevertheless, the object s t i l l appeared to be a person so he was prepared to remain at her side i n d e f i n i t e l y . Then, at some point, without thinking  150  he must have moved his mouth close to the mouth of the dead R i k i j u . The simple old phrase-"was tasting her l i p s " [kuchi o s u i ^ t a r i keru ni] i s r e a l l y fine! ^ 4  After some discussion of the nature of Sadamoto's reaction, the author compares the Ujishui version with Kokan Shiren's ( / ^ L ff] ("The  &f  1278-1345) account i n the Genko Shakusho  Genko Era History of Japanese Buddhism").  There, the  kambun reads: It happened that he lost his spouse and, shameless with love, delayed the mourning r i t e s . Due to his contemplation of the nine aspects [of decomposition of the body] a deep aversion and the desire to abandon the world arose. 41 Rohan c r i t i c i z e s this manner of expression for "over reaching" ("todoki sugite") and straying from the facts.  The great length  of time involved i n the actual practice of contemplating the nine aspects (  7^/  i n fact, occurred.  HJL>  kusokan) makes i t most unlikely t h i s ,  He then reasserts his preference for U j i  Dainagon's language: i t has far superior emotional and adheres more closely to reasonable  ressonance  assumptions.  It i s not surprising Rohan would find the language of the Ujishui Monogatari more to his l i k i n g .  Accounts of Sadamoto's  dramatic experience are numerous; the Konjaku Monogatari  (Vol. 9  Chapter 2) for instance, has a more detailed description.  The  century l a t e r Ujishui, however, i s a much more l y r i c a l work, i n addition to being more concerned with internal motivation and development of character.  Its mixture of elegant expression  151 and  m e d i e v a l c o l l o q u i a l i s m , use  l a n g u a g e , and parallel  a t t e n t i o n to the  i n Rohan's own  In p a s s i n g scene i n t h i s Tanizaki  o f b o t h u r b a n and c o u n t r i f i e d details  of story l i n e  find  a  style.  i t i s worth n o t i n g  that  the  Sadamoto-Rikiju  work i s s a i d t o have i n s p i r e d a s i m i l a r s c e n e i n  J u n i c h i r o ' s Shosho Shigemoto no  Haha  ("Adjutant  General  42 Shigemoto's Mother").  Tanizaki's  body i s much more g r a p h i c , other  quotes  (A m a r v e l o u s  from t h e  incense  would-be l o v e r i s no (  /?  refers  <D  t o a number o f  was  on  artist:  reader  the  Citing  times,  Tanizaki  dwells  p r a c t i c e , f u jokan  at  this  He  having  meditation  His  a lengthy  of meditative  a  Tomo source  Rohan  some l e n g t h  on  1E|[_>  (  he  party.  has  could The  monk d e m o n s t a t e s  similar feats  Tattooer").  anecdote d e a l i n g with visions.  r e l a t i o n s h i p between G e n s h i n and  his  powers r e s e m b l e  performed ("The  project  g r u e l t u r n i n t o a swarm  prodigious  Shisei  that  r e l a t e s a s t o r y a b o u t a monk  a bowl o f r i c e  h i s eyes.  theme.  i s proof  at  are  delineate  incense  3  i n works s u c h as  transference  an  R e c l u s e ' s Companion" 1 2 2 2 7 a  Tanizaki himself  R e n k a n k i has  has  Kankyo no  t r a n s f e r r i n g i t to a t h i r d  o f maggots b e f o r e  and  mere m o r t a l . )  defilement").  so p r o f i c i e n t  t o h i s s u p e r i o r by  o f the  classics,  box  Buddhist meditation  vision,  the  There  compound i n a l a c q u e r  "The  "contemplation who  t r u e l y gruesome i n f a c t .  decomposing  s i m i l a r i t i e s : a T a n r z a k i ' s work a l s o u s e s poems t o  character,  the  d e s c r i p t i o n o f the  I t i s used to Jakushin.  4  those for  4  this  idea  of  illustrate  Rohan  writes  152 that he t h i n k s the s t o r y i s from a f a i r l y Kankyo no Tomo. the reader  old text, possibly  I f h i s r e c o l l e c t i o n turns out to be mistaken  i s asked to d e l e t e the r e f e r e n c e  ("kioku no machigai  d a t t a r a massatsu s h i t e morawaneba naranu ga"). i r r e v e r e n t d i s c l a i m e r i s s t y p i c a l of the stance  This rather the author  toward the h i s t o r i c a l s t a t u s of the source m a t e r i a l .  takes  The  anecdote i s i n f a c t not i n c l u d e d i n Kankyo no Tomo but may found i n the Kamakura c o l l e c t i o n of e d i f y i n g Buddhist the Sen jusho  (  ^f^£  jjL^  be  tales,  ) t r a d i t i o n a l l y a t t r i b u t e d to  - 45 Saigyo.  Here, as throughout the work, the whole tenor and  tone  of the h a n d l i n g of h i s t o r i c a l m a t e r i a l s suggests that the primary value of any  set of signs from the past can be found i n i t s  p o e t i c , emotional  q u a l i t i e s , i t s p a r t i c u l a r c o n s t e l l a t i o n of  human a t t i t u d e s .  P u t a t i v e h i s t o r i c a l o b j e c t i v i t y i s always  secondary. The at  anecdote begins  Yokaway  The  with Jakushin's  visit  to the E s h i n - i n  temple appears q u i e t and deserted as he wanders  through l o o k i n g around.  He e v e n t u a l l y a r r i v e s at the door to a  room which he t h i n k s must c o n t a i n the sought-for opening the door, before h i s eyes  Genshin.  Upon  was:  a v a s t expanse with nothing at a l l v i s i b l e . Yet i t was not a c t u a l l y empty. I t was a l i m i t l e s s immensity l i k e a great r i v e r , a great l a k e o r ocean r i p p l i n g furrow a f t e r furrow, inundating, expansive, u n d u l a t i n g and s e e t h i n g , the endless mist of waves f u s i n g with the h o r i z o n , the s p a r k l i n g s u r f a c e of the water f l u s h with heaven, nothing at a l l but water. 46 3  Jakushin r e t r e a t e d a step, picked up a wooden p i l l o w , tossed i t i n and c l o s e d the door. home.  He  then l e f t  the temple and  returned  A f t e r coming out of h i s m e d i t a t i o n , Genshin complained  153 of f e e l i n g some b o d i l y p a i n . r e v e a l e d on h i s next v i s i t ,  When Jakushin's prank  was  Genshin a g a i n performed the  47 water v i s u a l i z a t i o n m e d i t a t i o n and J a k u s h i n r e t r i e v e d the o b j e c t he had thrown i n .  Consequently, Genshin r e t u r n e d to  normal. I should note that my  t r a n s l a t i o n of the above passage  cannot b e g i n ' t o do j u s t i c e to Rohan's d e s c r i p t i o n of the scene which met Jakushin's eyes when he peered i n t o the room. In the one long sentence quoted, a l l the nouns and m o d i f i e r s save two, " m i s t " and "heaven", are w r i t t e n with water characters.  radical  What meets the r e a d e r i s eyes scanning down the l i n e  are signs f o r water i n i t s v a r i o u s forms.  This use of Chinese  c h a r a c t e r s i s i n keeping w i t h Rohan's s t r e s s on the d i m e n s i o n a l i t y of the w r i t i n g system.  two-  At the same time the eye  r e g i s t e r s the s t r i n g of water graphs, the ear i s f i l l e d w i t h a w h i r l of d i z z y i n g sound: "manman yoyo t o s h i t e , daiga no gotoku t a i k o no gotoku d a i k a i no gotoku, i i t a r i to-totari, kyotari f u t t a r i . . . . "  renrentari,  Bold, v i g o r o u s use of s i g n and  sound working i n tandem i s one of the d i s t i n g u i s h i n g of Rohan's prose.  o-otari  features  I t i s apparent here even i n an h i s t o r i c a l  work where he u s u a l l y eschews the more c o l o r f u l language and r h e t o r i c a l d e v i c e s of h i s e a r l i e r  figurative fiction.  I would l i k e to c o n s i d e r f o r a moment the q u e s t i o n of s e l e c t i o n : why has t h i s p a r t i c u l a r anecdote been i n c l u d e d i n the n a r r a t i v e ?  While the number of accounts and other items of  154 documentary evidence d e a l i n g with the  Genshin-Jakushin  r e l a t i o n s h i p i s not g r e a t , some s e l e c t i o n i s p o s s i b l e . Why  then t h i s one, which seems c a l c u l a t e d to leave a l l but  the "true b e l i e v e r " i n c r e d u l o u s ?  A n t i c i p a t i n g the o b j e c t i o n  the author h i m s e l f provides an answer. he would never venture to attempt incident.  He begins by  stating  an e x p l a n a t i o n f o r such an  "People of the present age must take t h i s s t o r y as  j u s t some r i d i c u l o u s l i t t l e dan to k i k o e r u " ) .  tale.," ("tada kore mechakucha no  He then proceeds to c i t e a number of other  r e f e r e n c e s to almost i d e n t i c a l i n c i d e n t s i n Indian, Chinese,  48 and Japanese are  sources.  