An Anthology, 1600-1900
This is the first anthology ever devoted to early modern Japanese literature, spanning the period from 1600 to 1900, known variously as the Edo or the Tokugawa, one of the most creative epochs of Japanese culture. This anthology, which will be of vital interest to anyone involved in this era, includes not only fiction, poetry, and drama, but also essays, treatises, literary criticism, comic poetry, adaptations from Chinese, folk stories and other non-canonical works. Many of these texts have never been translated into English before, and several classics have been newly translated for this collection.
Early Modern Japanese Literature introduces English readers to an unprecedented range of prose fiction genres, including dangibon (satiric sermons), kibyôshi (satiric and didactic picture books), sharebon (books of wit and fashion), yomihon (reading books), kokkeibon (books of humor), gôkan (bound books), and ninjôbon (books of romance and sentiment). The anthology also offers a rich array of poetry--waka, haiku, senryû, kyôka, kyôshi--and eleven plays, which range from contemporary domestic drama to historical plays and from early puppet theater to nineteenth century kabuki. Since much of early modern Japanese literature is highly allusive and often elliptical, this anthology features introductions and commentary that provide the critical context for appreciating this diverse and fascinating body of texts.
One of the major characteristics of early modern Japanese literature is that almost all of the popular fiction was amply illustrated by wood-block prints, creating an extensive text-image phenomenon. In some genres such as kibyôshi and gôkan the text in fact appeared inside the woodblock image. Woodblock prints of actors were also an important aspect of the culture of kabuki drama. A major feature of this anthology is the inclusion of over 200 woodblock prints that accompanied the original texts and drama.
This anthology stands alone. It is the first comprehensive anthology of early modern literature. The richness of content allows it to fulfill many different purposes...This volume provides a wealth of material.
Robert N. Huey
This book will become an indispensable reference, not only for students of Edo literature but also for those who have an interest in Japanese culture in general.
Shirane has given us so many angles from which to view this unique society that before long we almost feel we have joined it.
This single volume from Columbia University Press has the bulk and the breadth to introduce to the full scope of Edo literature to the English-speaking world.
Haruko G. Iwasaki
Haruo Shirane's Early Modern Japanese Literature will serve as the standard anthology for some time to come.
This volume has much to offer both students and scholars of Japanese theatre.
Historical Periods, Measurements, and Other Matters1. Early Modern Japan2. Kana Booklets and the Emergence of a Print Culture3. Ihara Saikaku and the Books of the Floating World4. Early Haikai Poetry and Poetics5. The Poetry and Prose of Matsuo Bash_6. Chikamatsu Monzaemon and the Puppet Theater7. Confucian Studies and Literary Perspectives8. Confucianism in Action: An Autobiography of a Bakufu Official9. Chinese Poetry and the Literatus Ideal10. The Golden Age of Puppet Theater11. Dangibon and the Birth of Edo Popular Literature12. Comic and Satiric Poetry13. Literati Meditations14. Early Yomihon: History, Romance, and the Supernatural15. Eighteenth-Century Waka and Nativist Study16. Sharebon: Books of Wit and Fashion17. Kiby_shi: Satiric and Didactic Picture Books18. Kokkeibon: Comic Fiction for Commoners19. Ninj_bon: Sentimental Fiction20. G_kan: Extended Picture Books21. Ghosts and Nineteenth-Century Kabuki22. Late Yomihon: History and the Supernatural Revisited23. Nativizing Poetry and Prose in Chinese24. The Miscellany25. Early-Nineteenth-Century Haiku26. Waka in the Late Edo Period27. RakugoEnglish-Language BibliographyIndex