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The Kokinshu Theme of Love

The Kokinshu Theme of Love

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The Kokinshu Theme of Love

Kokinshu is a collection of many books that preset readers with insightful aspect of the Japanese culture. Although the themes of the collections can differ from an individuals’ perspective, it is obvious to any reader that about 50% of the books are focused on the subject of love. As notes, the love poems are mostly gendered showing the impact that love has on both the male and the female gender.

In most of the situations, the man initiates the love conversation and awaits the woman to respond. Most of the love songs are persuasive in nature as the man pleads with the woman to accept his advances. However, in other cases, the women are also longing for the man to appear and express their affection to them.

Love seems to be the predominant theme in the entire Kokinshu poems. In all six seasonal volumes, the poets bring out the aspect of love to express its place and relevance in the Japanese society.

The reader can easily discern love in book 11 to 15 as a topic of interest especially in the first compilation in the Minor and Brower description in reference to Japanese court poetry. From book 11 to 15, there is a seemingly clear progression of love affair, which matches with the imagery associated with a specific season (Rodd and Henkenius 15).

Apart from the winter, the theme of love is evident in the other season, which includes spring, summer, and autumn. The sequence portrays the significance of love in the Japanese society, which is the setting for Kokinshu collection.

The use of love in Kokinshu collection elucidates the close relationship between love and seasons. In the first volumes, it is the man who expresses his affection to the woman. In the second set of volumes it is vice versa, which earns women are the ones longing for the man. In one of the instances, Rodd and Henkenius write, “so lovingly have I waited for fresh flowers of spring” (p. 51).

This statement by one of the women in the poems that expresses her desire after being neglected and now must await for a man to repapers and express his love once again. However, the correlation differs with each stage of love and season. The arrangement reflects a diligent compilation especially in trying to depict the correlation between a range of stages of love affairs and dominant imagery in a particular season (Suzuki 12). The association of love varies in different traditions.

For example, in the waka tradition, the compiler depicts the standard association of love in both spring and autumn. The spring season is known for regeneration and finding the new beginning hence making love a relevant factor. On the other hand, autumn is used to depict the last phase of love between the different people. This shows the close relationships between autumn and melancholy. The idea here is that love at one point will end.

In summary, Kokinshu collection can be seen as a collection that mainly deals with love between individuals. Although there might be other themes that might be of concern, the desire to be with someone of the opposite sex is too real in the Kokinshu collections.

Love is equated with different season indicating the role of love in the lives of the Japanese. Although the nature of love varies across the different season, there idea of longing to be with the other person of the opposite sex is too real to be missed.

Works Cited

Rodd, L. Rasplica, and Mary C. Henkenius. Kokinshu: A Collection of Poems Ancient and Modern Boston, MA: Cheng & Tsui, 1996. Print. .

Suzuki, Sadami. "Three Themes and aFew Ponts of View: for Rewriting of Japanese Modern and Contemporary Cultural and Literary History." (1994): 9-16.

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