Japanese Death Poems: Written by Zen Monks and Haiku Poets on the Verge of Death

Overview

Although the consciousness of death is in most cultures very much a part of life, this is perhaps nowhere more true than in Japan, where the approach of death has given rise to a centuries-old tradition of writing jisei, or the "death poem" written in the very last moments of the poet's life. From passionate samurai writings and meditative Zen haiku to the satirical poems of later centuries, hundreds of jisei have been translated into English here, many for the first time. The result is Japanese Death Poems, a ...

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Overview

Although the consciousness of death is in most cultures very much a part of life, this is perhaps nowhere more true than in Japan, where the approach of death has given rise to a centuries-old tradition of writing jisei, or the "death poem" written in the very last moments of the poet's life. From passionate samurai writings and meditative Zen haiku to the satirical poems of later centuries, hundreds of jisei have been translated into English here, many for the first time. The result is Japanese Death Poems, a moving, powerful collection whose philosophical and aesthetic profundity will give readers pause.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804831796
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/28/1998
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 683,075
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor Yoel Hoffman has written several books on Buddhism and comparative philosophy, including The Sound of the One Hand, Radical Zen: the Sayings of Joshu, and The Idea of Self-East and West.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 15, 2011

    One of My Favorites!

    I absolutely love this book. This is one of those books where, if the house was on fire, I would grab it before running out the door.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 31, 2009

    Great Book

    If you like poetry, religion, and Japan I highly recommend this book. Through the death poems you get an intimate look at the religion of Japan and how people thought and some still do.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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