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Ch: Du Fu (712-770). A Chinese poet, considered to be one of China's greatest. An innovator of both poetic style and subject matter in Tang verse, he later came to be viewed as a sage of poetry. Du Fu was born in Henan ‰Í“ì. and served Emperor Xuanzong (Jp:* Gensou Œº@, 685-762). He lost his post when the emperor abdicated, but was later given a minor post in the provinces. Du Fu left government service in 759 and spent the last decade of his life in restless wandering. His best poetry is marked by stirring social criticism. A less serious poem the Eight Immortals of the Winecup *Inchuu hassen ˆù’†”ªå achieved particular popularity in Japan both as verse and as a painting theme. In painting, imaginary portraits of Du Fu typically depict him riding a donkey, perhaps in reference to the legend in which the poet sees a cuckoo, the transformed spirit of a former ruler of the state of Shu å†, and, in respect, dismounts from his donkey to bow.
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