The 247th Nichibunken Evening Seminar “Petals on a Wet, Black Bough: The Waterways of Chikushiji and Senryū”

Eri Shiraishi's picture

【Date】 November 4, 2021 (Thursday)  4:30 pmー6:00 pm (JST)

【Venue】 Seminar Room 1, Nichibunken and ONLINE (Zoom)

【Topic】 Petals on a Wet, Black Bough: The Waterways of Chikushiji and Senryū

【Speaker】 Stephen John RODDY

Professor,  University of San Francisco / Visiting Research Scholar,  International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken)

【Moderator】 Markus RÜTTERMANN

Professor,  International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken)


* If you would like to take part in this seminar ONLINE, please E-mail us with your name and affiliation by Oct 29. URL for the Zoom meeting will be provided by the day before this seminar.

E-mail: kenkyo* (Please replace * with @)

* Depending on the future situation of the COVID-19 infection, speakers may participate remotely. In addition, this seminar may be held online only or cancelled. For the latest information:


Roddy's presentation surveys the genre of kanshi poetry known as chikushiji ("bamboo branch lyrics") written from the mid- to the late-Edo period, exploring how it inherited and further developed certain features of its continental antecedents dating back to as early as the 9th century, as well as how it overlapped thematically and to some extent formally with senryū and other contemporary native poetic genres. I will focus on poems and the glosses appended to them that treat the vocational activities of fisherfolk, courtesans, and others who resided in and depended on the resources of marine and riverine environments.  Just as in Ezra Pound’s cryptic haiku-esque poem of 1913 that helped to launch literary modernism, this lyrical corpus’ evocative waters—navigated, precipitated, imbibed—can be analyzed in terms of how they situated their quotidian local worlds within transnational, eco-poetic (“home-creating”) spaces.

Speaker’s Profile:

Stephen Roddy is a professor of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of San Francisco, where he has taught East Asian literature and culture at the undergraduate and graduate levels since 1994. His research project at Nichibunken centers on the investigation of late pre-modern lyrical poetry in East Asia, applying a comparative framework based in recent theoretical and methodological trends in the social sciences that have reoriented ethnographic writing in affectively attuned directions and encouraged experimentation in various literary forms, both poetry and prose.