The Columbia Anthology of Japanese Essays

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

Paperback (31 Oct 2014) | English

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Synopsis

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.

About the Publisher

Columbia University Press

Columbia University Press

Columbia University Press seeks to enhance Columbia University’s educational and research mission by publishing outstanding original works by scholars and other intellectuals that contribute to an understanding of global human concerns. The Press also reflects the importance of its location in New York City in its publishing programs. Through book, reference, electronic publishing, and distribution services, the Press broadens the university’s international reputation.

Book information

ISBN: 9780231167710
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Imprint: Columbia University Press
Pub date:
DEWEY: 895.64
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 512
Weight: 732g
Height: 228mm
Width: 152mm
Spine width: 26mm