Method of East Asian Classical Studies, 35th Seminar
A Platform for Rising Scholars (session 11)
Date and Time: December 16th (Saturday), 2017, starting at 2:00 pm
Venue: Minami-sōgō Building, north building, fourth floor, room 4117, Yoshida Campus, Kyoto University
Content of reading session: Ko’nan shizon, in Naitō Torajirō, Naitō Ko’nan zenshū, volume 14 (Chikuma shobō, 1969)
This session brought together a number of students from the graduate school of letters as well as the graduate school of human and environmental studies. Two graduate students, Qiu Siyuan and Wu Yuxing, presented us with detailed commentaries of a total of four Sinitic poems.
First, Qiu Siyuan presented us with commentaries of three poems, namely, “Gūsei,” “Nagasaki kyakusha kuchiura,” and “Kunshi gekko no uta” (Ko’nan shizon, pp. 277-278). While it is not known for certain when “Gūsei” was first composed, it seems likely that it was composed sometime shortly after Ko’nan retired from his post at Asahi Newspaper, and before he left for Taiwan. Qiu drew our attention to an allusion appearing in this poem that harkens back to a poem by Sushi entitled “Qiongyuanmiao.”
“Nagasaki kyakusha kuchiura” was composed before Ko’nan left for Taiwan. We discussed allusions in this poem to several poems by Sushi. We furthermore discussed the possible identity of figures appearing in “Qiongyuanmiao” and “Heshenting.” While no conclusive evidence was brought forward, it would appear that some relation is posited within these poems to the Qing painter Shenquan, who is known to have visited Nagasaki.
“Kunshi gekko no uta,” which was composed while Ko’nan was staying in Taiwan, seems to be a conscious imitation of Bo Juyi’s “Pipaxing.” We explored several possible ways of interpreting a number of verses in this poem.
Second, Wu Yuxing presented us with a commentary of a pair of poems entitled “Rokyū wo omou: tsuchinotoi ichigatsu.” Rokyū refers to Hatayama Rokyū, who was a friend of Ko’nan’s. This poem, written after the death of Rokyū, is therefore a commemorative piece. We discussed the possible meaning of a number of verses appearing in this poem, and while we were unable to come to any firm conclusion, it is obvious that this poem seeks to express Ko’nan’s envy and fond remembrance of Rokyū. Further effort is required to clarify the finer details of this poem.
About the Platform for Rising Scholars
The Platform for Rising Scholars was started in 2016 as part of the Creation of a Next-Generation Hub for East Asian Classical Studies: Accelerating Research and Education through International Collaboration (headed by Saitō Mareshi), with hopes of providing young researchers with an opportunity to share their research and communicate with one another. This platform encourages promising researchers, including graduate students, post-doctors, assistant professors, and lecturers, to present their research outside of their home institutions. Commentators are likewise selected from among young researchers for the purpose of promoting inter-institutional communication.