Writing and Renunciation in Medieval Japan

The Works of the Poet-Priest Kamo no Chomei
Volume 21
Rajyashree Pandey
Challenges the rigid distinction between the religious and literary in medieval Japan.


This is the first monograph-length study in English of Kamo no Cho¯mei, one of the most important literary figures of medieval Japan. Drawing upon a wide range of writings in a variety of genres from the Heian and Kamakura periods, Pandey shows how the terms kyo¯gen kigo (wild words and fancy phrases), sho¯ji soku nehan (samsara is nirvana), ho¯ben (expedient means), and suki (single-minded devotion to an art) were deployed by writers in an attempt to reconcile literary and artistic activities with a commitment to Buddhism. By locating Cho¯mei within this broad context, the book offers an original reading of his texts, while at the same time casting light upon intellectual preoccupations that were central to the times.
Rajyashree Pandey teaches Japanese language and literature in the Department of Asian Studies, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. She has published numerous articles on medieval Japanese literature.

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 208pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 1998
  • Available
  • 978-0-939512-86-7

Add to Cart
  • $32.95 U.S.