Containing prose, poetry, and plays, this anthology of early modern Japanese literature spans the period 1600 to 1900. Compiled by Shirane (Japanese literature and culture, Columbia U.), the anthology pays particular attention to gesaku (playful writing), joruri (puppet theater), and kabuki . Shirane provides explanatory essays putting Japanese literature as a whole and the works of individual authors in historical context. Some 200 reproductions of the original woodblock prints accompanying the literature are included among the extracts of novels, poems, and plays. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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