At the House of Gathered Leaves: Shorter Biographical and Autobiographical Narratives from Japanese Court Literature
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224pp. July 2004
At the House of Gathered Leaves: Shorter Biographical and Autobiographical Narratives from Japanese Court Literature
Author: Mostow, Joshua S.;
This collection of Japanese women’s diary literature (nikki bungaku) begins with The Takemitsu Journal (also known as The Tale of the Tōnomine Lesser Captain, c. 962), an important precursor and model for the famous Kagerō Diary, and Tales of Toyokage (c. 971), a fictionalized reworking of his own poems by Regent Koremasa himself. It also includes the first complete English translations of the Hon’in no Jiju and of the narrative section of The Collected Poems of Lady Ise. The volume concludes with the Tales of Takamura (1185-1333), which Mostow describes as a site of struggle between masculine and feminine narrative styles.
“A significant contribution to the field. It is based on superb scholarship, provides elegant translations, and presents original ideas and new information about a body of relatively unknown texts.” —Laurel Rasplica Rodd, University of Colorado at Boulder

“Provides an informative introduction and highly accessible translations .... Mostow continues to push the envelope, advocating revisionist reexaminations that necessarily must take into account history, ideology, and cultural nationalist agendas.” —Monumenta Nipponica, 60:2

“With the publication of At the House of Gathered Leaves, we draw closer to a critical mass of studies that could steer readers in a more fascinating (and correct) direction. Joshua Mostow illuminates the political context of these works, assuming that they took shape for reasons other than the unburdening of feminine sensibilities. Specialists have encountered this argument in articles by Mostow dating back to 1990, but to find half of the Fujiwara “Regents’ House” (sekkan-ke) prose-poetry texts translated in one volume, with meticulous annotations and comprehensive discussion of the category, is bracing.” Journal of Japanese Studies 32 (2006)

Author: Mostow, Joshua S.;
Joshua S. Mostow is professor of Asian studies at the University of British Columbia.
Read the introduction (PDF).



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