These r e f e r e n c e s to s i m i l a r  accounts  not d i r e c t e d toward persuading the reader that an  encounter  such as the one d e s c r i b e d between Genshin and Jakushin was p o s s i b l e or p l a u s i b l e . something  Rohan i n f a c t remarks,  "Whether or not  l i k e t h i s s t o r y a c t u a l l y occurred between E s h i n  and Jakushin r e a l l y makes no d i f f e r e n c e .  [Genshin]  What does i s the f a c t  49 that t h i s t a l e was  preserved."  Here a g a i n we can see that f o r Rohan h i s t o r i c a l " t r u t h " i s not to be found i n any set of v e r i f i a b l e f a c t s .  It i s rather  the conceptual and emotional matrix w i t h i n which the i m a g i n a t i o n of  w r i t e r s of the past f u n c t i o n e d that provides the key.  The  other examples of the water v i s u a l i z a t i o n m e d i t a t i o n came from "a s u t r a , " "a biography," and "a t a l e ; " from the reconditeaand r e l i g i o u s to the common province of the popular i m a g i n a t i o n . The  form of the anecdote and i t s perseverance through time  us more than any p o s s i b l e argument concerning the a c t u a l i t y " of the p a r t i c u l a r event.  tell  "historical  On the immediate l e v e l of  155 the n a r r a t i v e , the E s h i n - i n encounter allows conceive of Jakushin and f r e q u e n t l y debating standing  the reader to  Genshin as i n t i m a t e s  ("bodai no  on the s u t r a s , p r a c t i c e , and  of d o c t r i n e .  We  see them "as men  tomo"),  c o r r e c t under-  both of whose natures  have been s i m i l a r l y drawn toward the karma of the brush  and  mkstone." I t i s a commonplace view by now  that the w r i t i n g of h i s t o r y  51 i n v o l v e s the use  of r e g u l a t i v e f i c t i o n s .  When we  impose a p l o t  or n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e on a chronology or s e r i e s of past  events  t h i s always e n t a i l s some k i n d of p r e f i g u r a t i v e s t r a t e g y . of the past are fashioned language.  The  Fragments  i n t o a whole through the medium of  manner i n which the pieces are  joined  the c o n s t r u c t i o n of a continuous n a r r a t i v e flow, and  together, the  imposition  of meaning on h i s t o r i c a l data are a l l part of what i s e s s e n t i a l l y a p o e t i c process. or  Thus the choices  an h i s t o r i a n makes  otherwise) as to n a r r a t i v e techniques f o r  the past are, to a great degree, a e s t h e t i c ones. h i s t o r y , u n t i l the mid-nineteenth century thought of as a " l i t e r a r y a r t . "  t r a d i t i o n of h i s t o r y as a l i t e r a r y a r t par We  by n o v e l i s t s who A Foundling and  Son.  Ordeal of Richard  N o v e l i s t s and  why always  longer  excellence. i s no h i s t o r y ;  His i n s i g h t was  wrote h i s t o r i e s such as The  or The  This i s  an even  have been t o l d by K a r l Popper that there  welhave only a wide a r r a y of h i s t o r i e s .  representing  i n Europe, was  East A s i a has  (consciously  anticipated  H i s t o r y of Tom  F e v e r a l , A H i s t o r y of  Jones, Father  poets have always known what h i s t o r i a n s  have only r e c e n t l y admitted; the reason, perhaps, f o r H e i n r i c h Heine's remark that the people of a n a t i o n l i k e to get  their  156 h i s t o r y not from h i s t o r i a n s but from t h e i r poets. By the s k i l l f u l m a n i p u l a t i o n of poems that have been preserved s i n c e the tenth century Rohan taps the v i t a l pulse of  the age as he develops p s y c h o l o g i c a l p r o f i l e s of i n d i v i d u a l  poets.  As Shinoda Hajime has p o i n t e d out, Rohan sought to  emphasize  the " p h y s i o l o g y of Japanese p o e t i c language"  ("nihon  52 s h i t e k i gengo no s e i r i " ) .  T h i s i s the aspect of language  l i k e an organism, b u i l d s up over time.  that,  At the heart of t h i s  p h y s i o l o g y are the forms of c l a s s i c a l poetry: waka, renga, and haikai. The treatment accorded Akazome Emon i s an e x c e l l e n t example of  how  poems —  unique, pregnant moments of the past —  may  induced to y i e l d c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n and n a r r a t i v e flow.  be  The  problem of her p a t e r n i t y i s d e a l t w i t h f i r s t . "Before she  was  even able to d i s c e r n the true c o l o r of things she found h e r s e l f  53 i n the midst of a h e a r t l e s s c o n f l i c t . "  Although she was  as the daughter of Akazome Osumi no Kami Tokimochi  raised  (/"fr-^^^R.^T ^  ? - ?) the famous poet T a i r a no Kanemori (  j$L j__<_  claimed her as h i s own  (kebiishi-cho)  offspring.  The court  ?  -  9 9 0  ^  )  decided i n f a v o r of i t s member, Tokimochi, and the mother's wishes. C o n s i d e r i n g Akazome Emon's ample p o e t i c t a l e n t reputed author of E i g a Monogatari  (  Jjt ^  ( she i s the %%•  " A Tale  54 of  F l o w e r i n g F o r t u n e s " ) ) i t seems more l i k e l y than not  c l a i m was  Kanemori's  true.  To " e x p l a i n " why  the mother l e f t him and took t h e i r daughter,  Rohan examines a number of poems and headnotes  from  Kanemori's  157 c o l l e c t e d poems, the Kanemori Shu, and v a r i o u s a n t h o l o g i e s such as the Gosenshu, Shinchokusenshu, Among the headnotes  we  and  Zokusenzaishu.  find:  To one I so long ago d e c l a r e d myself t o . ( i i somete i t o h i s a s h i i n a r i keru h i t o n i ) Because once again not even a r e p l y . ( h e n j i mo sara n i seneba ) There being no response from the l a d y . ( onna k a e s h i mo sezairikereba ) On h e a r i n g what became of a person I was so fond of not so long ago. (omoi kakete h i s a s h i k u n a r i n u r u h i t o no kotosama n i n a r i n u to k i k i t e ) With a g o n i z i n g b i t t e r n e s s . ( i t o i t a u uramite ) And of the poems c i t e d , one from the Gosenshu: The heart of an o l d l o v e r Harboring a sea of r a n c o r , L i k e so many reeds On the water's edge at Naniwa. Naniwa gata Migiwa no a s h i no Oi no yo n i Uramite zo f u r u H i t o no kokoro o. Another from the Zokusenzaishu: While you see only hardships In t h i s f i c k l e world of ours, On a l o n e l y mountain r i d g e A s o f t c l o u d awaits the breeze. Tsuraku nomi Miyuru k i m i kana Yama no ha n i Kaze matsu kumo ° 5 5 Sadamenaki yo n i . n  159  of the poetic moment.  The simultaneous use of modern c o l l o q u i a l  language, kanbun ( c l a s s i c a l Chinese), and a good measure of the idiom of c l a s s i c a l Japanese works toward bridging the flow of time. The portrait of Akazome Emon i s sketched i n three panels, the f i r s t of which highlights the poetess as mother. are  quoted which she i s said to have composed on a v i s i t  Sumiyoshi Shrine God of Poetry  1  —  i s worshipped  son, Takachika (Jp^- /o] are  to the  where Waka no Kami ' The  ) to pray for the recovery of her  ) who was on the verge of death. A l l  poignant; one, singled out by Fujiwara no Toshinari (Shunzei)  ( to  Three poems  1114-1204) for i t s mono no aware ' s e n s i t i v i t y sorrowful beauty' i n his Korai Futeisho ( Q  -^_fiL  4^f~ ^7  ),  reads: To exchange my l i f e for his Without misgivings do I pray, Yet, oh how sad Thoughts of f i n a l parting. Kawaramu to Inoruiinochi wa Oshikarade Wakaru to omowamu ,Hodo zo kanashiki.  7  It i s a poem which expresses i n a very d i r e c t , unadorned manner the love of a mother for her c h i l d .  The d e t a i l s surrounding  the composition of the poem may be found i n a number of medieval collections of edifying tales including the Konjaku Monogatari, Jikkinsho, Kokonchomonju, and Shasekishu.  Appended to the poem  in the Akazome Emon Shu i s a note revealing the fact that Takachika  158 Kanemori's own sentiments r e v e a l the d e f e a t i s t , nature of h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p with women.  pathetic  Rohan comments that h i s  d i c t i o n g i v e s us a strong sense o f h i s being q u i t e a b i t o l d e r than the o b j e c t of h i s a f f e c t i o n s .  Rather than analyze s p e c i f i c s  the author l e t s the poems speak, then adds h i s o b s e r v a t i o n s . An a u t h o r i t y on the waka o f the p e r i o d might w e l l have o b j e c t i o n s , but the general reader encounters no reason t o r e s i s t the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n Rohan o f f e r s .  