Anthology of Japanese Literature, from the Earliest Era to the Mid-nineteenth Century

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Grove Press, 1955 - Literary Collections - 442 pages
9 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

Contents

I
19
II
33
III
54
IV
59
V
61
VI
63
VII
67
VIII
76
XXV
242
XXVI
258
XXVII
263
XXVIII
271
XXIX
286
XXX
294
XXXI
301
XXXII
305

IX
82
X
92
XI
97
XII
106
XIII
137
XIV
145
XV
156
XVI
162
XVII
167
XVIII
170
XIX
179
XX
192
XXI
197
XXII
213
XXIII
224
XXIV
231
XXXIII
312
XXXIV
314
XXXV
322
XXXVI
335
XXXVII
354
XXXVIII
357
XXXIX
363
XL
374
XLI
377
XLII
384
XLIII
386
XLIV
391
XLV
410
XLVI
416
XLVII
423
Copyright

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About the author (1955)

Donald Keene was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 18, 1922. He received a bachelor's degree in 1942, a master's degree in 1947, and a doctoral degree in 1951 from Columbia University. During World War II, he served as an intelligence officer in the Navy and worked translating for Japanese prisoners. He taught at Columbia University for 56 years and was named the Shincho Professor of Japanese Literature in 1986 and University Professor Emeritus. Keene is considered to be a "Japanologist". He has written, translated, or edited numerous books in both Japanese and English on Japanese literature and culture including The Pleasures of Japanese Literature, Essays in Idleness, So Lovely a Country Will Never Perish: Wartime Diaries of Japanese Writers, Three Plays of Kobo Abe, Twenty Plays of the No Theater, and The Breaking Jewel. 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. Soon after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, Keene retired and moved to Japan with the intention of living out the remainder of his life there. He acquired Japanese citizenship, and adopted a Japanese legal name. This required him to relinquish his American citizenship, as Japan does not permit dual citizenship.

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