Sokendai Review of Cultural and Social Studies


Influences of Shao Yong’s Chinese Poetry (Shou wei yin)
on Tachibana no Akemi’s Dokurakugin

WANG Xiaorui

(The Graduate University for Advanced Studies,
School of Cultural and Social Studies, Department of Japanese Literature)

Key words:

Tachibana no Akemi, Dokurakugin, Shao Yong, Shao wei yin (Jp. Shubigin), expression, reception of Chinese poetry

In the late Edo period, Tachibana no Akemi wrote a linked poem called Dokurakugin, which had a unique form of expression by starting the upper phrase with “tanoshimi wa” (“the moment I’m feeling happy is”) and concluding the lower phrase with “toki” (“when”) The form of this poem has long been thought to be a unique artistic form of waka. Up to now, no research has been able to explain how the form of this poem came to be.

However, the Northern Song Dynasty poet Shao Yong left a famous group of 135 poems called Shao wei yin (Jp. Shubigin), all of which were included in his collection Ichuan Jirang ji (Jp. Isen Gekijō shō). A special characteristic of these poems is that each upper and lower phrase reads “Gyofu kore shi ginzuru o aisuru ni arazu” (I wrote a poem because I want to enjoy life, not because I like to write a poem). Moreover, each of these poems uses “toki” to end the second sentence. That is to say, for every poem, the first sentence is “Gyofu kore shi ginzuru o aisuru ni arazu,” and the end of the second sentence is “toki.” Thus we can see that this form has a kind of rhythm between the first sentence and the end of the second sentence, and that it appears to be similar to the form that Tachibana no Akemi uses in Dokurakugin. In addition, the ideas and artistic conceptions of Shao wei yin and Dokurakugin in their expressions regarding landscape gardens and happy family life are also quite similar.

I believe this is sufficient evidence to conclude that the expressive form of Shao wei yin had an influence on the form of Dokurakugin in its development process.