Tales of Moonlight and Rain

ISBN-10: 0231139136
ISBN-13: 9780231139137
Edition: 2008
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Description: First published in 1776, the nine gothic tales in this collection are Japan's finest and most celebrated examples of the literature of the occult. They subtly merge the world of reason with the realm of the uncanny and exemplify the period's  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 12/24/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 248
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.550
Language: English

First published in 1776, the nine gothic tales in this collection are Japan's finest and most celebrated examples of the literature of the occult. They subtly merge the world of reason with the realm of the uncanny and exemplify the period's fascination with the strange and the grotesque. They were also the inspiration for Mizoguchi Kenji's brilliant 1953 film Ugetsu. The title Ugetsu monogatari(literally "rain-moon tales") alludes to the belief that mysterious beings appear on cloudy, rainy nights and in mornings with a lingering moon. In "Shiramine," the vengeful ghost of the former emperor Sutoku reassumes the role of king; in "The Chrysanthemum Vow," a faithful revenant fulfills a promise; "The Kibitsu Cauldron" tells a tale of spirit possession; and in "The Carp of My Dreams," a man straddles the boundaries between human and animal and between the waking world and the world of dreams. The remaining stories feature demons, fiends, goblins, strange dreams, and other manifestations beyond all logic and common sense. The eerie beauty of this masterpiece owes to Akinari's masterful combination of words and phrases from Japanese classics with creatures from Chinese and Japanese fiction and lore. Along with The Tale of Genjiand The Tales of the Heike, Tales of Moonlight and Rainhas become a timeless work of great significance. This new translation, by a noted translator and scholar, skillfully maintains the allure and complexity of Akinari's original prose.

An adopted child, Ueda ran the family business before he became a full-time writer. In writing Ugetsu Monogatari, the gothic tales for which he is probably best known, he drew on both Chinese and Japanese classical traditions and produced a work known for its elegant diction. He was also respected as a waka poet and as a scholar of ancient Japanese literature.

David Pingree is Professor of the History of Mathematics at Brown University.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
The Early Modern Period in Japan
About the Author
Bunjin, National Learning, and Yomihon
About Tales of Moonlight and Rain
About the Translation
Tales of Moonlight and Rain
Preface
Shiramine
The Chrysanthemum Vow
The Reed-Choked House
The Carp of My Dreams
The Owl of the Three Jewels
The Kibitsu Cauldron
A Serpent's Lust
The Blue Hood
On Poverty and Wealth
Bibliography

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