Sand and Pebbles presents the first complete English rendering of Shasekishuthe classic, popular Buddhist "Tale Literature" (setsuwa). This collection of instructive, yet often humorous, anecdotes appeared in the late thirteenth century, within decades of the first stirrings of the revolutionary movements of Kamakura Buddhism. Shasekishu's author, Muju Ichien (1226-1312), lived in a rural temple apart from the centers of political and literary activity, and his stories reflect the customs, attitudes and lifestyles of the commoners.
In Sand and Pebbles, complete translations of Book One and other significant narrative parts are supplemented by summaries of the remaining (especially didactic) material and by excerpts from Muju's later work. Introduced by a historical sketch of the period, this work also contains a biography of Muju. Illustrations, charts, a chronology, glossary of terms, notes, an extensive bibliography and an index guide the reader into a seldom seen corner of old Japan.
Muju and his writings will interest students of literature as well as scholars of Japanese religion, especially Buddhism. Anthropologists and sociologists will discover details of Kamakura life and thought unrecorded in the official chronicles of the age.
About the Author
Robert E. Morrell is Associate Professor of Japanese Language and Literature at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Part I. Muju Ichien (1226-1312)
"No Fixed A bode": 1226-1261
Choboji* : 1262-1312
Muju's* World of Ideas
Part II. Sand and Pebbles (Shasekishu)
Translations and Summaries
Part III. Casual Digressions (Zotanshu)
A. Two Tokugawa Biographers: Kenryo and Tainin
B. Muju's Doctrinal Affiliations
C. Muju and the Esotericism of the Samboin School
D. Yamada Family Genealogy
Glossary of Selected Terms
Glossary of Selected Characters