Just Living: Poems and Prose of the Japanese Monk Tonna

by
Hardback
The medieval Buddhist poet-monk Tonna (1289-1372) was regarded as the leading poet of his day and a prominent scholar and critic. Despite his commoner status, he was assigned the task of acting as compiler for an imperial anthology of poetry and counted a number of prominent courtiers among his students and patrons. And yet his works, which remained required reading for virtually all serious poets in Japan for five hundred years after his death, have until recently received little scholarly attention in either Japan or the West. This anthology contains translations of 134 of Tonna's uta (the classical poetic form) and 16 linked verse couplets (renga) from his Grass Hut Collection and selections from a work of prose criticism, From a Frog at the Bottom of a Well, along with an introduction and explanatory notes, a glossary of important names and places, and a list of sources for the poems.