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Synopsis

The sweep of Japanese literature in its infinite variety and unusual beauty-from earliest times to the mid-nineteenth century-is the focus of this impressive volume. Every genre and style of Japanese literature, from the somber beauty of Noh plays to the eroticism of seventeenth-century novels is included. Other offerings include poetry and haiku, folktales and legends. The translations have been chosen not only for their accuracy but also for their readability as English prose and poetry.

Donald Keene’s informative Introduction traces links between the various works, some of which may be foreign to Western readers. The result is a thorough and fascinating insight into the literature and culture of classical Japan.

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