Chushingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers): A Puppet Play by Donald Keene

Chushingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers): A Puppet Play

Translated byDonald Keene

Paperback | April 22, 1971

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Chushingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers), also known as the story of the Forty-Six (or Forty-Seven) Ronin, is the most famous and perennially popular of all Japanese dramas. Written around 1748 as a puppet play, it is now better known through Kabuki theater performances.

Donald Keene's translation of the original text is presented here with a new preface and an introduction and notes to aid readers in their comprehension and enjoyment of the play.

About The Author

Donald Keene is Shincho Professor of Japanese Literature and University Professor Emeritus at Columbia University. He is also President of the Donald Keene Foundation of Japanese Culture.
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Details & Specs

Title:Chushingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers): A Puppet PlayFormat:PaperbackDimensions:183 pages, 5.2 × 7.8 × 0.68 inPublished:April 22, 1971Publisher:Columbia University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231035314

ISBN - 13:9780231035316

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Table of Contents

Foreword, by Wm. Theodore de BaryPreface to the Second Paperback EditionPrefaceIntroductionChushingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers)Works Consulted

From Our Editors

Chushingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers), also known as the story of the Forty-Six (or Forty-Seven) Ronin, is the most famous and perenially popular of all Japanese dramas. Written around 1748 as a puppet play, it is now better know in Kabuki performances. In the twentieth century, cinema and television versions have been equally successful. Donald Keene here presents a complete translation of the original text, with notes and an introduction that increase the reader's comprehension and enjoyment of the play. The introduction also elucidates the idea of loyalty. This traditional virtue, as exemplified in Chushingura, has never completely lost its hold on audiences, in spite of twentieth-century changes in Japanese society and moral ideas. Moreover, as Professor Keene points out, the excitement, color and violence expressed in the play may be considered the counterpoint to the austere restraint and understatement which are more commonly thought to be "traditionally" Japanese.

Editorial Reviews

Through his graceful, resourceful translations and his elegant, exhaustive scholarly books, [Keene] is almost single-handedly responsible for the current popularity of Japanese literature in English-speaking countries.