Cover: Allegories of Desire: Esoteric Literary Commentaries of Medieval Japan, from Harvard University PressCover: Allegories of Desire in HARDCOVER

Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series 55

Allegories of Desire

Esoteric Literary Commentaries of Medieval Japan

Add to Cart

Product Details


$42.50 • £34.95 • €38.50

ISBN 9780674009561

Publication Date: 05/30/2003


378 pages

6 x 9 inches

Harvard University Asia Center > Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series

World, subsidiary rights restricted

  • Introduction
  • 1. Allegory, Symbol, and Allegoresis
    • Brief Definitions of Allegory and Symbol
    • The Medieval Understanding of Language
    • Allegorical Interpretation
    • Triggers for Interpretation
  • 2. Allegory and Allegoresis in Premodern Japanese Literature
    • Political Allegory and Allegoresis
    • Religious Allegory and Allegoresis
    • Three Forms of Allegoresis in Kamakura Commentaries
  • 3. The Commentary Tradition
    • The Development of a Commentary Tradition
    • A Brief Outline of Tameaki’s Commentaries
    • The Muromachi Response
  • 4. Textual Triggers
    • The Kokin waka shu and Its Preface
    • The Ise monogatari Text
    • Narihira as the Man of Old
    • Triggers for Interpretation in Ise monogatari
    • Heian and Kamakura Readers’ Interpretive Principles
  • 5. Extratextual Triggers
    • The Development of the Rokujo as a Poetry Family
    • The Mikohidari Attitude Toward the Development of the Master-Disciple System
    • The Teika Forgeries
  • 6. Fujiwara no Tameaki and the Kamakura Commentaries
    • Tameaki’s Poetic Affiliations
    • Tameaki and the Rokujo and Ietaka Factions
    • Tameaki’s Audience
  • 7. Basic Religious Concepts Underlying Tameakis Commentaries
    • “Wild Words and Ornate Phrases”: The Sin of Poetry
    • Expedient Means and the Lotus Sutra
    • Nondualism, Waka as Dharani, and Poets as Bodhisattvas
    • Honji suijaku
    • The Magical Efficacy of Language and Early Uses of Paronomasia
    • Paronomasia in Medieval Japanese Taoism
    • Paronomasia and the Chroniclers of Mount Hiei
    • The Culture of Secret Transmission in Medieval Japan
    • Shingon Tachikawa
    • Ryobu Shinto
  • 8. Problems of Authority
    • The Development of the Waka Kanjo Ceremony
    • Esoteric Buddhist Initiation Ceremonies and the Waka Kanjo
    • Tameaki and the Imperial Enthronement Kanjo
    • Authoritative Sources for the Commentaries
    • An Etiology for Tameaki’s Commentaries
    • Sumiyoshi Daimyojin as the Deity of Waka Poetry
    • Tamatsushima Myojin as the Female Deity of Waka Poetry
    • Narihira as Okina
    • Narihira’s Esoteric Education
  • 9. Tameaki-Affiliated Commentaries (Part I)
    • Waka chiken shu
    • Kokin waka shu jo kikigaki
  • 10. Tameaki-Affiliated Commentaries (Part II)
    • Gyokuden jinpi no maki
    • The Elusive “Gyokuden” and “Akone no ura kuden”
    • Waka Kokin kanjo no maki
  • 11. Reizei and Nijo Commentaries After Tameaki
    • The Development of Historical Allegoresis
    • The Reizei School Ise monogatari sho
    • An Analysis of Content
    • Ise monogatari zuino
    • Conflating the Paths of Poetry and Eroticism
    • Internalization of Kami and Buddhas
  • Conclusion
  • Reference Matter
  • Bibliography
  • Works in Japanese
  • Works in English
  • References to “Ise monogatari” Episodes
  • Index of First Lines
  • Index of Subjects

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket: From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America, by Elizabeth Hinton, from Harvard University Press

Crime War Zones

As the nation is gripped in the throes of large-scale protests and there are calls for justice in the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, as well as for an end to systemic racism and police brutality, this excerpt from Elizabeth Hinton’s From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America details how the War on Crime, begun in the ’60s, focused mainly on urban crime and unfairly targeted A

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.