The emotional tenor o f the poetry  serves as the b a s i s f o r h i s c o n j e c t u r e Akazome Emon was born out of a r e l a t i o n s h i p her mother had with Kanemori. appears  to have been a spring-autumn  Moreover, i t  a f f a i r , with the d i s p a r i t y  i n age l e a d i n g the mother t o d i s s o l v e the bond and espouse Tokimochi. The way Rohan weaves h i s s t o r y around a c o l l o c a t i o n of poems, besides being s t r i k i n g l y a p p r o p r i a t e f o r the Heian p e r i o d when uta-monogatari  'poem t a l e s ' were the primary n a r r a t i v e mode,  permits " f a c t " and " f i c t i o n " to mingle and merge i n a n a r r a t i v e stream u n t r o u b l e d by c o n s i d e r a t i o n s o f o b j e c t i v i t y .  The poems  are l i k e s t e p p i n g stones through the garden o f the past; the scenery —  the i n t e r v e n i n g space —  the n a r r a t o r .  i s rendered by the v o i c e o o f  As E a r l Miner has noted, "Japanese  are q u i t e simply more adhesive to f i c t i o n a l —  poetic units  or even n o n f i c t i o n a l —  strands o f prose than our own d i s c r e t e , autonomously conceived  56 poems. ... a court poem i s f i v e l i n e s i n search o f a c o n t e x t . " An h i s t o r i c a l n a r r a t i o n punctuated by waka has the e f f e c t of b r i n g i n g together e l u s i v e past event and the emotional immediacy  160 did  indeed recover from h i s i l l n e s s .  that a r t —  The  i m p l i c a t i o n being  the s k i l l f u l employment of poetry i n t h i s case  does have an e f f e c t on the ambient r e a l i t y and should be  —  both  composed and c r i t i c i z e d with t h i s connection to d a i l y l i f e i n mind.^  8  The  second  s e r i e s of poems r e v e a l s Akazome Emon as  s o p h i s t i c a t e d lady of the world u s i n g her t a l e n t to maneuver her f a m i l y members i n t o favored p o s i t i o n s at c o u r t . of  A number  poems, f o r i n s t a n c e , were composed to a s s i s t her son's  advancement.  In one exchange with Michinaga  r e p l e t e with  innuendo and punning ( r e v o l v i n g around the image of a s p r i n g 'izumi' i n the snow —  which suggests aging and  coldheartedness  as w e l l as the d i s t r i c t by that name), "he r e c e i v e d the poem, f e l t a deep sense of p i t y  [aware], and consequently  appointed 59  Takachika Governor of Izumi j u s t as she had wished." Not o n l y i s the poetess the p e r f e c t mother, she i s c l o s e to  being the p e r f e c t wife as w e l l .  H e r r p o e t i c genius  p o l i t i c a l acumen f a c i l i t a t e her husbandis  a c t i v i t i e s a a t court.  She o f f e r s t i m e l y advice and helps with the w r i t i n g of documents.  and  Then, i n emphatic c o n t r a s t to the way  important  Sadamoto's  wife handled her husband's a f f a i r with R i k i j u , we are given a glimpse of how  Akazome Emon deals with her husband,  d a l l i a n c e with another woman.  Masahira's  The p o e t i c r e c o r d suggests  Masahira had e s t a b l i s h e d a l i a i s o n with a p r i e s t e s s at an  Inari  60 s h r i n e near the c a p i t a l .  During one of h i s rendezvous,  sends her husband t h i s poem:  Akazome  161 No s i g n o f you at a l l Near the pine o f my abode, Were i t up amongst The v i l l a g e cedars No doubt you would come to c a l l . Waga yado no Matsu n i s h i r u s h i mo Nakarikeri Sugimura naraba Tazunekinamashi. Masahira, an accomplished poet i n a c u l t u r e with a proverb which d e c l a r e s , reply w i l l  "Someone who r e c e i v e s a poem and sends no  be born i n darkness f o r seven l i f e t i m e s , " r e p l i e s : The way obscured While someone waited Along a mountain path, My thoughts i n great confusion I must have trodden too f a r . H i t o o matsu Yamaji wakarezu Mieshikaba Omoimadou n i Fumisugi n i k e r i .  The f i r s t poem contains as Akazome reminds  the h i n t of a c o n f i d e n t woman's wrath  a wayward husband of h i s place.. The  ' v i l l a g e of cedars' i s a r e f e r e n c e the shrine rendezvous  to the g i a n t c o n i f e r s  and h i s companion there.  "sugimura" around  The "mashi"  ending  of "tazunekinamashi" t r a n s l a t e d , "No doubt you would come to c a l l , " conveys It  a sense of hypothesis c l o s e to the E n g l i s h C o n d i t i o n a l mood.  suggests what i s i n f e r r e d i s something  implying  n a t u r a l or f i t t i n g  —  here, that her husband's t a s t e f o r the r u s t i c and  u n c u l t i v a t e d might w e l l be expected.  We f e e l her d i s d a i n f o r  the woman at the s h r i n e : her husband's l o v e r , a s s o c i a t e d with the unrestrained  cedar, i s an.unworthy r i v a l  to her own g r a c e f u l  pine.  162  Masahira's response i s sheepish and c o n t r i t e .  He p l a y s  on the word " f u m i s u g i " which means " t o t r e a d too f a r , " and r e c a l l s the sugi  'cedar' t r e e s around the s h r i n e .  that the poem i s p a i n f u l both e m o t i o n a l l y and  also  Rohan comments  aesthetically:  "For one of the t h i r t y - s i x sages of v e r s e of the medieval  period  [chuko sanjurokkasen], the sound i s very unsure, l i k e someone  61 breaking wind." to t h i n k i t may  He suggests the poem i s so bad i t f o r c e s be a f a b r i c a t i o n of a l a t e r s t o r y t e l l e r .  however, i n c l u d e d i n the Akazome Emon Shu.  The passage  one It i s ,  concludes  with the o b s e r v a t i o n that a f i r m l y c h a s t i s e d Masahira h e n c e f o r t h became a d u t i f u l  husband and good f a t h e r .  Akazome Emon i s given such d e t a i l e d treatment i n Renkanki because her l i f e r e p r e s e n t s probably the best of what can be f o r the s e c u l a r or mundane world.  said  A p o l a r i t y between the sacred  and the s e c u l a r (sei/zoku) i s e s t a b l i s h e d from the very outset of the n a r r a t i v e i n the person of Yasutane  who  "renders unto  Caesar" i n response to the demands of h i s o f f i c i a l d u t i e s , but r e t r e a t s to h i s Amida H a l l f o r m e d i t a t i o n and r e l i g i o u s  practice  whenever p o s s i b l e .  Sadamoto undergoes a dramatic s h i f t from the  mundane, one might  even say profane, world i n t o the realm of the  sacred.  Akazome, however, remains  "flowering fortunes."  f i r m l y i n her b r i g h t world of  About her s u c c e s s f u l machinations at court  Rohan says, " t o put i t i n the best l i g h t you would say she i s extremely a d r o i t , n e g a t i v e l y , you would have to say she  was  62 s o p h i s t i c a t e d i n the ways of the world."  One  of the  remarkable  t h i n g s about t h i s work, and a f a c t o r i n the breadth of scope i t a c h i e v e s , i s the way  fundamentally inharmonious  encompassed w i t h i n a wider  view.  human values are  163 I would l i k e to conclude my  remarks on Renkanki with a  look at the s e c t i o n of the work d e a l i n g with the death of Jakushin. There are f i v e death scenes of  i n the n a r r a t i v e .  With the e x c e p t i o n  the untimely p a s s i n g of Sadamoto's l o v e r , R i k i j u , a l l i n v o l v e  the deaths of eminent monks (and one devout layman) and each of these f o l l o w s the p a t t e r n e s t a b l i s h e d by Kamo no Yasutane i n h i s "Record of R e b i r t h s i n the Pure Land P a r a d i s e . " and r e b i r t h i n Pure Land Buddhism ( w r i t t e n ojo  Death , literally  "go be born") i s a f o r m u l a t i o n of the u n i v e r s a l mythos of one of the p r i m o r d i a l a f f i r m a t i o n s of mankind. i n h i s study of metaphor, The this  (Jakushin)  renewal,  P h i l i p Wheelwright  Burning Fountain, expresses i t  way: The end of the t u r n i n g wheel i s the s t i l l a x i s which i s the arche of i t s t u r n i n g . The end of the cosmic dance i s the quietude of l o v e beyond d e s i r e . The end of dying i s the ever renewed t h r e s h o l d experience of p o t e n t i a l r e b i r t h . 