You are on page 1of 52

Harvard-Yenching Institute

Voice, Text, and The Question of Poetic Borrowing in Late Classical Japanese Poetry Author(s): David T. Bialock Reviewed work(s): Source: Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, Vol. 54, No. 1 (Jun., 1994), pp. 181-231 Published by: Harvard-Yenching Institute Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2719391 . Accessed: 11/12/2012 04:25
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

.
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

Harvard-Yenching Institute is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies.

http://www.jstor.org

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Voice, Text, and the Question of Poetic Borrowing in Late Classical Japanese Poetry
DAVID T. BIALOCK
Columbia University

can be said, without risk of exaggeration, that the early medieval poet Fujiwara no Teika MYCM (1162-1241) is largely responsible for how scholars and students of classicalJapanese literature readwaka even today. Indeed, so disposed are we to seek out pre-texts for a particular waka-sometimes quite mistakenly for waka composed prior to Teika's own time-that it is easy to lose sight of just how paradoxical Teika's central achievement was: the constructing of an entire poetics around a technique of borrowing known as honkadori when in fact the traditional poetic dis*St, course of his day already incorporated and continued to sustain an enormous amount of repetitive phraseology. From our present vantage-point in time, Teika appears to have merely legitimized what was already an age-old practice of borrowing from older poems. The questions that I wish to address in this paper, then, are three. What distinguishes Teika's manner of borrowing from these earlier kinds of apparent borrowing? What were the changes in the
IT

I would like to thank Haruo Shirane who with his perceptive criticism and advice has guided me throughout the writing of this paper, and in addition, Barbara Ruch, Donald Keene, and Paul Anderer, as well as the anonymous reader for HJAS, all of whom have read earlier versions and drafts of this paper and made useful suggestions, whether in writing or viva voce. Finally, I am grateful to John Carpenter who generously helped out with advice on computer problems; and to Iori Jok6 for a helpful tip regarding a translation. 181

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

182

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

institution of Japanese poetry during the period between the Kokinshui and the Shinkokinshui that enabled this differentiation to occur? And what, specifically, is honkadoriboth as it is discussed in Teika's poetic treatises (karon RUi) and as it emerges from a reading of his poems? Answers to these questions will begin to appear as we examine a number of significant developments in the poetic tradition that paralleled the appearance of honkadori, of which the most important are the evidence for a deepening textualization of the poetic discourse; a change in the interrelationship between poet, audience, and tradition; and, finally, the increasingly professional nature of the poetic circles (kadanSOM).All of these are interdependent and indicative of one underlying dynamic: as the locus of poetic activity shifted from those who wielded political power to the poets who were in control, both creatively and in actual fact, of the evolving textual discourse, borrowing became much less a matter of reaffirming the poetic tradition by participation in it than a way of generating new figuration or new possibilities of meaning within that tradition.

MID- AND LATE-HEIAN VIEWS ON BORROWING

It was not until the end of the twelfth century that Teika brought to culmination a restructuring of the waka tradition by a new poetic practice of borrowing. Yet as anyone familiar with the tradition knows, collections all the way back to the Man'yoshu-provide abundant evidence of poem after poem built upon seemingly earlier variants and precedents. Although such subtle variations on established themes may have once been prized as marks of elegance and refinement,' from the eleventh century on this same practice is condemned, and the attitude of the professional poet-scholars towards their poetic predecessors is increasingly ambivalent, especially in regard to the practice of borrowing from old poems. The following passage on borrowing is from the Shinsen zuino fTMH99 of Fujiwara no Kinto WJgX1 (966-1041):

' See the discussion in Konishi Jin'ichi, A History ofJapanese Literature, Volume 2: The Early Middle Ages, trans. Aileen Gatten (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986), pp. 99-102.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND POETIC

BORROWING

183

It is bad to use for one's own poetic conceit (fushi) words used by poets of old. One should set one's thoughts on composing poems that use novel expressions, even if only a single phrase. There is the practice of using an original phrase from an old poem (koka o honbun ni shite) in one's composition. One should not speak of this. Though the poem may be fully intelligible to oneself, if others should find it hard to grasp, the effort will have been wasted. Enamored of past styles, people are extremely fond of composing poems for the people of today. One may think such poems good, but should people generally not think so highly of them, the poems will certainly fall flat.2

Fujiwara no Kinto, who compiled the first draft of the third imperial collection, the Shuiishui gM , stands as a good representative of midHeian trends in waka poetics. The most striking feature of the view expressed here is its emphasis on novel expressions (mezurashikikotoba), suggesting a spirit of emulation on Kinto's part that contrasts strongly with the veneration for the tradition shown by Shinkokinshut poets. Such an emphasis on novelty is also at odds with the kind of retrospective technique characteristic of Teika, Fujiwara no Ietaka iiggRk (1158-1237), and other poets who employed honkadori. Equally important is Kinto's negative view of borrowing. This attitude appears to be motivated by a fear that others will fail to appreciate the intended effect and perhaps take the new poem for an imitation, a problem later addressed, as will be shown, by Teika's discussions on borrowing in his poetic treatises. In discussing the practice of borrowing, Minamoto no Toshiyori MOM (I1055-1129), author of ToshiyorizuinodMiAHN and in the vanguard of the innovative poets of his time, writes:3

, This and several other passages that I examine below are also discussed by Matsumura Yuiji 4"u= in his essay "Honkadori k6: seiritsu ni kansuru n6to," in Ronshiu: waka to retorikku,ed. Waka Bungakkai (Kasama shoten, 1986), pp. 129-48. An earlier rendering of the entire text can be found in Nicholas J. Teele, "Fujiwara no Kint6's Shinsen Zuino & WakaKubon,MN 31.2 (1976): 145-64. 3 In transcribingJapanese texts I follow these rules. Waka and prose passages quoted from late-Heian works, i.e., from the mid-eleventh century, will be given in the conventional Hepburn transcription. In transcribing foundation poems (honka) for the Shinkokinshii period waka the same rule will apply. Citations of poems and prose passages from works prior to this nosshli-will be givenin a transcripand Makura Genjimonogatari, period-e.g., Kokinwakashul, tion that reflects the approximate sound values of that time. Any departures from this rule will be indicated in a footnote.
NKBT65.29.

2 Translation based on the text in Karonshi Nogakuronsha, ed. Hisamatsu Sen'ichi X+4

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

184

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

Though it has been said that in composing waka one ought not to imitate old poems, I have heard that if the new poem should turn out superior, the practice is not all that bad. [Toshiyori then cites for comparison a series of paired poems, original and variation, including two by Ki no Tsurayuki and the cloistered emperor Kazan jtWRI.]4

IFe no sakura wo yomeru uta Waga yado no mono narinagara sakura Fana tiru oba e koso todomezarikere Waga yado no sakura nare domo tiru toki Fa kokoro ni e koso makasezarikere

On the cherry tree in front of my house Though it stands in my own garden, I can do nothing to stay the cherry blossoms from scattering Tsurayuki Though the cherry tree stands in my own garden, when its blossoms scatter it yields not at all to my heart's desire Kazan

[After other paired citations, Toshiyori continues.] If, as in the above examples, it is difficult to compose a superior poem, you should take care not to compose an imitation.'

Toshiyori is obviously carrying on the debate initiated by Kint6's remarks above, and his opening sentence refers directly to the older poet's near dismissal of borrowing. Toshiyori's own emphasis on producing a "superior poem" betrays, like that of his predecessor Kint6, a spirit of open rivalry with older poets, which, while not absent in the attitude of such later poets as Teika, still differs strikingly from the subtle appropriation, transformation, and troping of poems characteristic of their poetic art.
4 The two waka that follow are cited in a twelfth-century karon text, but since bothare earlier than the eleventh century, I have given them in the transcription appropriate to their period. In punctuating the translations of waka, a poetic form which does not make use of punctuation, I make a deliberate use of the stops-period, question mark, exclamation-to emphasize a poem's closure. The absence of a period, on the other hand, is meant to convey a trailing off or prolongation of sense. ' Translation follows the text in Karonshuz, ed. Hashimoto Fumio **T-W9 et al., NKBZ 50.107.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND POETIC

BORROWING

185

The next example is from the Ogisho J a late Heian work on poetics by Fujiwara no Kiyosuke OfW&M(1104-1177). The section dealing with borrowing is preceded by the revealing title "Poems Illustrative of Poetic Theft" (Tokoka no shoka PAVMR):
Though one should not compose waka by using the themes (kokoro)of old poems, all those who compose frequently naturally make use of them. In the case of a poet who is well known, if he borrows a poem that is not so famous and manages to compose a superior poem, he need not scruple.6

The complex set of attitudes so pithily expressed in this passage from the Ogisho is well exemplified in an anecdote concerning Minamoto no Tsunenobu OWN (1019-1097) and his son Toshiyori found in another work of Kiyosuke, the Fukuro zoshi R-. The anecdote centers on the following two waka, the first by Tsunenobu and the second by the Kokinshut poet Oshikochi Mitsune YRiLi1Pf (fl. 898-922): Okitsu kaze fukinikerashi na sumiyoshi no matsu no shizu eda wo arau shiranami Sumiyoshi no matsu wo akikaze fuku karani koe uchisouru okitsu shiranami In the offing the wind must be blowing hard: white waves wash the trailing branches of Sumiyoshi's pines. Even as the autumn wind blows through the pines of Sumiyoshi, white waves in the offing raise an accompanying voice.

Here follows the story as told by Kiyosuke in the Fukuro zoshi:


In his final hours, the Major Counsellor Governor (sochi dainagon kOtM?) summoned his son Toshiyori and speaking in a low voice said: "If the poem in the which goes matsu wo akikaze/fuku karani may be likened to a newly appointKokinshu7 ed Great Minister (daijin k;l) on the day of his Congratulatory Banquet (taikyo k W), then my poem with the phrase Okitsu kaze would be comparable to an undersecretary (shisho -SI) who arrives at the banquet through the Middle Gate,7 would
6 Nihonkagaku taikei,10 vols., ed. Sasaki Nobutsuna fti At{ 3 (Kasama shob6, 1957-63) [hereafter NKT], 1.247. 7 The middle gate (chuimon) provided access between the main hall (shinden) and the outer gate of a noble's mansion.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

186

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

it not?" Toshiyori replied: "What does my Lord mean? Your composition is not in the least inferior. But to pursue the analogy, the former, in so far as it is a Kokinshuz poem, is rather like a senior-ranking Great Minister; while your own poem is a chief Counsellor and honored guest who, having solemnly mounted the Southern Steps, takes the seat of honor opposite the host." Deeply moved, Tsunenobu replied: "Perhaps you are right."8

Metaphor is never an innocent strategy, and while here it may appear as hardly more than the quaint rhetorical elaboration of a bygone age, its use in this anecdote brings into sharp focus the problematic of power and authority and their relationship to the practice of poetry: namely, the reappropriation, through poetic borrowing, of a more public discourse for new poetic aims. So while this anecdote vividly illustrates the conflict between Tsunenobu's reverence for the past and his desire, at the same time, to emulate that past by producing a superior poem, it codes it in a political language whereby the coteries of increasingly professional poet-scholars, signified here by the term shisho, emerge happily triumphant in Toshiyori's generational troping of his father's metaphor.9 My final example comes from the Mumyosho -4PtJO, the great poetic treatise of Kamo no Chomei JAR (1155-1216), and concerns the advice of the priest Shun'e (b. 1113) to Minamoto no Yorimasa (1105-1188):
For the poetry contest at the palace of Kenshun Mon'in, Lord Yorimasa composed a poem on the topic of "Fallen Leaves at the Barrier":

Miyako ni wa mada aoba nite mishi ka domo momiji chirishiku shirakawa no seki

In the capital the leaves were still green when I last saw them; but at Shirakawa barrier crimson leaves strew the ground.

Fukuro zoshi chiushaku, 2 vols., ed. Ozawa Masao I] iLfJ. (Hanawa shob6, 1974-76), 1.246-50. 9 Tsunenobu, of course, was hardly the self-effacing poet portrayed in this anecdote. His Nan goshiui (Errors in the Goshuiishul) was an open attack on conservative poets, such f&o as Fujiwara no Michitoshi (1047-99), who were supported by the emperor Shirakawa. See Robert H. Brower and Earl Miner, JapaneseCourt Poetry (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1961, 1988), pp. 242-43.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND

POETIC

BORROWING

187

He had composed numerous poems on that topic and on the day of the contest was still worrying over his poem when he summoned Shun'e and showed it to him. Shun'e said: "This poem resembles the one by N6in that goes:'0

akikaze zo fuku shirakawa no seki

at the barrier of Shirakawa the autumn wind blows

Still it should make a splendid impression upon presentation. It is not as good as Noin's, but it seems to have been composed with a technical assurance that shows that the topic can be treated in this way too. Though it is similar, its style cannot be faulted." After Shun'e had given his reasons, Yorimasa had the carriage brought up and as he was getting in he said: "I have confidence in your judgment, so I am going to present the poem. But I will hold you responsible if anything goes wrong. " He then departed. When the poem, as expected, made a splendid impression upon presentation, Yorimasa returned home and immediately had a message delivered conveying his gratitude. In his reply Shun'e wrote: "Though I spoke believing that your poem had some merit, until I heard the results I was full of anxiety. But now that it has made such a splendid impression, it seems I judged correctly. "

This contest, held in the year 1170, brings us very close to the period of the Shinkokinshu.While Shun'e is sensitive to Yorimasa's fresh handling of an old topos (and not merely concerned that the poem be superior to the earlier poem),'2 his lingering doubts provide strong evidence that the conventions of reception, even at this late stage, still encouraged a view that condemned most borrowing as theft or lack of originality."3 The dominant impression one brings away from this survey of mid- and late-Heian views on borrowing is a strong sense of the poets' frustration. On the one hand, reverence for the tradition with its seemingly unsurpassable poetic monuments; on the other hand, a spirit of open rivalry toward past poets, strangely reminiscent of the aemulatioof the Alexandrian poets in classical times in the West. With the old conventions undermined and new conventions not yet in place, the poets appear to be at loss for a way to reconcile
10 The full text of Noin's poem reads: Miyako oba / kasumi to tomo ni / tachishika do / akikaze zo fuku / shirakawa no seki. (Though I parted the capital just as the spring haze was spreading, at the barrier of Shirakawa the autumn wind blows).

