Exploring Japanese Literature

Read Mishima, Tanizaki and Kawabata in the Original

  • Giles Murray
Exploring Japanese Literature

Size: 189×132 mm, 360 g
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
free audio download
ISBN10: 1-56836-541-1
ISBN13: 978-1-56836-541-1
Release date: Sept. 1, 2007

List price: $24.95

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  • CLASSIC TALES of ritual suicide, decadence and geisha romance by Japan's greatest twentieth-century novelists.
  • PARALLEL-TEXT format with large print and a custom dictionary explaining all words as they appear in the stories.

EXPLORING JAPANESE LITERATURE gives you all the backup you need to enjoy the works of three giants of twentieth-century Japanese fiction.

STORY#1 Snow Country Miniature

Yasunari Kawabata
A married Tokyoite is romantically involved with a young geisha at a hot-spring resort in the mountains of Niigata. You'll need to read between the lines to discover what the characters are feeling in this elliptical and fragmented tale.

STORY#2 Patriotism

Yukio Mishima
It is February 1936, and the Japanese capital is in the throes of a coup d'etat. Realizing he will have to fire on his mutinous fellow officers, a young army lieutenant takes the only honorable way out.

STORY#3 The Secret

Jun'ichiro Tanizaki
A world-weary aesthete resorts to ever more bizarre means of stimulating his exhausted nerves. But is his quest for new sensations harmless mischief, or more like a blood sport?  Sound file of this story is available at https://www.speaking-japanese.com/book/exploring-japanese-literature/the-secret/

Yasunari Kawabata, Yukio Mishima and Jun'ichiro Tanizaki are all giants of world literature. Naturally enough, students want to experience their works in the original Japanese, but even tracking down a story of the right length and difficulty level can prove a major hurdle. Exploring Japanese Literature presents one each of these three writers' best-known stories—plus all the linguistic support you need to read them with fluency and enjoyment.

A poignant romance between a wealthy Tokyoite and a provincial geisha in Kawabata's "Snow Country Miniature"; the savage ecstasy of a couple's ritual suicide in Mishima's "Patriotism"; the amoral antics of a playboy aesthete as he tries to reignite his flagging zest for life in Tanizaki's "The Secret"—Exploring Japanese Literature is your entrée to the uniquely rich and exotic world of Japanese fiction.
The book features a page layout designed for maximum accessibility. The original Japanese is in large print on the left-hand page, the English translation on the right, while a custom dictionary—covering nearly every word—runs along the bottom of both.
To further enrich your experience, Exploring Japanese Literature includes biographies of the three authors, mini-prefaces that set the scene for the individual stories, and evocative illustrations. There is also a dedicated website where you have the chance to debate your interpretation of the texts with the author, the editor and, of course, other readers.
Exploring Japanese Literature provides all the resources you need to embark on the literary adventure of a lifetime. Three of Japan's greatest writers are just waiting to be discovered. Enjoy the ride!

About the Author

GILES MURRAY lives in Tokyo, where he works as a writer, translator and copywriter. He is the author of innovative language study books like 13 Secrets for Speaking Fluent Japanese and Breaking into Japanese Literature, and the translator of So Sad to Fall in Battle, a biography of the Japanese commander on Iwo Jima in World War Two; In the Pool, a collection of humorous short stories by Hideo Okuda; and The Dignity of Nations, the antiglobalization bestseller by Masahiro Fujiwara.