Here are two hundred and twenty dazzling tales from medieval Japan, tales that welcome us into a fabulous, faraway world populated by saints and scoundrels, ghosts and magical healers, and a vast assortment of deities and demons. Stories of miracles, visions of hell, jokes, fables, and legends, these tales reflect the Japanese worldview during a classic period in Japanese civilization. Masterfully edited and translated by the acclaimed translator of The Tale of Genji, these stories ably balance the lyrical and the dramatic, the ribald and the profound, offering a window into a long-vanished though perennially fascinating culture.
With black-and-white illustrations throughout
Part of the Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library
“Few readers who start the book will be able to resist going through to the end.”
—The New York Times
“Enchanting. . . . The stories are variously witty, allegorical, mystical, gross, funny, and enigmatic . . . Tyler provides a helpful introduction, and his poised translations are something of a masterpiece.”
“Royall Tyler’s translations are nothing short of superb—crisp, restrained, ably balancing the ribald and the profound. The results make available masterpieces from five centuries of Japanese literature. This book is a stellar addition to Pantheon’s “outstanding folklore series.””
“Fresh, imaginative, and uniquely organized . . . told in a style clear, homey, and unpretentious, [they] yield great pleasure.”
“Translated with exceptional skill, this is a perfect example of scholarship concealing scholarship. Tyler has made these tales read gracefully and effortlessly. He writes in a lively and colloquial style that effectively captures the spirit of the originals without being jarringly modern. This is an important book.”
—Donald Keene, Shincho Professor of Japanese, Columbia University
About the Author
ROYALL TYLER has taught Japanese language and culture at many universities, including Harvard, the Australian National University, the University of Oslo, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He lives in Australia.