Mandarins: Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Mandarins: Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa Paperback – Deckle Edge, July 16, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0977857609 ISBN-10: 0977857603
Buy used
Buy new
Used & new from other sellers Delivery options vary per offer
57 used & new from $5.48
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
Paperback, Deckle Edge
"Please retry"
$8.82 $5.48
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

Putting Modernism Together by Daniel Albright
Putting Modernism Together by Daniel Albright
In Putting Modernism Together, the author argues human culture can best be understood as a growth-pattern or ramifying of artistic, intellectual, and political action. Going beyond merely explaining how the artists in these genres achieved their peculiar effects, he presents challenging new analyses of telling craft details which help students and scholars come to know more fully this bold age of aesthetic extremism. Learn more | See similar books
$13.87 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Mandarins: Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa + The Beautiful and the Grotesque
Price for both: $26.90

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

There's a lot more to Akutagawa (1892-1927) than his short story "Rashomon," made famous by the Kirosawa film, and not among these 13 tales, delicately balanced worlds in miniature. Newly translated, they evoke the lost splendor and conflicts of Rashomon's Meiji Era. "The Garden" depicts a crumbling inn belonging to the once-great family Nakamura; presciently, the last surviving relative, Ren'ichi, has abandoned the land to attend art school in Tokyo. Titled after a line from Basho, "O'er a Withered Moor" re-creates, in an quiet Osaka residence, the mournful last moments of a great man's life, surrounded by his grieving, anxious disciples. The exquisite "Kesa and Morito" is made up of soliloquies by two lovers who contemplate murdering Kesa's husband in order to consummate their conflicted longing for each other. Modern tales include the vignette "Mandarins," the account of a ennui-laden train traveler who looks on in delighted astonishment as his young peasant co-passenger throws oranges to her brothers, waving as they pass. Akutagawa's stories are gorgeous and intimate.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


The flow of his language is the best feature of Akutagawa’s style. Never stagnant, it moves along like a living thing . . . His choice of words is intuitive, natural – and beautiful.—Haruki Murakami

The works of Akutagawa comprise, in the literary sense, an indispensable anatomy of melancholy. He was both traditional and experimental and always compelling and fearless. As Joseph Brodsky said, Akutagawa loved the world strangely. There is no writer quite like him. The translations of Charles De Wolf make for the perfect duet between languages. This is a wonderful collection. —Howard Norman

Extravagance and horror are in his work but never in his style, which is always crystal-clear.—Jorge Luis Borges

Shop the China Books Store
Interested in browsing our full selection of books related to China? Visit our China Books Store.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Archipelago (July 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977857603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977857609
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #447,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Crazy Fox on October 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
If one wants to read the vaguely disturbing stories of Akutagawa Ryunosuke, the "Father of the Japanese Short Story" in English translation, there are any number of good collections available. This one is a little different, though, and not just because it includes three works never before translated. Akutagawa is justifiably famous for taking old tales from classical Japanese literature and giving them an unusual psychological twist--this is by far the Akutagawa most familiar to readers abroad, but retold tales in this line are after all only one aspect of this versatile author's overall literary output. That being the case, the translator here has wisely chosen to de-emphasize (though not entirely ignore) such stories and focus instead on Akutagawa's more explicitly modern--and modernist--works, many from the latter years of this fine author's unnaturally short life.

Some of these stories are clearly autobiographical, giving us precious glimpses of what it was like coming of age as an educated youth in early twentieth century Japan as well as startling and uncomfortable gazes into his slow and unsteady descent into mental instability. Others, largely non-autobiographical, are just good old finely crafted explorations of the human condition rendered through the words and actions of characters that seem memorably real. Others still fall somewhere in between, like "O'er a Withered Moor"--ostensibly a fictional retelling of the death of the Haiku poet Matsuo Basho surrounded by his disciples and a meditation on selfishness and mortality, it is also clearly a reflection by Akutagawa upon the recent death of his own mentor, the novelist Natsume Soseki.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Reader in Tokyo on July 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book was published in 2007 and contained 15 short stories by Akutagawa. As far as could be determined, six of the stories appeared in English for the first time.

The collection might surprise readers who come to this book looking only for macabre, psychologically intense stories set in the past, like "Rashomon," "In a Grove" and "Hell Screen." The translator included a few stories broadly of this type, like "The Death of a Disciple," "Fortune," and "Kesa and Morito" (1918), a brilliantly reimagined event from Japanese medieval times told in the first person, from the clashing perspectives of a man and a woman. But like other reviewers wrote, mainly this anthology seemed intended to show readers a wider variety of styles in this author's career than one usually finds. That's its major accomplishment. It might be enjoyed especially by those who are familiar with Akutagawa's best-known stories and seeking an introduction to other types of works.

There were tales here, for example, from the author's early career set in contemporary times, presented without a narrator ("The Handkerchief," "Autumn," "The Garden"). There were tales set in the present and incorporating a narrator who stood in for the author ("Mandarins," "An Enlightened Husband," "An Evening Conversation"), though the autobiographical element in this period was usually rather light. From his middle period, there was a story that was more strongly autobiographical ("At the Seashore"), based on details from the author's days as a university student.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on November 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
Skillfully translated from the original Japanese by Charles De Wolf, Mandarins: Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa is an anthology of short stories written during the all-too-brief life of Ryunosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927). Fluidly evoking 1920's Japan, in an era when traditions were in flux and the yearning for personal liberty burned brightly, Mandarins features characters who struggle against the society around them. The three stories in Mandarins, translated into English for the first time, are "An Enlightened Husband", "An Evening Conversation", and "Winter". At times cruel, at times fantastically descriptive, Akutagawa's prose resonates with a piercing clarity on every page. A welcome addition to Japanese literature shelves.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Mandarins: Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa
This item: Mandarins: Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa
Price: $13.87
Ships from and sold by

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?