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3.8 4
by Yasushi Inoue, Jean Oda Moy (Translator)

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More than a thousand years ago, an extraordinary trove of early Buddhist sutras and other scriptures was secreted away in caves near the Silk Road city of Tun-huang. But who hid this magnificent treasure and why? In Tun-huang, the great modern Japanese novelist Yasushi Inoue tells the story of Chao Hsing-te, a young Chinese man whose accidental failure


More than a thousand years ago, an extraordinary trove of early Buddhist sutras and other scriptures was secreted away in caves near the Silk Road city of Tun-huang. But who hid this magnificent treasure and why? In Tun-huang, the great modern Japanese novelist Yasushi Inoue tells the story of Chao Hsing-te, a young Chinese man whose accidental failure to take the all-important exam that will qualify him as a high government official leads to a chance encounter that draws him farther and farther into the wild and contested lands west of the Chinese Empire. Here he finds love, distinguishes himself in battle, and ultimately devotes himself to the strange task of depositing the scrolls in the caves where, many centuries later, they will be rediscovered. A book of magically vivid scenes, fierce passions, and astonishing adventures, Tun-huang is also a profound and stirring meditation on the mystery of history and the hidden presence of the past.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A true historical imagination is exceedingly rare, and [Tun-huang] is a superb example of such an imagination at work.” —Robert Payne, ASIA

“The unique thing about Inoue’s work, for me . . . is that every story presents a vision, and that unlike the visions in books by other authors, I can always follow the vision as I’m reading, always believe it; Inoue has lived and felt these images and has the simplest and airiest language for them that I have ever seen. I don’t need to believe his illuminations, they are simply there in the book, as facts.” —Peter Handke

“a work of superb historical imagination. . . ” —James Kirkup, The Independent

“Early in the 20th century an incredible hoard of Buddhist sutras and other manuscripts was discovered by itinerant monk in Tun-huang. Archaeologists recovered thousands of documents that have been concealed in the Thousand Buddha Caves for 900 years. The author…speculated on the reasons for the hiding of such treasures, and this fascinating and exotic novel is the result.” —Publishers Weekly

“Historical reconstruction of a very personal and special kind.” —Donald Richie

“An enthralling tale.” —Oriental Economist

“A unique writer who has managed to escape the often narrow topical bounds of the Japanese novel.” —Japan Quarterly

"One of Japan's most prolific and respected authors..." —Japan Economic Newswire

“The descriptive passages in Yasushi Inoue's ‘Under the Shadow of Mount Bandai’ are worthy of the longer passages of an Anne Radcliff Gothic tale" —The Japan Times

''One of the most respected novelists in Japan.'' —The New York Times

Product Details

New York Review Books
Publication date:
NYRB Classics Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Yasushi Inoue (1907–1991) was born on Hokkaidō, Japan’s northernmost island, the eldest child of an army medical officer. After a youth devoted to poetry and judo, Inoue sat, unsuccessfully, for the entrance exam to the Kyushu Imperial University Medical School. He would go on to study philosophy and literature at Kyoto Imperial University, writing his thesis on Paul Valéry. In 1935, newly married and with an infant daughter, Inoue became an arts reporter for the Osaka edition of the Mainichi News. Following the Second World War, during which he briefly served in north China, he published two short novels, The Hunting Gun and The Bullfight (winner of the Akutagawa Prize for literature). In 1951 Inoue resigned from the newspaper and devoted himself to literature, becoming a best-selling and tremendously prolific author in multiple genres. Among his books translated into English are The Hunting Gun, The Roof Tile of Tempyō, and The Blue Wolf: A Novel of the Life of Chinggis Khan. In 1976 the emperor of Japan presented Inoue with the Order of Culture, the highest honor granted for artistic merit in Japan.

Jean Oda Moy was born in Washington State and spent her early years in Seattle, moving to Japan shortly before the outbreak of World War II . She is also the translator of Yasushi Inoue’s Chronicle of My Mother and Shirobamba: A Childhood In Old Japan.

Damion Searls is the author of What We Were Doing and Where We Were Going and an award-winning translator, most recently of Rainer Maria Rilke’s The Inner Sky: Poems, Notes, Dreams, Jon Fosse’s Aliss at the Fire, and Hans Keilson’s Comedy in a Minor Key. NYRB Classics has published his abridged edition of Henry David Thoreau’s Journal and will publish his translations of the Dutch writer Nescio’s short stories and André Gide’s Marshlands.

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Tun-Huang 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ashlynn was the first to react to the girls sudden appearence. She was on her feet with weapon in hand before I could even turn around to look at the intruder. "Who do you think you are?" She asked as I looked at the new person. She was a deffiently a demigod because I know of no other people that carry to swords straped on their backs. Her hair was black in color, short and choppy, almost like she had cut it herself. I couldnt help but stare at her eyes which were two different colors, one bright green and the other a midnight blue. "I am a demigod like you guys and my name is Jade." Hunter groaned again. "And I can help you with him." Some help sounded really good at the moment. Alex was busy looking Hunter over, he even poked him for whetever that acomplished. "What if she works for that Chris dude?" Stephen pointed our. I draged my hand down my face thinking that I was really out of it today when Jade spoke. "Whos Chris?" She asked with a puzzled look on her face. Hunter probably would have made me answer that if he wasnt moaning in pain at the moment. "Some evil guy who tried to drop us down a bottemless pit to the Underworld." It was Alex who spoke before me. "And we need to steal a few things from him, so any help you could give us would be really helpful." I said. Jade shurged. "My house is really close to here," she paused and pointed at Hunter, "You could take him there." I looked at the others. "That would be our best option. We cant leave him here." I noted. "So take Hunter to Jades place, leave him, get the fleece, and heal him with it before dark?" Ashlynn asked listing the things off on her fingers. "Yep. Sounds like a plan." I said and looked at Jade motioning for her to lead the way. <p> I felt better now about Hunter since we had a plan. I also felt very slobery. "Down boy!" I commanded Jades dog, trying to shake him off my leg. "I know I some here somewhere!" Jade said looking through the cabnets in her kitchen. She opened another drawer and shut it quicly. "I always keep a vial here somwhere!" She said opening a door labeled 'SPICES'. Everything in her kitchen was labeled. She had told us earlier that it was more for her au pair than her. "Aha! Found it." She said pulling out a vial with cork stoper. "My emergency stash of necter." "Great." I said taking the vial from her and going over to where Hunter lay on a couch. The vial didnt hold much, maybe an ounce and a half, but it was all we had. "So, uh, how should we give to him?" None of us knew any helpful medical stuff, all we had done was put him on the couch and layed a blanket over him when he started shivering. "Maybe on it?" Stephen suggested at the same time Alex said "Make him drink it?" I thought for a moment. We needed it to work right now and if he drank it who knew if it would even get to his leg. "Lets pour it on him." I finally decided. I dont really feel like describing what happened after that. That just say that it was really disgusting. Ashlynn made a face and looked away. "Should we go climb the mountain now?" She asked. We all agreed and headed out the door. ((Next one next res! Rate and review please!))
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Where is the story and where is the next one at?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You are a great writer u should publish ur book keep up the good writing and if u could please include me in the story im george ; .)