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Japanese Death Poems

Japanese Death Poems

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

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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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  • Tuttle Publishing | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780804831796 | 
  • April 1998
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