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Comparing The Manyoshu And Kokinshu Essay

534 words - 2 pages

Looking at the anthologies, one can observe that despite the fact that they were compiled within two centuries of each other, differences and similarities exist between the two, creating the distinction between the Manyoshu and Kokinshu. From the earlier to the later anthology, the progression of poetic form takes place in Japanese literature from the influence of China and the conversion of native thinking. Thus, these changes in literature from the Nara Period to the Heian Period somewhat reflect the transformation in culture of the time, giving the reader insight into ancient Japanese culture.
Beginning with the poetry itself, the majority of the Manyoshu was made up of tanka, short poems, while the Kokinshu is also made up of a good number of tanka due to the decline of other older poetic forms. Concerning the topics of the poetry itself, love is a large category for both anthologies, with seasonal poetry being prominent in the Kokinshu and elegies being a main topic in the Manyoshu. The emphasis on the publication of poetry dedicated to romance indicates the importance placed on the ideals of love by society, as well as the aristocratic infatuation with poetry as a sign of competency inherited from the continent. Moving on to poetic devices, the idea of “elegant confusion” begins its way to becoming a staple of high-class literature from the Manyoshu. In regards to the actual organization of the anthologies, the first does not have much of it, but the latter is sorted into categories, such as the ones mentioned above.
In consideration of Chinese influence on Japanese literature, the Manyoshu is the...

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