63 A f t e r d i s c u s s i n g a discrepancy i n the dates recorded f o r  Jakushin's  death, Rohan w r i t e s : Whether d u r i n g the Chotoku or Choho era — i t makes no r e a l d i f f e r e n c e — Jakushin d i e d p e a c e f u l l y . Not being an entrepreneur of the s e c u l a r world, n a t u r a l l y he l e f t no imposing monuments. Even h i s l i t e r a r y p r o d u c t i v i t y was r a t h e r l i m i t e d . Counting the Imperial E d i c t p r o c l a i m i n g the change of era name a t the beginning of the Eikan p e r i o d and the Note of Advice r e s p e c t f u l l y submitted to the Throne i n the second year of that era while he was s t i l l a court o f f i c i a l , he l e f t only twenty w r i t t e n compositions, i n c l u d i n g h i s "Record of R e b i r t h s i n the Pure Land P a r a d i s e . " N e v e r t h e l e s s , there i s not the shadow of a doubt about the l i g h t c a s t by t h i s man i n t o the hearts and minds of the people of the day. T h i s i s abundantly c l e a r , f o r i n s t a n c e , i n the matter of Sadamoto's c o n v e r s i o n . Then too, there i s an i n t e r e s t i n g legend  164 t h a t has b e e n handed down c o n c e r n i n g J a k u s h i n ' s passing. The f i n a l moments o f an o r d i n a r y B u d d h i s t monk o r layman o f deep f a i t h a r e s a i d t o be f i l l e d w i t h t h e j o y o f a g r e a t r e b i r t h as t h e h o l y a s s e m b l y comes i n g r e e t i n g a m i d s t l a v e n d e r m i s t and h e a v e n l y music. T h i s i s t h e u s u a l way. They t h e n move o f f t o Amida's W e s t e r n P a r a d i s e o r t h e T u s i t a Heaven o r some s u c h f a r away p l a c e . This i s the set p a t t e r n . The r e c o r d s d e a l i n g w i t h J a k u s h i n , however, do n o t end there. A f t e r he p a s s e d away a c c o r d i n g t o f o r m a t N y o i r i n j i i n the e a s t e r n mountains o f the c a p i t a l , someone had a dream. I n t h i s dream, t h e V e n e r a b l e J a k u s h i n , i n o r d e r t o b e n e f i t l i v i n g b e i n g s , had r e t u r n e d f r o m t h e Pure L a n d and was once a g a i n p r e s e n t i n t h i s d e f i l e d world. This i s unmistakably recorded i n t h e J a k u s h i n S h o n i n Den. F o r someone t o have t a k e n t h e t r o u b l e t o r e c o r d t h i s anonymous dream — e v e n t h e t i m e and p l a c e a r e unspecified — r e l a t i n g a message f r o m t h e a f t e r - l i f e i s extremely unusual. However, i n t h a t dream t h e V e n e r a b l e J a k u s h i n a p p e a r e d and t h e d r e a m e r h e a r d him g i v e an a c c o u n t o f h i s r e t u r n . Whether t h i s means t h e p e r s o n i i s s u p p o s e d t o have e n c o u n t e r e d t h e r e i n c a r n a t i o n o f the s a i n t o r seen something l i k e the s p e c t e r o f a m o u n t a i n sage i s h a r d t o d e t e r m i n e . The account i s very obscure. J u s t what do y o u suppose t h i s a l l means? Why w o u l d anyone have s u c h a dream? I t i s s a i d t h a t l o n g ago the T a o i s t w i z z a r d Lii Tong-bin, a l t h o u g h having p e r f e c t e d t h e way o f t h e s a g e s , d i d n o t j u s t a s c e n d t o Heaven and t h e r e r e m a i n , b u t c o n t i n u a l l y m a n i f e s t e d h i m s e l f i n t h i s w o r l d , c a v o r t i n g i n t h e c o a r s e r e a l m o f men and women o f h i g h b i r t h and low, i n s t r u c t i n g and i l l u m i n a t i n g them. F o r c e n t u r i e s f r o m T'ang t h r o u g h Sung, i n many p l a c e s , i n e v e r y d i s t r i c t , he l e f t poems and songs as w e l l as t a n g i b l e t r a c e s o f h i s a c t i v i t i e s . Among t h e p o p u l a c e o f Sung C h i n a b e l i e f i n him was w i d e s p r e a d . Su S h i h h i m s e l f has a p l a c e f o r L i i T o n g - b i n i n h i s writing? Even t o d a y i t i s t h o u g h t t h a t i f summoned w i t h t h e p r o p e r methods he w i l l a p p e a r . I n o u r own c o u n t r y t h e r e _ i s t h e f o l k b e l i e f t h a t t h e G r e a t B u d d h i s t M a s t e r Kobo o f t h e n i n t h c e n t u r y i s s t i l l p r e s e n t amongst u s . From t i m e t o t i m e he appears, not to o n l y the d e d i c a t e d a s c e t i c undergoing a u s t e r i t i e s , b u t e v e n t o an a v e r a g e p e r s o n making an o r d i n a r y p i l g r i m a g e t o h i s mausoleum. He i s s a i d t o bestow a t e a c h i n g w h i c h c a u s e s s u f f e r i n g t o be removed, p l e a s u r e t o be a t t a i n e d , d e l u s i o n t o f a l l away, and t h e mind t o be awakened t o i t s e s s e n t i a l n a t u r e . Now a l l t h i s r e a l l y goes w i t h o u t s a y i n g i f we j u s t c o n s i d e r t h e s t o r i e s o f t h e e i g h t - t h o u s a n d comings and  165  goings of Sikyamuni h i m s e l f e l u c i d a t e d i n the Brahmajala-sutra or some such t e x t . P r o p e r l y speaking, r e l y i n g on Amida or Maitreya or Saky amuni, chanting "munya munya" or whatver, and then p a s s i n g on by o n e s e l f to a p a r a d i s i c a l world while t u r n i n g a c o l d shoulder to e v e r y t h i n g e l s e , i s an extreme case of f e a t h e r i n g one's own n e s t . T h i s i s the i n c l i n a t i o n r e f e r r e d to i n the proverb, " L i k e e a t i n g c o n f e c t i o n s i n the p r i v y " — f o u l and s t i n g y . Were one to enter the realm of "the marvelous f r u i t of wisdom a t t a i n e d , " t h e r e a f t e r the most n a t u r a l t h i n g would be to want to render t h i s good t h i n g a v a i l a b l e to o t h e r s , r e g a r d l e s s of t h e i r r e l a t i o n to you. Hence the way those who have become Bodhisattvas and Buddhas s t r i v e to transform the karma of others i s the n a t u r a l course of the dharma. I t i s the very meaning of Bodhisattva? the meaning of Buddha. Amida's f o r t y - e i g h t vows, Kuan^yin's t h i r t y - t h r e e forms, no matter what s u f f e r i n g e n t a i l e d or b o d i l y appearance assumed, the d e s i r e to b e n e f i t the e n t i r e world, to save and e n l i g h t e n the beings i n i t — t h i s i s the Buddha, the B o d h i s a t t v a . S i t t i n g s e r e n e l y on a l o t u s imbibing to s u r f e i t a thousand d e l i c a c i e s has nothing whatsoever to do with the being of a Buddha, a Bodhisattva. Jakushin, from h i s youth, was a person whose m e r c i f u l , compassionate heart extended even to beasts of burden. Upon l e a v i n g the world and e n t e r i n g the order, h i s enlightenment deepened day by day, f i n a l l y coming to the understanding that the Pure Land was much,much c l o s e r than the house v i s i b l e next door. At l a s t he a r r i v e d at the p o i n t where he had one foot i n t h i s , the other i n that world. Here, j u s t when the Pure Land he had yearned f o r so much i n the past came i n t o h i s grasp, he f e l t no i n c l i n a t i o n to make i t h i s own f o r e v e r . Beyond a doubt he f e l t w e l l up i n h i s heart a d e s i r e born of i t s e l f to r e t u r n to t h i s impure world and take on the karma of o t h e r s . T h i s i n t e n t i o n must have overflowed the p e r i p h e r y of language and found i t s way i n t o someone's dream and the rumors of the world. From the time when he was s t i l l c a l l e d Yasutane and empathized with the poor beasts of the road, Jakushin's self-awareness s t e a d i l y expanded. How c o u l d he p o s s i b l y have turned a b l i n d eye to people a g o n i z i n g i n a world r e p l e t e with s u f f e r i n g ? Indeed, even d u r i n g the s e c u l a r p e r i o d of h i s l i f e h i s i n s i g h t can a l r e a d y be d i s c e r n e d , i t s l i g h t i l l u m i n a t i n g h i s prose. He saw the s o c i e t y around him g r a d u a l l y become a world of anguish: on one hand was the l a v i s h f l o w e r i n g of the blossoms of c u l t u r e i n the s u l t r y winds of l u x u r i o u s extravagance,  166 on the o t h e r , the people of the country found t h e i r l i v e s at an impasse, having to face the l i k e s of the v i o l e n t storm of the E i s o e r a , the epidemic of Shoryaku, and the r i s e of b r i g a n d s i n many of the p r o v i n c e s . How p i t i a b l e the world must have seemed to g e n t l e minded Jakushin. He g r i e v e d f o r the world and the world f e l t a profound yearning f o r a person such as he. T h i s too must be the reason behind the t r a n s m i s s i o n of the s t o r y of Jakushin's r e t u r n to the world. Needless to say, Jakushin was not a pratyekabuddha. 4  With t h i s passage Rohan concludes h i s p r e s e n t a t i o n of the n a r r a t i v e ' s c e n t r a l f i g u r e , Jakushin, yet leaves the reader with a sense of the ongoing r e v e r b e r a t i o n s of h i s r e l i g i o u s  energy.  