Ise Monogatari
‘The Ise stories’ is a collection of short accounts of one man’s romantic and poetic exploits in early Heian Japan.  ‘The man’ was Ariwara no Narihira (825-880), poet extraordinaire.  The stories showcase the 31-syllable uta as a challenging and courtly genre of expression, in contexts where poetry is action, and a measure of the mettle of ‘the man’—as lover, son, friend, and courtier. 

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