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Tales of the Heike

ISBN-10: 0231138032
ISBN-13: 9780231138031
Edition: 2008
List price: $28.00
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Description: The Tales of the Heikeis one of the most influential works in Japanese literature and culture, remaining even today a crucial source for fiction, drama, and popular media. Originally written in the mid-thirteenth century, it features a cast of vivid  More...

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Book details

List price: $28.00
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 3/19/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 232
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.924
Language: English

The Tales of the Heikeis one of the most influential works in Japanese literature and culture, remaining even today a crucial source for fiction, drama, and popular media. Originally written in the mid-thirteenth century, it features a cast of vivid characters and chronicles the epic Genpei war, a civil conflict that marked the end of the power of the Heike and changed the course of Japanese history. The Tales of the Heikefocuses on the lives of both the samurai warriors who fought for two powerful twelfth-century Japanese clans-the Heike (Taira) and the Genji (Minamoto)-and the women with whom they were intimately connected. The Tales of the Heikeprovides a dramatic window onto the emerging world of the medieval samurai and recounts in absorbing detail the chaos of the battlefield, the intrigue of the imperial court, and the gradual loss of a courtly tradition. The book is also highly religious and Buddhist in its orientation, taking up such issues as impermanence, karmic retribution, attachment, and renunciation, which dominated the Japanese imagination in the medieval period. In this new, abridged translation, Burton Watson offers a gripping rendering of the work's most memorable episodes. Particular to this translation are the introduction by Haruo Shirane, the woodblock illustrations, a glossary of characters, and an extended bibliography.

Burton Watson, award-winning translator of Chinese and Japanese literature and poetry, was born in New Rochelle, New York in 1925. When he was 17 years old, he dropped out of high school and joined the Navy. He experienced Japan through his weekly shore leaves while stationed at Yokosuka Harbor in 1945. Consequently, Watson attended Columbia University and majored in Chinese and Japanese studies. In 1951, he received a Ford Foundation Overseas Fellow and returned to Kyoto. Watson received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1956. He has taught English at Doshisha University in Kyoto, and Chinese at Stanford and Columbia. Columbia University's Translation Center awarded Watson the Gold Medal Award in 1979. Watson also won the PEN Translation Prize in 1981 for his translation of Hiroaki Sato of From the Country of Eight Islands: An Anthology of Japanese Poetry. He won this award again in 1995 for Selected Poems of Su Tung-p'o. Watson moved to Japan in 1973, where he currently resides.

Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction
The Bells of Gion Monastery
Night Attack at Courtiers' Hall
The Sea Bass
Page-Boy Cuts
Kiyomori's Flowering Fortunes
Gio
The Admonition
Signal Fires
The Death of the Senior Counselor
Yasuyori's Prayer
The Pardon
The Foot-Drumming
Ario
The Death of Shunkan
The Battle at the Bridge
The Burning of Nara
The Death of Kiyomori
Sanemori
Tadanori Leaves the Capital
The Flight from Fukuhara
The Death of Lord Kiso
The Old Horse
The Attack from the Cliff
The Death of Tadanori
The Capture of Shigehira
The Death of Atsumori
Regarding the Precepts
Senju-no-mae
Yokobue
Koremori Becomes a Monk
Koremori Drowns Himself
The Death of Tsuginobu
Nasu no Yoichi
The Lost Bow
The Cockfights and the Battle of Dan-no-ura
Far-Flying Arrows
The Drowning of the Former Emperor
The Execution of Rokudai
The Initiates' Book
The Imperial Lady Becomes a Nun
The Move to Ohara
The Retired Emperor Visits Ohara
The Six Paths of Existence
The Death of the Imperial Lady
Glossary of Characters
Bibliography

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