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Soseki and Shiki : their friendship in haiku and kanshi


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Kang, RS 2005 , 'Soseki and Shiki : their friendship in haiku and kanshi', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This thesis interrogates the friendship between Natsume Soseki and Masaoka Shiki through a study of their kanshi and haiku exchanges, examining the concepts of "influence" and intertextuality.
Both Soseki and Shiki were educated in the Chinese classics and practiced writing kanshi during their student days. When Soseki and Shiki became good friends, they exchanged kanshi and haiku in their correspondence. Shiki was impressed by Soseki's creativity of expression, his sensitivity to colours and sounds and his ability to express innermost thoughts in his kanshi. Even though Soseki's motivation for writing kanshi writing did not arise from his relationship with Shiki, their literary friendship, ie Shiki's kanshi writing and his kanshi exchange with Soseki gave Soseki added encouragement and opportunities for, and pleasure in, composing kanshi. This thesis will concentrate on Soseki's early kanshi, written while Shiki was alive, before Soseki departed to England.
Under the influence of Shiki's new haiku movement and shasei theory, Soseki explored haiku writing in his own unique way. Shiki introduced the concept of the sketch in western painting to haiku writing and claimed that modern haiku writers should be both imaginative and realistic. In general, Shiki emphasized objective depiction. Shiki achieved 'created realism' by careful observation and description while Soseki achieved this by reflecting the hidden side, the inner life of reflection and emotion.
Soseki and Shiki use the genres kanshi and haiku as mediums for exchanging their thoughts and feelings since they were traditional Japanese form of verse. Their treatments of these genres reflect and are symbolic of the developments in Japanese literature as a whole towards "modernization". The genderised depiction in their poetry, of their relationship, will be explored as an example of the trend of friendships between the male elite of the Meiji era.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Kang, RS
Keywords: Natsume, Soseki, 1867-1916, Masaoka, Shiki, 1867-1902, Haiku, Kanshi (Japanese poetry)
Copyright Holders: The Author
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Copyright 2005 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
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Available for library use only and copying in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968, as amended. Thesis (MA)--University of Tasmania, 2006. Includes bibliographical references

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