Tales of Moonlight and Rain
Columbia University Press, Nov 1, 2008 - Literary Criticism - 235 pages
First published in 1776, the nine gothic tales in this collection are Japan's finest and most celebrated examples of the literature of the occult. They subtly merge the world of reason with the realm of the uncanny and exemplify the period's fascination with the strange and the grotesque. They were also the inspiration for Mizoguchi Kenji's brilliant 1953 film Ugetsu.
The title Ugetsu monogatari (literally "rain-moon tales") alludes to the belief that mysterious beings appear on cloudy, rainy nights and in mornings with a lingering moon. In "Shiramine," the vengeful ghost of the former emperor Sutoku reassumes the role of king; in "The Chrysanthemum Vow," a faithful revenant fulfills a promise; "The Kibitsu Cauldron" tells a tale of spirit possession; and in "The Carp of My Dreams," a man straddles the boundaries between human and animal and between the waking world and the world of dreams. The remaining stories feature demons, fiends, goblins, strange dreams, and other manifestations beyond all logic and common sense.
The eerie beauty of this masterpiece owes to Akinari's masterful combination of words and phrases from Japanese classics with creatures from Chinese and Japanese fiction and lore. Along with The Tale of Genji and The Tales of the Heike, Tales of Moonlight and Rain has become a timeless work of great significance. This new translation, by a noted translator and scholar, skillfully maintains the allure and complexity of Akinari's original prose.
What people are saying - Write a review
Review: Tales of Moonlight and RainUser Review - Kyle - Goodreads
On its own, Ugetsu Monogatari (Tales of Moonlight & Rain) is a perfectly enjoyable, dreamlike little journey. It can certainly be appreciated by a western reader as nothing more than this. Feel free ... Read full review
Review: Tales of Moonlight and RainUser Review - Nancy Oakes - Goodreads
Anthony Chambers, who is a professor of Japanese literature and literary translation at Arizona State, has brought together these little tales of ghosts, spirits and other things in this slim little ... Read full review
The Early Modern Period in Japan
About the Author
Bunjin National Learning and Yomihon
About Tales of Moonlight and Rain
About the Translation
The ReedChoked House
The Carp of My Dreams
The Owl of the Three Jewels
The Kibitsu Cauldron
A Serpents Lust
The Blue Hood
On Poverty and Wealth
The Chrysanthemum Vow