Anthology of Japanese literature, from the earliest era to the mid-nineteenth century

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Grove Press, 1955 - Fiction - 442 pages
8 Reviews
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.

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Review: Anthology of Japanese Literature: From the Earliest Era to the Mid-Nineteenth Century

User Review  - Gordon Collins - Goodreads

Well selected and explained by a person you would trust to this task. He's gone for representative rather than for western-appeal and so you might find a lot of falling petals and moon gazing haikus which don't do much in English but at least you know what they were writing then. Fascinating. Read full review

Review: Anthology of Japanese Literature: From the Earliest Era to the Mid-Nineteenth Century

User Review  - V - Goodreads

This book is perfect for an introduction to Japanese literature. It contains popular excerpts from the most notable works. I highly suggest it only to be used as an introduction, because it only brushes the surface of the stories you read in this anthology. Read full review


The Luck of the Sea and the Luck of the Mountains

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About the author (1955)

Donald Keene is an expert on Japanese literature and culture who was educated at Columbia University. Currently he is the Shincho Professor of Japanese Literature and University Professor Emeritus at Columbia University. Keene's books include The Pleasures of Japanese Literature and Essays in Idleness. His translations include Three Plays of Kobo Abe and Twenty Plays of the No Theater. His awards include the Kikuchi Kan Prize of the Society for the Advancement of Japanese Culture, the Japan Foundation Prize and the Tokyo Metropolitan Prize. He has honorary degrees from Cambridge University, St. Andrew's College and Middlebury College.

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