Classic Japanese literature bundle

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Classic Japanese literature bundle .jpg
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Classic Japanese literature bundle

25.00 54.85

Introduce yourself or a friend to Japanese literature with three of Japan's most widely read and beloved classics. Included are:

  1. Silver Spoon: Memoir of a Boyhood in Japan by Kansuke Naka
  2. Basho's Narrow Road: Spring and Autumn Passages by Matsuo Basho
  3. Milky Way Railroad by Kenji Miyazawa
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Silver Spoon: Memoir of a Boyhood in Japan by Kansuke Naka

Perhaps the most admired childhood memoir ever written in Japan, The Silver Spoon is a sharp detailing of life at the end of the Meiji period (1912) through the eyes of a boy as he grows into adolescence. Innocence fades as he slowly becomes aware of himself and others, while scene after scene richly evokes the tastes, lifestyles, landscapes, objects, and manners of a lost Japan.

Basho's Narrow Road: Spring and Autumn Passages by Matsuo Basho

Matsuo Basho (1644-94) is considered Japan's greatest haiku poet. Narrow Road to the Interior (Oku no Hosomichi) is his masterpiece. Ostensibly a chronological account of the poet's five-month journey in 1689 into the deep country north and west of the old capital, Edo, the work is in fact artful and carefully sculpted, rich in literary and Zen allusion and filled with great insights and vital rhythms. In Basho's Narrow Road: Spring and Autumn Passages, poet and translator Hiroaki Sato presents the complete work in English and examines the threads of history, geography, philosophy, and literature that are woven into Basho's exposition. He details in particular the extent to which Basho relied on the community of writers with whom he traveled and joined in linked verse (renga) poetry sessions, an example of which, A Farewell Gift to Sora, is included in this volume. In explaining how and why Basho made the literary choices he did, Sato shows how the poet was able to transform his passing observations into words that resonate across time and culture.

Milky Way Railroad by Kenji Miyazawa

Teased by his friends and alone on a hilltop, a young boy is suddenly swept aboard a magical train bound for the Milky Way. Representing the soul’s transition to heaven, the train is a passage from this life to the next. The boy meets many celestial beings on his journey, among them the newly departed, but only he will be allowed to return to Earth, where he dreams of being reunited with his father. A literary, scientific, and religious fable, Milky Way Railroad depicts a universe that is intensely sad yet profoundly miraculous. Beloved as a classic in Japan for its original and artful evocation of a child’s yearnings, this is a book of great wisdom that teaches acceptance and compassion to young and old alike.