Isonokami no Sasamegoto (石上私淑言)

"Isonokami no Sasamegoto" is Norinaga MOTOORI's personal views on poetry. This book, written in 1763, was one of Norinaga's early works and was stored as an unfinished manuscript, but was published in 1816 after his death (there are other opinions on when the manuscript was completed).

This book argues that waka (Japanese poems) should be based on the theory of "mono no aware" (the pathos of things), and is usually regarded as the further development of the view of waka described in "Ashiwakeobune" (treatise on waka poetry). In this book Norinaga argued that poetry is an outpouring of feelings and objected to literature being restricted by ethics or morals. He discussed a great deal about the concept of 'aware' in addition to waka poetry, indicating his shift from the theory of waka poetry to a discussion of Kokugaku (the study of Japanese classical literature).

The bibliographic information on the publication is as follows:
The year of publication is 1816. The unfinished Volume Three was excluded and later published in two volumes (there is also a one volume version). The preface is by Yuzuru KISHIMOTO, the revision is by Hikomaro SAITO, and the postscripts are by 藤原常彦 and 片岡寛弘. The publisher was Bankyudo who also published many of Norinaga's books.

[Original Japanese]