T h i s e f f e c t i s important f o r e s t a b l i s h i n g the l i n k i n g element i n the n o v e l , the "hoen" or "karmic nexus of the dharma." a l s o emphasizes a f a r from t r i v i a l t r u t h about  It  the nature of  h i s t o r i c a l m a t e r i a l s : c e r t a i n c o n f i g u r a t i o n s remain i n the memory or  conscience of a people because they s a t i s f y the needs of a  g i v e n a r c h e t y p a l emotional complex.  T h i s i s where Jakushin  j o i n s the company of Kobo D a i s h i , Lii Tong-bin,  and v a r i o u s other  65 Bodhisattvas and Immortals. to  What a l l have i n common i s conformation  the core mythos of Mahayana Buddhism.  The heart of t h i s  p a t t e r n of b a s i c values i s r e f l e c t e d i n Rohan's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of  Jakushin's r e s o l v e "to r e t u r n to t h i s impure world and take on  the karma of o t h e r s . " When d e a l i n g with h i s t o r y , even i n h i s essays c l a s s i f i e d ), i t i s c l e a r i n Rohan's case as Vstudies 11 the w r i t e r as a r t i s t  supercedes  the w r i t e r as s c h o l a r .  Over  and above the s a t i s f a c t i o n of a p e r f e c t l y argued proof, Rohan chose  the p l e a s u r e s of s t y l e , of w r i t i n g i t s e l f .  Commenting on  167 t h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c , Terada Toru notes: In what are c a l l e d h i s t e x t u a l s t u d i e s ... vague t h e o r i e s or i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s which enjoy general acceptance are used as strawmen, and although there i s an e f f o r t to a s c e r t a i n the t r u t h [ s h i n j i t s u ] , when Rohan a c t u a l l y p i c k s up the brush and begins to form c h a r a c t e r s , the joy of composing v i t a l [kakki~ „ no aru] prose takes precedence over a r r i v a l at the p u t a t i v e o b j e c t i v e . 66 In  an essay on the T a o i s t Immortal Lii Tong-bin, Rohan once  again d e s c r i b e s how  the d e s t i n a t i o n of the sage becomes h i s next  origination: I t i s s a i d that Tong-bin had no d e s i r e to ascend to Heaven h i m s e l f ; r a t h e r , he exerted every e f f o r t to r a i s e other s e n t i e n t beings to Heaven. What e x t r a o r d i n a r y resolution! T r u l y was he a s u p e r i o r man! His great vow, h i s u n i v e r s a l l o v e , kept him i n the world of men f o r a long time. From T'ang through the Sung, Yuan, Ming, and Ching p e r i o d s he s u r f a c e d and disappeared, entered and e x i t e d [shutsubotsu inken] c o u n t l e s s times, transforming and l e a d i n g people to salvation.67  <:•'-•'•  The "shutsubotsu inken" does not of course r e f e r to some phenomenal being ducking i n and out of r e a l i t y down through the ages. s i g n i f i e s Lii Tong-bin's w r i t t e n language, centuries.  m u l t i p l e appearances  It  i n the spoken and  the poems, songs and dreams o f people over:the  T h i s represents an " i m m o r t a l i t y " to be sure; the  e s s e n t i a l p o i n t , however, i s what t h i s t e l l s us about the h e a r t s of  people who  have kept the sage a l i v e so l o n g .  of  Rohan's most s u c c e s s f u l e f f o r t s at keeping a l i v e the deep music  of  this  tradition.  Renkanki  i s one  168  Notes T. S. E l i o t , "Tradition and the Individual Talent," i n Selected Essays, New ed. (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 19.50), p. 4. 1  2 Koda Rohan, Renkanki, i n Koda Rohan Shu, i n Geridai Nihon Bungaku Zenshu, Vol. 7 (Chikuma Shobo, 1973). The work was o r i g i n a l l y published i n Nihon Hyoron (June and July, 1940) and i s included i n Rohan Zenshu (Iwanami Shoten, 1949-58), Vol. 6 Subsequent references are to the Chikuma Shobo edition, hereafter cited as RKK. 3 _ Yamamoto Kenkichi, Soseki Takuboku Rohan, (Tokyo: Bungei Shunju-sha, 1972), p. 168. 4 For the former see Rohan's last completed study, "Ongenron" ( fr] j ^ g . "The Metamorphosis of Sound"), Zenshu, Vol. 41. On c i t y planning see his t r e a t i s e , "Hitokuni no Shuto" ( — 0\ (T) jff " Capital of a Nation"), Zenshu, Vol. 27. ^ Northrop Frye, A Study of English Romanticism, (New York: Random House, 1968), p. 122. Yamamoto, Soseki, pp. 159-218. In his chapter, "En no Shiso,'" Yamamoto notes Fukuzawa Yukichi' s (1835-1901) insistence on en: "A so-called erudite character i s someone who only knows about something, he does not know the connection [en] between one thing and another. His knowledge i s limited to knowing the facts i n one f i e l d ; of the p r i n c i p l e of mutual dependence he knows nothing. The essential point for scholarship [gakumon] i s simply to learn the mutual interrelatedness of things [tagai n i kakawariau en o shiru n i aru nomi]. ... Someone who knew geography but not i t s interrelatedness, or history but not history's ramifications, would be, i n effect, nothing other than a geographical or h i s t o r i c a l dictionary. If pressed for a difference, I would say a paper dictionary consumes no r i c e , whereas a human dictionary does." >  T h e  169 It i s worth noting here Yamamoto's discussion of Yamaji Aizan's ( A* \V& tX\ 1864-1917) d i v i s i o n of Japanese historians into two general types. The s p l i t between popular histories, with their emphasis on emotional response, and the a r i s t o c r a t i c or s p e c i a l i s t work concerned primarily with research methodology he saw as a dichotomy stemming from the time of Rai Sanyo ( 5tfl 1780-1832) who wrote the former type , and Ban Nobutomo ( $f  \%  1773-1846), a kokugakusha  'scholar of national learning' who wrote the l a t t e r type of history.  According to Yamaji, himself an upholder of the old  view of "history as a r t , " i t was Arai Hakuseki  ( ^jbj J^- r3  1657-1725) who achieved the most satisfactory balance between a r t i s t r y and textual accuracy. Given this schema, Rohan's h i s t o r i c a l writing c l e a r l y f a l l s into the t r a d i t i o n of popular a r t i s t i c history i n i t i a t e d by Rai Sanyo. H i s t o r i c a l writing has always found a receptive audience i n Japan. Meiji writers were especially fond of the h i s t o r i c a l mode; most wrote some form of h i s t o r i c a l biography, speculated i n essays on the currents of Japanese history, or produced h i s t o r i c a l f i c t i o n . After the advent of naturalism, among the dominant elements of the bundan there was a drawing away from history due to<mbelief that the creation of r e a l i s t i c , l i f e - l i k e effects with h i s t o r i c a l figures was an insuperable problem. Yamamoto notes, however, that MorirOgai's Okitsu Yagoemon no Isho ("The Last Testament of Okitsu Yagoemon"), published i n 1912, precipitated a great deal of h i s t o r i c a l f i c t i o n which the dominent n a t u r a l i s t group dismissed as "merely advanced history lectures," ignoring the fact that "readers responded with real [namanamashi] pain to the r i t u a l suicides i n [a work such as Ogai's] Abe Ichizoku"("The Abe Family"K(p. 179). English translations of these stories may be found i n The Incident at Sakai and Other Stories, ed. by David Dilworth and J. Thomas Rimer, (Honolulu: The University Press of Hawaii, 1977). A legacy of naturalism i n Japanese l e t t e r s has been the degrading of h i s t o r i c a l f i c t i o n to the realm of "popular writing" — an unfortunate turn,considering the strength Japanese l i t e r a r y arts have t r a d i t i o n a l l y drawn from history. 7  170  8  — — Koda Aya, Chiglregumo ( " S c a t t e r e d C l o u d s " ) , ( S h i n c h o s h a , 1956), pp. 140-141. 9 Hans-Georg Gadamer, T r u t h and Method, (New York: Seabury P r e s s , 1975). He w r i t e s , f o r i n s t a n c e , t h a t t r a d i t i o n " i s always p a r t o f u s , a model, o r exemplar, a r e c o g n i t i o n o f o u r s e l v e s " i (p. 250) and " U n d e r s t a n d i n g i s n o t t o be thought o f so much as an a c t i o n o f one's s u b j e c t i v i t y , but as t h e p l a c i n g o f o n e s e l f w i t h i n a p r o c e s s o f t r a d i t i o n , i n which past and p r e s e n t a r e c o n s t a n t l y f u s e d " (p. 2 5 8 ) . The works on s e l f - c u l t i v a t i o n r e f e r r e d t o i n c l u d e : Doryokuron ( JJ "f^ "On Endeavor", 1910), Zenshu, V o l . 27; and S h u s e i r o n ( tffy s§ " f ^ - "On P r a c t i c e and R e f l e c t i o n " , 1914), Zenshu, V o l . 