Words to Live by. Japanese Classics for Our Time.

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Kōji introduces his six favorites writers. They span seven centuries, ranging from the 12th century to the 19th. Three are poets; three wrote timeless prose.

Nakano Kōji opens the door to the treasury of Japanese classics by introducing six writers who are his personal favorites. The writers under his lens span seven centuries, ranging from the twelfth century to the nineteenth. Three are poets; three wrote timeless prose.

  • The hermit-monk Ryōkan, a poet who loved nothing more than bouncing balls with neighborhood children or just sitting sprawled in his hut listening to the sound of rain, teaches the value of living with a spirit of play.
  • Kenkō offers trenchant comments on the aesthetics of life, grounded in an appreciation of the immediacy of death.
  • Kamo no Chōmei, a journalist par excellence, found happiness late in life by flouting convention and “rejoicing in the absence of grief.”
  • Dōgen, the founder of Sōtō Zen in Japan, takes us on a mind-bending trip to the Dharma—ultimate truth—that involves revolutionary ways of conceiving of time, life, and death.
  • Saigyō, the beloved itinerant monk-poet, continually explores his own wayward heart and its vast, incorrigible love of beauty.
  • Buson the haiku poet uses his painter’s eye to capture cosmic vistas as well as moments of poignancy in poems of seventeen syllables.

About the Author: Nakano Kōji

Born in Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture, he studied on his own and entered the prestigious Fifth High School in Kumamoto. After a stint in the armed forces during the Pacific War, he graduated from the German Literature Department of the University of Tokyo. Starting in 1952, he taught for twenty-eight years at Kokugakuin University while translating the works of modern writers such as Franz Kafka, Erich Nossack, and Günter Grass. In 1966, he went to Europe for a year as a research scholar. On his return, he immersed himself in Japanese medieval literature and began writing literary criticism, novels, and essays.

Auteur Nakano Koji
Vertaler Juliet Winters Carpenter
Uitgever Japan Publishing Industry Foundation for Culture
Taal Engels  
Jaar van uitgave 2018
Afmetingen 15 x 21 cm
Kenmerken Hardcover, 236 pagina's, geen illustraties
ISBN 9784866580241