" NKBT 65.41-42.


12

The fresh handling of an old topos was one of the key elements in Teika's poetics. For additional views on stealing in the Mumyosh5, see the section entitled "Kojitsu no tai to iu koto," NKBT 65.90-93.
13

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

188

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

these conflicting attitudes, and the result is a signal incapacity to be poetically creative in the tradition. A clue to the cause of this structural aporia is found in the passage from the Ogisho of Kiyosuke that was examined above. In that passage, Kiyosuke phrased the problem thus: "Though one should not compose waka by using the themes (kokoro)of old poems, all those who compose frequently naturally make use of them." Kiyosuke makes no mention of words (kotoba)here; his emphasis is entirely on which I have translated as "themes." He then ilthe word kokoro,'4 lustrates this with a large number of waka, several of which follow:15 Fana no iro Fa yuki ni mazirite miezu tomo ka wo dani nioFe Fito no sirubeku KKS 6:335 The color of the blossoms mingles with the snow; although they cannot be seen by their fragrance at least a person might know them. Ono no Takamura kaeru kari kumoi ni madou koe su nari kasumi fukitoke ki no me harukaze Gosenshu2:60 Returning geeselost among the clouds sound your cries; Fana no iro Fa kasumi ni komete misezu tomo ka wo dani nusume Faru no yamakaze KKS 2:91 The color of the blossoms hidden by the haze; although it doesn't disclose then it steals at least their scent the mountain wind of spring. Yoshimine no Munesada Hototogisu kumoji ni madou koe su nari o yami dani seyo samidare no sora

Kin'yshu 2:126
Hototogisulost among the clouds sound your cries;

14 See Tanaka Yutaka 44:, "Teika ni okeru honkadori: junsoku to jissai to," in Ronshii: Fujiwara Teika, ed. Waka Bungakkai (Kasama shoin, 1988), p. 198. 15 Since the first pair are both Kokinshiuperiod waka, I give them in the appropriate phonetic transcription.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND POETIC

BORROWING

189

disperse the haze budswelling spring wind. Anonymous

cease for a brief while rainy fifth month sky."6 Minamoto no Tsunenobu

In these two pairs and in the pair quoted above in the passage from Toshiyori, there is a striking coincidence between the words, which Kiyosuke did not mention, and the themes (kokoro)which he did. In the first pair, in fact, fifteen out of the thirty-one syllables which typically make up a tanka are identical. In addition to this thematic and verbal similarity, there is also a perfect replication of syntax between the poems. What variations do occur look more like forfor snow, geese for hototogisu, rains for mulaic substitutions-haze wind, and the like-as if the poems were variable manifestations of a poetic pattern. Kiyosuke's failure to mention the similarity of wording suggests that he assumed a certain inevitable identity of the heart (kokoro) of a poem with its words (kotoba). A minor point, perhaps, yet it was precisely this differentiation between words and heart that constituted the key element in Teika's poetics of honkadori.In fact, the kokoro/kotoba dualism can be characterized as one of the enduring, if not central, thematics of traditionalJapanese literature from classical times right down to the polemics of such as Motoori Norinaga (1730-1801).'7 The implicakokugakusha tions behind Kiyosuke's failure to distinguish between the kokoro and kotoba of these poems may be illuminated by some passages from Tsurayuki's Japanese Preface to the Kokinshuz. "Yamato song has its seed in the heart whence all the countless words (leaves) of song arose (Yamato uta Fa, Fito no kokorowo tane to site, yorozu no koto no Fa to zo narerikeru). 18 Here is perhaps the single most famous pronouncement in all of Japanese literature. Words or poems issue directly out of the human heart. The organic image is one of unity not division, a unity further emphasized by the

NKT 1.247;250. For the second ku of Gosenshii 2:60, the Shinpen kokka taikangives "kumoji " ni madou. 17 To give just one example, when renga emerged as a respected poetic form, early disputes centered on whether one ought to link through words(kotobazuke) or through heart (kokorozuke). 18 Translation based on text in Shinshaku Kokinwakashiu, 2 vols., ed. Matsuda Takeo lit 1.65. Unless otherwise noted, all translations t (Kasama shob6, 1968) [hereafterShinshaku], from the Kokinshiu will be based on this edition, with prose passages alone being footnoted.

16

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

190

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

wordplay on "leaves, " "words, " and "seed."t9 A few lines later the writer goes on to say: "Hearing warblers sing among the flowers and the voices of frogs who dwell in water, can we say that there are any among sentient creatures who do not compose songs?"20 This image of a resounding, sonorous nature as an expression of poetic fullness-which reads like a late attempt at a secular myth for the origin of poetry-is found in other poetic traditions as well. One instance is the locus amoenustopos in Western classical poetry, which was taken up by Virgil from the Alexandrian poet Theocritus and subsequently transmitted to the Medieval poets.2' The locus amoenus describes a world in which winds, waters, and birds, together with the poet's own song, evoke an idyllic harmony between man and na'" While Fujiwara no Kinto's Shinsen zuin5 (discussed above) is often contrasted with Kokinshii poetics, especially with regard to the latter's celebrated opening phrase, it shows an even more striking continuity in its use of figurative language to describe waka form: "Uwe no san ku woba moto to iFi, sita no ni ku woba suwe to iFu (The three upper phrases are called the stock, the bottom two the branch[es]." This extends the Kokinshii figure for Japanese poetry, as that which originates from a seed in the human heart, into the description of waka structure itself. In addition to the words (kotoba) and heart (kokoro) of the Kokinshii preface, Kint6 also accords importance to a tertiary level of poetic structure which he calls sugata (form). But as Hisamatsu and others suggest, this is really no other than the perfect integration of heart with words. See NKBT 65.26. 20 Shinshaku 1.69.
21 For contrasting views on this topos and related issues of voice, text, and poetic echoing see Paul Zumthor, La lettreet la voix: de la "littirature" midievale (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1987), pp. 80-81; and John Hollander, The Figure of Echo: A Mode of Allusion in Milton and After (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981), pp. 14ff. Hollander is basically concerned with the literaryimplications of echo as dispersal or hollowing out of sense. In it earliest manifestations in Homer and Hesiod, however, echo has a positive formulation and is clearly inseparable from an oral tradition of song that resounds in the here and now with full presence, a critical perspective amply restored for medieval European literature in Zumthor's book. The dispersal of the living voice as it was textualized in the subsequent post-Homeric literary tradition, particularly in the Ovidian myth of Narcissus and Echo, and its reemergence and proliferation in the numerous rhetorical schemes (such as the refrain, epistrope, epanalepsis, anadiplosis, etc.), brilliantlv analyzed by Hollander, have bearing on our discussion of the Japanese poetic tradition if only by way of comparative contrast. For with the possible exception of Teika's poetics of honkadori, the poetic tradition inJapan, to one degree or another, has always managed to recuperate, if not foreground, the living voice. Responsion, repetition, and echoing, present to an extraordinary degree in the written elaboration of Japanese poetry, have therefore all continued to belong equally to its praxis, i.e., the performance, of Japanese poetry. For an additional view on orality in Japanese literature and her concept of "vocalized literature," see Barbara Ruch's "MedievalJongleurs and the Making of a National Literature," in Japan in the Muromachi Age, ed. John W. Hall and Toyoda Takeshi (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977), pp. 279-309.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND

POETIC

BORROWING

191

ture-one in which the poetic word wells up out of its fullness. The image of the heart, then, as a seed and its issue of words as leaves summon up, ontologically, that sense of unity between man and nature which haunts so many poetries that lay between an earlier oral tradition and the ensuing written tradition that reexpressed it at several removes. Such poetry draws upon a deep feeling for that plenary power of the spoken word which, in the words of the Kokinshu, can "effortlessly move heaven and earth, move to sympathy the feelings of gods and spirits invisible to the eyes, make tender the relations between men and women, and calm the hearts of mighty warriors."22 In this last passage it is also important to note how the magical and social uses of poetry are easily conjoined. In another passage a bit later, after lamenting the fall ofJapanese poetry to the level of a trivial pastime, peripheral to the court, Tsurayuki continues:
In the beginning it was much different. Then the emperors of old, on every flowery morning of spring and on every moonlit evening of autumn, summoned their courtiers and had them present poems suited to the occasion. Some, speaking of flowers, told of their wanderings in perilous places; others, thinking of the moon, told of their groping in the dark without guidance; and the emperors, seeing into each person's heart, knew who was clever and who foolish.23

Here, Tsurayuki reflects nostalgically upon the former glory of the indigenous poetic tradition before it was eclipsed, among court circles at least, by the prestige of Chinese verse. More importantly, however, it illustrates the grounding of poetry in relationships of power between the emperor and his courtiers. In the same spirit, only some fifty years earlier, the priests of Kafukuji 1 had presented a chokato the Emperor Ninmyo CM on the occasion of his fortieth birthday. The choka, which was recited by the priests as a form of word-magic to revitalize the Emperor's failing health, is remarkable for the manner in which it strings together the magically charged pillow words (makurakotobaiRt-1)and prefaces (jo kotoba IVAI) of the old poetry. Here follows a passage from the choka, which is recorded in the ShokuNihon koki K H*&Cd:

22 23

1.71. Shinshaku Ibid., 1. 107-9.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

192

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

This country is the one of which it is traditionally said that the country of Yamato of the rising sun is indeed a country to which the kotodama brings good fortune. When we seek the original world as known to us through the ancient oral traditions (furugoto), through the words of the gods (kamukoto), and through things that have been handed down to the present, we return to it by composing in the language of poetry, and in this way we approach divine affairs. In this way we approach imperial affairs.24

In light of these passages, it is clear that behind the imperial order to was an attempt, however belated, to appropricompile the Kokinshuz ate the indigenous tradition of song and make it subserve and magnify the imperial prestige. The Kokinshuipreface is thus at once a celebration and defense of the indigenous oral tradition of song, whose union of heart with words bespeaks its inherent power as a vehicle of communion, promoting affective bonds between the imperial power and the court nobility. Kiyosuke's failure, then, to distinguish between the heart (kokoro) and words (kotoba) of poems, whether deliberate or unconscious, is indicative of a poetic discourse whose origins and usages were shaped by its affiliations to power centered in the court.

BORROWING

AND THE POETICS

OF POWER

The social and political entailments of the practice of poetry can be illustrated by the uses of allusive quotation and poetic borrowing, and by the institution of the imperially sponsored poetry contest (utaawase lk). I begin with a brief passage from the Genji monogatari, a work which, while not perfectly congruent with the realities it would evoke, is nonetheless an invaluable source for studying the quotidian usages of poetry both at court and among the educated nobility at large. In the Suma scroll, Genji, recently exiled and nostalgic for the capital, is gazing wistfully at the sea:

24 Translation of Andrew Pekarik in "Poetics and the Place ofJapanese Poetry in Court Society Through the Early Heian Period" (Ph.D. diss., Columbia University, 1983), 109ff. For the original, see ShokuNihon koki in Kokushitaikei, vol. 3, ed. Kuroita Katsumi M7W (Yoshikawa kobunkan, 1935), p. 224.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND POETIC

BORROWING

193

Seeing the waves approach the shore and then retreat, Genji chanted softly, "How enviably . . . " His companions seeing him thus, and hearing so old a poem sound strangely new, thought the poem even sadder.25

Genji is quoting an old waka that had come to exemplify the topos of travel loneliness or exile. It is found in the seventh dan of the Ise monogatariand also in the volume of travel poems (kiryo no uta) of the Gosenshuz, where it is attributed to Narihira: Itodosiku sugiyuku kata no koFisiki ni urayamasiku mo kaFeru nami kana While I long ever more deeply for the capital left behind, how enviably you return oh waves

The allusive quotation keys the scene to the register of traditional poetic discourse and in this way situates the scene within the pattern of a well known poetic archetype. The next example comes from the twenty-third dan of Sei Sh6nagon's Makura no soshi. The scene takes place in the Seiry6den, where the empress Teishi and her ladies-in-waiting (nyobo), among them Shonagon, are chatting and enjoying the delightful spring weather. Also present are the young Ichij6 Emperor and the Empress's brother, the Major Counsellor Korechika. Sprays of cherry blossom, placed in a vase nearby on the veranda, overflow the balustrade and light up the scene. Deeply moved, Korechika chants the following old song: Tuki mo Fi mo kaFariyuku Fisa ni Furu mimuro no yama The days and months ever changing pass; Mt. Mimuro endures forever.26

25

)IItA
b4;
26

Kitamura Kigin ItLt46, Genjimonogatari kogetsushok, revised by Arikawa Takehiko ; (Kodansha gakujutsu bunko, 1982), p. 596. Also discussed by Amagasaki Akira ), yr
in Nihon no retorikku:engisuru kotoba (Chikuma shob6, 1988), pp. 180-82.

