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Book Title: The Great Mirror of Male Love|
Date of issue: April 1st 1991
ISBN 13: 9780804718950
The author of the book: Saikaku Ihara
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 469 KB
Edition: Stanford University Press
Read full description of the books The Great Mirror of Male Love:The first complete translation of Nanshoku okagami by Ihara Saikaku (1642-93), this is a collection of 40 stories describing homosexual love affairs between samurai men and boys and between young kabuki actors and their middle-class patrons. Seventeenth-century Kyoto was the center of a flourishing publishing industry, and for the first time in Japan's history it became possible for writers to live exclusively on their earnings. Saikaku was the first to actually do so. As a popular writer, Saikaku wanted to entertain his readership. When he undertook the writing of Nanshoku okagami in 1687, it was with the express purpose of extending his readership and satisfying his ambition to be published in the three major cities of his day, Kyoto, Osaka, and Edo. He chose the topic of male homosexual love because it had the broadest appeal both to the samurai men of Edo and to the townsmen of Kyoto and Osaka, his regular audience. Homosexual relations between a man and a boy were a regular feature of premodern Japanese culture and carried no stigma. When a boy reached the age of nineteen, he underwent a coming-of-age ceremony, after which he took the adult role in relations with boys.
Read information about the authorIhara Saikaku (井原 西鶴) was a Japanese poet and creator of the "floating world" genre of Japanese prose (ukiyo-zōshi).
Born the son of the wealthy merchant Hirayama Tōgo (平山藤五) in Osaka, he first studied haikai poetry under Matsunaga Teitoku, and later studied under Nishiyama Sōin of the Danrin School of poetry, which emphasized comic linked verse. Scholars have described numerous extraordinary feats of solo haikai composition at one sitting; most famously, over the course of a single day and night in 1677, Saikaku is reported to have composed at least 16,000 haikai stanzas, with some rumors placing the number at over 23,500 stanzas.
Later in life he began writing racy accounts of the financial and amorous affairs of the merchant class and the demimonde. These stories catered to the whims of the newly prominent merchant class, whose tastes of entertainment leaned toward the arts and pleasure districts.
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