28. R o y a l t i e s from t h e s e works were a p r i m a r y source o f income f o r Rohan i n m i d - l i f e . Doryokuron went i n t o twenty-two or three p r i n t i n g s . ^ R i c h a r d R o r t y , P h i l o s o p h y and t h e M i r r o r o f Nature ( P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1980), p. 354. Koda Rohan, "Hannya Shingyo D a i n i g i Chu" ( 36 / C 1890), Zenshu, V o l . 40. .->p„ 12 H ; V o l . 6. 13 Zenshu, Y u k i t a t a k i and Renkanki a r e i n c l u d e d i n Zenshu, V o l . Gacho may be found i n V o l . 4. 1 1  TA  _  S h i o t a n i San, Koda Rohan, (Chuokoronsha, 1977), V o l . 4, pp. 174-75. The Kamo f a m i l y c o n t r o l l e d t h e o f f i c i a l Bureau o f Yin-Yang. That i s , they were o n y o s h i ( j ^ , f}r|7 ). The f a m i l y produced a l o n g l i n e o f o u t s t a n d i n g men o f l e t t e r s . Yasutane was a s t u d e n t o f t h e i l l u s t r i o u s Sugawara no F u m i t o k i ( ''g fi 899-981). I n Renkanki F u m i t o k i i s r e v e a l e d as a p e r s o n w i l l i n g t o speak t r u t h t o power. He i s asked d i r e c t l y by t h e Emperor whether he thought h i s own poem composed on t h e s u b j e c t o f "bush w a r b l e r s g r e e t i n g t h e dawn w i t h t h e i r song," o r one by the Emperor on t h e same theme i s b e t t e r . F u m i t o k i hedges h i s answer t w i c e but when p r e s s e d responds t h a t h i s own poem i s s u p e r i o r and f l e e s the p a l a c e l e a v i n g t h e Emperor i n amused agreement. A simple  171  incident, the point, perhaps, being that poetry escapes the vulgar demands of the powerful. I f , however, we r e c a l l this work was published i n 1940 amidst s t r i c t censorship, when even the slightest affront to the Imperial House or the questioning of government conduct was severely dealt with, the inclusion of this and similar anecdotes takes on greater significance. Some passages contain considerably more flagrant c r i t i c i s m : Zoga's e c c e n t r i c i t i e s at the palace, Yasutane's plaintives concerning the arrogance of t h e r i c h and the plight of the poor, and the attitudes attributed to Jakusho when he resolves not to return to Japan from China are a few of the more s t r i k i n g examples. See the chapter "Rohan no Sensokan" ("Rohan's_View of War") i n Shimamura Ryoichi, Bannen no Rohan, (Keizai Oraisha, o  1979), pp. 97-105. 15 Kamo no Yasutane, " C h i t e i k i , " Chap. 12 of Honeho Monzui in Kokushi Taikei, Vol. 29, Part 2, ed. by Maruyama J i r o (Yoshikawa Kobunkan, 1965), pp. 298-300. The Honcho Monzui includes the f i r s t examples of social c r i t i c i s m i n a Japanese o f f i c i a l anthology. The c r i t i c i s m i s directed toward providing j u s t i f i c a t i o n for non-participation i n society. Compiled by Fujiwara no Akihira (989-1066), i t was modeled on the Chinese T'ang Wen Ts'ui (1011). For a b r i e f discussion of the import of the work see Kato Shuichi, A History of Japanese Literature: The f i r s t Thousand Years, (London: The MacMillian Press, 1979), pp. 154-156. Yasutane's diary i s a prototype for the " l i t e r a t u r e of the hermitage" (inton bungaku) genre which blossomed i n l a t e r centuries. Kamo no Chomei's (1153-1216) Hojoki ("An Account of My Hut" 1212), considered one of the finest examples of the genre, borrows both-form and metaphors from the C h i t e i k i . The image of the hermitage as cocoon for instance. Yasutane compares his Rokujo v i l l a to the s i l k y womb with the words: "Building a cottage for my twilight years! Ha, Just l i k e an old silkworm making hims e l f a cocoon" (RKK, p. 384).  172  1 f\  —  Yoshishige no Yasutane, "Nihon Ojo Gokurakuki" i n Dainihon Bukkyo Zensho, Vol. 107 (Bussho Kanko-kai,1912), pp. 185-191. Shi J i a - c a i , " J i n g Tu Lun" i n Taisho Shinshu Daizokyo, Vol 47, ed. by Takakusu Junjiro and Ono Genmyo (Daizo Shuppan Kanko-kai, 1924-32), pp. 83-104. The sixth chapter records the biographies of twenty monks and laymen who achieved r e b i r t h i n the Pure Land. ^ Koda Rohan, RKK, p. 384. The approach to history through biographical studies of related individuals used i n Renkanki finds a counterpart i n "prosopography," a methodology developed by Syme and Namier into a major school of English historiography. Prosopography i s "a method of group biographies, not rounded biographies, but sketches of major figures or o€ rangesobf'modal, representative figures who do not receive f u l l biographical treatment." The prosopographer understands his subject as an elaborate network of particular people who, " l i k e c e l l s i n a honeycomb, are often i n contact only on a single edge." (p. 123) David Hackett Fisher, "The Braided Narrative," i n The Literature of Fact, ed. by Angus Fletcher (New York: Columbia University Press, 1976), pp. 109-133. See also Lawrence Stone, "Prosopography," i n Daedalus, 100 (Winter 1971), pp. 46-79.  —rs  Wing-tsit Chan, A Source Book i n Chinese Philosophy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1970), p. 79. 19 Koda Rohan, Zenshu, Vol. 8. The novel was o r i g i n a l l y published i n the newspaperKokkai from 1893-95. 20 Yanagida Izumi, Zadankai: Meiji Bungakushi (Iwanami Shoten, 1976), p. 106. Yanagida relates a conversation he had with Rohan i n 1942 just after he finished writing his biography. Yanagida had coined the term "renkantai" ( 3 ^ "linked ring style") to describe the structure of Furyu Mijinzo. When asked how he had come upon the idea, he said that i t had occurred to him while reading about cavalry t a c t i c s i n the Sung Dynasty h i s t o r i e s . Rohan laughed and replied that there 1 i s a T'ang poetic form  173  called "renkantai" i n which a series of poems are linked i n a sequence which always returns to the opening l i n e s . Rohan was a great admirer of the renku ( fjffy ^JJ "linked verse") of the T'ang poet Han Yu ( ^ 768-824). For a long l i s t of Chinese l i t e r a r y works u t i l i z i n g what i s also called the "linked jewel" form see Yokoyama Hiroshi, "Rekidai Renshushu," Tenri Daigaku Ho 24, No. 5 (1973). In the preface to a series of his essays, Kagyu-an Renwa ("Linked Tales from the Snail's Hermitage")(Chuokoronsha, 1943), Rohan wrote: :  Linked verse i s fascinating. Each verse i s r e c i p r o c a l l y linked with other l i n e s , yet each stanza stands complete i n and of i t s e l f . The meaning changes and the language varies while the continuity of affective space i s maintained. This gives r i s e to that, and from "a" one arrives at "by. Sometimes the poem moves straight along, at other points i t branches o f f to the side; turning and evolving from one t r a n s i t i o n to another i t goes on and on never exhausting i t p o s s i b i l i t i e s . Seri Hiroaki notes that i n the structural integration of renku, which Rohan adapts to his essay form, the kakari 'connection', i f seen i n Buddhist terms, may be likened to the karmic thread (innen no i t o ) which links one event to another and the whole chain of existence into a single ring. The r e l a t i o n between discrete images i n a poem can be understood with reference to the concept of dependence and interdependence (soe sokan "^£J ) as developed for example i n the Avatamsaka-Sutra. Seri Hiroaki, Bunmei Hihyoka toshite no Rohan (Miraisha, 1971) 3  pp. 99-100. 21  _  Yanagida Izumi, Koda Rohan (Chuokoronsha, 1942), pp. 181-208. 22 ~~ Allan A. Andrews, The Teachings Essential for Rebirth: A Study of Genshin's Ojoyoshu (Tokyo: Sophia University Press, 1973), p. 38. Andrews notes that Genshin's c l a s s i c r e l i g i o u s text was probably written between 984 and 985 as "manual of nembutsu devotion" for the members of the society. Koda Rohan, RKK, p. 386. 2 3  174 24  Jakusho appears to have been a devoted d i s c i p l e of both Jakushin and Genshin. Rohan does not mention the fact he i s known to have received instruction on the esoteric teachings (mikkyo) from Ninkai ( y@- ) at Daigo-ji after studying with Genshin. 25 Genshin, "Tendaishu Gimon Nijushichi-jo," i n Eshin Sozu Shu (Kyoto: Shibunkaku, 1967), Vol. 2, pp. 213-246. 26 Koda Rohan, RKK, p. 404. Hokke Hachiko refers to a Buddhist service where homilies are delivered on each of the eight volumes of the Lotus Sutra. The practice originated i n China but became very popular i n Japan during the Heian period. See Nakamura Hajime, Bukkyogo Daijiten (Tokyo Shoseki, 1975), p. 1252. 27 Koda Rohan, RKK, p. 405. 28 Ibid., p. 406 29 Ibid., p. 406. 