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.”
Forrest Gander adds, “This little book should be a bestseller! It's at once a work of comparative literature, a book of sexual intrigue, and, curiously, a book about (financial and syntactical) economy. That means it has something for absolutely everyone.”
Second Revised Edition
Size: 4.25" x 6.5"
Binding: perfect softbound