Open Seminar

Vol. 39.

Literature of the Sorai School and Naming

  • Date: 23rd July 2021, 17:30-19:30
  • Venue: Online (Via Zoom)
  • Speaker: Daiki Takayama (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo)
  • Discussant: Fumiko Kobayashi (Faculty of Letters, Hosei University)

Host: The University of Tokyo Humanities CenterLiterature by the eminent thinker Ogyu Sorai and members of his school was very popular in the middle of the Edo period. If we take a close look at their works, we can see that many take the names of people and places as the starting point for conjuring up associations. In addition to using existing names as a basis, they also named things themselves and produced both poetry and prose based on those names. In this seminar, I wish to shed light on features of literature of the Sorai school by looking at both denomination and the similar practice of naming in its broad sense. By and large, works using names as a device involve wordplay. I have invited Fumiko Kobayashi, a distinguished scholar of Tenmei era kyoka (comic tanka) poetry, to serve as discussant and hope to open up a new vista regarding mid-Edo period literature by discussing how Sorai school literature differs from kyoka and light fiction.