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Tales of Moonlight and Rain
     

Tales of Moonlight and Rain

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by Akinari Ueda, Anthony Chambers
 

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First published in 1776, the nine gothic tales in this collection are Japan's finest and most celebrated examples of the literature of the occult. They subtly merge the world of reason with the realm of the uncanny and exemplify the period's fascination with the strange and the grotesque. They were also the inspiration for Mizoguchi Kenji's brilliant 1953 film

Overview

First published in 1776, the nine gothic tales in this collection are Japan's finest and most celebrated examples of the literature of the occult. They subtly merge the world of reason with the realm of the uncanny and exemplify the period's fascination with the strange and the grotesque. They were also the inspiration for Mizoguchi Kenji's brilliant 1953 film Ugetsu.

The title Ugetsu monogatari (literally "rain-moon tales") alludes to the belief that mysterious beings appear on cloudy, rainy nights and in mornings with a lingering moon. In "Shiramine," the vengeful ghost of the former emperor Sutoku reassumes the role of king; in "The Chrysanthemum Vow," a faithful revenant fulfills a promise; "The Kibitsu Cauldron" tells a tale of spirit possession; and in "The Carp of My Dreams," a man straddles the boundaries between human and animal and between the waking world and the world of dreams. The remaining stories feature demons, fiends, goblins, strange dreams, and other manifestations beyond all logic and common sense.

The eerie beauty of this masterpiece owes to Akinari's masterful combination of words and phrases from Japanese classics with creatures from Chinese and Japanese fiction and lore. Along with The Tale of Genji and The Tales of the Heike, Tales of Moonlight and Rain has become a timeless work of great significance. This new translation, by a noted translator and scholar, skillfully maintains the allure and complexity of Akinari's original prose.

Editorial Reviews

Daily Yomiuri - Brad Quinn
Japan scholars and people who just like weird, spooky stuff should enjoy this new edition of Akinari's classic.

The Guardian - James Lasdun's
Chambers's new translation is a lucid addition to the handful of previous versions.

The Complete Review
Chambers's edition of Tales of Moonlight and Rain is well worthwhile... Highly Recommended.

Japan Times
A shining new version of a living Japanese classic.

Daily Yomiuri
Japan scholars and people who just like weird, spooky stuff should enjoy this new edition of Akinari's classic.

— Brad Quinn

The Guardian
Chambers's new translation is a lucid addition to the handful of previous versions.

— James Lasdun's

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231511247
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
12/22/2006
Series:
Translations from the Asian Classics
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
248
Sales rank:
660,621
File size:
22 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

What People are Saying About This

Haruo Shirane
Anthony Chambers, a master translator of modern fiction, has produced a superb translation of one of the great works of early modern Japan. The informative introductions, careful notes, and wonderful style draw us into the incredibly rich and allusive world of the strange and marvelous that Ueda Akinari has created and that has inspired many generations of writers and readers. A work to be savored that deepens with each rereading.

Howard Hibbett
Like Mizoguchi in his classic film Ugetsu Monogatari, Anthony Chambers has captured the haunting, emotion-charged atmosphere of Ueda Akinari's tales. This superb new translation reveals their central place in the millennium-long tradition of Japanese fiction.

Meet the Author

Ueda Akinari (1734-1809), one of the great writers of Japanese fiction, was also a scholar, poet, physician, and tea master.

Anthony H. Chambers is professor of Japanese literature and literary translation at Arizona State University. He has translated many works of Japanese literature, both classical and modern, and is the author of The Secret Window: Ideal Worlds in Tanizaki's Fiction.

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Tales of Moonlight and Rain 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got just the sample and was highly disapointed. 155 pages in the sample and didn't even get into the first story. Sorry, but I believe this would be an imense waste of time and money.