Once and Forever: The Tales of Kenji Miyazawa

Overview

The magic of Miyazawa's tales reaches out to people of all ages and lands. The sophisticated reader can savor them consciously as literature, while the younger reader can delight in them as imaginative stories that comment on and deepen his own experience. The underlying themes are universal, but the forms and treatment can be appreciated at many levels and vary subtly from piece to piece. The sheer storytelling skill is most evident in pieces like the joyful, innocent "Wildcat and the Acorns," or in a classic ...
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Overview

The magic of Miyazawa's tales reaches out to people of all ages and lands. The sophisticated reader can savor them consciously as literature, while the younger reader can delight in them as imaginative stories that comment on and deepen his own experience. The underlying themes are universal, but the forms and treatment can be appreciated at many levels and vary subtly from piece to piece. The sheer storytelling skill is most evident in pieces like the joyful, innocent "Wildcat and the Acorns," or in a classic cautionary tale like "The Restaurant of Many Orders." But even a superficially whimsical tale like "the Earth-god and the Fox" can in a short span construct a genuinely moving little tragedy. "The Last Deer Dance," a fanciful account of the origins of a well-known folk dance, works its gentle way to a climax of pure poetry. "Tokkobe Torako" makes folk superstitions the basis for a piece of amusing farce in a historical setting. And in "The Wild Pear," what seem to be two slight nature sketches succeed in encapsulating some of the cruelty and compensations of life itself... Almost every story has something fresh to offer. Yet all the different elements merge into are transcended by, an impression of embracing compassion for living creatures; of wry humor; and above all of a passionate love of nature - in particular, the four seasons of Miyazawa's native northern Japan. Clear-sighted yet never sadistic and rarely sentimental, the tales taken as a whole present a view of life that is fresh and acceptable to the modern reader. By bringing together the best of them, this book seeks to place Miyazawa firmly in the special niche he deserves in the history of Japanese and world literature.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9784770021847
  • Publisher: Kodansha International
  • Publication date: 1/28/1998
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 4.57 (w) x 7.21 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
The Earthgod and the Fox 1
General Son Ba-yu 15
Ozbel and the Elephant 33
The First Deer Dance 45
The Bears of Nametoko 57
Wildcat and the Acorns 69
Gorsch the Cellist 81
Tokkobe Torako 99
A Stem of Lilies 107
The Restaurant of Many Orders 115
The Man of the Hills 127
The Police Chief 137
The Spider, the Slug, and the Raccoon 145
The Red Blanket 161
The Dahlias and the Crane 171
The Thirty Frogs 177
The Ungrateful Rat 191
Night of the Festival 199
The Fire Stone 207
March by Moonlight 227
Kenju's Wood 237
The Wild Pear 247
Down in the Wood 255
The Nighthawk Star 265
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