Makurano soshi, ed. Ikeda Kikan itfl*& NKBT 19.59. Also discussed in Nihon no retorikku, pp. 186-89. The ancient song translated here is also found, with slight variations,
in Mibu no Tadamine's Wakateijussho and in Man'yshui 13:3231.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

194

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

At this point, the Empress's family-her father, Fujiwara no Michitaka, held the powerful position of kanpaku-had achieved the summit of worldly and political success. The archaic song chanted by Korechika, in a fashion similar to Genji's allusion above, thus draws this moment in time into a pattern of archetype. In the meantime, on some whim of the moment, the Empress bids her nyJbo, in the presence of the young Emperor who has just returned from his noon repast, to write down each an old poem. They all comply and come up with the conventional allusions to spring and cherry blossoms, taking inspiration from the actual scene before them. But when Sh6nagon's turn comes she writes: Tosi Fureba yoFaFi Fa oinusi kaFa are do kimi WO si mireba mono omoFi mo nashi Though it may be as the years pass I grow old, when I look upon you grievous thoughts vanish.

Shonagon has written down a poem presented by Fujiwara no Yoshifusa to his daughter the Empress Meishi on an exactly similar occasion over a hundred years earlier (KKS 1:52). But she has made one significant change, altering the word "Fana" (flower) of the original to "kimi" (you).27 The headnote to the original reads:
27 The fact that "writing" (kaku) old poems can also mean writing them differently indicates that even at this period in the tradition oral habits of composition are still carrying over into the practice of writing. According to Kamitani Kaoru , an examination of tEE>2 Heian period kana literature shows a gradual shift from yomu to iu and then to kaku as general verb for noting the act of composition. The Kokinshu, for example, shows only six usages of the verb kaku, four of which are used for screen poems (byobu no uta); however, the verb yomu, whose range included the senses of "to intone" or "to compose aloud" of either one's own or another's composition, had also come to serve, according to Kamitani, as an unmarked verb for the general act of composition, including writing. Thatyomu might be used indifferently of either one's own waka, in the sense of "compose," or of one already composed, in the sense of "intone aloud" but already shading off into "read, " alerts us to the dangers of trying to impose restricted definitions on words much more fluid in their usages, and indicative of the still prevailing orality of the time. It has been argued, for example, that waka were more stable entities than monogatari. But it is perhaps rather the collection (shu) as construct that was relatively stable, while individual waka, until the Shinkokinshu period, remained protean in their variability, acquiring stability or fixity of form only within the bounds of a collection. At least, at the time of Sh6nagon's rewriting of the old waka, this appears to have been the case. For Kamitani Kaoru's discussion, see " Yomu uta kara iu uta kara kaku uta e" in Koza Heian bungaku ronkyu, ed. Heian Bungaku Ronkyuf (Kasama shob6, 1985), pp. 153-73. For a com-

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND POETIC

BORROWING

195

"Composed upon seeing a spray of cherry blossoms arranged in a vase in the chambers of the Somedono Empress [Meishi]. "28 Shonagon's delicate handling of the Kokinshu- poem is thus a delicious way of simultaneously complimenting the Empress and snubbing Korechika. In the examples cited above-the Genji allusion, the archaic song chanted by Korechika, and Shonagon's witty reworking of the Kokinshu-poem-the allusion draws on a moment in the poetic tradition to define a specific moment in the present. The poetic allusion also serves as a medium for engaging in richly nuanced dialogue with the audience, thus re-contextualizing old poems in the dynamics of a social setting. Poetry here is a heightened mode of social discourse, which depends upon the recognition of evoked archetypes. I would like to suggest, then, that the poems cited in the Ogishoof Kiyosuke and others examined earlier, as well as countless similar waka, were not purposeful borrowings in the manner of Teika's trope of honkadoribut rather fresh instantiations, momentary reexpressions, of poetic themes sanctioned by the tradition. By making such borrowings, the poet is signaling his or her participation in a poetic tradition, a tradition which sanctifies variable manifestations of an archetype. The variations, as in Shonagon's substitution of "kimi" for "hana," are not a mark of the poet's deviation from the tradition but rather the flicker across the surface of the poem of that moment of affective communion with the audience. In fact, the verbal texture of Kokinshuipoems, as will be shown below, are full of traces that mark the intrusion of audience presence in the poems. The alliance of poetry with political power, on the other hand, is nowhere more conspicuous than in the institution of the utaawase sponsored by the emperors from about the mid-ninth century on. In its earlier phases, the utaawase functioned as a discursive space in which the production of poetry and the display of political power were co-extensive. This was achieved by an elaborate ceremonial combining music, dance, splendid decor, and poetry in what may

parative view on similar issues in European medieval literature, see Zumthor, pp. 41-46; and pp. 115-21 on the fluid lexical field comprised by such terms as "to write" (ecrire) and "to compose" (composer). 28 Shinshaku 1.223.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

196

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

be characterized, somewhat anachronistically, as a multi-media event. Geared to the seasonal rhythms of the court calendar, with even minute details of dress rigorously prescribed, the utaawase artfully synchronized the rhythms of nature with the dictates of political power and the whims of fashion. A typical utaawase of this type was the Tentokuyonendairi utaawase held in 960 under the sponsorship of the emperor WUIE MAf Murakami.29 For this event the selection of poets and topics appears to have been made one month in advance, and the poems were recited aloud to melodies before the sponsoring emperor Murakami. The Left's poem was recited first and as always won the first round-this because the Left was politically the more prestigious position. Equally significant was the custom of excluding the actual composers of the poems (utayomi JIMA) from participation in the event. Instead, they were represented by surrogates known as kataudo)YA (more literally, allies) who recited the poems for them. The names of the utayomiwere also kept secret. In this way, as the poems were being chanted aloud, sometimes up to three times, before the emperor, the voice of the poet became the anonymous voice of the tradition itself. Finally, after a purely formal critical exchange by the opposing kataudo, an authoritative judgment was rendered by the officiating judge, usually a member of the Fujiwara political faction. So little did the critical standards depend upon the person of the judge-and we must remember that in the later utaawase of the Shinkokinshuperiod, the qualifications of the judge were a point of contention-that the emperor Uda himself once had to substitute on the spot when the appointed judge Fujiwara no Tadafusa failed to appear. The dilemma of the poet-scholars such as Fujiwara no Kiyosuke and Minamoto no Toshiyori is now more readily explainable. Like the Alexandrian poets of the classical world, who openly avowed a spirit of aemulatio, the poets of the latter half of the Heian period had inherited a self-consuming universe of traditional poetic discourse that was slowly being displaced from the social-political realities that had sanctioned it. As the centripetal pull of the court
29 Discussed by Minegishi Yoshiaki in Wakabungaku kozadaisanken: Il,jkf kadan,utaawase, renga,ed. Hisamatsu Sen'ichi and Waka Bungakkai (Ofuisha, 1969), pp. 241-67.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND POETIC

BORROWING

197

weakened, poetry as an institution was beginning to disperse to the smaller circles of professional poets, away from the custody of poets more strictly in the service of the court. The poetry contest, for example, from about the period of the cloistered emperors on (inseiki R&iM), begins to lose much of its splendor until by the Shinkokinshut period it has transformed itself quite literally into a textual practice. The famous poetry contest in Fifteen Hundred Rounds (Sengohyakuban utaawase fiEXk) took place entirely on paper, and the poems, moreover, were submitted in sequences of one hundred poems, or hyakushuuta Ek, a purely textual form of poetic composition. The poetic treatises (karon), which began to flourish only in the late eleventh century, are perhaps the most conspicuous example of the increasingly professional nature of poetic circles and the textual poetics that they fostered. The actual composers of the waka, the poets, had been excluded from participation in the imperially sponsored poetry matches, but from the the period of the cloistered emperors on not only are they admitted but they tend more and more to create the critical standards for judging the poems.
TEXT, VOICE, AND TRADITION

The deepening textuality from the mid-Heian period on must be understood as the gradual acquisition, among a small number of poet-scholars and their followers, of a textual practice of poetic discourse distinct from, but not entirely supplanting, a more generalized mode of poetic discourse rooted in a still prevailing secondary orality. The question is not merely whether a poem originated as written artifact or was first extemporized aloud before a listening audience or a sole auditor. Many of the Kokinshupoems were undoubtedly conceived as written poems, to which their highly wrought surface figuration bears witness. The question concerns rather the dominant mode of reception and the degree to which composers had access to a fixed body of written discourse and then assumed that kind of textual mastery of the tradition in the reception of their poems. In discussing textual practices in twelfth-century European literature, the French medievalist Paul Zumthor writes: "On the whole, in medieval civilization, writing thus appears as one of those institutions where a community could indeed recognize itself, but

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

198

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

where it could not, in the full sense of the term, communicate. "30In this regard, the early form of the utaawase that was discussed above might as well be understood, on one level, as a discursive space for the publication of waka, to which the poems' subsequent incorporation in imperial collections (chokusenshui O4tk) was a parallel yet distinct textual form, with equally distinct conventions of reception.31 It was Teika who embodied to a superlative degree these developments which derive from the poetic tradition's proliferating textuality. In addition to being a master poet, he was a scrupulous textual scholar-he even ran a scriptorium-whose holograph manuscripts (or those descended from them) of such works as the Genji monogatari and Ise monogatariare even today considered by Japanese scholars among the most reliable of those extant. Teika was indeed deeply committed to the concept of the text as a stable, fixed entity. He was also the greatest master of that flourishing written poetic form, the hundred-poem sequence. This acerbic, aloof, and perfectionist professional poet-bitter at having once been excluded from an imperially sponsored poetry match-stands in stark contrast to that exemplar of the old, waning aristocratic tradition, the retired emperor Gotoba &,Wfl (1180-1239), who criticized Teika harshly in his Gokuden 0ntfj (The Secret Treatise) .32 The Shinkokinshui, eighth of the imperially sanctioned collections, stands as the consummate embodiment of these new textual practices. Not only does it reveal a complex horizontal progression like its poetic ancestor the Kokinshui,but it also conceals a vertical depth reaching back or down into the intertextual space of the tradition, an intertextual space which it in fact generates out of its own textual practices. The Shinkokinshui,then, not only displays a new poetic, but as Kazamaki Keijiro has shown,33 it structures and reinterprets,
Zumthor, La lettre et la voix, p. 123. See Konishi Jin'ichi's well known essay, "Association and Progression: Principles of Integration in Anthology Sequences of Japanese Court Poetry," trans. Robert H. Brower
31 30

and Earl Miner, HJAS 21 (1958): 67-127.


32 Gotoba, among other things, was critical of Teika's practice of troping on the themes (kokoro) of waka from the Genji and other monogatari, and appears to have had a temperamental aversion to Teika's recondite approach to the art of waka composition. See "Ex-Emperor Go-Toba's Secret Teachings: Go-Toba no In Gokuden," trans. Robert H. Brower, HJAS 32 (1972): 5-70. 33 Kazamaki Keijiro Jilt >&A, "Shinkokinteki naru mono no han'i," in Iwanami koza nihon koten bungaku, vol. 8 (Iwanami shoten, 1932), pp. 1-50.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND POETIC

BORROWING

199

in a totalizing gesture, the poetic styles of the entire tradition that preceded it. In his study, for example, Kazamaki established that the editors held definite criteria regarding styles of previous waka that resulted in a clear demarcation between the first four imperial collections and the second group of four culminating in the This division of styles is clearly revealed in the seShinkokinshu.34 quences, which tend to group together poems from the earlier periods and then contrast them with poems from the latter periods. Most remarkable, however, as Kazamaki notes, is how in choosing their poems from the earlier periods the editors tended to select poems that were different from the standard and most characteristic may be period.35 In this way, the Shinkokinshut poems of the Kokinshui read as one monumental troping of the earlier poetic tradition, a massive amplification of what poets like Teika were achieving by troping single poems through their use of honkadori. Discussion of these differentia of style as well as the textual stratecan be approached through the examination gies of the Shinkokinshui of two waka, one by Fujiwara no Yoshitsune NYVAR (1169-1206) from the Shinkokinshuand the other a Kokinshu-style poem from the Shuiishut by Mibu no Tadamine ?FI,'X (fl. 898-920), which is the base poem (honka *-Slt) for Yoshitsune's. First, the Shinkokinshui poem: Miyoshino wa yama mo kasumite shirayuki no furinishi sato ni haru wa kinikeri To lovely Yoshino where haze veils even the hills, to this ancient village where snow lies deep, spring has come!"

