Reading Japanese Haikai Poetry
Herbert Jonsson, Dalarna University, Sweden
In Reading Japanese Haikai Poetry Herbert Jonsson makes an inquiry into the multitude ways in which Japanese linked haikai poetry has been read and understood. A number of poems composed by the eighteenth-century master Yosa Buson are analyzed in great detail. Although closely related to the popular haiku, haikai is often regarded as difficult for non-specialists, but this study offers the reader a wealth of explanations, displaying the varied perspectives available.
The first part of the book consists of a thorough investigation of how these poems have been interpreted in the Japanese commentary tradition. The second concluding part offers an innovative study of the poetics of scent (nioizuke), essential for understanding the creative force of this poetry.