Tales of Moonlight and Rain alludes to the belief that mysterious beings appear on cloudy, rainy nights and in mornings with the lingering moon. In "Shiramine," the vengeful ghost of the former emperor Sutoku reassumes the role of king; in "The Chrysanthemum Vow," a faithful revenant fulfills a promise; "The Kibitsu Cauldron" tells a tale of spirit possession; and in "The Carp of My Dreams," a man straddles the boundaries between the waking world and dream. Akinari's masterful combination of phrases from Japanese classics with creatures from Chinese and Japanese fiction and lore lend the collection its eerie beauty. This translation skillfully maintains the allure and complexity of Akinari's original prose.
Ugetsu Monogatari, or Tales of Moonlight and Rain numbers among the best-loved Japanese classics. These nine illustrated tales of the supernatural from eighteenth-century Osaka combine popular appeal with a high literary standard. The author expressed his complex views on human life and society in simple yet poetic language. Akinari questioned the prevailing moral values and standards of his age whilst entertaining his readers with mystery and other-worldly occurrences. This is a reissue of Leon Zolbrod’s definitive English translation of the work, first published in 1974.
Ugetsu Monogatari, or Tales of Moonlight and Rain numbers among the best-loved Japanese classics. These nine illustrated tales of the supernatural from eighteenth-century Osaka combine popular appeal with a high literary standard. The author expressed his complex views on human life and society in simple yet poetic language. Akinari questioned the prevailing moral values and standards of his age whilst entertaining his readers with mystery and other-worldly occurrences. This is a reissue of Leon Zolbrodâe(tm)s definitive English translation of the work, first published in 1974.
Haruo Shirane and Burton Watson, renowned translators and scholars, introduce English-speaking readers to the vivid tradition of early and medieval Japanese folktales. These dramatic and often amusing stories offer a major view of the foundations of Japanese culture.
The Nihon ryoiki, a collection of setsuwa, or "anecdotal" tales, compiled by a monk in late-eighth- or early-ninth-century Japan, records the spread of Buddhist ideas in Japan and the ways in which Buddhism's principles were adapted to the conditions of Japanese society. Beginning in the time before Buddhism was introduced to Japan, the text captures the effects of the nation's initial contact with Buddhism—brought by emissaries from the king of the Korean state of Paekche—and the subsequent adoption and dissemination of these new teachings in Japanese towns and cities. The Nihon ryoiki provides a crucial window into the ways in which Japanese Buddhists began to make sense of the teachings and texts of their religion, incorporate religious observances and materials from Korea and China, and articulate a popularized form of Buddhist practice and belief that could extend beyond monastic centers. The setsuwa genre would become one of the major textual projects of classical and medieval Buddhism, with nearly two dozen collections appearing over the next five centuries. The Nihon ryoiki serves as a vital reference for these later works, with the tales it contains finding their way into folkloric traditions and becoming a major source for Japanese authors well into the modern period.
Resisting the various forms of realism popular during the Meiji "enlightenment," Izumi Kyoka (1873-1939) was among the most popular writers who continued to work in the old-fashioned genres of fantasy, mystery, and romance. Gothic Tales makes available for the first time a collection of stories by this highly influential writer, whose decadent romanticism led him to envision an idiosyncratic world--a fictive purgatory --precious and bizarre though always genuine despite its melodramatic formality. The four stories presented here are among Kyoka's best-known works. They are drawn from four stages of the author's development, from the "conceptual novels" of 1895 to the fragmented romanticism of his mature work. In the way of introduction, Inouye presents a clear analysis of Kyoka's problematic stature as a "great gothic writer" and emphasizes the importance of Kyoka's work to the present reevaluation of literary history in general and modern Japanese literature in particular. The extensive notes that follow the translation serve as an intelligent guide for the reader, supplying details about each of the stories and how they fit into the pattern of mythic development that allowed Kyoka to deal with his fears in a way that sustained his life and, as Mishima Yukio put it, pushed the Japanese language to its highest potential.
This book is intended to assess the significance of kaidan, specifically its multi-dimensional reflection of an impact on Japanese culture in the Edo period. The legacy of Japan's cultural efflorescence in the late eighteenth century was far-reaching, its fruits often seen as epitomizing the entire Tokugawa period. In the years between the Kan'en era (1748-1751) and the chilling effects of the Kansei Reforms (1790), there was no dearth of innovative belletristic expression, but in the area of fiction, the yomihon of Ueda Akinari (1734-1809) eclipse all else. Professor Reider's outstanding study treats this unusual scion of a remarkable age, contextualizing his work from a unique perspective. Under various noms de plume, Akinari authored significant works in several genres of both poetry and prose, but his greatest opus is incontrovertibly his Ugetsu monogatari (Tales of Moonlight and Rain), a collection of nine stories that revolutionized tales of the supernatural, elevating the genre to unprecedented levels of style and sophistication. Such a work deserves - and has duly received - ample critical attention from scholars on both sides of the Pacific, resulting in a plethora of seco
Horror fiction is an important part of the popular culture in many modern societies. This book compares and contrasts horror narratives from two distinct cultures—American and Japanese—with a focus on the characteristic mechanisms that make them successful, and on their culturally-specific aspects. Including a number of narratives belonging to film, literature, comics and video games, this book provides a comprehensive perspective of the genre. It sheds light on the differences and similarities in the depiction of fear and horror in America and Japan, while emphasizing narrative patterns in the context of their respective cultures.