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

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

EditorSteven Carter

Paperback | October 21, 2014

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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.

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.
Title:The Columbia Anthology of Japanese Essays: Zuihitsu from the Tenth to the Twenty-First CenturyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:560 pagesPublished:October 21, 2014Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231167717

ISBN - 13:9780231167710

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroductionPart I. Beginnings1. The Pillow Book, by Sei Shonagon2. Essays in Idleness, by Yoshida no KenkoPart II. The Late Medieval Era3. Conversations with Shotetsu, by Shotetsu4. "To Unify the Nation and Restore Civil Society", by Ichijo Kaneyoshi5. "Cottage of Dreams" and "Three Loves", by Shohaku6. A Tenbun Miscellany, by The Fujiwara Lay MonkPart III. The Edo Period7. Laughs to Keep You Awake, by Anrakuan Sakuden8. "On Ohara", by Kinoshita Choshoshi9. Haikai Prose, by Matsuo Basho10. Amusements, by Amenomori Hoshu11. Window Musings, by Matsuzaki Kanran12. A Miscellany of Stories, by Morita Morimasa13. Chats with Myself, by Dazai Shundai14. Jeweled Comb Basket, by Motoori Norinaga15. Idle Chats Beneath a Northern Window, by Tachibana Nankei16. Blossoms and the Moon, by Matsudaira Sadanobu17. Year by Year: A Miscellany, by Ishiwara Masaakira18. Behind the Koto, by Murata Harumi19. Shunparo's Jottings, by Shiba Kokan20. Unusual People of the Modern Age and Kanden's Crop of Jottings, by Ban Kokei21. Hoary Stories, by Tadano Makuzu22. Haikai Prose, by Natsume Seibi23. Clouds of Floating Grasses Part IV. The Modern Period24. Autumn Ensemble, by Higuchi Ichiyo25. Short Works from Long Days, by Natsume Soseki26. "Snow", by Tokutomi Roka27. "Desk", by Tayama Katai28. "Fireworks", by Nagai Kafu29. "Laughter", by Terada Torahiko30. "Various Thoughts on the Great Kanto Earthquake" and "My Moral Precepts for Everyday Life", by Kikuchi Kan31. "Master Hyakken's Idle Fantasies," "Bumpy Road," and "A Long Fence", by Uchida Hyakken32. "The Image of an Author", by Dazai Osamu33. "Baby Sparrow," "Turtledoves," and "Morning Glories", by Shiga Naoya34. Esprit and Humor, by Kawamori Yoshizo35. "Sleepless Nights" and "A Bed for My Books", by Osaragi Jiro36. "On Being Down with a Cold", by Kawakami Tetsutaro37. "The Road", by Shono Junzo38. "Kitchen," "Raindrops," and "A Memento of the Season", by Koda Aya39. "On Surgery" and "Rainy Day", by Kono Taeko40. "Looking for Gloves", by Mukoda Kuniko41. One, We Count, Then . . . , by Takenishi Hiroko42. Sunday Musings, by Hiraiwa Yumie43. Not Much of a Book, but Please... and Just Be Sure You're Not a Bother to Anyone, by Dekune Tatsuro44. "Myna Bird", by Kizaki Satoko45. "Concerning the Order of Culture", by Shiroyama Saburo46. "On Zuihitsu", by Sakai Junko

Editorial Reviews

Rich and highly enjoyable.... This evocative selection serves both as an excellent introduction to the genre for the English-speaking world and as a reminder that, no matter how distant or seemingly different the society, people's individual struggles, aspirations and aesthetics transcend their own times.