A Journey to the Inner World : A Hermeneutic Analysis of Matsuo Bashō’s Prose from a Transcendent-Immanent Perspective

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Religionshistoria

Author: Adam Hedenmo; [2020]

Keywords: Bashō; Secular; Transcendent; Immanent; Literature; Japan;

Abstract: The following study investigates the impact of the secular processes present in Early Modern Japan on Matsuo Bashō's prose. The theoretical basis for exploring this development is found in Durkheim’s distinction between the transcendent and the immanent, as well as the theoretical framework for secularism. The exploration of Bashō's writings is conducted through several key themes: self-presentation, people, religious concepts, nature and aestheticisms. From these categories a complex pattern emerges. It illustrates the enduring nature of the contemporary world-views through numerous references to and descriptions of existing systems of thought. Bashō's response to the dynamic societal changes of his time is an outright rejection of the new developments; instead he turns to nature and romanticism steeped in existing tradition.

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