SKKS 1:1
As the opening poem in the first spring scroll this poem sounds an appropriately bright note by evoking the spring haze, which conventionally heralds the arrival of spring. As the opening poem of the collection it also sets the tone for the collection and acquires significance in relation to the entire tradition that preceded it.37 It is
Ibid., p. 23. Ibid., p. 27. 36 Kubota Shinkokinwakashui zenhy5shaku, 9 vols. (Kodansha, 1976-77), Jun XgffWI, 1:113. Hereafter all translations of Shinkokinshuiwaka will be based on this edition. 37 For an excellent discussion of this point and waka contextuality, See Fujihira Haruo 0
34

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

200

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

not surprising, therefore, that the earlier poem upon which it is based is precisely the opening poem of the third imperial collection, the last of the Sandaishui t- , the three imperial collecthe Shu-ishui, tions to which the Shinkokinshut looks back. Moreover, the composer of the Shu-ishupoem, Tadamine, belongs to the select group of literati who edited the first imperial collection, the Kokinshu, and he has therefore an important link with the founding of the tradition. But not only by its position in the collection is the poem full of implicit references to the tradition, its language also echoes, in addition to the honka, Kokinshut waka 325 and 327, which helped to establish the association between Yoshino and deep winter snow. This emphasis is brilliantly conveyed by the use the particles wa and mo, which have the effect of foregrounding Yoshino and its hills. By an equally deft use of the pivot-word (kakekotoba 01-F)furinishi, which combines the senses of "old" and "fall," the poem also activates another layer of associations in the place-name Yoshino, the ruinous site of the former capital and here a poetic marker for passing time. This handling of the pivot word, curiously functioning on one level as an engo (associated word) to Yoshino, also makes the snow image into a 0 figuration of time, which becomes one more echo of the poem's matrix-tradition.38 This one poem, then, which activates so much of the poetic tradition in absentia is exquisitely fitted to stand as the opening poem of the entire collection. While it is generally considered an example of the sublime style (taketakakiyo-A 2i) appropriate for a poem opening an imperial collection, an Edo poet-scholar, Hirama Nagamasa TriA (1663-1710), criticized it: "The phrasefurinishi is rigorously prohibited in an opening poem. Mentioning the ruins of the former capital [in one's poem] and then presenting it to the Emperor is not only infelicitous but inauspicious as well. "39 Hiramasa is invok-

"Shinkokin no h6h6," in Shinkokinwakashu, ed. Nihon bungaku kenkyui shiry6 t;, kankokai (Yu-seid6, 1981), pp. 179-87. 38 See Michael Riffaterre, Semiotics of Poetry (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1978, 1984), pp. 14-21. The contextual nature of waka makes its matrix into a transformableghost. Here the matrix "tradition," which did not belong to the original poem, is constituted by the poem's recontextualization. 39 Cited in Kubota, Shinkokinwakashui 1:114.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND POETIC

BORROWING

201

ing what has been called the distinction between formal and informal styles of waka, a distinction which continued to be observed by the conservative waka poets at court right through his own lifetime. Yet at the same time he manifests a conspicuous historical amnesia, which has a strong bearing not only on the kinds of mutation in the poetic discourse I have been examining but also on the transformation and creation of aesthetic terms. In Yoshitsune's poem, for example, Yoshino is an obvious metonymy for the imperial power and, in a broader sense, for the entire culture of the imperial court. that Only a generation before the publication of the Shinkokinshucourt culture had been devastated by wars and was passing from the domain of fact to a subliminal realm of poetic nostalgia. Yoshiretsune's waka, placed as it is at the opening of the Shinkokinshui, enacts this transformation of what had once been a poetic discourse rooted in the realities of imperial power into a figural reflection on itself. Aesthetic terms like taketakashi(sublime, lofty), yu7' (elegant, refined, excellence), en (connoting a charm with sensuous and physical overtones), which had once been used of poetry and other activities of the court culture, had their origin in the facticity of imperial power and thus belong to the kind of cultural discourse that was embodied in the early poetry contest and the kind of poetry exchanges, examined above, that occurred on that sunny spring day before the cherry blossoms between Sei Sh6nagon and the empress Teishi. Hiramasa's strictures, like the range of aesthetic terms that they implicitly evoke, are a demand for just such a poetry of presence, the dynamics of which might be likened to a dialogue via waka between the composer and audience, whose articulations and contours are defined by pressures within the shared poetic tradition. In the case of Yoshitsune's poem, however, and the tradition inaugurated by the the dialogue had modulated to one between the comShinkokinshuk, poser and the poetic tradition itself. Installed in place of the audience, whose affectivity had rippled across the surface of the earlier poems, is a realm of absence, longing, and nostalgia: the emergent aesthetic of yu-genM.40
4 The one characteristic of yiigenthat may be defined is its ineffability. In a sense, almost anything can be inscribed in this void opened up by the disappearance of the realia of court culture. If yiugen is an aesthetics of absence, of which one of the hidden centers might be a cloistered and disempowered court, it invites appropriation by just about anyone; even, for

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

202

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

I now turn to the honkafor Yoshitsune's poem, whose rhetoric belongs to the poetic of the now vanished Heian court: Haru tatsu to iu bakari ni ya miyoshino no yama mo kasumite kesa wa miyuramu Is it merely because we say "Spring arrives" that lovely Yoshino's hills appear hazed over this morning?4

1:1 Shu7ishu7
Though a Kokinshuperiod poem, Tadamine's waka is not especially rich in the kinds of rhetorical embellishment-engo, jo, kakekotoba characteristic of that style at its most highly wrought. But it is characteristic in what is perhaps most fundamental to the Kokinshui style-its rather generous sprinkling of emotive language, here the speculative particle ya and the verbal suffix ramu. The widespread use of this sector of the classical vocabulary, technically denoted by the grammatical termji , has led some scholars to characterize the Kokinshuias "subjective" in tone. According to one scholar, this subjectivity was the consequence of the increasing formalization of waka composition and its reliance on an inflexible traditional language that gave small scope to the expressive capacities of individual composers.42 In other words, it was as if the repressed subjectivity of the composer were forcing its way into this unyielding form by means of these small invasive morphemes. While some such tension or equilibrium of forces may have contributed to this development, it would still be hard to account for the striking decrease in such language at the time of the Shinkokinshui,when formalization was brought to a pitch that far exceeded anything during the Kokinshuperiod.
example, by the lowly and marginalized country performers who inhabited the sanjo WM (outcast villages) and eventually established no at the Sh6gunal court, after having legitimized their obscure origins with an exalted lineage going back to the sun-goddess. The subsequent merging ofyiugen aesthetics with buddhistic metaphysics would be its absorption into a larger discursive space. Onyuigen and its connections with buddhist thought, see Donald Keene, No and Bunraku: Two Forms ofJapanese Theatre (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990), p. 36. On the origins of no and outcast performers, as well as a useful bibliography, see Benito Ortolani, The Japanese Theatre: From Shamanistic Ritual to Contemporary Pluralism (Leiden, E.J. Brill, 1990), pp. 54-61; and 78-81. 41 Cited in Kubota, Shinkokinwakashiu1:114. 42 See Kamitani, Koza Heian bungaku ronkyiu,p. 158.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND POETIC

BORROWING

203

It is more likely, I believe, that the excessive use of such particles and verbal inflections, along with the syntactical structure called kakari musubi, are the literal traces in the poems of audience presence.43 It was through such language that the court poets invited one another to share in their exquisite discriminations of sense; exhibiting doubt, surprise, conjecture, and other shades of emotion which, through repeated use, had become poetic markers of sensibility. While such a poetic was no doubt originally grounded in the kinds of social realities that had continued to be exemplified by that Shonagon's salon, it was the earlier publication of the Kokinshut first institutionalized such stylistic features. Afterwards, they were absorbed into that more generalized poetic function of language, the self-referential function of linguistic signs.44 Subjectivity, though such a word hardly captures the kind of two-way emotional animation that marks such poems, had become above all a mark of poeticity, and such was the mood of exquisite perception that Tadamine was signalling in his waka. It was to such a poetic, I believe, that Teika was alluding in his discussion of Tsurayuki's style in the Kindaishaika If V:
In the past, Tsurayuki cherished a style in which a poem's themes (kokoro)were ingeniously developed, its tone exalted (take oyobigataku), its words strong (kotoba tsuyoku), and its overall shape conspicuous (sugata omoshirokisama); he did not compose in the style of overtones and ethereal beauty (yojoyoen).45

While couched in terms of praise, Teika seems to be implicitly critical of Tsurayuki's style, and by extension of the Kokinshu style in general. This can be readily illustrated by several of those Kokinshui waka that employed the syntactical structure known as kakari musubi, touched on above. By this device poets were able to end their from the piwaka by giving a resonant emotional closure-ranging quant to the plangent-to the perception of an illusory effect in nature or a psychological paradox: Kamunabi no mimuro no yama wo When in autumn I come to Mt. Mimuro

43 In this regard, see Mark Morris's interesting observations on "phatic" usages of waka in "Waka and Form, Waka and History," HJAS 46:2 (1986): 554. 44 Roman Jakobson, Selected Writings III: Poetry of Grammarand Grammarof Poetry, ed. with a preface by Stephen Rudy (The Hague: Mouton & Co., 1971), p. 42 and passim. 45

NKBZ 50.469.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

204

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

aki yukeba nisiki tatikiru kokoti koso sure KKS 5:296 Aki no yama momidi wo nusa to tamukureba sumu ware saFe zo tabi kokoti sure KKS 5:299

sacred to the god I feel as if I wear a dress of brocade! Mibu no Tadamine When I make offerings of scarlet maple leaves from the autumn mountains even I who dwell at home feel like a traveler!46 Ki no Tsurayuki

Poems such as these, too numerous to count, were later condemned by Teika when he placed kokochikoso sure and the similar mono ni zo arikeru in his list of forbidden expressions (sei no kotoba 1Joi). In such critical strictures, then, we hear Teika's temperamental aversion, the aversion of a strict textualist, towards the older, more oral poetics of the court that continued to be practiced in his own day as his poetry judgments attest.47 Of course the dynamics of this Heian court poetic are not easily captured by any one single term, be it oral or other. Poems were viewed by an audience as well as heard, and though we now read them starkly laid out on the white pages of printed editions, they betray in their highly wrought surface figuration a language so highly pitched in its self-referentiality that it appears to be calling attention to itself as if soliciting admiration. This is most conspicuous when we contrast the Kokinshuzpoets' manner of using engo and kakekotoba,which are deployed horizontally along the poetic line, even as the poems progress horizontally in the collection as a whole, with the usage of the Shinkokinshu/ poets, Teika among them, who in keeping with their fondness for depth generated by their textual poetics, sought new effects by deploying them on a vertical axis, relying on their power to associate metonymically and thereby
46 Offerings of nusawere customarily made before undertaking a journey. The wit lies in the substitution of leaves for the nusa. utaawase,ban 840) 4 In a judgment, Teika criticizes one of his own waka (Sengohyakuban as being weak, adding that its "technique would have been pardonable in a nyobo's poem." FujiwaraTeika, p. 202. Cited in Ronshui:

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND POETIC

BORROWING

205

generate meaning from below the surface of the poem. The followand the second Teika's faing examples, the first from the Kokinshut mous poem on Uji no hashihime, followed by its honka, will illustrate: Oto ni nomi kiku no sira tuyu yoru Fa okite Firu Fa omoFi ni aFezu kenubesi KKS 11:470 Rumors alone do I hear white dew on chrysanthemums at night settling as I lie awake at noon burning away with desires unbearable, faded away The Priest Sosei Wt?fif How cold! waiting out the autumn's weary night deepening as the wind blows she spreads out the moon's light the Princess of Uji Bridge Teika On the cold mat spreading out her gown, this night too will she wait for methe Princess of Uji Bridge?

Samushiro ya matsu yo no aki no kaze fukete tsuki wo katashiku uji no hashihime SKKS 4:420 Samushiro ni koromo katashiki koyoi mo ya ware wo matsuramu uji no hashihime KKS 4:684

It is not difficult to imagine the accumulation of engo and kakekotoba in Sosei's waka as generated by a sudden craze at court for the newfangled (imamekashi) kana syllabary. With the lovely tactile qualities of its sensuous imagery, it fairly dances before the eyes of the reader as it conjoins a coercive court aesthetic with a fashionable e'criture. Teika, on the other hand, has succeeded in thickening the poetic mood of the earlier waka on the topic of love by deploying the engoin such a fashion that virtually every word quietly calls up an echo of another in the poem. In the surface figuration of Teika's poem, the engo may be diagrammed as follows:

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

206

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

samushiro (mat) > matsu (wait) > aki (weary) samushiro (cold) > yo (night) > fukete (deepen) The word "fukete, " of course, also carries the sense of "to blow" of the wind. But the fourth ku reveals a hidden chain of engo. These function suggestively, implying what was explicit in the original poem, and activate, in a delayed fashion, the full poetic power of the first row of engolisted above, producing a classic example of the style of "overtones and ethereal beauty (yojyo-en ; i '48 Yoshitsune's waka, then, and others in the Shinkokinshuz style present a calm surface in dialogue with the submerged tradition, undeflected, as was the earlier poetry, by the presence of the audience. Teika's description, recorded in the renga poet Shinkei's CA Sasamegoto ff,` of how his father Fujiwara no Shunzei Sl&AQ composed waka is most illuminating in this regard:
The way my late father approached the composition of poetry is what brought about such truly superior verse. Late at night, with the oil lamp turned down to the barest glimmer, he would cloak himself in a worn court robe, and pull an old court headdress down about his ears. Leaning on an armrest and drawn close to his paulownia-wood brazier for warmth, he would recite his verses in a low voice. Far into the night, while all the household slept, he would remain huddled there weeping softly to himself. How admirable a picture he presented then, so utterly engrossed in his art!49

