Seasons of Sacred Celebration
This 113-page full color bilingual book shares with the public for the first time the unique shikishi and tanzaku poetry cards which have been carefully preserved for centuries in Daishoji Imperial Convent in Kyoto.
Imperial Convents (amamonzeki jiin) are those convents in which Japanese Imperial women took the tonsure and became abbesses and nuns. Although they served as places of spiritual discipline and worship, they were also small aristocratic courts where the language of imperial circles was maintained and the cultural pleasures of poetry, calligraphy, and other traditional occupations of court women were practiced. Today, approximately one dozen convents of various Buddhist sects continue to operate in Japan, and Daishoji is the highest ranking amamonzeki jiin.
With the permission of the present twenty-seventh generation head of Daishoji Convent, Abbess Kasanoin Jikun, these treasures have been made public and translated into English for the first time. Each poetry card bears the hand-brushed calligraphy of a different member of the late seventeenth-century nobility.Although convent records identify the calligraphers, the provenance of these works of art is unknown. The poems were selected from various Japanese classical poetic canon, immortalized in many cases by imperial compendium in an earlier age. There are songs addressed to a flower, a season, a place, or an unnamed monarch, and ultimately, in a certain way, to the land of Japan itself. This publication shares with the world the sense of time immemorial discovered by the shikishi and tanzaku poets and calligraphers as they reflected on the blossoming flowers, the passing seasons, or the changing nobility of Japan.
the Institute for Medieval Japanese Studies and Weatherhill, Inc.
Each copy costs $16.95 (2000 yen). A shipping and handling charge of $3.50 will be added for all publication purchases of up to $34. To order a copy, please send a check payable to "Institute for Medieval Japanese Studies Foundation" to the below address. For more information, please contact
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