Atsuko Sakaki. Obsessions with the Sino-Japanese Polarity in Japanese Literature. Honolulu: University of Hawai`i Press, 2006. ix, 269 pp. Hardcover $59.00, ISBN 0824829182. This book is for lovers of perennial problématiques and for treasure hunters in search of texts and people that have fallen to the wayside in diversely enticing ways: A Japanese official--traveling to China in search of his late father who has just been reborn as a Chinese prince--ends up having a child with his father's mother, a Yang Guifeiesque consort, who is herself about to be reborn as the child of her Japanese stepsister. There is a female poet of kanshi, Sino-Japanese poetry, whose image became tarnished by rumors about her romantic liaison with her patron. A Spanish woman and an Irish woman, well versed in Xiao Tong's Literary Selections, Qu Yuan's Encountering Sorrow, and the Classic of Poetry, compose kanshi in Philadelphia to entertain their Chinese and Japanese male friends. Who is the Japanese official? The protagonist in The Tale of Middle Councilor Hamamatsu (1060), an imaginary travelogue written in the vernacular (wabun) that spins out complex fantasies of the cultural impact of the Japanese in China. Who is the slandered kanshi poet? Ema
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Nov 28, 2008
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