Authors: Donald Keene
From the Earliest Era to the Mid-nineteenth Century
COMPILED AND EDITED BY DONALD KEENE
Tokyo | Rutland, Vermont | Singapore
one of the foremost Western authorities on Japanese literature, is widely regarded as America's pre-eminent cultural ambassador to Japan. Presently University Professor Emeritus and Shincho Professor Emeritus of Japanese Literature at Columbia University, he has written and translated over fifty books. The winner of numerous literary awards and prizes, including the Order of the Rising Sun, and the Kikuchi Kan, Yamagata Banto, Japan Foundation, Tokyo Metropolitan, Fukuoka, and Yasushi prizes, Professor Keene was the first non-Japanese to receive the Yomiuri Literary Prize for the best work of literary criticism in Japanese (in 1985 for
Hyakudai no kakaku
) and was awarded the Nihon Bungaku Taisho (Grand Prize of Japanese Literature) for the same work. In 1986, he was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and in 1990 was elected as a foreign member of the Japan Academy.
TO ARTHUR WALEY
UNESCO COLLECTION OF REPRESENTATIVE WORKS
This book has been accepted in the Japanese Series of the Translations Collection of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
First published in 2006 by Turtle Publishing, an imprint of Periplus Editions (HK) Ltd by special arrangement with Grove Press, Inc., New York
Copyright Â© 1955 by Grove Press, Inc. All rights reserved
Illustration by Japanese Gallery, London
ISBN 978-1-4629-0342-9 (ebook)
First Tuttle edition, 1956
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is a registered trademark of Tuttle Publishing, a division of Periplus Editions (HK) Ltd.
NOTE ON JAPANESE NAMES AND PRONUNCIATION
Japanese names are given in this book in the Japanese order: that is, the surname precedes the personal name. Thus, in the name Matsuo Bash
, Matsuo is the family name, Bash
the personal name. However, Japanese usually refer to famous writers by their personal names rather than by their family names and this practice has been observed in the anthology.
The pronunciation of Japanese in transcription is very simple. The consonants are pronounced as in English (with g always hard), the vowels as in Italian. There are no silent letters. Thus, the name Ise is pronounced "ee-say."
The Japanese words used in the text are those which have been taken into English and may be found in such works as the Concise Oxford Dictionary.
It can only be with diffidence that this first anthology of Japanese literature in English is offered to the reading public. I cannot recall ever having read a review of an anthology of European literature which did not point out glaring omissions and inexplicable inclusionsâthis in spite of the comparatively long tradition of such anthologies. How much less likely it is, then, that the present volume will escape such criticism!
A word must therefore be said as to what principles guided the compilation of this book. It is, first of all, an anthology of Japanese works which translate into interesting and enjoyable English. No matter how important a work may be in the original, if it defies artistic translation I could not include it. Secondly, the selection is as representative of all periods of Japanese literature as is consonant with the above caveat. Thirdly, the anthology is as representative as possible of the different genres of Japanese literatureâpoetry, novels, plays, diaries, etc.âalthough, again, it must be borne in mind that in Japan, as in every other country, these various genres have not progressed uniformly. There is, for example, much great dramatic literature from the Muromachi Period but very little quotable poetry.
The length of a selection is not necessarily an indication of the relative importance of the work from which it is taken. It is easier to make extracts from certain types of writing than from others.
One rather unusual feature of the anthology is the inclusion of a limited number of works written by Japanese in the classical Chinese language. Just as Englishmen at one time wrote poetry and prose in Latin, so Japanese wrote in Chinese, with the difference, of course, that while they were writing there was still a country called China where the classical language was constantly being developed.
As I have noted, the translations in this book are meant to be literary and not literal. For example, names of persons, titles, and places not essential to a story have sometimes been omitted in the interest of easy reading for Westerners not able to absorb large quantities of Japanese proper names. Puns, allusions, repetitions, and incommunicable stylistic fripperies have also been discarded whenever possible. Extracts have been made with the intent always of presenting the given work in as favorable a light as possible, even though it might at times be fairer if the book were presented as rather uneven.
There are many objections to the practices cited above, and I am aware of them. But I think it highly important that this first anthology of Japanese literature have as wide an appeal as possible. For those interested in more literal versions of Japanese works, there are at least two scholarly books of recent years designed to meet their needs: "Translations from Early Japanese Literature" by E. O. Reischauer and J. K. Yamagiwa and "The Love Suicide at Amijima" by D. H. Shively. Both of these books give translations of complete texts; all allusions, wordplays, etc., are explained; and words which have been supplied by the translator are enclosed in brackets.
