Japanese Tales from Times Past: Stories of Fantasy and Folklore from the Konjaku Monogatari Shu (90 Stories Included)
The most famous work in all of Japanese classical literature, the Konjaku
Monogatari Shu is as integral a part of its nation’s culture as Canterbury Tales
and The Inferno are of ours. In Japanese Tales from Times Past, the editors and
translators have winnowed down this massive cycle of traditional folklore from
the original’s 1,039 stories to ninety powerfully entertaining tales that are widely
regarded as literary masterpieces of lasting interest to both general and scholarly
readers. These stories are filled with keen psychological insights, wry sarcasm, and
scarcely veiled criticisms of the clergy, nobles, and peasants alike, suggesting
that there are, among all classes and peoples, similar failings of pride, vanity,
superstition and greed-as well as aspirations toward higher moral goals.
Japanese Tales from Times Past marks the first time such a large selection has
been translated and published for an English-reading audience. In their
enlightening introduction, the editors highlight how many of the era’s most
pressing social concerns-including the teaching of Buddhism, attitudes toward
environmental ecology, and feminism-are still deeply relevant today.
|Dimensions||133 × 203 mm|
Naoshi Koriyama taught at Toyo University in Tokyo from 1961-1997 and is professor emeritus. He is the translator of Like Underground Water: The Poetry of Mid-Twentieth Century Japan and numerous other books of verse.
Bruce Allen is Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Seisen University in Tokyo. He has translated several of the works of Japanese writer Ishimure Michiko, including her novel Lake of Heaven.
Paperback / softback