30 Ibid., p. 407 31 Ibid., p, 4071 , 32 Shiotani, Vol . 4, p. 185. 33 Yamamoto, Soseki, p. 231. 34 During the Heian and Kamakura periods the art of incense burning was known as koawase ( ^ 'Q" ) or takimono awase ( ). The ceremony, similar i n many respects to the tea ceremony, was formalized during the Muromachi period (1392-1568) and i s known as "bunko" ( fjjf] .^J" ) 'listening to incense.' ^ Shimomura, pp. 64-71. 36 Nakamura, p. 392. 37 Yoshito S. Hakeda, The Awakening of Faith, translation of the work attributed to Asvaghosha (New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1967), p. 56. 38 Koda Rohan, RKK, p. 386 39 Shimomura, p. 68. 40 Koda Rohan, RKK, p. 398. For the Ujishui version see Ujishui Monogatari i n Nihon Koten Bungaku Zenshu Vol. 28, ed.by Kobayashi Chisho (Shogakkan, 1973), p. 185. E  1  3  3 8  175  4 1  Koda Rohan, RKK, p. 399. Tanizaki Junichiro, Shosho Shigemoto no Haha i n Nihon  no Bungaku Vol. 23 (Chuokoronsha, 1972). Kankyo no Tomo i s a c o l l e c t i o n of Buddhist tales attributed to either Jien (1155-1225) or Matsuo no Keisei Shonin (1188-1268).  For a discussion of the work see Kubota Jun,  Chusei Bungaku no Sekai (Tokyo Daigaku Shuppan-kai, 1972) pp. 119-143. Tanizaki, Shosho, p. 450. 4  4  4  ^ Mochizuki Shinko, , Bukkyo D a i j i t e n 2nd ed. (Sekai Seiten  Kanko Kyokai, 1954), p. 758. Koda Rohan, RKK, p. 385. This p a r t i c u l a r water meditation, known as suikan ( 7Pvl|[|_j — also c a l l e d "mizu zammai" 'water samldhi' or "suirinkan" 7^^. fej^ 'water cycle meditation'), involves v i s u a l i z i n g the internal secretions of the body as one with the essence of water, and then negating any d i s t i n c t i o n between such secretions and what i s c a l l e d the "perfumed ocean.'' The perfumed ocean ( ?|C ) refers to the seven inner seas surrounding Mt. Sumeru, the center of the world i n Buddhist cosmology. These seas, said to be f i l l e d with eight meritorious, efficacious waters, figure prominently in the Avatamsaka-Sutra. See Mochizuki, p. 2865. 4 6  4 7  A O  _  _  The f i r s t mentioned i s Gakko D5ji ("Acolyte of the Moonbeams", Skt., ' Candra-prabha) whose prototype water meditation story appears i n the Surangama-samldhi-Sutra, Vol. 5.  This i s  apparently the sutra referred to i n the text ("kyo n i atte wa"). The second reference i s to the T'ang monk Fa J i n ( ? - 770).  j_^_,  A reader unfamiliar with the history of the Ritsu  ("Rules," Skt., vinaya) Sect i n Japan might be led to believe the  anecdote wholly Chinese.  However, Fa J i n was one of the  fourteen monks who accompanied Ganjin (/^Ifa. %^ Japan i n 754.  Fa Jin,  688-763) to  l a t e r abbot of the Todai-ji Tozen-in,  achieved high e c c l e s i a s t i c rank and l e f t a considerable number of works on monastic d i s c i p l i n e i n the t r a d i t i o n of the Nanzan (  _U  ) School, as well as commentaries on the texts of ..  176  the Hosso ( / ) Sect. He i s considered the second patriarch of the Ritsu Sect i n Japan. I have not been able to find Rohan's source forcthis one: the text has simply, "den n i atte," presumably one of the compendiums of biographies of eminent monks. The t h i r d reference i s to the Japanese monk Shogyo Shonin  ( 4^ J£- A ) • Renkanki has his second character as , a possible homophone — although the Buddhist reading i s usually "go." An account of Shogyo Shonin's water meditation may be found i n the Kurodani Shonin Gotoroku Daishichi Gyakushu Seppo (X-.^XA-tS %t tfc, 0\ >. See Mochizuki, p.2866. This example Rohan refers to as simply, "a t a l e " ("hanashi"). Koda Rohan, RKK, p. 385. Ibid., p. 385. 51 Hayden White, Metahistory: The H i s t o r i c a l Imagination i n Nineteenth-Century Europe (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973) 52 Shinoda Hajime, Sakuhin n i tsuite (Chikuma Shobo, - 1971), p. 29. Koda Rohan, RKK, p. 390. ~* The work has been translated and thoroughly annotated by William H. and Helen Craig McCullough, A Tale of Flowering Fortunes: Annals of Japanese A r i s t o c r a t i c L i f e i n the Heian Period, 2 Vols. (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1980) Koda Rohan, RKK, p. 391. Earl Miner, An Introduction to Japanese Court Poetry (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1968), p. 28. ^ Koda Rohan, RKK, p. 392. In Akazome Emon's individual c o l l e c t i o n the poem i s as quoted. A variant which appears i n the twelfth-century Shika Wakashu ( %ij ttL <ffe. Vol. 10, Zatsu ge 361) and elsewhere has: "satemo wakaremu / koto zo kanashiki" for the last two l i n e s . The meaning i s e s s e n t i a l l y the same: the variant emphasizes the inevitable sadness of separation even i f ("satemo") her prayer were answered.  t-2L4£  4 9  5 0  5 3  4  5 5  177  58  In an interesting essa y, "Jojoshi no Unmei" ("The Fate of Lyricism"), Yamamoto Kenkichi argues that the intensity and beauty of early Japanese art and poetry was largely due to i t s intimacy with daily l i f e and the "deep sense of community" informing the energy of the a r t i s t s . He i s thinking primarily of the period of the Man'yoshu, the eighth-century "Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves," but also refers to European art which flourished under the auspices of the Church. Speaking of the decline i n contemporary a r t , he writes: "We can at least be certain that art divorced from a foundation b u i l t upon the s p i r i t u a l t i e s and involvement i n d a i l y a c t i v i t i e s characteristic of communal bodies i s a great misfortune for art and a r t i s t a l i k e . " The point with respect to Renkanki i s simply that poetry was s t i l l the l i f e - b l o o d of Heian court society; the figures i n the narrative are a l l involved i n the "karma of brush and inkstone." Poetry thus provides the best access to the "deep sense of community" the narrative strives to unfold. Yamamoto Kenkichi, Koten to Gendai Bungaku ("The Classics and Modern Literature") (Shinchosha, 1965), p. 54. 59 Koda „Rohan, RKK, p. 392. 60 Rohan supplies the place name,'Miwa no Yama, for the rendezvous; i t i s not found in^any of the related accounts. Yet, he notes, i t i s not a complete fabrication because the name does appear i n the Akazome Emon Shu. The name, "Three Ring Mountain," f i t s the situation rather well, suggesting the "three l i n k s " i n a love triangle and may even c a l l to mind the Noh play "Miwa" i n which a woman who wants to know the true form of a man who v i s i t s her every evening attaches a thread to the hem of his robe and traces his t r a i l . Since the author mentions seeing the name, Miwa no Yama i n the Akazome Emon Shu, he must have known, but does not note, the poem quoted i s a honkadori (allusive variation on a well-known e a r l i e r poem) on an anonymous poem i n the tenth-century (905) Kokinshu (  ) .  The poem reads:  178  My cottage may be found At the foot of Three-Ring Mountain, When you feel a yearning Do come for a v i s i t : Cedars stand hardby the gate. Waga io wa Miwanoyamamoto Koishiku wa Toburai kimase Sugitateru kado. The mildly r i b a l d poem i s just what Akazome may have had i n mind i f Rohan i s correct about the circumstances of her own  composition.  Another candidate for honkadori i s a poem, also i n the Kokinshu, by Lady Ise ( ^  ? - 939), an early Heian period  poetess often ranked with Ono no Komachi ( A^^f  /j*  f l . ca.  850), with over one hundred and eighty poems anthologized i n imperial c o l l e c t i o n s .  Herrpoem:  How  long has i t been waiting Three-Ring Mountain? As the years go by Can i t be there i s no longer Anyone who w i l l come to c a l l ? 7  Miwano yama Ikani machimimu Toshifutomo Tazunuru hito mo A r a j i to omoeba. Lady Ise's poem i s said to be alluding to the anonymous poem previously quoted. See the Kokinwakashu ed. by Okumura Tsuneya, i n the series: Shincho Nihon Koten Shusei (Shinchosha, 1978), Poems 780 and 982. 6 1  6 2  Koda Rohan, RKK, Ibid., p. 392  p. 393.  