Ihara Saikaku

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Saikaku, Ihara:

see Ihara SaikakuIhara Saikaku
, 1642–93, Japanese writer. Saikaku began his literary career as a haikai [comic linked verse] poet, astonishing contemporaries with his skill at composing sequences of thousands of stanzas in a single sitting.
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Ihara Saikaku

(ē`hä`rä sī`kä`ko͞o), 1642–93, Japanese writer. Saikaku began his literary career as a haikai [comic linked verse] poet, astonishing contemporaries with his skill at composing sequences of thousands of stanzas in a single sitting. Later he turned to writing ukiyozoshi, a popular prose form which in his hands was elevated to high art through the use of literary allusion, techniques borrowed from poetry, an irreverent style and keen sense of the ironic. Saikaku's highly entertaining stories were populated by merchants, rogues, misers, warriors, and amorous women such as the heroine of Koshoku ichidai onna [life of an amorous woman] who was constantly tripped up by her own lustful nature.

Ihara Saikaku

 

(also Ibara Saikaku; pseudonym of Togo Hirayama). Born in 1642; died in 1693. Japanese writer.

Saikaku was the son of a merchant. He published several collections of verse in the genre of humorous renga (“linked verse”) and became famous for the speed of his poetic improvisation. Saikaku’s first novel, The Life of an Amorous Man (1682), which depicted the life of the merchant class, enjoyed enormous success. Among his other works are the novel The Life of an Amorous Woman (1686), the collection of novellas Five Women Who Loved Love (1686), and the collection of short stories Saikaku’s Tales of the Provinces (1685). In the last years of his life, Saikaku wrote in the didactic genre (Eitaigura, 1688), warning townspeople against prodigality and imitating the aristocracy. He was the first Japanese writer to reflect the life of the modern city and to support the third estate in its demand for equality. Saikaku is called the Japanese Boccaccio. He influenced the development of the national literature not only by the new content of his works but also by his style.

WORKS

In Russian translation:
Novelly. [Commentary by E. Pinus and V. Markova and introductory article by E. Pinus.] Moscow, 1959.

REFERENCE

Ivanenko, N. G. “Ikhara Saikaku i ego sbornik novell ‘EitaiguraV In the collection Kitai, Iaponiia. Moscow, 1961.

N. G. IVANENKO