Reading great books in the original should be the culmination of language study, but reading Japanese literature unassisted is a daunting task that can defeat even the most able of students. Breaking into Japanese Literature is specially designed to help you bypass all the frustration and actually enjoy classics of Japanese literature. Breaking into Japanese Literature features seven graded stories covering a variety of genres: whether it's the spellbinding surrealism of Natsume Soseki's Ten Nights of Dreams, the humor of Akutagawa Ryunosuke's fable of temple life ("The Nose"), or the excitement of his historic thrillers ("In a Grove" and "Rashomon"), you are sure to find a story that appeals to you in this collection. The unique layout -- with the original Japanese story in large print, an easy-to-follow English translation and a custom dictionary -- was created for maximum clarity and ease of use. There's no need to spend time consulting reference books when everything you need to know is right there in front of your nose. To make Japanese literature fun, Breaking into Japanese Literature also has some unique extra features: mini-biographies to tell you about the authors' lives and works, individual story prefaces to alert you to related works of literature or film, and original illustrations to fire your imagination. Best of all, MP3 sound files of all the stories have been made available for FREE on the Internet. Breaking into Japanese Literature provides all the backup you need to break through to a new and undiscovered world -- the world of great Japanese fiction. All the hard work has been taken care of so you can enjoy the pleasures of the mind. Why not take advantage? Learn * 50% of all common-use kanji covered * Kanji entry numbers given for follow-up study * Japanese + English translation + custom dictionary on the same page * Every single kanji word explained Listen * Free download of sound files from the Net Look * Original atmospheric illustrations Link * Original stories for Kurosawa's Rashomon and Dreams All the stories in this book are available on the Internet as MP3 sound files read by professional Japanese actors. For students who want to consolidate their understanding of kanji, the entry numbers for any of the 2,230 characters in The Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary have been provided when those characters feature in Breaking into Japanese Literature. This makes cross-referencing a matter of seconds.
Haruo Shirane's critically acclaimed Traditional Japanese Literature: An Anthology, Beginnings to 1600, contains key examples of both high and low styles of poetry, drama, prose fiction, and essays. For this abridged edition, Shirane retains substantial excerpts from such masterworks as The Tale of Genji, The Tales of the Heike, The Pillow Book, the Man'yoshu, and the Kokinshu. He preserves his comprehensive survey of secular and religious anecdotes (setsuwa) as well as classical poems with extensive commentary. He features no drama; selections from influential war epics; and notable essays on poetry, fiction, history, and religion. Texts are interwoven to bring into focus common themes, styles, and allusions while inviting comparison and debate. The result is a rich encounter with ancient and medieval Japanese culture and history. Each text and genre is enhanced by extensive introductions that provide sociopolitical and cultural context. The anthology is organized by period, genre, and topic—an instructor-friendly structure—and a comprehensive bibliography guides readers toward further study. Praise for Traditional Japanese Literature: An Anthology, Beginnings to 1600 "Haruo Shirane has done a splendid job at this herculean task."—Joshua Mostow, University of British Columbia "A comprehensive and innovative anthology.... All of the introductions are excellent."—Journal of Asian Studies "One of those impressive, erudite, must-have titles for anyone interested in Asian literature."—Bloomsbury Review "An anthology that comprises superb translations of an exceptionally wide range of texts.... Highly recommended."—Choice "A wealth of material."—Monumenta Nipponica
The second of live volumes planned to give a systematic account of Japanese literature from its beginnings to the death of the modern novelist Mishima, this book establishes the character of the literature of the early Middle Ages, from the ninth to the mid-twelfth century. Originally published in 1986. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
The Routledge Handbook of Modern Japanese Literature provides a comprehensive overview of how we study Japanese literature today. Rather than taking a purely chronological approach to the content, the chapters survey the state of the field through a number of pressing issues and themes, examining the ways in which it is possible to read modern Japanese literature and situate it in relation to critical theory. The Handbook examines various modes of literary production (such as fiction, poetry, and critical essays) as distinct forms of expression that nonetheless are closely interrelated. Attention is drawn to the idea of the bunjin as a ‘person of letters’ and a more realistic assessment is provided of how writers have engaged with ideas – not labelled a ‘novelist’ or ‘poet’, but a ‘writer’ who may at one time or another choose to write in various forms. The book provides an overview of major authors and genres by situating them within broader themes that have defined the way writers have produced literature in modern Japan, as well as how those works have been read and understood by different readers in different time periods. The Routledge Handbook of Modern Japanese Literature draws from an international array of established experts in the field as well as promising young researchers. It represents a wide variety of critical approaches, giving the study a broad range of perspectives. This handbook will be of interest to students and scholars of Asian Studies, Literature, Sociology, Critical Theory, and History.
This comprehensive anthology collects works of fiction, poetry, drama, and essay-writing from a pivotal time in Japanese history. In addition to their literary achievements, the texts reflect the political, social, and intellectual changes that occurred in Japanese society during this period, including exposure to Western ideas and literature, the rise of nationalism, and the complex interaction of traditional and modern forces. The volume offers outstanding, often new translations of classic texts by such celebrated writers as Nagai Kafu, Shimazaki Toson, Natsume Soseki, Kawabata Yasunari, and Yosano Akiko. The editors have also unearthed works from lesser-known women writers, many of which have never been available in English. Organized chronologically and by genre within each period, the volume reveals the major influences in the development of modern Japanese literature: the Japanese classics themselves, the example of Chinese poetry, and the encounter with Western literature and culture. Modern Japanese writers reread the classics of Japanese literature, infused them with contemporary language, and refashioned them with an increased emphasis on psychological elements. They also reinterpreted older aesthetic concepts in light of twentieth-century mentalities. While modern ideas captured the imagination of some Japanese writers, the example of classical Chinese poetry remained important for others. Meiji writers continued to compose poetry in classical Chinese and adhere to a Confucian system of thought. Another factor in shaping modern Japanese literature was the example of foreign works, which offered new literary inspiration and opportunities for Japanese readers and writers. Divided into four chapters, the anthology begins with the early modern texts of the 1870s, continues with works written during the years of social change preceding World War I and the innovative writing of the interwar period, and concludes with texts from World War II. Each chapter includes a helpful critical introduction, situating the works within their literary, political, and cultural contexts. Additionally, there are biographical introductions for each writer.
From the Earliest Era to the Mid-Nineteenth Century
Author: Donald Keene
Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
Category: Literary Collections
A landmark collection of five periods of literature from the Land of the Rising Sun. The sweep of Japanese literature in all its great variety was made available to Western readers for the first time in this anthology. Every genre and style, from the celebrated No plays to the poetry and novels of the seventeenth century, find a place in this book. An introduction by Donald Keene places the selections in their proper historical context, allowing the readers to enjoy the book both as literature and as a guide to the cultural history of Japan. Selections include “Man’yoshu” or “Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves” from the ancient period; “Kokinshu” or “Collection of Ancient and Modern Poetry,” “The Tosa Diary” of Ki No Tsurayuki, “Yugao” from “Tales of Genji” of Murasaki Shikibu, and “The Pillow Book” of Sei Shonagon from the Heian Period; “The Tale of the Heike” from the Kamakura Period; Plan of the No Stage, “Birds of Sorrow” of Seami Motokiyo, and “Three Poets at Minase” from the Muromachi Period; and Sections from Basho, including “The Narrow Road of Oku,” “The Love Suicides at Sonezaki” by Chikamatsu Monzaemon, and Waka and haiku of the Tokugawa Period.