Home » The Showa Anthology: Modern Japanese Short Stories: 1929-1984 by Van C. Gessel
The Showa Anthology: Modern Japanese Short Stories: 1929-1984 Van C. Gessel

The Showa Anthology: Modern Japanese Short Stories: 1929-1984

Van C. Gessel

Published
ISBN : 9780870119224
Paperback
442 pages
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 About the Book 

The Showa Anthology is the first comprehensive collection of Japanese short stories to appear in English translation in over eight years. These twenty-five stories, most of them newly translated, were composed during the six decades of the ShowaMoreThe Showa Anthology is the first comprehensive collection of Japanese short stories to appear in English translation in over eight years. These twenty-five stories, most of them newly translated, were composed during the six decades of the Showa period (from 1926 to 1989) by some of the finest Japanese writers of this century. The variety and scope of these works attest both to the tenacity of Japanese literary tradition and to the ability of the Japanese writer to absorb and adapt contemporary literary techniques. Most of all, they are vivid artistic responses to what may well be the most turbulent, challenging era in modern Japanese history. The anthology includes stories by authors whose reputations are already well established in the West--Nobel laureate Kawabata Yasunari, Endo Shusaku, Oe Kenzaburo, Dazai Osamu, Inoue Yasushi, and Abe Kobo. In addition, many authors considered of the first rank in Japan are represented, often for the first time in English--Kajii Motojiro, Shono Junzo, Ishikawa Jun, and Shimao Toshio. Six stories by women writers provide a sampling of fiction by a group of authors who have become a major creative force in postwar literature.These authors, much like the classical Japanese painter, are seldom at home producing vast, panoramic landscapes of life- rather they are masters at creating rich genre-style vignettes and brief flashes of inspiration. When these small, reverberating scenes are placed one beside another, the scroll that unfolds before the readers eyes is a subtle and complex portrait of human experience.In formal literary terms, the works range from the discursive autobiographical sketch to imaginative surrealism- from the gentle lyrical mode to the ultramodern intellectual discourse- from pastoral wistfulness to studies of war and its destructive force. Rendered into English by the leading translators and scholars from the younger generation of Japanologists, these stories will appeal to every literary taste. They clearly demonstrate that literature in Japan over the past half century has been a living, changing entity, responding to and commenting upon the vicissitudes of the society. The Japanese short story, as The Showa Anthology demonstrates, has survived wars and defeats and the advent of high-technology in the present age to evolve into a durable and universal form of literary expression.Contents:Introduction by Van C. GesselKuchisukes Valley by Ibuse MasujiMating by Kajii MotojirōLes joues en feu by Hori TatsuoMagic Lantern by Dazai OsamuMoon jems by Ishikawa JunThe magic chalk by Abe KōbōBad Company by Yasuoka ShōtarōEggs by Mishima YukioStars by Kojima NobuoAre the trees green? by Yoshiyuki JunnosukeStill life by Shōno JunzōWith maya by Shimao ToshioThe monastery by Kurahashi YumikoUnder the shadow of Mt. Bandai by Inoue YasushiMulberry child by Minakami TsutomuOne arm by Kawabata YasunariThe day before by Endō ShūsakuFriends by Abe AkiraRipples by Shibaki YoshikoThe pale fox by Ōbe MinakoIron fish by Kōno TaekoPlatonic Love by Kanai MiekoThe crushed pellet by Kaikō TakeshiThe clever rain tree by Ōe KenzaburōThe silent traders by Tsushima YūkoThe immortal by Nakagami Kenji