Just curious. How do you know about these. Did you take classes or something? Have you read those Japanese literature outputs? Have you read any Korean ones?(assuming there is translation
) What do you mean about the bolded part? When do you think then Korea 'broke away' from just mimicking China?
What's so peculiar about the Japanese literary outputs or genres you mentioned? I'm not particularly versed in Japanese literature (I do hope to read Genji someday
There is like 3 prominent
english translations; Japanese literature is THAT well exposed, million times better than Korea), so enlighten us
Lol this is so putting me on the spot. Yes, I've taken classes on East Asian literature. I'll be taking a modern Chinese lit course next semester which I'm excited for. I am an International Relations/Econ double major with a focus on East Asia, so much of my humanities courses are on things like Japanese literature and Korean cinema.
I recommend the Royall Tyler translation of Genji btw. Arthur Waley's is lovely as well, but it was before the time when people thought you needed to stay close to the original.
And I mean that after Japan spent much of it's early years writing crappy wannabe Chinese poetry (usually in crappy Chinese), they began to break away and create "Japanese literature" as opposed to "Chinese literature written by Japanese men who barely speak Chinese." A lot of the most original Japanese literature in this time period (Heian) was actually written by women, since they weren't allowed to learn Chinese thus they couldn't mimic Chinese writing. The Pillow Book is another lovely work from a woman. There's actually another that I loved even more that was written by a woman, but I can't remember her name and I don't have my book with me at school.
I just remember it being uber-sad with a woman sitting in the rain reminiscing about before her husband stopped caring about her and started having affairs.
At the same time period uniquely Japanese poetry began to develop, especially the waka form which is completely Japanese and not a Chinese knockoff. Other forms of poetry later developed out of low-brow popular culture, like you mentioned, like the Renku linked verses, which then got scrubbed up and turned into a respected art form. Renku was designed to disorient the senses, by often alluding to Heian and Chinese poetry, then juxtaposing it with sex or other vulgarity (at least early on, before they cleaned it up). Haiku, in turn, come from renku poems. But I could go on, but I'm not doing it justice. If you want a good anthology on Japanese literature I recommend Early Modern Japanese Literature, compiled by Shirane Haruo. It's a massive purple brick. It even contains a large section on Japanese straight ad gay pornographic writing in the 1600s. We read this in class, it was fun.
Unfortunately, I'm not as schooled in Korean literature. I have read some early works, and they remind me a lot of early Japanese poetry that tries too hard. I've read more in modern literature such as Hwang Sun-won. Imo tho I don't think it's a coincidence that Japanese literature broke from Chinese earlier and the fact that Korea used Chinese script as the main basis of their writing longer than Japan did.