Published 4 October 2009
© 2009 Ken Robinson
A colleague and I are translating the writings of a Korean who was familiar with Japan in the 1590s. In his text he included the poem below, which he attributed to Song Lian (1310-1380). Song was an official in the early Ming China government. However, we have not yet found this poem, which is about Mt. Fuji, in Song’s collected works or in other of his writings.
We would very much appreciate assistance in gathering more information about where this poem may be found in Chinese and/or Japanese texts of the fourteenth, fifteenth, and/or sixteenth centuries. Has this poem been attributed to someone other than Song Lian? How might the poem have reached Japan? (A Japanese returning from China, or a Chinese visiting Japan in one capacity or another?) Might the poem have circulated among Japanese during these centuries? If it did, who knew or might have known of the poem? Again, any leads you may be able to provide will be greatly appreciated.
For more about Sung Lian, see F.W. Mote, “Sung Lien,” in Dictionary of Ming Biography, 1368-1644, Volume 2, M-Z, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1976), 1225-1231.
Song Lian 宋濂 (字：景濂 Jinglian)
Here is the poem (enlarged for clarity and posted as an image to ensure compatibility):
Thank you very much. Please post input on the PMJS Listserve (by simply replying to the original post).