Ihara Saikaku

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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.

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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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


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


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


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Parody, Irony and Ideology in the Fiction of Ihara Saikaku. Leiden: Brill, 2017.
Aimables ermites de notre temps: Re'cits composes par Sairo, alias Kyosen, et prefaces par Ihara Saikaku. Monographies, vol.
A leading haikai poet of the Danarin school based in Osaka, Saikaku (1642-93) turned his attention to fiction in 1682 and wrote the bestselling Koshoku ichidai otoko (The Life of an Amorous Man), which Gundry says literary scholars later posited as the founding work of the ukiyozoshi or "floating world fiction" genre that encompassed the bulk of the late-17th and early 18th-century Japanese fiction.
Here is the very beginning of Saikaku's famous Ukiyo-zoshi; Kooshoku Ichidai Otoko (The Sexual Life of a Man Who Loved and Loved, 1682), which reveals how lively the world vision of his time was:
Ihara Saikaku's Five Women Who Loved Love, translated by William Theodore de Bary, is a good choice for early modern literature.
Clearly, by this standard, "Amorous Woman" by Donna George Storey is a work of elegant eroticism as she deftly tells the story of an American woman's love affair with Japan that drew its inspiration from a 17th century classic tale of Japanese 'pleasure quarters' by Ihara Saikaku (whose work was banned by the Japanese government during World War II as a danger to public morality).
This transformation was related to the great flowering of popular cultural forms in the late seventeenth century--among them the kabuki theater of Chikamatsu Monzaemon [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (1653-1725) and the gesaku OTC fiction of Ihara Saikaku [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (1642-93).