Tuesday, May 10 1921: Zhou Zuoren introduced Japanese Classical Poetry

1921 (Taisho 10) Tuesday, May 10: Zhou Zuoren, a younger brother of Lu Xun and a writer, published an article titled “Japanese poetry” in the Chinese magazine ‘Monthly Novels’. The feature and history of Japanese haiku, senryu and waka were introduced, and 13 Japanese haiku poems and 11 Japanese waka poems were translated for the first time in China. Zhou pointed out the “poetic atmosphere” of Japan and the “artistic sensibility” of the Japanese people. Zhou described the characteristics of Japanese culture as follows:.

The atmosphere of poetry that prevails throughout Japan is a characteristic of Japan. The causes are the following two. The first is the relationship between climate and human nature. The Japanese people have a kind of artistic sensibility and are endowed with the ability to master natural beauty and to arouse graceful feelings. If it is expressed in form and color, it becomes a work of art and craft that is elegant and textile, and if it is expressed in language, it becomes various poems. Usually, each flower and each stone used as home decorations or names used as food have a taste. The second is due to the nature of language.

Zhou’s wife is Japanese Nobuko Habuto. Zhou argued that Japanese culture should be referred to when creating new Chinese culture.

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