/sah"geuh/, n.1. a medieval Icelandic or Norse prose narrative of achievements and events in the history of a personage, family, etc.2. any narrative or legend of heroic exploits.3. Also called saga novel. a form of the novel in which the members or generations of a family or social group are chronicled in a long and leisurely narrative.[1700-10; < ON; c. SAW3]Syn. 2. epic, tale, history.
* * *IGenre of prose narrative typically dealing with prominent figures and events of the heroic age in Norway and Iceland, especially as recorded in Icelandic manuscripts of the late 12th and 13th century.Once thought to be orally transmitted history that had finally been written down, sagas are now usually regarded as reconstructions of the past, imaginative in varying degrees and created according to aesthetic principles. Important ideals in sagas are heroism and loyalty; revenge often plays a part. Action is preferred to reflection, and description of the inner motives and point of view of protagonists is minimized. Subdivisions of the genre include kings' sagas, recounting the lives of Scandinavian rulers; legendary sagas, treating themes from myth and legend; and Icelanders' sagas. See also Grettis saga, Njáls saga.II(as used in expressions)Icelanders' sagasfamily sagas
* * *▪ Japancity and ken (prefecture), northern Kyushu, Japan. Saga was the castle town of the lord (daimyo) Nabeshima Kansō. Traces of feudal days remain in the town's thatched roofs and the lotus-covered castle moats. Saga, the prefectural capital, is now an industrial centre noted for its cotton textiles and ceramic wares. A university was founded there in 1949. The town of Arita continues to produce its characteristic china and pottery, called Imari ware, which was developed by Ri Sampei, a Korean potter, in the 16th and 17th centuries.Saga ken faces the Sea of Japan (north) and the Ariake Sea (south). Its area of 939 square miles (2,433 square km) includes the Tsukushi Plain, which is dissected by a network of creeks used for irrigation and drainage. Advanced agricultural techniques have been developed, and mechanization is extensive for large-scale orange cultivation, dairy farming, and cattle raising. Saga Plain is a major rice-producing area of Japan. Coal was an important industry until the shift of industrial energy sources to petroleum. Saga ken is believed to be the point at which the earliest contact between Japan and the Asian continent was made. In the late Tokugawa period (1603–1867) it was influenced by European culture through the city of Nagasaki. Pop. (1987 est.) city, 169,851; ken, 881,000.
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