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Student
Title
Supervisor
Faculty
Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Aleksandra Fliustikova
The Image of the Poetess Ono-no Komachi and its Evolution in Japanese Сulture
Asian Studies
(Bachelor’s programme)
2019
This research focuses on the image of the poetess Ono-no Komachi in Japanese culture. Ono-no Komachi is a well-known Japanese waka poetess who lived during the first half of the Heian period. Ono-no Komachi’s poetry refers to the golden age of Japanese literature. Ono-no Komachi counts among the Rokkasen which is the list of six famous poets called immortal because of their poetic talent. Therefore, Komachi is the one of Sanjūrokkasen (Thirty-six Immortals of Poetry) and Nyõbo Sanjūrokkasen (Thirty-six Female Immortals of Poetry). Komachi’s poetry is preserved in Japanese Imperial anthology Kokinwakashū (Collection of Japanese Poems of Ancient and Modern), Shinkokinwakashū (New Collection of Poems Ancient and Modern) and Hyakunin isshū (Songs of Hundred Poets).

In this research, the image of the poetess Ono-no Komachi and its evolution in Japanese art and literature will be analyzed. Among main literary sources that we will analyze there are a story called ‘The Rise and Fall of Komachi from Tamatsukuri’, otogizōshi called ‘The story of Komachi’ and seven Noh plays, which are known as Nana Komachi (Seven Komachi). Among artists whose works will be analyzed in this study, there are such famous printmakers as Suzuki Harunobu, Utagawa Kunisada, Katsushika Hokusai, etc.

The name of Ono-no Komachi is well known among Russian Japanese scholars. However, there are not many common works centers especially on the image of Ono-no Komachi. Konrad analyzes Komachi as a significant female character for the Heian period. However, there is nothing in his work about her image even in literature. Toropygina in her study focuses on otogizōshi, she analyzes the image of Komachi only in one story. Therefore, there are no works in which the representation of Ono-no Komachi in art is analyzed. In this research, we will attempt to answer those questions taking into consideration Komachi’s songs of poetry, woodblock prints and representation of Komachi in art as well as literary sources.

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