Travel as Poetic Practice in Medieval and Early Modern Japan

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After some lengthy but necessary preliminaries, my purpose in this essay will be to attempt a response to a simple question concerning a Japanese travel record by the eighteenth-century court poet Reizei Tamemura (1712–74). Tamemura’s record is a slender offering to which little attention has ever been given, in Japanese or in any other language; and doubtless it will remain obscure even after I submit it to brief analysis. The question I ask, however, is one of some significance to students of travel literature in general and Japanese travel literature in particular – namely, ‘How does one makes sense of so minimalist a work, really just a list of poems, as an account of the experience of travel?’

Journeys

The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing

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