48 In his discussion of this poem, Amagasaki renders the hidden chain thus: the moonlight (tsuki) lodges (yadoru) in the tear-bedewed (tsuyu noyona namida) sleeves (sode) that are spread out (katashiku) by the pining lover (Nihon no retorikku, pp. 173-75). While Teika's fourth ku, "'spreading out the moonlight," reads like a catachresis at first sight, once the hidden chain of engo are revealed, as in the paraphrase above, it reads more like an example of what John Hollander has called "metalepsis", in which "there will be one or more unstated middle terms which are leapt over, or alluded to, by the figure. " Hollander describes the trope as one of diachrony, because of its revisionary power-i.e., it rewrites precursor poets' metaphors-, but the systemic coherence of engo appears more as a synchronic feature: rather than absorption or disruption of previous figuration, classical Japanese poetics tends to preserve the full, orchestrated amplitude of all previous figurations, while drawing them into ever new contiguous patterns of sense or reconfigurations. Honkadori, which is one more elaboration of such a poetics, is probably as close to a true "transumptive" figure (which it almost literally translates) as one can get in classical poetics, though it differs strikingly from the Miltonic figure discussed by Hollander and characteristic of English romantic poetry. For the citation above, see John Hollander, The Figure of Echo, p. 114. 4 Translated by Clifton Wilson Royston in "The Poetics and Poetry Criticism of Fujiwara Shunzei" (Ph.D. diss., University of Michigan, 1974), p. 13. For the original, see NKT 5.295.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND POETIC

BORROWING

207

Though this story may be apocryphal, as some scholars have argued, the medieval imagination has perhaps succeeded where a more factual account would have failed. For the scene evoked here with such imagistic force eloquently expresses that shift from the public, daylight world of the earlier Heian period to the private, inward world, with its affinity for the night, that characterizes not only much of Shunzei's but much of the Shinkokinshut poetry in general. If the poetry of the Kokinshut seems to have been composed before an audience of admiring eyes and discerning ears, the poetry of the Shinkokinshui seems a literal instance of lucubration-intimate with the night and late burning lamp. From the allusive quotation and the kinds of waka exemplified by Shonagon's rewriting of the old waka, in both of which meaning grew out of a complex play between composer and audience, through the kinds of formulaic waka cited as examples of borrowing by Kiyosuke and other late-Heian poet-scholars and found extensively in many of the earlier imperial anthologies which had monumentalized this poetic into a "classic" style, the poetic tradition remained an informing background to a full and vital present. The Shinkokinshut poets, on the other hand, turned back towards the tradition and brought about a restructuring of waka poetics, whose most characteristic mark, as will be shown, was the trope of honkadori.Teika and other poets did not merely affirm their dependence on a tradition, but conversed with it, reshaped, and absorbed it into new poetic configurations that were as self-referential in relation to the whole of the tradition as the earlier waka had been in the witty, playful, surface figuration within single poems.

TEIKA'S

POETIC PRACTICE

In the poetry of the Kokinshut period, what appeared at first glance to be borrowings from or variations upon earlier poems were more likely, at the time, to have been felt as fresh instantiations of fixed poetic themes, producing for the audience that heard them a rich diapason of tonal echoing. Re-contextualized by the social setting or occasion, the poem was an instant of poetic fullness drawing vigor and power from the age-old tradition, "old yet sounding strangel.y new" as Genji's courtiers put it. By the mid-point of the eleventh

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

208

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

century, the same tradition had begun to resonate like a hollow chamber, and the poets of the time, like Echo in Ovid's myth, had lost the power of originating discourse. It was Teika who finally succeeded, somewhat paradoxically, in finding them an originating voice in the very pretexts of the tradition itself. He did this by turning the systemic repetitiveness of the inherited poetic discourse against itself through a new poetics of borrowing, whereby he exploited the tonal richness of the tradition by drawing into new poems the accumulated echoes of specific previously configured poems. It is of course well known that a remarkable change occurred in Teika's style from about the period of Bunji Z:if (1185) that was eventually to call forth such opprobrium from his critics as the term daruma uta iRt." The change initiated a period of intense experimentation for Teika during which time he broke with the smooth, flowing style of his father Shunzei and attempted to reshape the waka line by the use of inversion, ellipsis, abrupt syntactical breaks, and experiments with assonance and consonantal patterning. At this early stage of experimentation, Teika also seems to have been determined to inject new life into the etiolated court diction by straining the semantic boundaries of words already more or less fixed in their associations. To illustrate this style, I would like to examine the following poem from the one-hundred poem sequence submitted by Teika for the Roppyakubanutaawase: Sue d6ki wakaba no shibafu uchinabiki hibari naku no no haru no yu-gure Shuiiguso808 Wide-stretching the meadow of young grass wavers faintly; in the spring dusk a skylark trills in the fields"

Teika achieves his effects here by combining semantic boldness with a subtly modulated pattern of assonance. In estimating the effects of
50 Ishida Yoshisada i Shinkokin sekai to chuiseibungaku, 2 vols. (Kitazawa t6sh6, 1972), pp. 119-20. 5' KubotaJun, Yakuchiu Fujiwara no Teika zenshu7,2 vols. (Kawade shob6 shinsha, 1985-86), 1:123. Cited in Ishida, Sekai, p. 122.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND POETIC

BORROWING

209

sound patterns in poetry, distribution as well as frequency are the key indices, and this is especially so in a minimal form such as waka.52 Four interrelated sound patterns are revealed in this waka: 1) the infrequency of e sounds (2 out of 31) combined with the maximum use of a (8 out of 31); 2) the signifying power-that is its elevation to a mark of specific poeticity-53 conferred upon this a sound by its concentration (4) in the second ku; 3) the concentration of i sounds in uchinabikihibari; and 4) the alternation of u sounds with the sudden accumulation of no particles in the last two lines, culminating in the almost formulaic ending (haru noyutgure)of the final ku, which concludes the waka on a full, plangent note, with the vowel harmony of these last two lines crossing over beautifully with the a assonances discussed earlier. The combined effect of these sound patterns, moreover, converges on the semantically deviant yet evocative uchinabiki, the heart of Teika's poem but which elicited the following judgment from Shunzei: "To what does the grass waver? (shibafu wa nani ni nabiku)"54In poetic usage, nabiki generally has the senses of "to trail" (of smoke), "to stream" (e.g., of willow branches), "to nod" (of flowers on their stalks), and, figuratively, "to incline" or "to yield" (in the vocabulary of love).55 By this collocation of the familiar with the unfamiliar, Teika has brought about a fresh extension of meaning. The word shibafu itself, moreover, qualifies as a semantic oddity, since its usage is rare in the diction of court poetry. "
52 For a detailed discussion of Teika's experiments with sound see Akahane Shuku ,5, l,B (Ofuisha, 1985), pp. 259-335. In relating these patterns of sound to Fujiwarano Teikano kafui the sense of the words, I am not attempting to establish a correspondence between certain sounds and sense equivalents, although this is a practice sanctioned of old by poets, but I aim rather to bring out the abstract sound pattern that unites all the words in differing degrees of connectedness. 53 See Roman Jakobson's discussion of the "figure of sound" in "Linguistics and Poetics," Selected Writings, pp. 19-51. See especially that part of his discussion (pp. 42-43) where he states: "Words similar in sound are drawn together in meaning." kokka 54 Cited in Ishida, Sekai,p. 122. For the full text of this judgment, see Shinpen taikan utaawase hen, ed. Shinpen Kokka Taikan (Kadokawa shoten, 1987), p. 275. daigoken: 55 It is also possible, and I think probable, that Teika was trying to restore an earlier Man'yoshu is a pillow-word for spring (haru)and grass (kusa), suggestusage where utinabiku ing the bending or waving of luxuriant foliage. See MYS 8:1422; and 8:1428. Shunzei's judgment would then indicate either ignorance or rejection of such bold usage. 56 The only other usage for the word shibafu, in classical waka, that I have succeeded in trac-

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

210

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

Returning to the sound patterns, the paronomastic echoing of uchinabiki and naku and the late and final a of haru in the last ku set up a subtle parallelism or identification between the wavering meadow of grass, the bird crying, and the spring, which is further reinforced by the i assonances shared between uchinabiki and hibari. These sound effects together with the final e ofyu-gure,with its distant echo of sue in the first ku, unite in a single poetic configuration the senses of distance, dusk, the insubstantial, almost dreamy, wavering of the field of grass, and the skylark heard but unseen who fills the spring air with its song. And yet this minor masterpiece, along with many other poems presented by Teika for this utaawase, elicited generally negative judgments.57 Why? Teika in this and other poems has departed from the conventional treatment of the topic (dai ).58 For the skylark (hibari) it was its soaring flight that had come to constitute the essence (hon'i *U) of this particular topic, and it is probably to this as much as anything else that Shunzei is objecting. In this first stage of experimentation, therefore, Teika is chafing against the conventions of dai composition, which were encouraging poets to produce what he felt were trite, insipid reechoings of earlier poems. It was an impulse towards creative renewal not unlike the misdirected aemulatioof the poet-scholars mentioned earlier. One of his first solutions for overcoming the inertia of the tradition, therefore, was to deflect the traditional words of poetry into new regions of sense, thereby pushing the waka beyond the bounds proscribed by the established dai. But Teika must have soon realized that this was a dead end, for a few years later he began a remarkable new phase of experimentation that showed a striking increase in his use of honkadori. Whereas only two out of the fifty seasonal poems presented for the Roppyakuban utaawase (1193) are ascertainable honkadori,that number swells to twenty-two out of fifty for the Shoji ninen-in onhyakushu EM *R-MM of 1200.'9
1:111, the collection immediately ing is in a waka by Minamoto Kunizane found in Senzaishii preceding the Shinkokinshui. 5 Ishida, Sekai, pp. 122-25. 58 The dai, as they became more and more formalized, emerged as the gradual abstraction that had been more or less immanent in the tradition. of the themes (kokoro) 5 Ishida, Sekai, p. 136.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND POETIC

BORROWING

211

The reasons for Teika's adoption of honkadoriat this stage of his career are of course manifold and subject to various interpretations. Above I proposed a structural hypothesis that argues for a shift in the triadic configuration of composer/audience/tradition, suggesting as one major cause the proliferation of a textual universe of discourse that was subtly undermining what had once been a more dominantly oral poetic tradition undergirded by its affiliations to the imperial power. This shift, which brings into sharper focus the contrast between the older and new utaawase, can be discerned in the tE Minasedono koij'goshu utaawase Ai Atheld at Gotoba's detached palace on the thirteenth night of the Ninth Month in the second year of Kennin fi (1202). Less grand than the Roppyakuban or Sengohyakuban utaawase, it is nonetheless of crucial importance for understanding developments at this stage of medieval literary histo-

ry.60
KubotaJun lists a number of factors that confer a special importance upon this utaawase: first, less than a year later, the order was issued to prepare what was to become the eighth imperial collection, the Shinkokinshut; second, the participants (minus Jakuren who had already died) formed the inner circle of the Shinkokinshiipoets; third, fifteen of its poems were selected for inclusion in the Shinkokinshui; and, finally, its judgments established important critical standards.61The contest thus serves as a microcosm for viewing the forces that were helping to shape the new poetry of which Teika was the greatest exemplar. For the present, I wish to focus on the interplay between the ever evolving body of textual discourse and the still very much vital orality of the time, which the utaawase continued to support. First, one may note that the dai, as was increasingly common, were handed out several weeks in advance (kendai 59), which gave the participants ample time to polish their poems. At the same time, the style of the poems, including Teika's, as Kubota Jun points out,62 are very much in the mellifluous, cadenced style of the Kokinshul tradition:
60

My discussion of this utaawase is based on Kubota Jun's essay "Utaawase sekai to h6h6 Ibid., 37. Ibid., 40.

ishiki," Kokubungaku: kaishaku to kansho 39:4 (1974): 37-54.


61 62

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

212

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

Shinobi amari naku ya samidare no amagumo no yoso nite nomi ya yama hototogisu Hototogisu sora ni tsutae yo koiwabite naku ya samidare no ayame wakazu to

Longing excessively do you weep mountain cuckoo so far off among the fifth month rain-clouds? Fujiwara no Ariie Hototogisu, convey this message through the heavens: Dying for love I weep oblivious of the fifth month rains. Teika63

The accumulation of conjunctive particles at phrasal boundaries in Ariie's waka and their deft placement in Teika's disclose that aural pleasure in the poetic line that has definite links with the older poetry. On the other hand, the sources of the foundation poems for the waka at this utaawase reveal a dependence on three worlds of discourse: the Kokinshui,the Shiuishui, and the Ise monogatari.64 For the latter, one of the dan most alluded to was the ninth, which became a source for the travel topos in much classical poetry. In this regard, it is highly revealing that the poets of this time (with the exception of Saigyo who was already dead) were rather sedentary and seldom ventured beyond the capital and its nearby environs. Yet one of the distinctive features of the Shinkokinshut is the relative increase, compared to earlier collections, in the number of travel poems (kiryono uta), in which poets, under the guise of fictional personae, wander freely about in an imagined space created out of snatches and fragments of old stories and poems. The travel topos can be read on one level, then, as a figuration writ large for the poets' crossings over into the new discursive space of the tradition. In the same spirit is Teika's famous remark on Narihira: "When
63 In Teika's waka, the word "ayame" can mean "'iris," a flower traditionally associated with the fifth month, or "discrimination," "distinction." 64 Kubota, Kaishaku,42.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND POETIC

BORROWING

213

composing a love poem, abandon your ordinary self and, imagining how Narihira would have behaved, compose your poem as if you were Narihira. "" The attitude expressed here contrasts strikingly with Genji's allusion to Narihira's poem discussed earlier and to the use of traditional poetic themes by Sei Shonagon and Korechika. In those instances, the poetry of the past impinged on the real world with the pressure of its defining archetypes; while here it is a remote imaginary world entered into with an almost religious devotion, for which the ritual had come to be embodied in the utaawase that changed from being a celebratory occasion for poetry-making that rehearsed the imperial power to a poetic occasion commemorating its absence. Away from poetry contests such as the above, the world could be a bleak place indeed, as the following miscellaneous waka (zoka *tk) of Gotoba attests: Omoubeshi kudarihatetaru yo nare domo kami no chikai zo nao mo kuchisenu Gotoba-ingyoshui300 I must thinkthough the world has gone to wrack and ruin, at least the god's oath still holds firm.

