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A Study on the Significances of Kaoru’s Soliloquy Poems in the Volume of Kagero in The Tale of Genji –Focusing on their Relation to the Demise of the Story–

  • Journal of Japanese Culture
  • 2020, (87), pp.23-39
  • DOI : 10.21481/jbunka..87.202011.23
  • Publisher : The Japanese Culture Association Of Korea (Jcak)
  • Research Area : Humanities > Japanese Language and Literature
  • Received : September 29, 2020
  • Accepted : October 28, 2020
  • Published : November 30, 2020

Yoon Seong MIn 1

1한국외국어대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Kaoru, the protagonist of the third part of The Tale of Genji, composes 18 soliloquy poems, which describe his emotions in various scenes. In the volume of Kagero, three poems are recited in three scenes: (i) the scene where Kaoru heard about the death of Ukifune in Uji; (ii) the scene where Kaoru, who failed to be in a relationship with Onna-Ichinomiya, reflects his life; (iii) the final scene of the volume of Kagero where Kaoru melancholically reminisces Uji. There are several motives which led Kaoru to create these poems, one of which is his desire to express his vacant emotion, but what is notable here is that Kaoru narrated his emotions through these poems and sort out his feelings, which drastically shifted several scenes of the story. All of what Kaoru has sought is Kagero, or impermanence. Kaoru feels the sense of loss as if he lost everything, and he feels alone and lonely when he recites poems. These are indicative that Kaoru realized the death of Ukifune and he would never be in a relationship with her no matter how he seeks to meet her again.

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