In this video I start discussing how spring is conceived of, and described in waka. Topics covered include: the beginning of spring, returning chill, lingering cold, the spring sun, spring dawn, spring nights, deep in spring, and departing spring.
In this video I provide some background information on how the old Japanese conducted love affairs, and the role poetry played in them. In addition, I discuss how some of the features of (pre)modern Japanese pose challenges for the translator of waka.
Here is the third and final video discussing the seasonal images and topics associated with winter in waka. This one covers animals and plants.
Here’s the second video on the topics and images used in waka on the season of winter. This one covers: Topography (winter mountains, ice and icicles); Life(style) (being sealed in winter, blankets and bedding); and Events (the ceremony for the Recitation of the Buddhas’ Names (butsumyōe 仏名会)).
Here’s a video I’ve recorded to provide some information about the way in which waka talked about and imagined the season of winter. This video covers the season itself, celestial phenomena and the weather.
The seasons are a significant topic for waka poetry, but the range of topics and images can be confusing if you’re not familiar with them. To help people out, I’ve recorded a brief video to provide an explanation about the season of autumn, as well as its main topics.
In this short video, I discuss the images and emotions used in the poems on the topic of ‘The Moon at Dawn’.
In this video I discuss the emotions conveyed in the Eikyū hyakushu poems on the topic of ‘Autumn Nights’.
In this brief video, I discuss the poems on the topic of ‘The 9th day of the Ninth Month’, when the court held the annual chrysanthemum festival.
In this video, I discuss the images used in the poems on the topic of ‘The Night of the 15th of the Eighth Month’, the middle of autumn, when the moon was at its brightest.