Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,
This is the last Tanka Writing Technique by Teika, it's very specific for that time as I look at the "name" for this Tanka Writing Technique "demon-quelling". It will not be an easy task to explain this Tanka Writing Technique, but I will give it a try together with Jane Reichhold.
Because its methods are at odds with the classical poetical values of beauty, elegance, and grace, Teika said the style to be "more difficult" and should be attempted only when the student has become proficient in the other methods. One of Teika's examples is taken from the Man'yoshū, #4:503 which is a more violent version than a similar poem in the Shinkokinshū, #10:911:
kamikaze ya / Ise no hamaogi / orishikite / tabine ya suran / araki hamabe ni
reeds on the Ise beach
to make a traveler's bed
on this rough shore
The operative words to demonstrate the demon-quelling style are "divine winds" the breaking off of reeds, and the rough seacoast. Teika taught that even though the poet put these elements into a poem, they should be treated with sensibility and gentleness however, it seems this has been most easy to ignore.
|Oni (demons) woodblock print|
Depictions of oni vary widely but usually portray them as hideous, gigantic ogre-like creatures with sharp claws, wild hair, and two long horns growing from their heads. They are humanoid for the most part, but occasionally, they are shown with unnatural features such as odd numbers of eyes or extra fingers and toes. Their skin may be any number of colors, but red and blue are particularly common.
They are often depicted wearing tiger-skin loincloths and carrying iron clubs called kanabō. This image leads to the expression "oni with an iron club", that is, to be invincible or undefeatable. It can also be used in the sense of "strong beyond strong", or having one's natural quality enhanced or supplemented by the use of some tool. In addition to this, it can mean to go overboard, or be unnecessarily strong or powerful.
PS. I had a CD Special Japanese Poetry In The Lowlands planned, but during lack of time I have decided to drop that episode, maybe I will publish it next month.