Tales of Old Japan (Google eBook)
Compiled by a British diplomat and published in 1871, "Tales of Old Japan" is an anthology of short stories that makes earlier centuries of Japanese life vibrantly immediate to the contemporary reader. They focus on various facets of everyday existence in ancient Japan, from numerous rituals, like hara-kiri and marriage, to sermons and fairy tales indicative of desirable traits and warnings needed in that time. From tales of samurai revenge to the plots of Noh theatre plays, "Tales of Old Japan" was regarded as an authoritative text on Japanese culture and literature and greatly influenced Western perceptions of Japanese history and society for many years. Today, this compilation is still valuable for its accessibility and absorbingly entertaining view of ancient Japan.
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