fi 3  P h i l i p Wheelwright, The Burning Fountain 1954), p. 364. Koda Rohan, RKK, 6 4  pp. 403-404  (Bloomington:  179  Lii Tong-bin ( j|f Jp., Ryo Dohin f 1. ca. 800?), perhaps best known i n Japan for his part i n the Noh play"Kantan," has been the subject of- a great deal of scholarly dispute. He 6 5  i s one of the Eight T'ang Immortals i n the Taoist pantheon. Legend has i t he received his teaching from the Master of Han-gu Pass where Lao-Tzu i s said to have written the Tao-Te Ching. There i s d i f f i c u l t y , for instance, i n reconciling master-disciple dates. BotheLiu Hai-chan (minister to the King of Yen 911-913) and Wang Che (1112-1170), founder of the Northern School or Golden Lotus Sect, claimed to have been d i s c i p l e s of Lii Tong-bin. He i s the reputed author of the Tai Yi J i n Hua Zong Zhi known to western readers i n Baynes' translation of Richard Wilhelm's translation, The Secret of the Golden Flower. As i f to attest to the ubiquitous presence of Lii, we might add that he i s said to have "written" the preface to the 1920 Peking edition Wilhelm used for his translation. The preface was composed employing the planchette. Wilhelm goes on to mention that P. Y. Saeki i d e n t i f i e s Lii with the "Adam" who wrote the Nestorian texts discovered at Dun-huangn (The Nestorian Movement i n China, London, 1928). See Richard Wilhelm, The Secret ofcthe Golden Flower (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1962). See also, Holmes Welch, Taoism: The Parting of the Way (Boston: Beacon Press, 1966). 6 6  Terada Toru, "Rohan no Kosho," Bungaku, 46, No. 11 (1978),  p. 1348 67  —  —  —  Koda Rohan, "Sennin Ryo Dohin," Zenshu, Vol. 16, as cited by Terada, p. 1350. In his essay Rohan discusses the famous story "Kantan no Yume" which appears i n the T'ang work known i n Japan as the Chinchuki ( "ftfe^^ "|f^_, "Pillow Recollections") The story concerns a humble t r a v e l l e r who happens to borrow a pillow from Lii Tong-bin while staying at an inn i n Handan. After his stay there he meets with good fortune, making his way up i n the world and f i n a l l y achieving great wealth and position. As an old man he awakens to discover i t had a l l been a dream. He had l a i d his head on the borrowed pillow just a few moments — only  180  long enough f o r the innkeeper to b o i l some m i l l e t . wonders i f the dream belonged Lii as well?  Rohan  only to the t r a v e l l e r or to  Or perhaps Lu's teacher Zhong L i Quan was r e s p o n s i b l e ?  He asks a b o u t c a l l the people i n the dream and so f o r t h , c o n c l u d i n g with: Why are there so many s t o r i e s and poems [ a t t r i b u t e d to Lii?] Where d i d they a l l come from? H i s w r i t i n g s p r o l i f e r a t e ; who c o u l d p o s s i b l y e d i t them? Fill your basket as you p l e a s e ! L i s t e n t o the p i l l o w beneath your ear! Thus are a multitude o f t a l e s born, beheld, and d i s s o l v e d , p r o v i d i n g i n e x h a u s t i b l e fascination. As f o r Lii Tong-bin,  we are l e f t with the impression that we  have enjoyable t e x t s from the past, but know almost with any degree o f c e r t a i n t y about t h i s e l u s i v e  nothing  figure.  181  Conclusion  Tradition i s a pattern of persistence and change.  The  modern Japanese l i t e r a r y world has accentuated change over persistence.  But t r a d i t i o n has an unavoidable c e n t r a l i t y i n  human l i f e and l e t t e r s : time-honoured elements have a way of always reasserting themselves.  At the time of Rohan's death  i n 1947 Japan was entering i t s second major period of cultural transformation i n the modern era.  Defeat i n the P a c i f i c War  opened the way for a tremendous i n f l u x of American influence with a corresponding loss of f a i t h and confidence :in the indigenous c u l t u r a l heritage.  It was, i n many ways, a situation s t r i k i n g l y  similar to the early years of the Meiji period (1868-1912) when there was an overwhelming  enthusiasm for things; Western.  Rohan  was born on the eve of the Meiji Restoration and thus l i v e d through one complete cycle of modern Japanese c u l t u r a l history. Almost one-hundred years ago he appeared on the scene to raise a voice of protest against the one-sided tide of cultural transformation.  After his death, as the next cycle began, a second  Rohan did not appear —  with him went the last breath of the  Mei j i s p i r i t , i i. This fact helps to explain why his l i t e r a r y legacy has remained largely untouched by contemporary criticism.  scholarship and  Shinoda Hajime points out a related factor:  182  You would expect this group [of readers praising Rohan] to have a better than average degree of c r i t i c a l acumen yet, when i t comes to writing on Rohan, they play up their own deficiencies and a l l we get are hymns of praise which never amount to real c r i t i c i s m . Rather than these awe-stricken, emotional tributes of admiration, i t i s the one-sided critiques verging on r i d i c u l e such as that of Masamune Hakucho which actually have an element of c r i t i c a l insight. The well-intentioned but f r u i t l e s s praise has the negative effect of intensifying the conditions which have discouraged real c r i t i c i s m , making i t more d i f f i c u l t to bring Rohan into the 1 animated, vibrant realm of contemporary l i t e r a r y discussion.  Shinoda's remark i s directed toward a propensity i n Japanese c r i t i c a l c i r c l e s to weigh biography rather heavily, a tendency which results i n the refusal to divorce a text from the l i f e of i t s author.  To some extent, at any rate, Rohan's stature i n the  eyes of younger writers dissuaded c r i t i c a l debate i n the years following his death.  Tanizaki Junichiro, i n an essay for a  memorial gathering, wrote: They say that a man's value i s determined when the l i d is placed on his c o f f i n . But i n the case of a colossus possessing the depth and breadth of a man l i k e Rohan i t i s d i f f i c u l t to immediately comprehend his greatness. Isn't i t only now, after a quarter of a century, that we are f i n a l l y beginning to understand the eminence of Mori Ogai who died i n 1922? Thus, might i t not require a few years, or decades, or perhaps even a hundred years before we f u l l y understand the true worth of Koda Rohan? ' t  Today, i n an age when large, sometimes radiant bodies of l i t e r a t u r e are beginning to s l i p from our grasp, the question of Rohan's true worth i s one we cannot afford to pretermit. essay we have examined three novels — of his t o t a l body of writing — of Japanese l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n .  In this  only a small fraction of  and have sought i n them the voice For this i s what Rohan represents:  183  c o n t i n u i t y with the past. reaching  His work forms a majestic  from'the post-war era to the a e s t h e t i c and  s e n s i b i l i t i e s of pre-modern Japan.  bridge ethical  He developed an i n i m i t a b l e  n a r r a t i v e v o i c e which p r o j e c t s the a u t h o r i t y and  resonance of  a v e r b a l a r t i s t r y based on c e n t u r i e s of t r a d i t i o n .  It i s a  v o i c e that has  the r i n g of a u t h e n t i c i t y ; i t i s an exemplary  v o i c e invoking  the i d e a l s of Japanese c u l t u r e .  i s i n f u s e d with a d i g n i t y which r e f u s e s contrivances Antiquated  and  pretensions  perhaps, but  to accept or adopt  of modern w r i t i n g  even today, i f we  the  techniques.  stop to c o n s i d e r , i t  i s the author's v o i c e r a t h e r than complexities i n t r i c a c i e s of n a r r a t i v e technique  Rohan's work  of s t r u c t u r e or  that speaks most c l e a r l y  and  d i r e c t l y i n the i n t i m a t e act of communication between author reader through the medium of the t e x t . a l l v o i c e and  Rohan's w r i t i n g becomes  h i s v o i c e l e t s the music of t r a d i t i o n resound.  I t i s to be hoped that as t r a d i t i o n r e a s s e r t s i t s e l f — i n e v i t a b l e does — r e c o g n i t i o n he  Rohan w i l l again be given the reading  j u s t l y deserves.  and  as i t and  184  Notes  1  Shinoda Hajime, "Koda Rohan no tame n i I I , " i n Sakuhin n i tsuite (Tokyo: Chikuma Shobo, 1971), pp. 47-48. 2  -  -  Tanizaki Junichiro, as cited by Shiotani San, Koda Rohan (Tokyo: Chuokoronsha, 1977), V o l . 3, p. 145.  185  Bibliography  Andrews, Allan A. The Teachings Essential for Rebirth: A Study of Genshin's Ojoyoshu. Tokyo: Sophia Univ. Press, 1973. Bowring, Richard J.  Mori Ogai and the Modernization of Japan.  London: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1979. Chan, Wing-tsit, A Source Book i n Chinese Philosophy.  Princeton:  Princeton Univ. Press, 1970. Danly, Robert Lyons. In the Shade of Spring Leaves: The L i f e and Writings of Higuchi Ichiyo, A Woman of Letters i n Meiji Japan. New Haven and London: Yale Univ. Press, 1981. Donoghue, Denis. 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