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“The Kagero Diary,” is the autobiographical recordings of a Japanese woman from the tenth century. The book is translated by Sonja Arntzen from the original. In the Introduction to his revised translation of Kagero nikki, which he called The Gossamer Years, Edward Seidensticker argued that the worst sin of a translator. Watanabe: Kagero nikki later addition, hence this passage, coming as it does immediately after the preface, can be taken as the true beginning of the diary.

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Sometimes the author cannot: I read it for a college class, and except for the professor and one friend, everyone kagerl the woman was whiny.

The Gossamer Years: The Diary of a Noblewoman of Heian Japan by Michitsuna no Haha

Each new year in turn has failed to bring happiness. Late Old Japanese texts. As for the Notes to Books One-Three pp. Plot Summary Chapters Characters. Thanks for telling us about the problem.

But by the end I genuinely wanted to know what would happen with her son’s marriage and her daughter’s life as well. But the author comes through, if rather A portrait of clinical depression and passive aggressive marital tactics in Heian Japan. The writer of this diary is know only as “Michitsuna’s mother”. She falls into a depression, and contemplates death repeatedly, and eventually flees into a temple in the mountains outside the city to get away from the memories.

This is an nice book and This is basically a diary of the collapse of the authors marriage. We’ll have to bikki until mid-April to learn the name of Japan’s new era The government is likely to announce the name of the next era in mid-April, ahead of the May 1 change of the name from the current Heisei, according to informed sources. View the Lesson Plans.

The Kagero Diary: A Woman’s Autobiographical Text from Tenth-century… Summary & Study Guide

This book is one of the classics of Japanese literature, which was the main reason I picked this one up. The Translation Final Thoughts In terms of my rating, the high marks were mostly garnered from Seidensticker. This was okay, though not as fascinating and readable for me as Sei Shonagon’s Pillow Book. I think I’d like to read a more recent translation of this nik,i see if my kageri changes.


While still a very interesting look at life in Heian Japan, this is absolutely filled with puns, references and poetry that the translator would have trouble putting into a modern way.

Especially with old text such as this, I felt it was important to address how the author treated something that is both old and fragmentary nikii times. Her caring nature is underscored in her desire to adopt the young girl who is the illegitimate child of her roving husband.

A pilgrimage means, first of all, travel, a change of scene. For example, her husband did not live with her but maintained a visiting statues. Shonagon lived at the court with the Empress and didn’t seem to venture much into the real world, this woman l Not as amusing as The Pillow Book, but not bad in any case, it’s worth reading.

That said, this edition is probably better suited to students of Japanese literature who have appropriate background knowledge and can appreciate the subtleties more.

The one thing which will stay with me about this book is the emotion within it. As with any translated work, I also cannot overemphasize reading the introduction since the translator, Edward Seidensticker, does a great job of introducing the reader to the Heian court atmosphere. She later adopted a daughter of Kaneie’s by another woman. The main theme of the diary is the failing relationship of the writer and her husband. I lagero really like the diarist.

The evolution of the Japanese ego: ‘The Gossamer Years’

nimki It’s easy to think of people in the past as fundamentally different from modern people, and in some ways they were. Polygamy among the aristocracy was the norm. This proves that reading any obscure books with insufficient background may take time, motive and inspiration indeed.

He repeatedly rode his carriage past her gate without stopping, with one of his new paramours in company, and the author cannot understand what happened to all his protestations of devotion as immortal as the moon.

Late on the eve of the new year there was a pounding outside Read more from the Study Guide. Therefore, there should definitely kqgero No.

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The diary starts with her future husband Fujiwara Kaneie courting her and encompasses the years to Unfortunately she does not mention jealousy very often specifically so I am not sure how useful it will be to me, but it was a fairly quick read and it has some nice poetry. Mar 04, J. Three stars because it’s not an easy read and, despite the notes at the end, I could not follow the diary that well.

Jan 03, Annie rated it really liked it Shelves: While kagego a very interesting look at life in Heian Japan, this is absolutely filled with puns, references and poetry that the trans Technically non-fiction because it’s a diary, I found this title quite sad in contrast to the irreverent ‘Pillow Book’. Reading this has somehow made me interested in other literature from the Heian period.

The evolution of the Japanese ego: ‘The Gossamer Years’ | The Japan Times

I think that is what I enjoyed the most. The author, who we do not know but have an inkling of who she may be, is living a sad life.

The book provides the reader with an insight into the life of the Heian period in Japan. Rather Gossamer Years is fascinating for its honesty about human nature, showing how weak humans can be in the face of certain challenges, and for what it shows us about a culture long gone. Instead, it is a calm yet melancholic memoir of a woman trap This review will consist of two parts, a response to the actual material and the work of the translator. But the author’s writings reveal that her husband’s pursuit of love, religious ceremony, and civil advancement meant that they spent almost no time together.

This is mostly due to the fact, that I lack knowledge of the customs of the time, of courting, marriage etc, so some things were never entirely clear.