The Blue Wolf

A Novel of the Life of Chinggis Khan

Inoue Yasushi. Translated by Joshua A. Fogel

Columbia University Press

The Blue Wolf

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Pub Date: November 2008

ISBN: 9780231146166

304 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $40.00£30.00

Pub Date: November 2008

ISBN: 9780231517911

304 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $39.99£30.00

The Blue Wolf

A Novel of the Life of Chinggis Khan

Inoue Yasushi. Translated by Joshua A. Fogel

Columbia University Press

One of the world's most ruthless warriors, Chinggis Khan conquered nearly all of Asia in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, transforming the scattered and impoverished Mongols into an exceptionally proud and powerful nation. In this riveting and thoroughly researched portrait, Japan's celebrated epic novelist drives at the root of the khan's great desires and insatiable appetite for supremacy.

Beginning with his birth in 1162, The Blue Wolf follows the crucial alliances that led to Chinggis Khan's great campaigns in North China, Bukhara, and Samarkand, as well as the state of Khorazm. The khan was obsessed with his ancestry, not knowing whether he was the descendent of the blue wolf (mythical progenitor of the Mongols and the noble Borjigin line) or merely the bastard son of a Merkid tribesman. For Inoue Yasushi, Chinggis's ancestral anxiety lies at the center of his relentless push for empire. He struggled with his paternity as intensely as he fought his battles, and his victories stood as proof that the brave warrior was a true Mongol.

The question of paternity also formed the largest wedge between Chinggis and his eldest son, Jochi, a boy born in captivity and of similarly questionable heritage. Hailed for its sophistication and rich imagining of a remote world, The Blue Wolf puts a human cast on a legendary force that changed Asia and the world.
An exciting first English translation of the popular Japanese original, this book promises to create new Genghis Khan enthusiasts with its imaginative but historically faithful interpretation of the great Mongol leader's life.... Inoue answers intriguing questions about Genghis Khan's motivations and what happened during key but unrecorded times in his life. Translator Fogel is to be applauded for bringing such a rousing Japanese favorite to a wider audience. Library Journal
The Blue Wolf is a superior work of historical fiction. Viviane Crystal, Historical Novels Review
Translator's Note
Map
1. Earliest Years
2. The Merkid Massacre
3. Overlordship on the Mongolian Plateau
4. Temüjin Becomes Chinggis Khan
5. Attack on the Jin
6. Fall of the Jin Dynasty
7. The Destruction of Khorazm
8. Return to Mount Burqan
Author's Afterword (1960)
Dramatis Personae

About the Author

Inoue Yasushi (1907-1991) received numerous awards for his writing, including the prestigious Akutagawa Prize and the Japan Art Academy Award, and he was nominated for the Nobel Prize for literature. His novels include such popular works as The Roof Tile of Tempyo, Lou-Lan, Wind and Waves, and Journey Beyond Samarkand.

Joshua Fogel is Canada Research Chair and professor of history at York University in Toronto. He specializes in the history of Sino-Japanese relations and has taught at Harvard University and the University of California, Santa Barbara.