The Floating World in Japanese Fiction

Overview

The Japan of the "Floating World" is one of the most fascinating and important eras in the history of Asian art and culture. The fiction of this time, called ukiyo-zoshi or "Tales of the Floating World," brought to life a complex world of rakish shopkeepers, teahouse women, celebrated actors, and ordinary townspeople -- all obsessed with the pursuit of pleasure that characterized Genroku culture. The Floating World in Japanese Fiction explores the period from three distinct points of view. Howard Hibbett ...
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Overview

The Japan of the "Floating World" is one of the most fascinating and important eras in the history of Asian art and culture. The fiction of this time, called ukiyo-zoshi or "Tales of the Floating World," brought to life a complex world of rakish shopkeepers, teahouse women, celebrated actors, and ordinary townspeople -- all obsessed with the pursuit of pleasure that characterized Genroku culture. The Floating World in Japanese Fiction explores the period from three distinct points of view. Howard Hibbett chronicles the historical and social influences of the age. Then he presents the works of ukiyo-zoshi writer Kiseki. Lastly, Hibbett offers his translation of The Woman Who Spent Her Life in Love by Saikaku, the celebrated master of the genre. A fascinating reflection of the Japanese soul, the stories in this book are elemental to an understanding of Japanese literature and Japan itself.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Hibbitt (Harvard U.) describes the fiction built around floating worlds that was popular among the prosperous, creative, and illegitimate shopkeepers and entertainers at the bottom of the Japanese feudal order during the 17th and 18th centuries. The first edition was published in 1959 by Oxford University Press. Cited in Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756796990
  • Publisher: DIANE Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 10/28/2005
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 232

Table of Contents

Preface vii
Acknowledgements xiii
Part 1 The Ukiyo-zoshi and the Floating World
I. Genroku 3
II. Pleasures of the Ukiyo 23
III. Saikaku 36
IV. Kiseki and the Hachimonji-Ya 50
V. Ukiyo-E and Genroku Fiction 65
VI. Eccentricities of the Ukiyo-Zoshi 83
Part 2 Figures of the Floating World
from Characters of Worldly Young Women 99
A Wayward Wife 104
from Characters of Worldly Young Men 113
A Spendthrift 117
A Swaggerer 125
A Prig 132
A Rake 139
A Worthless Trio 145
from The Woman Who Spent Her Life in Love 153
An Old Crone's Hermitage 154
Musical and Dancing Festivities 160
Provincial Lord's Favourite 165
Wanton Beauties 172
Courtesan of Middle Rank 180
In the Lower Ranks of the Gay Quarter 186
Lady Etiquette-Teacher and Letter-Writer 193
Maidservant of a Townsman 198
Ruined by Love in Ishigaki 205
The Buddha's Five Hundred Disciples--All Very Familiar! 213
Notes 218
Index 231
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