In presenting the anthology I have, for the sake of convenience, divided the literature into political periods: Ancient, Heian, Kamakura, Muromachi, and Tokugawa. However, this division is to be considered as little more than a convenience; it is obvious that a change of regime did not instantly produce a new literature, and it is sometimes indeed difficult to decide to which period a given work belongs. But, just as "eighteenth-century literature" has a meaning for us in spite of the qualifications we may make about its appropriateness as a general term, so "Tokugawa literature" makes enough sense for such a division to be made.
It will be noted that a majority of the translations in this book have never before been printed. Some of them have been made especially at my request, and at some urgency when the translators were engaged on other projects. I wish therefore to take this opportunity of thanking them all for their collaboration.
As far as my own translations are concerned, I should like to thank first Professor Noma K
shin of Kyoto University, under whom I have studied for two years; D. J. Enright and Carolyn Bullitt for help with the poetry; Hamada Keisuke and Matsuda Osamu for their useful suggestions on translations; and Edward Seidensticker for having read over my translations, pointing out the infelicities.
Acknowledgments are also due to: The Asiatic Society of Japan for the "
"and other works published in their Transactions; Professor Doi K
chi and The Kenky
sha Publishing Company for "The Diary of Lady Murasaki" and "The Sarashina Diary"; Nippon Gakujutsu Shink
kai for the "
"; Kenneth Rexroth for "100 Poems from the Japanese"; A. L. Sadler for "The Tale of the Heike"; Dr. Sakanishi Shio for "The Bird-Catcher of Hades" and poetry by Ishikawa Takuboku and Yosano Akiko; G. B. Sansom for "Essays in Idleness"; Thomas Satchell for "
"; Yukuo Uyehara and Marjorie Sinclair for "A Collection from a Grass Path" (University of Hawaii Press) ; Arthur Waley and George Allen and Unwin, Ltd., for "The Tale of Genji," "The Pillow Book," "The Lady who Loved Insects," "
," "The Damask Drum," and "The
"; Columbia College Oriental Studies Program, Columbia University, for "K
kai and His Master" and "Seami on the Art of the
"; and Meredith Weatherby and Bruce Rogers for "Birds of Sorrow."
Mr. Seidensticker, Mr. Watson, and I were in receipt of grants from the Ford Foundation during the period when the book was being prepared, and wish to express our thanks to the Foundation, which is not, however, responsible for the contents of the book.
Thanks are also due the Japan Society, Inc. for their cooperation in the production of the book.
|ANCIENT PERIOD [TO 794 A.D.]|
|54||The Luck of the Sea and the Luck of the Mountains|
|HEIAN PERIOD [794-1185]|
kai: and His Master
|67||The Tales of Ise|
|82||KI NO YDUTSYUKI|
: The Tosa Diary
|92||Poetry from the Six Collections|
|97||THE MOTHER OF MICHITSUNA|
gao (from "The Tale of Genji")
: The Pillow Book
|156||THE DAUGHTER OF TAKASUE|
: The Sarashina Diary
|162||Poetry in Chinese|
|170||The Lady Who Loved Insects|
|KAMAKURA PERIOD [1185-1333]|
|179||The Tale of the Heike|
|197||KAMO NO CH|
: An Account of My Hut
|213||Tales from the Uji Collection|
|224||The Captain of Naruto|
|MUROMACHI PERIOD [1333-1600]|
: Essays in Idleness
|242||The Exile of Godaigo|
: The Art of the
: Sotoba Komachi
: Birds of Sorrow
: The Damask Drum
|301||The Bird-Catcher in Hades|
|312||Poems in Chinese by Buddhist Monks|
|314||Three Poets at Minase|
|322||The Three Priests|
|TOKUGAWA PERIOD [1600-1868]|
: What the Seasons Brought to the Almanac-Maker
: The Umbrella Oracle
: The Eternal Storehouse of Japan
: The Narrow Road of Oku
: Prose Poem on the Unreal Dwelling
: Conversations with Kyorai
and His School
|386||Chikamatsu on the Art of the Puppet Stage|
: The Love Suicides at Sonezaki
: A Wayward Wife
: Shino and Hamaji
of the Middle and Late Tokugawa Period
of the Tokugawa Period
|436||Poetry and Prose in Chinese|