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94 MAN’YŌ KAITSŪSHAKU TO SHAKUREI Kamo no Mabuchi | 1749 [This little-­ known work of Mabuchi’s examines a variety of issues in relation to Man’yōshū, its history, text, and interpretation. It demonstrates Mabuchi’s high level of skill and insight into diverse problems surrounding Man’yōshū. It is easy for scholars and students in the present to underappreciate Mabuchi’s insight because we have so much knowledge at our fingertips today. In this essay Mabuchi tries to answer the question of authorship and also to guide students through orthographic and grammatical pitfalls by providing ample examples.] [1] The meaning of the title Man’yōshū is “a collection of a myriad leaves.”1 The [Kana] preface to Kokinshū says, “Poetry takes the human heart as the seed, and produces a myriad leaves.”2 This is proof that the phrase kotonofa definitely is a reference to the two characters in the title (万葉). Again, in the Mana preface to Kokinshū we find, “People presented various volumes of private poetic collections along with old poems from long ago, and a work called Man’yōshū continued.”3 There is evidence of an anthology first called Man’yōshū continued, so we can say that both prefaces of Kokinshū have reference to the same work. (However, it appears that the Kana preface was created first, and the Mana preface was written later, so it is necessary to consider that the Kana preface has reference to Man’yōshū continued. I intend at a future date to argue that the Mana preface was written at a later date. Someone once claimed, “The title man’yō refers to a myriad reigns.” While it may be true that there are many examples where 万葉 is used to refer to “a myriad reigns” in both Japanese and Chinese poetry, in this case it is a barren and groundless theory to say the title means this. If this later had been called Man’yō wakashū that would be one thing, but waka refers to Japanese poetry in contrast to Chinese poetry, and appears for the first time in Book 5 of the anthology, but here it appears to have meant “a poem written in reply.” That is why I discard the theory 1. It should be noted that Mabuchi often wrote the word kotoba “word” as こと葉, demonstrating his belief that the anthology was a collection of leaves (葉), where leaves = words. 2. See McCullough (1986:3). 3. See McCullough (1986:258). MABUCHI | Man’yō kaitsūshaku to shakurei 95 that the title means “a myriad of reigns” and claim that it means a myriad leaves.) Concerning the time when Man’yōshū was compiled, Minister Teika says, In relation to when Man’yōshū came about, in recent years there are many theories among the poetic sages, and this results in fights and arguments [but there is no consensus]. Looking at internal evidence, Book 17 onward has the composition of a commentary, including the date of composition, the reason, setting, and other information. So Book 17 contains poetry from Tenpyō 2 [730] down to Tenpyō 20 [748]. Book 18 consists of poetry composed on the twenty-­ third day of the second month of Tenpyō 20 down to the second day of the first month of Tenpyō Shōhō 2 [750]. (From what I have been able to tell from my own inspection of the manuscript , this book ends with a poem dated the eighteenth day of the second month. There is a poem before this dated the second day of the first month of the second year of Tenpyō Shōhō, so perhaps Minister Teika did not see the last poem.4 ) Book 19 contains a poem dated the first day of the third month of the same regnal period and ends with a poem dated the twenty-­ fifth day of the first month of Tenpyō Shōhō 5 [753]. (This must be a mistake for the second month.) Book 20 contains poetry dated from the fifth month of Tenpyō Shōhō 5 and continues till the first day of the first month of Tenpyō Hōji 3 [759]. … In general there are many cases where we can figure out the date of composition of poetry, be it Chinese or Japanese, because headnotes are attached. However, it is a circuitous method to determine the date of composition of poetry by relying on the preface of some other work. Now, concerning the compiler [of Man’yōsh...


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