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By David Bialock

After the story of Genji (c. 1000), the best paintings of classical jap literature is the historic narrative the story of the Heike (13th-14th centuries). as well as commencing up clean views at the Heike narratives, this learn additionally attracts realization to more than a few difficulties headquartered at the interrelationship among narrative, ritual house, and Japan's altering perspectives of China as they endure on depictions of the emperor's authority, warriors, and marginal inhabitants going the entire as far back as the Nara interval. through situating the Heike during this lengthy temporal framework, the writer sheds mild on a hidden heritage of royal authority that was once entangled in Daoist and yin-yang rules within the Nara interval, practices established on defilement within the Heian interval, and Buddhist doctrines concerning unique enlightenment within the medieval interval, all of which resurface and mix in Heike's narrative global. In introducing for the 1st time the whole diversity of Heike narrative to scholars and students of eastern literature, the writer argues that we should also reexamine our figuring out of the literature, ritual, and tradition of the Heian and Nara classes.

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Additional resources for Eccentric Spaces, Hidden Histories: Narrative, Ritual, and Royal Authority from The Chronicles of Japan to The Tale of the Heike (Asian Religions and Cultures)

Example text

But even these methodological conventions, whose absence in a work aimed at a general readership is still not unusual, have their historical genealogy. 43 Echoing what was then a still prevalent view of the orient derived from nineteenth-century European historiography, Tsuda could confidently write: “Both China and India have long histories, but in reality one can say that only the time has been long while their histories are short. Hence, unlike the West they have no medieval or modern periods.

An initial phase predating the Yamato state and the systematization of yin-yang practices in the ritsuryo¯ codes was characterized by a gradual diffusion of prognostication techniques, including tortoiseshell casting, from the Korean Peninsula to Tsushima, Iki, and then eastward through Kyu¯shu¯. This was followed by a second phase that extended through the end of the Nara period, when a number of texts relating to yinyang practices are supposed to have been transmitted by official embassies from the continent directly to the Yamato court.

In these sections, I examine how yin-yang ideas relate to the organization of time, space, and the myths that helped to anchor the authority of the court, beginning with a look at yin-yang and weft-text knowledge in relation to Sho¯toku Taishi’s Seventeen Articles Constitution and descriptions of the ranking system. I further analyze the calendrical and yin-yang principles at work in Nihon shoki’s narrative strategies and look at a variety of yin-yang symbolism pertaining to palace architecture, the layout of the capital, and ritual activity aimed at enhancing the authority and prestige of the tenno¯.

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