The Columbia Anthology of Japanese Essays: Zuihitsu from the Tenth to the Twenty-First Century

The Columbia Anthology of Japanese Essays: Zuihitsu from the Tenth to the Twenty-First Century

By: Steven D. Carter (editor)Hardback

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A court lady of the Heian era, an early modern philologist, a novelist of the Meiji period, and a physicist at Tokyo University. What do they have in common, besides being Japanese? They all wrote zuihitsu-a uniquely Japanese literary genre encompassing features of the nonfiction or personal essay and miscellaneous musings. For sheer range of subject matter and breadth of perspective, the zuihitsu is unrivaled in the Japanese literary tradition, which may explain why few examples have been translated into English. The Columbia Anthology of Japanese Essays presents a representative selection of more than one hundred zuihitsu from a range of historical periods written by close to fifty authors-from well-known figures, such as Matsuo Basho, Natsume Soseki, and Koda Aya, to such writers as Tachibana Nankei and Dekune Tatsuro, whose works appear here for the first time in English. Writers speak on the experience of coming down with a cold, the aesthetics of tea, the physiology and psychology of laughter, the demands of old age, standards of morality, the way to raise children, the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, the thoughts that accompany sleeplessness, the anxiety of undergoing surgery, and the unexpected benefits of training a myna bird to say "Thank you." These essays also provide moving descriptions of snowy landscapes, foggy London, the famous cherry blossoms of Ueno Park, and the appeal of rainy vistas, and relate the joys and troubles of everyone from desperate samurai to filial children to ailing cats.

About Author

Steven D. Carter is Yamato Ichihashi Chair in Japanese History and Civilization at Stanford University. His numerous books include Haiku Before Haiku: From the Renga Masters to Basho, Unforgotten Dreams: Poems by the Zen Monk Shotetsu, and Waiting for the Wind: Thirty-Six Poets of Japan's Late Medieval Age.


Acknowledgments Introduction Part I. Beginnings 1. The Pillow Book, by Sei Shonagon 2. Essays in Idleness, by Yoshida no Kenko Part II. The Late Medieval Era 3. Conversations with Shotetsu, by Shotetsu 4. "To Unify the Nation and Restore Civil Society", by Ichijo Kaneyoshi 5. "Cottage of Dreams" and "Three Loves", by Shohaku 6. A Tenbun Miscellany, by The Fujiwara Lay Monk Part III. The Edo Period 7. Laughs to Keep You Awake, by Anrakuan Sakuden 8. "On Ohara", by Kinoshita Choshoshi 9. Haikai Prose, by Matsuo Basho 10. Amusements, by Amenomori Hoshu 11. Window Musings, by Matsuzaki Kanran 12. A Miscellany of Stories, by Morita Morimasa 13. Chats with Myself, by Dazai Shundai 14. Jeweled Comb Basket, by Motoori Norinaga 15. Idle Chats Beneath a Northern Window, by Tachibana Nankei 16. Blossoms and the Moon, by Matsudaira Sadanobu 17. Year by Year: A Miscellany, by Ishiwara Masaakira 18. Behind the Koto, by Murata Harumi 19. Shunparo's Jottings, by Shiba Kokan 20. Unusual People of the Modern Age and Kanden's Crop of Jottings, by Ban Kokei 21. Hoary Stories, by Tadano Makuzu 22. Haikai Prose, by Natsume Seibi 23. Clouds of Floating Grasses Part IV. The Modern Period 24. Autumn Ensemble, by Higuchi Ichiyo 25. Short Works from Long Days, by Natsume Soseki 26. "Snow", by Tokutomi Roka 27. "Desk", by Tayama Katai 28. "Fireworks", by Nagai Kafu 29. "Laughter", by Terada Torahiko 30. "Various Thoughts on the Great Kanto Earthquake" and "My Moral Precepts for Everyday Life", by Kikuchi Kan 31. "Master Hyakken's Idle Fantasies," "Bumpy Road," and "A Long Fence", by Uchida Hyakken 32. "The Image of an Author", by Dazai Osamu 33. "Baby Sparrow," "Turtledoves," and "Morning Glories", by Shiga Naoya 34. Esprit and Humor, by Kawamori Yoshizo 35. "Sleepless Nights" and "A Bed for My Books", by Osaragi Jiro 36. "On Being Down with a Cold", by Kawakami Tetsutaro 37. "The Road", by Shono Junzo 38. "Kitchen," "Raindrops," and "A Memento of the Season", by Koda Aya 39. "On Surgery" and "Rainy Day", by Kono Taeko 40. "Looking for Gloves", by Mukoda Kuniko 41. One, We Count, Then ... , by Takenishi Hiroko 42. Sunday Musings, by Hiraiwa Yumie 43. Not Much of a Book, but Please... and Just Be Sure You're Not a Bother to Anyone, by Dekune Tatsuro 44. "Myna Bird", by Kizaki Satoko 45. "Concerning the Order of Culture", by Shiroyama Saburo 46. "On Zuihitsu", by Sakai Junko

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780231167703
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 560
  • ID: 9780231167703
  • ISBN10: 0231167709

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