The Floating World in Japanese Fictionby Howard Hibbett
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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