For Gotoba, frustrated in his political ambitions, the practice of waka was a last preserve of efficacious, and ritual, communication with the gods, which may have been one reason why he appears to have contemned the airs of such professional poets as Teika:

"Ky6goku chunagon s6gobun" in Karonshuf, vol. 1, Chuisei no bungaku, ed. Hisamatsu Sen'ichi (Miyai shoten, 1971), p. 333. Cited by Kubota in Kaishaku,p. 39. On this point, Kint6's Shinsen zuin5 provides an interesting contrast. In discussing the relationship between heart (kokoro) and form (sugata),Kint6 says: "When they were unable to achieve congruence and sugata],the ancients frequently placed poetic pillows (uta makura) [of kokoro at the beginning (moto)of the poem and expressed their own feelings at the end (suwe). However, from the middle age(nakagoro), poets were not so insistent [on this practice], but ended up wrongly giving expression to their own feelings from the beginning of the poem (NKBT 65.26). " Unlike Teika's ideal, articulated above, of immersion in the poetic past purged of a contingent present, Kint6's poetic form still admits the play of present thought about the past archetypes enshrined in the epithetical utamakura. And while this apparently falls short of his ideal of perfect accord between kokoro and sugata,the latter when achieved, with its emphasis on what is or omoshiroi, mezurashi is oriented much more to a present moment.

65

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

214

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

Nightwind in the Shrine Precincts Waka no ura tamukuru yoha no kaze ni koso nao kono michi ni kami mo nabikame 1695 Gotoba-ingyoshuk To the nightwind at the Bay of Waka where I make offerings this nightand still more to this arteven the gods must bend.66

Along with the Kokinshut,Shuiishu,and Ise monogatari,the poets of the Shinkokinshualso annexed much of the Genji monogatarito this new discursive space. The increasing interest of the poets of this time in the fictional world of the Genji monogatarimay be attributed in part to Shunzei's emphasis on the study of this tale, along with Chinese poetry (kanshi MI, ), as a requisite aesthetic training in poetic culture and sensibility.67 It was Teika, however, and poets of his generation who seem to have discovered in the Genji monogataria precocious anticipation of their own experiments with intertextual troping of the kind exemplified by honkadori,and one may attribute this discovery, or more properly reinvention, of the Genji at least in part to Teika's shift from the more residually oral poetics of his father to the more textdependent creations of his experimental period.68 The following remarks of Shunzei regarding the primacy of the aural dimension in waka are illuminating:
66 Kubota, Kaishaku, 44. For both waka I have followed the text of Kubota in Kaishaku, although the Shinpen kokka version of the first poem differs slightly. The first is from Kennin ganl nensangatsu on hyakushu f T90W'Y; and the second from Dojitsukamono A naiguz W- TM yashiroutaawase The Bay of Waka had come to be associated, by the end of PM H Va,tS#;. the Heian period, with the art of waka, especially with the activities of Gotoba's Bureau set up for editing the Shinkokinshuz. The wind in Gotoba's waka can be read as a figure for poetic inspiration, as the following waka by Fujiwara Tsuneie attests: Ie no kaze / fukanu mi nare do / hito nami ni / waka no ura ni zo / tachimajirinuru (Though I am not one in whose house the wind of inspiration blows, among the ordinary crowd, even on the Bay of Waka, I have sculled among the smaller waves). 67 For Shunzei's interest in the Genji, see Royston, pp. 331-32. 68 For a fuller discussion on the interrelationshipbetween waka and prose and intertextualisee Haruo Shirane, TheBridgeof Dreams: ty in the Genjimonogatari, A Poeticsof "The Tale of Genji" (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1987), pp. 17-23; and 120-32.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND

POETIC

BORROWING

215

Poetry is not by any means composed only after the fashion of the painters in the Bureau of Painting (e no tokoro)who make use of every single one of the colors at their disposal, or that of the artisans in the Office of Palace Furnishings, who craft things in every conceivable manner of woodwork. But a poem should have an overall effect (sugata) that sounds both evocative (en) and appealing (okashi) whether it is simply recited or is formally intoned.69

While Shunzei is obviously discouraging over-elaborateness and artificiality in waka, it is a curious fact that in his choice of metaphor he chooses to contrast the predominantly aural effects of intoned waka, wherein he locates the source of its evocativeness (en), with an art that is preeminently spatial in its production of effects-paint-

ing.70
Teika, on the other hand, though he never completely abandoned the aur'al dimension of waka, leaned increasingly towards an elliptical, fragmentary style, more spatialized because of its textual grounding, whose full appreciation would have demanded repeated readings. But why did Teika change from the early experimental style that relied primarily on ellipsis, fragmentation, and complex sound effects to one increasingly dependent on honkadori?Teika must have come to realize that if the tradition were to be rescued from its fall into sterile formalism it would be better to capture and redirect forces from within the tradition, namely, the widespread yet random inclination to borrow, rather than to encourage the kind of semantic deflection that was discussed in the hibariwaka. The latter, if practiced too widely, would certainly have destroyed all the delicate harmonies and associations which time had stored up in the poetic diction. It was Teika's genius, then, to appropriate the widespread tendency to borrow from old poems, redirect it, define it, and raise it to the level of an exquisite art.

69 From "Minbuky6 no ie no utaawase" in Shinkogunsho ruizj, 9 (No. 189) (Naigai Shoseki K.K., 1930), p. 37. Translation by Royston, p. 333. 70 In this regard, one might also note how the sense of the word "en" had evolved from its original meaning denoting a physical sensuous beauty (spatially perceived) to its usage in Shunzei's poetics where it denotes a disembodied beauty expressible in sound. See Ishida Yoshisada, FujiwaraTeikano kenkyzu (Bungad6 shoten, 1957), p. 504.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

216

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

HONKADORI IN TEIKA'S POETIC TREATISES

In their discussions on borrowing from old poems, the earlier poet-scholars lacked, as we have seen, a specific metalanguage to describe the technique; they relied, instead, on terms like honbun (original phrase), nusumu (to steal), and manebiyomu(to imitate), which clearly reflected their reluctance to encourage, if not outright condemn, the practice. The first poet to look approvingly on the technique, and also to employ a vocabulary appropriate for describing it, was Fujiwara no Shunzei. At least by the third year of Shoan (1 73), he employed the now familiar term honkain a judgment (I Shunzei's for the Afiidera shiragi noyashiro utaawase # kf-t*.71 approach, however, was tentative (earlier in his career he had been more reluctant to approve of the technique) and based more on a
*

71 Ibid., p. 592. An even earlier usage of the term (mentioned by Tanaka in Ronshui: FujiwaraTeika,p. 195) is found in a poetry judgment of Minamoto no Tsunenobu on the following poem, on the topic "Hototogisu," from the second round of the Koyoindononanaban utaawase f held in the fourth year of Kanji Weri'i (1090): Hototogisu / kumoi haruka ni / nanoreba ya / asakura yama no / yoso ni kikuran (Hototogisu / if only you would call out your name / beyond the clouds' abode / I should hear you from afar / at Mt. Asakura. [Lord Tadafusa]). In his judgment, Tsunenobu says: "While the right's poem is a poem of deep feeling (kokorofukaki), both the upper half (kamino ku) and the lower half (shimonoku) are certainly [based] on previous poems (motono uta domohaberan kasht)." I have translated the phrase motono uta as "previous poems," because the plural suffix domoadds, in this particular instance, a note of vagueness to the expression, especially when compared to Teika's very precise usage of the term honka.Tsunenobu then cites the following poem: Asakura ya / ki no marodono ni / waga oreba / nanori wo shitsu[tsu / yuku wa taga ko zo] (As I sit in this hall of rough-hewn logs in Asakura, who is the lad that passes by calling out his name?). This poem, also extant in a kagura uta form which is identical except for the truncated fifth ku, is cited in both the Ogisho and Toshiyori zuinoand was later collected into the seventeenth scroll of the Shinkokinshu (17:1687). The poem evokes the Emperor Saimei's temporary residence at Asakura while on his western journey in Chikuzen, and is therefore a poem of longing and separation, very much in the mood of Tadafusa's waka. The other waka cited by Tsunenobu-not traceable-is even closer, both in language and mood, to the right's waka: Mukashi mishi / hito wo zo ima wa / yoso ni kiku / asakura yama no / kumoi haruka ni (Beloved whom I held tryst with long ago-now at last I hear you from afar, beyond the clouds' abode at Mt. Asakura). While it is difficult at best to draw conclusions from judgments at poetry contests, the similarity in words and themes between the Right's poem and the two "moto no uta," especially the latter, inclines me to place them among the formulaic type variations of the Kokinshui variety discussed above. The use of motono uta recorded in this text, which subsequently changed to the now familiar sinified reading honka,may here register the emergent poetic that would only fully crystalize in Teika's time. Text for the utaawase from kokka taikandaigoken: utaawase Shinpen hen, pp. 125-26.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND POETIC

BORROWING

217

subtle, intuitive sense than a set of clearly thought out rules.72 His extant judgments on honkadori-like poems show a concern with three distinct aspects of borrowing: 1) the positioning of borrowed phrases; 2) what sources to borrow from (here his main concern was to discourage borrowing from recent poets); 3) the importance of changing the topic of the poem from which one is borrowing. However, on the important points of quantity, i.e., number of phrases to be borrowed, and vagueness of borrowing, he is silent.74 These along with other technical problems would be taken up and elaborated by his son Teika in his three poetic treatises Kindaishl7ka (1209), Eiga taigai kV;kj (1216), and Maigetsusho IVJA4 (1219). In constructing his new poetics, Teika betrays an over-riding obsession with establishing boundaries: within the discourse at large, within the limits of single waka, and even within the boundaries of individual words, as when he quantifies, for example, the exact number of syllables (ji 4) that may be usefully borrowed without compromising the identity of the new poem. His aim throughout is to realize a universe of closed discourse in order to reign in the dispersion of signifiers that was making the creation of new poems a jejune exercise in poetic futility. Since Kindaishdka contains Teika's first complete statement on this technique, I have translated the whole of the relevant passage from that work and numbered the sentences in the order that they will be discussed below:
(1) If one venerates the old in words and aims for that which is new in the expression (kokoro)and, striving for an unattainably lofty poetic form (sugata), studies the poetry before Kanpy6, why should one not naturally compose fine poems? (2) Seizing upon the old [words] with prayerful longing and incorporating the words of old poems unchanged is, namely, what we call making it into a foundation poem. (3) Reflecting on this matter of foundation poems, it is thus: If one places unchanged [in the new poem] the second and third ku of the first three ku [of the original poem] and continues likewise with the two concluding ku, it will not sound like a new poem at all. (4) Depending on what kind of words make up the first two ku, it may be necessary to avoid using them. For example, there are phrases such as isonokami furuki miyako, hototogisu nakuya satsuki, hisakata no ama no kaguyama, and tamabokono

72

Ishida, Fujiwara no Teika kenkyuz, p. 595.

7
74

Ibid., pp. 593-94. Ibid., p. 593.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

218

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

michiyuki hito;75if these phrases were not used again and again, poems could not be made. (5) I have been taught, however, that one should not use phrases such as toshi no uchi ni haru wa kinikeri, sode hijite musubishi mizu, tsukiya aranu haru wa mukashi no, sakura chiru kono shita kaze.76 (6) Next, as for those who stand shoulder to shoulder with one in the present lifetime-for example, even though they are no longer alive, those whose poems have appeared only recently -I think one should at all costs avoid using even a single phrase that would be recognized as having been used by them."

