Author Topic: Yugen  (Read 347 times)

XYZ

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Yugen
« on: April 05, 2019, 05:58:08 AM »
I would appreciate your views on Yugen. I would very much like to work on my haiku to imbibe this Japanese aesthetic, but it always remains so elusive. Wabi and sabi is also difficult but Yugen is something out of reach. I cannot understand it properly. Is it only evoked by terms like fog, mist, night, shadows. How can we imbibe Yugen in our writing?

AlanSummers

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Re: Yugen
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2019, 02:57:58 PM »
I would appreciate your views on Yugen. I would very much like to work on my haiku to imbibe this Japanese aesthetic, but it always remains so elusive. Wabi and sabi is also difficult but Yugen is something out of reach. I cannot understand it properly. Is it only evoked by terms like fog, mist, night, shadows. How can we imbibe Yugen in our writing?

Transition of the Concept of Yugen: A Note on
Japanese Aesthetics
https://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/bitstream/handle/1808/1139/CEAS.1971.n10.pdf


https://www.thehaikufoundation.org/juxta/juxta-1-1/karumi-matsuo-bashos-ultimate-poetical-value-or-was-it/

Two to keep you busy for a while!

Alan



XYZ

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Re: Yugen
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2019, 03:37:57 AM »
Sir, till now I have only read the PDF file now but I have a few doubts. The initial concept of Yugen indicated aristocratic elegance and grace, as in the example quoted of a picture of aristocratic ladies watching a tree full of cherry blossoms. This is quite unlike the Yugen we perceive today. Our Yugen is more inspired by Basho where Yugen is a single petaled plum blossom in icy field. It is worthwhile to note that then Japan was observing a power transfer from aristocracy to warrior class hence the samurai values of beauty in nothingness were gaining popularity than aristocratic values of elegant beauty. Also, there was the emergence of Zen which travelled from India via China whose core value is emptiness. Is it possible the Yugen we imagine today is different from the initial Yugen? One thing which is common in the definitions of Yugen from both historical periods is that Yugen is something which is beautiful, but we can't put a finger on what makes it beautiful. It is sublime if we refer to Basho's era but as in the PDF, it was not so always. Earlier Yugen was both overt and covert. I would appreciate what the Haijins in this forum think about it.
I would appreciate your views on Yugen. I would very much like to work on my haiku to imbibe this Japanese aesthetic, but it always remains so elusive. Wabi and sabi is also difficult but Yugen is something out of reach. I cannot understand it properly. Is it only evoked by terms like fog, mist, night, shadows. How can we imbibe Yugen in our writing?

Transition of the Concept of Yugen: A Note on
Japanese Aesthetics
https://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/bitstream/handle/1808/1139/CEAS.1971.n10.pdf


https://www.thehaikufoundation.org/juxta/juxta-1-1/karumi-matsuo-bashos-ultimate-poetical-value-or-was-it/

Two to keep you busy for a while!

Alan

flowerfox

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Re: Yugen
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2019, 12:26:03 AM »
I've read 'some' of the download, Pragya. can't read for too long on a screen plays heck with my eyes.
It seems to me Yugen, is a feeling within, and with that I should imaging that different things give this Yugen to different people, we all like different things. Mountains, rock pinnacles and pine trees appearing out of the mist, for many poets I would say that was Yugen, also something as insignificant as blossom petals on a wet pavement, or even strands of wool snagged on barbed wire blowing in the wind, I think its a case of each to his or her own. The last thought may not seem beautiful to others, and no doubt overlooked, but it Yugen for me.
Just my 2p's worth  :)
 

AlanSummers

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Re: Yugen
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2019, 03:55:12 AM »
Dr Gabi Greve, a German citizen living in Japan, continues to compile fascinating information about Japan and its culture, and often writes simply:

yuugen 幽玄 Yugen

Yugen (yuugen) Noh Theater


"We dance round in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows."

--Robert Frost

Dr Gabi Greve says:
"Reading about Yugen will give the reader an idea, but not the full reality of it.
Just like reading about food will give you an idea, but your stomach will still be empty.
Reading a translation will not give you the real ... depth, truth, beauty, words fail me here ... of a Japansee haiku.

Being exposed to Japanes culture on a daily level for 30 years, still, the concept of yuugen is far from grasped.

And I studied quite a bit about Noh Drama, Kamakura had a Noh stage (noobutai 能舞台) with excellent performances."


Lots of good notes and excerpts from Gabi continue on this web page.
https://wkdhaikutopics.blogspot.com/2007/03/yugen-yuugen.html

yūgen is mentioned by Dietmar Tauchner, translated from the German:

The Aesthetic Coordinates of Haiku:
A Ginkō Towards Mount Fuji

https://bregengemme.net/bregengemme/media/essays/The%20Aesthetic%20Coordinates%20of%20Haiku%20Essay.pdf

Dietmar does a magical article about many things regarding haiku, worth downloading and printing out!


Red Moon Press have a book on yugen:

Snow in a Silver Bowl: A Quest for the World of Yugen,
a study by Hiroaki Sato
   $12.00

If you take a poll in Japan as to which artistic form the word yūgen brings to mind, the majority will say, “nō drama.” This, in an important way, is correct.

But there is an apparent contradiction in the response, because, if you go on to ask for a definition of the word, most Japanese are likely to say it suggests something “dark,” “mysterious,” “ambiguous” or, as the author’s tanka poet friend Ishii Tatsuhiko put it, “artistically contrived ambiguity.”

It may also suggest something “ancient,” even “withered.” Ōba Takemitsu, Starr Conservator of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, asked over a drink to define yūgen, came up with the image of “an old man emerging out of mist.”

Second Revised Edition

ISBN: 978-1-936848-23-2
Pages: 114
Size: 4.25" x 6.5"
Binding: perfect softbound
https://www.redmoonpress.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=173