Themes Essays Idleness

Over a century after Kenko completed Essays in Idleness in the closing years of the Kamakura period (probably around 1333), the work began to gain a sympathetic reception among the poets and linked-verse masters of the Muromachi period (1336-1573).In the Edo period (1600-1868), with the shogunate’s encouragement of scholarship and the development of printing technologies, the essays swiftly captured a wide readership.

This section of the exhibition addresses the character of Kenko and traces the history of the reception of Essays in Idleness to its elevation to its current status as a masterpiece of Japanese classical literature.

With the publication of print editions of Essays in Idleness and commentaries on the text in the Edo period, the book swiftly captured a wide readership.

They also worked in a variety of formats, from handscrolls and folding screens to albums of paintings and illustrated books in response to demand.

This section introduces the many faces of Tsurezure-e.

Kenko, who was born in about 1283, was the son of Urabe Kaneaki, a Shinto priest of modest rank.

Themes Essays Idleness Stand By Me Essay Plan

In his early twenties, Kenko served the Emperor Go-Nijo (1285-1308) as a chamberlain, but by the time he turned thirty, he had already retired into religion.

With its 157 illustrations, the Nagusamigusa became an influential source of motifs and designs for other Tsurezure-e.

Many Tsurezure-e have, however, no discernible connection with the Nagusamigusa.

Responding to that growing demand, several schools of painting, including the Kano, Tosa, and Sumiyoshi schools, turned to creating their own Tsurezure-e.

As a result, there is no discernible correlation in style or motif between their works; artists freely chose which episodes to depict.

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