- Series: Translations from the Asian Classics
- Paperback: 423 pages
- Publisher: Columbia University Press; First Edition T edition (April 15, 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0231073372
- ISBN-13: 978-0231073370
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 81 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #535,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon First Edition T Edition
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The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon has not only amply filled the long-felt need for a full English translation, but has also made a contribution to Heian studies.... A mine of information... [Morris's] translation maintains a high quality throughout. (Journal of Asian Studies)
The Pillow Book is one of the three most important works of its kind in Japanese literature, and Professor Morris has given it handsome treatment. (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland)
Gives all sorts of insights into the court life of the times, and into the worldly character and mentality of its author. It comes over extraordinarily well in this translation, and can rank with any other collection of court memoirs the world over. (Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies)
The liveliest and most endearing of Heian writers, and the one who gives the most intimate and vivid picture of life at court.... Its denizens emerge as real and never-to-be-forgotten people.... Morris belongs to the literary rather than the literal school of translators, and his talents are shown here at their best. (Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies)
"[Morris's] scholarship is a living thing... he sees through all the painted paper screens.... Outstanding. (New York Times)
A beautiful translation. (Japan Quarterly)
A mine of information. (Journal of Asian Studies)
Shonagon comes through vividly.... [Morris] has given us for the first time in full a delightful and fascinating book which is also a work of notable scholarship. (The Observer)
Text: English, Japanese (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
This very enlightening book came from Sei Shonagon who was a court lady in tenth-century Japan. It is actually a personal diary of a woman who explains all the things she likes and displeases her in the daily life of a court lady. She comments on a wide range of topics such as nature and the seasons, the flowers she likes, the importance of good manners, people she likes and hates, the behavior of servants, the correct behavior of lovers and numerous other topics. This book has real historical value because it covers the everyday life of people who are part of the royal family as well as the servants and mistresses of court life in tenth-century Japan.
What makes this book unique is that it chronicles the common everyday life in early Japan and shows the emphasis on good manners and proper dress and attitude was essential to all from the highest to the lowest. This 411 page paperback book also has some interesting illustrations showing the clothes and houses of this period.
If you are interested in early Japanese culture you should check out this book.
Rating: 4 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Zen Poetry Moments: Haiku and senryu for special occasions).
Nevertheless her writing is very readable, engaging, light and witty, and of course it is of great historical and literary significance, especially for something that was, by her own admission, not intended to be circulated publicly. It makes me wonder if any of today's blogosphere authors will still be read a thousand years from now, and what picture they will paint of modern society if they are.