A Short Study of Japanese RENGA: The Trans-Subjective Creation of Poetic Atmosphere

  • Tadashi OgawaEmail author
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 109)


Renga is a form of the traditional Japanese poetry which first appeared in a Japanese mythology. Renga is in a trans-subjective way with plural people creating one poetry in the same place. Unlike a wide-spreading belief, Matsuo Basho (1644–1694) was in fact a master of Renga rather than being a haikist. It was Masaoka Shiki who invented both the term and the concept of haiku in the Meiji Era. Renga is a kind of ‘linked poems’ (tsurane-uta) collaborated by plural subjectivities. Linking two strophes is called tsuke-ku. Basho admitted that there are a number of followers who could create a hokku as skillfully as he could, but that he had no rivals when it came to the art of linking and judging. We elucidate this linking (tsuke) by applying the passive synthesis theory of Husserl’s phenomenology in terms of identity, similarity and contrast. On top of that, renga makes use of certain cinematic methods like montage, focus, zoom, overlap and so forth. This essay is written in collaboration between Tadashi and Kiyoko Ogawa which may deserve an essay on renga in its true sense.


Modern Literature Buddhist Statue Passive Synthesis Cherry Blossom Collaborative Creation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Herrmann, R.D. 1967. Künstler und Interpret. Bern: Francke.Google Scholar
  2. Husserl, Edmund. 1966. Analysen zur Passiven Synthesis, Husserliana Bd. XI. Den Haag: Nijhof.Google Scholar
  3. Jakobson, Roman, and Petr Bogatyrev. 1979. Die Folklore als seine besondere Form des Schaffens. In POETIK, eds. Roman Jakobson, E. Holenstein, and T. Schelbert. Frankfurt:Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  4. Jakobson, Roman and Pomorska, Krystyna. 1982. Poesie und Grammatik. Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  5. Kuwabara, Takeo. 1968. The Second Rate Art. Collected Works of Kuwabara Takeo, vol. 3. Tokyo-Osaka: Asahi Shimbunsha.Google Scholar
  6. Matsuo, Basho. 1966/1988. In Basho Shichibushu (Seven Serials of Basho), ed. Nakamura Shunjyo. Tokyo: Iwanami-shoten.Google Scholar
  7. Matsuo, Basho. 1975/2002. In Basho Renkushu, eds. Nakamura Shunjyo, and Ogiwara Yasuo. Tokyo: Iwanami-Bunko.Google Scholar
  8. Mukai, Kyorai, & Ehara, Taizo ed. 1939/1982. Kyorai-sho, Sanzoshi and Tabine-ron. Tokyo: Iwanami-Bunko.Google Scholar
  9. Nijo, Yoshimoto. 1982. Hekiren-sho. In Studies of Renga, vol. 7, ed. Asaji Nose. Kyoto: Shibunkaku.Google Scholar
  10. Ogawa, Tadashi. 1986. Logos of Phenomenon. Tokyo: Keiso Shobo.Google Scholar
  11. Ogawa, Tadashi. 1993. The proto-synthesis in the perceptual dimension according to Husserl: A reconstructive reflection. In Japanese and western phenomenology. eds. P. Blosser et al. Den Haag: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  12. Ogawa, Tadashi. 1998. “Qi and Phenomenology of Wind”, Phenomenology of Interculturality and Life-World. In Phaenomenologische Forschungen, Sonderband, eds. Orth and Cheung. Freiburg-Muenchen: Alber.Google Scholar
  13. Ogawa, Tadashi. 2000. The Phenomenology of Wind and Atmosphere. Kyoto: Koyo-shobo.Google Scholar
  14. Paz, Octavio, Jacques Roubaud, Edoardo Sanguineti, and Charles Tomlinson. 1971. Renga Poeme. Paris: Gallimard.Google Scholar
  15. Saigyo. 1928. Sanka-shu. Tokyo: Iwanami-Bunko.Google Scholar
  16. Taki, Shuzo. 2004. Renga as possibility. Osaka: Miotsukushi.Google Scholar
  17. Terada, Torahiko. 1986. The Essential General Theory of Haikai-Renga, The Complete Works of Terada Torahiko. vol. 7. Tokyo: Iwanami-shoten.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

Personalised recommendations