History of Japanese Literature

History of Japanese Literature

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by William George Aston
     
 

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Professor Aston's A History of Japanese Literature has a permanent place on the bookshelves of all lovers of Japan. William George Aston, who pioneered in the translation of Japanese literature into English, made many original contributions to Japanese studies. His writing is fresh and informative.

The periods reviewed range from the ancient days, when

Overview

Professor Aston's A History of Japanese Literature has a permanent place on the bookshelves of all lovers of Japan. William George Aston, who pioneered in the translation of Japanese literature into English, made many original contributions to Japanese studies. His writing is fresh and informative.

The periods reviewed range from the ancient days, when Japan's history was just dawning, to the Meiji Restoration of 1868, when all aspects of Japanese life were being transformed. No aspect of Japanese culture escaped modification or change after Meiji, but Aston is mainly concerned with the profound literary heritage of Japan before Westernization.

A long–time resident of Japan, who was intimately acquainted with Japanese books and scholars, he used the unique opportunities of his life to make available to English Readers the new world of Japanese literature. His scholarship is vast, yet he never loses the human touch, and he is always easy to read.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781462907649
Publisher:
Tuttle Publishing
Publication date:
09/11/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
432
File size:
3 MB

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few have reached us, the best known of which is the IdzumoFudoki, written in 733. It contains a very few interesting legendary passages, but as a whole it consists of bald statements of fact, and must be classed with Charles Lamb's Biblia Abiblia or "Books that are No Books." It was the forerunner of the very considerable1 modern topographical literature known to us as Meisho. The only other Japanese prose compositions of this time which need be noticed are the Imperial Edicts contained in the Shoku-nihongi, a continuation (in Chinese) of the Nihongi. Their style much resembles that of the Norito, Motoori has edited them in a separate form with a commentary. CHAPTER II JAPANESE POETRY GENERALLY THE "MANYOSHIU" BEFORE proceeding to an examination of the Nara poetry, it seems desirable to give an account of those characteristics of Japanese poetry generally which distinguish it in a conspicuous manner from that of Europe. Narrow injtsjscope and resourcesit js.jshiefly remarkable for its limitations for what it has not, rather than forwHaTit.has. In the first place trTere are no long poems. There is nothing which even remotely resembles an epic no Iliad or Divina Commedia not even a Nibdungen Lied or Chevy Chase. Indeed, jjajrative poems of any kind are short and very few, the only ones wh1c1TTnaveinet with being two or three ballads of a sentimental cast. Didactic, philosophical, political, and satirical poems arealso conspicuously absent. The Japanese muse does not meddle with such subjects, and it is doubtful whether, if it did, the native Pegasus' possesses sufficient staying power for them to be dealt with adequately. For dramatic poetry we have to wait until the fourteenthcentury. Even then there are no complete dramatic poems, but only dramas containing a certain...

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