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Songs To Make The Dust Dance: The Ryojin Hisho Of Twelfth-century Japan

by Yung-hee Kim

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Book Description
Breaking through the long-established image of Heian Japan (794-1185) as a culture dominated by ritualized aristocratic values, Yung-Hee Kim presents the picture of a country in transition, filled with a wide variety of common people responding to very ordinary situations. In popular songs called imayo, they expressed their concerns about religion, love, aging, and even current affairs.
In 1179 Emperor Go-Shirakawa compiled Ryojin hisho, a twenty-volume collection of this song genre that juxtaposes the sacred with the profane, the high with the low, the male with the female, the old with the new. Kim makes these songs the core of her book, in translations that faithfully reflect the sounds and images of the originals and bring them to life within their own literary and cultural context.

About the Author
Yung-Hee Kim is Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures at Ohio State University.



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