(1) The first sentence unambiguously sets forth what is in effect the cornerstone of Teika's poetics: "If one venerates the old in words and aims for that which is new in the expression . . . (kotoba wafuruki wo shitagai, kokorowa atarashikiwo motome. . . ). " Here Teika pithily embodies the insights, born of his earlier experimentation, into the perils of tampering with the diction, whether it be the introduction of new words or a too free hand with the old. At the same time, he resolves the quandary of the earlier poet-scholars who had failed, despite their aemulatiowith the poets of the past, to overcome the tradition's inertia. Since this statement is crucial to Teika's poetics, I will anticipate my argument by quoting from his Eiga taigai an important amplification of the principle and follow it with an illustrative waka from Teika's personal poetry collection t the Shu-iguso 'y-:
Furthermore, give particular thought to this. It is pointless to repeat the expression of old poems by using the same words; [namely,] to compose a poem on cherry blossoms by alluding to [a poem on] cherry blossoms, or on the moon by alluding to [a poem on] the moon. [Instead,] take a poem on the seasons and compose a miscellaneous or a love poem; or take a miscellaneous or a love poem and compose a seasonal poem. This way one will not be criticized for taking an old poem.78
7 The translations for the utamakura and jo are: "the capital ancient as Isonokami" " the fifth month when the hototogisu sings," "Kagu mountain of the lofty heavens, " and "travelers along the road of jeweled posts." 76 Translations for the list of distinctive phrases are: "spring [the new year] has come before the year is out" (KKS 1:1); "the water that I soaked my sleeves gathering" (KKS 1:2); "the moon is changed and the spring of old" (KKS 15:747); and "the wind blowing beneath the tree where blossom scatters" (Shu-ishiu1:64). 7 NKBZ 50.471-72. For a full translation of the Kindaishzika, see Robert Brower and Earl Miner, Fujiwara Teika 's Superior Poems of Our Time. A Thirteenth-Century Poetic Treatise and Sequence (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1967). 78 The Japanese of this text is extremely elliptical, and the commentaries are not all in agreement on its exact sense. The original, for example, has kotoba^iJwhere one would expect something like kokoro.i?, so I have accordingly translated it as expression, a sense borne out, I

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND POETIC

BORROWING

219

Hana no ka mo kaze koso yomo ni sasourame kokoro mo shiranu furusato no haru Shu-iguso101 7

The fragrance of blossoms too the wind to the four quarters would enticenot knowing the heart's moods Spring in an ancient village79 Teika

The honkafor this waka comes from the Kokinshu, and is preceded by the following preface (kotobagaki):
When he came, after a long time had elapsed without having spent the night, to the house of a person he lodged at every time he visited the shrine at Hatsuse, the owner of the house said: "The house has indeed been steadfast." Thereupon, breaking off a spray of blossoms from a plum tree nearby, he composed this poem:80

Hito wa isa kokoro mo shirazu furusato wa hana zo mukashi no ka ni nioikeru KKS 1:42

As for you beloved, noyour heart is unknowable but in the ancient village the blossoms do as of old with fragrance perfume the air Tsurayuki

In Teika's waka, a spring poem, the sequence of borrowed words, whose order is nonetheless identical to Tsurayuki's, is given a fresh internal coherence;furusato, for example, is no longer in contrast to kokoro but hovers ambiguously in conjunction with the rentaikei verb shiranu, so that the entire phrase might modify kokoro,the terminal haru, or even more suggestively, the wind. At the same time, in their new setting the words are split away from their more traditional associations of disappointed or fickle love while still yielding that as one possible interpretation. In this way, by forcing the words

believe, by the illustrative examples that follow. Hisamatsu, Karonshuz,p. 299. 79 KubotaJun, Yakuchz no Teika,1:156. The gloss on this poem in the ancient comFujiwara mentaries gives the following interpretation: "Just at the season when I too thought I would wander off from the old village, thinking that even the scent of the blossoms grown weary of being here was drifting away to other places, I suddenly realized the wind wouldentice[me away]. This because it does not understand the mood (kokoro) of flowers. I too shall bear up 3 vols., ed. Ishikawa Tsunehiko (Miyai shoten, 1983), 1:179patiently here. " Shiu-iguso kochuZ, 80. 80 Shinshaku 1:210-11.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

220

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

(kotoba) apart from the signifieds of traditional thematic clusters (kokoro), Teika redoubles the power of poets to create new figuration while still staying within the poetic tradition. Next, Teika offers his first full definition of honkadori(2) and follows this with remarks (3) which seek to address the crucial problem that had taxed the late-Heian poet-scholars, the problem of reception. The operative word in his definition (2) is "unchanged" -the words must be taken over intact. However, while the borrowing must be recognizable, the poet must avoid producing what appears to be an imitation (3).81 What sets Teika apart from the late-Heian poet-scholars are his specific prescriptions for how to achieve such a poem, and the awareness on his part (evidenced by this elaboration of the obvious (3), i.e., if you do such and such, you will merely end up reproducing the earlier poem) that such poems are distinctly different from the formulaic style poems of an earlier age. (4,5) From this point on Teika focuses on specific problems of diction (kotoba), subjecting that which Kiyosuke and other poet-scholars before him, in their discussions on borrowing, had understood by the unitary term kokoroto the refracting prism of his new sense of poetic language. Because so much of the court diction is formulaic in character, appearing almost unchanged in poem after poem, Teika is here concerned with assigning degrees of availability for borrowing and establishing gradations of tone in waka diction, the discrimination of which on the part of both poets and readers will allow the borrowed phrases to emerge clearly in the pattern of the new poem. In short, Teika is reorganizing waka diction in the interests of his new trope honkadori. Here he distinguishes (4) pillow-words (makurakotoba), prefaces (jo), and stereotyped phrases, which may be borrowed, from (5) the distinctive phrases of individual composers, which must not be borrowed. In the final statement (6) Teika enunciates a prohibition against using phrases from contemporaries, living or dead. This too involves diction but will be dealt with later. After the section of exemplary poems, Teika reiterates one more time his concern regarding the problem of reception. Citing two examples of waka in which honkadori was correctly employed, he
81 This point is also discussed

in Nihon no retorikku, pp. 233-34.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND POETIC

BORROWING

221

states: "If one takes more [words] than this, it will not sound like one's own poem. It will seem like the original composer's."82 In his Eiga taigai Teika begins with a restatement of his theory's cornerstone, "new expression . .. old words. "83 He then returns to the problem of diction and specifies for the first time that "one must not depart from the diction of the Sandaishu (kotoba wa sandaishuz wo izubekarazu)."84 In the final section he also lists works considered essential for cultivating one's poetic sensibility: the Kokinshuz, Gosenshu, Shuishu, the Ise monogatari, the Sanjurokkasenshu ^t,>k{ m and also the poems of Po Chu-i. Without holding Teika to the letter of his prescriptions here, I believe his intent is clear: he wants to create an active, though bounded, field for his trope of honkadori.And since meaning will depend ultimately on an origin, radiating from the specific poem to the entire field of poetic discourse, Teika effectively inaugurates the first classical canon in Japanese literature.85 After repeating his earlier injunction against borrowing from recent poets living or dead, Teika then introduces a further refinement regarding the quantity of words to be borrowed:
It has long been the practice to borrow from old poems. But in taking an old poem to compose a new poem, if one should take up to three out of five ku, the permissible limit has been exceeded and the poem will not seem new [in its expression]. Beyond two ku, three or four additional syllables (ji) are permitted."86

This is significant not so much because Teika expected strict adherbecause ence to such a rule-he himself violated it repeatedly-but it suggests, by its explicit recognition of the syllable as a possible unit
NKBZ 50.489. Hisamatsu, Karonshii, p. 299. 84 Ibid., p. 299. 85 It might be argued that the Kokinsha, or even the Manyoshu,is in effect an instance of canon formation. But if that which constitutes a canon is the set of consciously elaborated criteria for both excluding and including a body of discourse, prior and subsequent to the newly formed canon, then Teika's enunciations would appear to have a better claim to that status. It may be, however, that we are simply less certain about what was left out in the formation of in any case, seems less to establish a canon than to the two earlier collections. The Kokinshiu, inaugurate a new moment in the tradition. On this latter point, see H. Richard Okada's disLanguage, Poetry, andNarrating in "The Taleof Genji" cussion in his recent Figures of Resistance: and Other Mid-Heian Texts(Durham: Duke University Press, 1991), pp. 99-105. 86 Hisamatsu, Karonsha, p. 299.
82 83

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

222

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

of poetic sense, a view of language which is diametrically opposed to the integrative, poetic myth of language in the preface to the Kokinshuithat we examined earlier. In Maigetsusho, Teika presents his final, and by far his most lucid, discussion of honkadori. In addition to refining earlier statements, with much reiteration of the compelling urgency of assuring that the reader grasp the deliberateness of the borrowing, he also includes detailed instructions on how to incorporate a specific honka into a new poem:
The method is thus: Taking up to two phrases that appear to be the gist (sen 2) of the poem, you must distribute them in the upper and lower halves of the new poem (sen to oboyurukotobafutatsu bakari nite, ima no uta Joge ku ni wakachiokubekiniya).87

What is most striking here is the implicit spatialization of the poetic form. The expressionjoge ?T suggests the poem on the page, a surface inscribed with those measurable units of sense, remarked on above, that are divisible and capable of being split away from previously fixed patterns of association. At the same time, Teika's rule of redistribution seems to be aiming at a palimpsest effect by establishing a dynamic interrelationship between all the words of both the new and old poem. In other words, he activates a tension between all verbal elements of each poem by imposing a new code for glossing the words layered beneath those of the new waka.88 Teika's trope of honkadori,then, quite consciously breaks up the linear flow of that older aural poetic line, in which words, sound, and sense issued whole from the heart (kokoro). He then takes the following Kokinshuipoem (11:488) as an example: Yufgure wa kumo no hatate ni mono zo omou amatsusora naru hito wo kou tote In the evening I gaze dreamily at the border of the clouds longing for one who dwells in the distant sky

87 NKBZ 50.513. For a full translation of Maigetsusho, see Robert Brower, "Fujiwara Teika's Maigetsusho," MN 40:4 (1985): 398-427. 88 The Chinese effect produced by the accumulation of nouns as well as the syntactic " fragmentation" found in Shinkokinshuiwaka, belong, I believe, to this same spatialization of the poetic form discussed above. The technical term sugata (shape, form) captures this perfectly. See Japanese Court Poetry, pp. 279-80.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND POETIC

BORROWING

223

Picking out those expressions that form the gist of the poem-"kumo no hatate" and "mono omou" in this case-he explains how they are to be placed in the upper and lower halves of the new poem, emphasizing also the importance of changing the topic (in this case a love poem) to a seasonal or a miscellaneous poem. Teika then touches on the effectiveness of incorporating an additional phrase, 9 h poem along with those that form the into the uyugure gist (sen). 4-Y- wa, He decides, somewhat hesitantly, that it is permissible to do so: "somehow it does not sound bad (nadoyaramu ashiku mo kikoezu)."90 Earlier in this passage, Teika had described the phrases to be borrowed as those "which appear to be the gist (sen) of the poem (sen to oboyurukotoba)." The word sen poses problems, for how is one to distinguish such kinds of phrases from the distinctive phrases that he had warned against using in the Kindaishzika and Eiga taigai, where he had written: "One must never in any case make use of the words of poets of the past seventy or eighty years. " Teika here appears to be caught in one of those unelidable aporias that appear in any totalizing poetic discourse. Drawn back once again to this problem of discerning the gist phrase (sen), Teika writes: "Rashly taking over words that appear to be a strikingly original phrase (sen) is bad sen to oboyuru kotobawo sanomi toruga warokuhaberunari)." (mezurashiku Teika's almost obsessive circling about this question of just how much or how little to take (as in the case ofyu-gurewa) and precisely what words to borrow or reject (as in the case of the "sen") reveal him grappling with the central contradiction of his poetic, a contradiction whose most visible trace is the innocuous looking list of "forbidden words" in his son Tameie's Eiga ittei MR-4f, and which will be explicated in the final section of this paper. Teika concludes his discussion with one more warning against borrowing that is too vague:
) )89

And again, because it does not make any sense at all to borrow so vaguely that it may not even be perceived that you have composed [a variation] on another poem, be sure you borrow only after having grasped these rules fully (Mata, amari ni kasuka ni torite sono uta niteyomeruyo tomo miezaramu, nan no sen ka haberibekinareba,yoroshiku korerawa kokoroetetorubekini koso).
89 Teika is here referring to the following poem by Minamoto Michiteru: Nagamewabi / sore to wa nashi ni / mono zo omou / kumo no hatate no / yiugure no sora (SKKS 12:.1106). (I languish-gazing aimlessly in revery [upon] the evening sky with its banner of clouds).

90 NKBZ50.523.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

224

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

Viewed synchronically and apart from any authorial intentions, the texts examined above register a profound mutation in the discursive space of the poetic tradition. In this light, the trope of honkadori appears as a reversal in the priority of heart (kokoro)over words (kotoba), which allowed some poets, at least, to be creative again within the general limits of the poetic inheritance. From a diachronic perspective, Teika's conscious intent appears to have been how to create the conventions of reading and reception that must be the preconditions of the trope's viability as a rhetorical technique. By focusing his didactic concerns on the problem of reception, Teika invested borrowing with a new power and weight that it had lacked hitherto. The degree to which Teika was successful in his aims is revealed by an examination of the six styles of honkadoridescribed in the Seiasho -4#t4, a medieval poetic handbook composed sometime between 1360 and 1364 by the poet Ton'a 4ig (1289-1372):
1. A poem on a new topic (aranu koto) made by copying the words of an old poem and distributing them in the upper and lower halves. 2. A poem that leans upon (kaisou) the foundation poem. 3. A poem that builds up a poetic effect (fiuzei wo konryui shitaru uta) by taking hold of the heart (kokoroni sugarite) of the foundation poem. Also belonging to this class of poems is the form mentioned of old in which one replies to a foundation poem. 4. A poem in which one creates a mysterious mood (myonaru kokoro) by entering fully into the mood (kokoroni narikaerite)of the foundation poem without at the same time becoming entangled in it. Such poems are to be found regularly in the Shuiguso. 5. Poems in which one takes just one distinctive phrase (hitofushi) from a foundation poem. 6. A poem in which one borrows from two foundation poems.91

While Ton'a's taxonomy of styles is certainly not exhaustive, these six descriptions, free of any didactic concerns, clearly reveal that the conventions for reading and composing waka have indeed changed, bringing about a new sensitivity to, and a fresh ability to discriminate between, the various ways new and old poems interact with one another.
9 NKT 531-38. For a fuller discussion of Ton'a's rules, see Nihonno retorikku, pp. 192-98.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND POETIC

