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The Ise Stories

Ise monogatari

translated and with commentary by Joshua S. Mostow and Royall Tyler

Publication Year: 2010

Ise monogatari is one of classical Japan’s most important texts. It influenced other literary court romances like The Tale of Genji and inspired artists, playwrights, and poets throughout Japanese history and to the present day.

In a series of 125 loosely connected episodes, the Ise tells the story of a famous lover, Captain Ariwara no Narihira (825–880), and his romantic encounters with women throughout Japan. Each episode centers on an exchange of love poems designed to demonstrate wit, sensitivity, and "courtliness."

Joshua Mostow and Royall Tyler present a fresh, contemporary translation of this classic work, together with a substantial commentary for each episode. The commentary explores how the text has been read in the past and identifies not only the point of each episode, but also the full range of historical interpretations, many of which shaped the use of the Ise in later literary and visual arts. The book includes reproductions from a version of the 1608 Saga-bon printed edition of the Ise, the volume that established Ise iconography for the entire Edo period (1600–1868).

52 illus.

Published by: University of Hawai'i Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. v-vi

Our translation is based on the copy of the Tenpuku-bon owned by Gakush in University. Transliteration of the text follows that found in Takeoka Masao’s Ise monogatari zen hyōshaku (Ybun Shoin, 1987). Romanization represents historical kana usage (kyū-kanazukai), although proper nouns are rendered in Hepburn romanization ...

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pp. vii-viii

We would like to thank Tesshinsai Bunko, Ashizawa Misako, for permission to reproduce the illustrations from the copy of the Saga-bon edition in their possession. Many thanks also to Professor Yamamoto Tokurō and Masumi Abe El-Khoury. We are grateful to Susan Tyler and Sharalyn Orbaugh for reading the manuscript ...

Textual Matters

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pp. ix


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pp. x

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pp. 1-12

Japan’s aristocratic age, the Heian period (794–1185), saw the emergence of the literary court romance, or monogatari. The best known of these works is without a doubt Genji monogatari (The Tale of Genji). A fair amount is known about the Genji and its composition: it was written by a woman known as Murasaki Shikibu ...

The Ise Stories: Ise monogatari

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pp. 13-248

Appendix 1: Principal Characters, Commentators, and Commentaries

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pp. 249-252

Appendix 2: Family Tree of Principal Characters

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pp. 253-254


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pp. 255-258

Index of First Lines of Poems

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pp. 259-261

Index of First Lines of Translated Poems

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pp. 262-264

Subject Index

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pp. 265-269

E-ISBN-13: 9780824837662
Print-ISBN-13: 9780824834296

Publication Year: 2010