1.) Read “A Journey Along the Destroyed Oku-no-Hosomichi (Narrow Road to the Deep North)” by Takayanagi Katsuhiro*:
Discuss it in relation to Bashō’s Narrow Road of the Interior (Classical Japanese Prose, pp. 522-551.) Consider and respond to at least one of these questions: In what ways does Takayanagi base his piece on Bashō’s “Narrow Road?” How do direct or indirect references to Bashō’s work support the purposes of Takayanagi’s work? How does Takayanagi’s particular use of language and form rely on Bashō’s “Narrow Road?” What about Takayanagi’s work moves in new and/or modern directions?
2.) Consider the plays in your Reader that explore the two Tale of Genji characters Lady Rokujō (a lover of Genji) and Lady Aoi (Genji’s first principal wife.) Reread Chapter 9 of Tale of Genji (“Heart-to-heart [Aoi]”) and then reread the noh play “Aoi-no-ue” (Reader, 167-185) and the 20th-century play “The Lady Aoi” (Reader, 269-285) by Mishima Yukio* (1925-1970).
Your paper should focus on BOTH of the plays. Please take up one or more of the following questions: How does each play reinterpret/recast the relationships between the principal characters? How does each play change our understandings of the principal characters? How is each play representative of its moment in literary history? Mishima considered his play a “modern noh play.” How might we understand these two plays as belonging to the same dramatic genre?