BORROWING

225

But it is especially his descriptions of the middle three stylesnumbers two, three, and four-that are intriguing, for they allow us to gauge how the poets of Ton'a's time registered the effect produced by poems employing honkadori,especially as it had come to be used by the greatest poets of the Shinkokinshuperiod. What then is honkadori?In his study of poetic memory in classical Latin poetry, Gian B. Conte writes:
Allusion, I suggest, functions like the trope of classical rhetoric. A rhetorical trope is usually defined as the figure created by dislodging of a term from its old sense and its previous usage and by transferring to a new, improper, or "strange" sense and usage.92

Teika, as we saw in the previous analysis of his Shu-igusowaka, achieves precisely such a deformation of sense. Honkadori, therefore, may legitimately be termed, as I have done throughout this paper, a rhetorical trope, and to the degree that it is productive of new figuration its effects go well beyond the mere evocation of "tone," a term which seems much more apt as a description of the communicative, affective function of the formulaic style variations of the older poetry. In the same passage, Conte continues:
In both allusion and the trope, the poetic dimension is created by the simultaneous presence of two different realities whose competition with one another produces a single more complex reality. Such literary allusion produces the simultaneous coexistence of both a denotative and a connotative semiotic.93

Conte is working up towards a subsequent identification of poetic allusion with metaphor. Metaphor may be described as the bringing together of dissimilar terms, of which one is absent, into a new unity, and while this is suggestive of the procedure of honkadori, the formulation needs to be qualified slightly before it can be made hermeneutically useful for classical Japanese poetry. Figurations producing dialectical resolutions of the kind found in metaphor, while certainly present in Japanese poetry, are less favored in archaic and classical times than those effecting, to borrow Conte's phrase, "simultaneous coexistence." Such, for example, are the rhetorical techniques of the long preface (jo) and pivot-words (kakekotoba)of
92

Gian B. Conte,

The Rhetoric of Imitation: Genre and Poetic Memory in Virgil and Other Latin

Poets, trans. Charles Segal (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1986), p. 23. 93 Ibid., p. 24.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

226

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

archaic and classical Japanese poetry, techniques of splicing in which separate poetic phrases are brought into suggestive proximity with one another. And such too is honkadori, whereby at least two distant poems are brought into significant relation with one another. The following examples will illustrate this aspect of the trope: Tatsuta yama yowa ni arashi no matsu fukeba kumo ni wa utoki mine no tsukikage SKKS, aki, 4:412 On Tatsuta Mountain as the late-night stormwind buffets the pines, estranged from the clouds the moonlight upon the peaks

The dates of Minamoto Michiteru i the composer of this untitled poem, are 1187-1248. His poetic activity therefore falls in the period of honkadori's fullest and richest development. In the poetic tradition, Tatsutayama is an utamakuraItk most often associated with the scarlet hues of autumn maples, yet there is no hint of these associations in the present poem. As an autonomous poetic crystallization, the poem projects a world of arresting visual beauty: a lonely moon-drenched range of mountains buffeted by stormy winds. Most readers will be struck by the strange resonance of the adjective utoki, used here to describe the moonlight but traditionally conveying the sense of estrangement between human beings. Here follows the honka upon which the poem is based: Kaze fukeba okitsu shiranami tatsuta yama yowa niya kimi ga hitori koyuramu KKS 19:994 As the wind blows white waves in the offing Rise Up Mountain where late at night my beloved must be crossing over alone. Anonymous

This difficult yet beautiful poem contains a classic example of the long preface (jo), often mistakenly treated as decorative or nonfunctional. One traditional interpretation of the poem, which derives from its prose setting in the Ise monogatari, makes it the expression of a woman imagining her lover on a journey over Mt. Tatsuta. The two halves of the poem, joined by the pivot-word tatsu-

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND POETIC

BORROWING

227

ta, might then be understood as juxtaposing two remote geographical regions, the sea at which the woman gazes brooding on her absent lover and the lonely mountains over which she imagines him to be crossing. The resonance of utoki in Michiteru's poem, with its human overtones in an otherwise impersonally visualized scene, would thus refer allusively back to the earlier poem, like an echo in the mind of the traveler through whose eyes we suggestively contemplate the scene. The poem, by its relationship to the earlier waka, is unsteadily poised, one moment seemingly objective and self-contained, the next slipping into reminiscence of the earlier poem. It hovers ambiguously within and without the earlier poem upon which it is based. The relationship of Michiteru's waka, then, to the honka is not unlike the relationship that exists in onepoem between a long preface (jo) and the main body of the poem, as in the poetic worlds anonymous honka to Michiteru's waka above-two juxtaposed, mingling ambiguously. In the next example, Teika creates a complex poetic effect by borrowing a single phrase: Koma tomete sode uchiharau kage mo nashi sano no watari yuki no yuigure Not even a spot to halt my horse and brush the snow from my sleeves; by a ford of Sano on an evening of snow

SKKS 6:671

Like the Michiteru poem, at a first reading, the poem is perfectly self-contained in the scene it evokes: an effect of silence and snow, a tranquil beauty, made even more tangible by the contrast between the k sounds in koma and kage and the sequence of repeated no sounds in the final two ku. The stark, pictorial beauty of this waka stirred Zeami to the following reflections:
Well, even as this poem is a masterpiece, from the start it makes a charming impression. Yet I cannot say where its charm lies. Just a moment on a journey, falling snow, and nowhere to shelter-the expression of one on his way, is it not? However, since I am ignorant of the art of poetry, I thought some deep meaning might be intended, so I asked one well versed in the art, and he simply replied that it meant just what it appeared to mean. That being so, there is nothing in the poem's expression that so much as praises the snow; but it sounds like someone

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

228

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

amid a scenery of river and mountains who, unable to see far enough to know where he is, gives spontaneous vent to his feelings in a poem about the uncertainty of journeying with no place to shelter.94

In Zeami's remarks, the surface mood (menpiu)of this poem is playfully explored. "And yet I cannot say where its charm lies. " Taking this phrase not quite perhaps as Zeami intended it, I now want to look at the honka for this waka: Kurushiku mo furikuru ame ka miwa no sake sano no watari ni ie no aranaku ni MYS 3:265 What a pain! the rain pouring down by the ford of Salno on the cape of Miwa and not a house in sight. Naka no Imiki Okimaro

Nothing could be more remote from the mood conjured up by Teika's poem than the rough simplicity of the base poem, with its frank expression of displeasure over the hardships of travel. The relationship between Teika's poem and the old Man 'yshui poem seems to pivot on the mysterious law of opposites: on the one hand rain, perhaps summer, a suggestion of green; on the other, snow, winter, and a pervading whiteness. In Michiteru's poem, honkadoricreates an effect by which the new poem hovers ambiguously between two poetic worlds. Here it is rather as if Teika's poem holds invisibly within it that rainy world of Okimaro's poem-world within world as it were, each somehow partially creating the other. Both poems are striking examples of Ton'a's enigmatic fourth style, "in which one creates a mysterious mood by entering fully into the mood of the foundation poem without at the same time becoming entangled in it."
FORBIDDEN WORDS

One of the most curious features of the poetic treatise Eiga ittei is its inclusion of a list of words generally referred to as sei no kotoba(for94 From the Yugaku shudffo filken ; Shinkokinwakashiu, 3.494.

JWA

in NKBT 65.445. Cited by Kubota in

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND POETIC

BORROWING

229

bidden words). The bulk of the list consists of forty-five phrasestextual variants yield slightly different numbers-95designated nushi 9 , which may be glossed as "proprietary phrases." aru kotobaI Some manuscripts also list an additional ten phrases. These are of an altogether different nature from the larger list of nushi aru kotoba, but among them are several, sometimes referred to by scholars as ruikeiku VA4Uj (stereotyped phrases), which were discussed earlier.96 Eiga ittei, composed sometime around 1274, is generally attributed to Teika's son Tameie AM. Regarding the list of sei no kotoba, however, the scholar Araki Hisa has presented, I believe, a fairly persuasive argument for attributing them to Teika rather than to his son.97 I shall follow Araki, since the list dovetails so well with the problems dealt with in Teika's poetic treatises. Earlier in this essay I examined Teika's youthful experimentation with diction and in particular his attempts to wrest new meaning out of single words more or less fixed in their traditional associain his fations. I attributed Teika's subsequent change-embodied mous dictum to "venerate the old in words, but seek that which is new in the expression" -in part to his insight into the delicate equilibrium between the individual lexical items that constitute the stock of classical poetic diction. This feature of the poetic system is most evident in the rhetorical figure of engo that was examined above. These clusters of words, all neatly structured in their interrelations, coalesce to form thematic wholes that have the power to call up entire scenes, times of the day, and so on, and bear some resemblance in miniature to what the theoretician Michael Riffaterre has called "descriptive systems."98 It was poetical richness of this type that Teika, following his early tampering with the diction, decided
9 See Araki Hisa A* i, "Kinseishi ni tsuite no ikk6satsu-Matsuhira Teikakyohissaku Mm kinseishio chfishin-," Kokugokokubun39:11 (1964): 24-37. For Tameie's discussion of the list, see Eiga ittei, NKT 3:398-400. For a translation into English of the entire work, see Robert H. Brower, "The Foremost Style of Poetic Composition: Fujiwara Tameie's Eiga Ittei," MN 424 (1987): 391-429. 96 See Inada Toshinori OIV, "Chulko waka kara chfisei waka e-hy6gen shuh6 no henka no ichi y6s6-," in Shinkokinwakasha, ed. Nihon bungaku kenkyfi shiry6 kank6kai (Yfiseid6, 1980), pp. 44-72. See p. 204 above. 97 98

Araki,24-26.
Riffaterre, Semiotics of Poetry,pp. 39-40.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

230

DAVID

T. BIALOCK

to preserve at all costs, and he therefore redirected his experimentation from words to phrases. As brilliant as this move was it was not without its own perils. For if Teika and otherJapanese poets are less anxious to achieve poetic immortality than some of their English or French counterparts, on the score of their phrases, at least, they appear less sanguine. In Eiga ittei we find the following statement by Tameie, more likely than not echoing his father. It comes in the crucial section on borrowing from old poems: "It is bad always wanting to make allusive variations from old poems, for then it would be impossible to see anything of the poet in his verse. "99 Here, in a nutshell, was Teika's dilemma: preserve the individual words in their poetical richness and seek instead freshness of expression by incorporating other poets' phrases in novel ways into your own poems. But if this were to continue, of course, there was no way to prevent others from absorbing your poems in turn with obvious results: "In so far as they [the words] are novel they are interesting, but if the ear becomes accustomed to them, their excellence
vanishes.'
'10

Of the forty-five phrases listed as nushi aru kotoba, thirty-one are from poems included in the Shinkokinshul, and most, if not all, are masterpieces of the period. These phrases, therefore, belong to that category of distinctive phrases discussed by Teika in his poetic treatises. As Araki succinctly puts it: "If people out of fondness overused these phrases, they would lose their novelty; therefore we may suppose a ban was placed on their use."1'0 Here it is useful to recall Teika's care to distinguish the various kinds of words that might be borrowed, e.g., pillow-words and the like, from those that were to be avoided because of their novelty; and, in particular, his scruples over distinguishing the gist expression (sen to oboyuruku) suitable for borrowing from the one whose rarity clamored, as it were, for a reprieve. It was Teika's fear, then, that his poetic phrases would in their turn be used and reused until the well-anchored signifiers of his own poems were dispersed back into the common stream of the tradition: a fear certainly not unfounded in view of the still
9 Translation of Robert Brower, MN 42:4, 428. 00 Cited by Araki (p. 31) from Juntoku-In's Yakumomishi.
101 Ibid.,

30.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

VOICE,

TEXT,

AND POETIC

BORROWING

231

prevailing orality of the time, not only among court poets, but in the culture at large.'02 The list of forbidden phrases, then, is not haphazard: it is the mirror image, structurally, of Teika's advocacy of troping other poets' phrases; and its random, arbitrary nature, simultaneously prohibiting the transumption of certain specific phrases while implicitly legitimizing the right to transume others, is the recoverable, and overdetermined, trace of the contradiction at the heart of Teika's new poetics. But were Teika's interdictions successful in prolonging the poetic life of these phrases? In the imperial collections from the ShokugosenshuiR*IW on, ten of the forty-five "proprietary phrases" were used in a total of fifteen poems-a relatively small number. One may therefore conclude with Araki in stating that the rule in Eiga ittei against using these phrases "appears by and large to have been upheld. 1 03
CONCLUSION

Teika's achievement pushed to its limits the creative possibilities of the traditional poetic discourse. In the broadest sense it recreated the lost voice of the earlier court poetic by foregrounding the dialogic nature of waka in a textual rather than an in praesentiamode. To this extent, it represents somewhat of an anomaly within the history of the indigenous verbal arts of Japan. In the medieval centuries that followed the Shinkokinshul, the creators of n6, renga, and haikai would once again mark out a space for the reemergence of the voice as a shaping, permeating influence in poetic form. At the same time, in a process already well under way in the twelfth century, the textual field delineated by Teika would eventually be assimilated into that larger discursive space opened up by the increasingly dominant paradigm of buddhistic thought and metaphysics, which would once again multiply the possibilities for figuration within waka discourse.
102 A situation not unlike that which prevailed in Europe at precisely the same time: "On peut comprendre l'effroi qu'eprouverent, a partir de la fin du XIIe siecle, quelques auteurs d'esprit moderne,tel Chretien de Troyes, a la pensee que leur texte inevitablement leur echappait, qu'ils en perdaient la maitrise, quoi qu'ils fissent. . ." Zumthor, La voix et la lettre, p. 166.

103

Araki, 30.

This content downloaded by the authorized user from 192.168.82.216 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 04:25:54 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Related Interests