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The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories

by Theodore W. Goossen (Editor)

Other authors: Kobo Abe (Contributor), Ryunosuke Akutagawa (Contributor), Osamu Dazai (Contributor), Fumiko Enchi (Contributor), Shusaku Endo (Contributor)30 more, Fumiko Hayashi (Contributor), Ichiyo Higuchi (Contributor), Taiko Hirabayashi (Contributor), Masuji Ibuse (Contributor), Yasushi Inoue (Contributor), Takeshi Kaiko (Contributor), Motojiro Kajii (Contributor), Yasunari Kawabata (Contributor), Nobuo Kojima (Contributor), Taeko Kono (Contributor), Doppo Kunikida (Contributor), Yukio Mishima (Contributor), Kenji Miyazawa (Contributor), Ogai Mori (Contributor), Kuniko Mukoda (Contributor), Haruki Murakami (Contributor), Kafu Nagai (Contributor), Atsushi Nakajima (Contributor), Soseki Natsume (Contributor), Kenzaburo Oe (Contributor), Kanoko Okamoto (Contributor), Ango Sakaguchi (Contributor), Ton Satomi (Contributor), Naoya Shiga (Contributor), Masahiko Shimada (Contributor), Junichiro Tanizaki (Contributor), Yuko Tsushima (Contributor), Riichi Yokomitsu (Contributor), Banana Yoshimoto (Contributor), Junnosuke Yoshiyuki (Contributor)

Series: Oxford Books of Prose

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2304117,996 (4)1 / 18
This collection of short stories, including many new translations, is the first to span the whole of Japan's modern era from the end of the nineteenth century to the present day. Beginning with the first writings to assimilate and rework Western literary traditions, through the flourishing ofthe short story genre in the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the Taisho era, to the new breed of writers produced under the constraints of literary censorship, and the current writings reflecting the pitfalls and paradoxes of modern life, this anthology offers a stimulating survey of the development ofthe Japanese short story.Various indigenous traditions, in addition to those drawn from the West, recur throughout the stories: stories of the self, of the Water Trade (Tokyo's nightlife of geishas and prostitutes), of social comment, love and obsession, legends and fairytales. This collection includes the work of two Nobelprize-winners: Kawabata and Oe, the talented women writers Hirabayashi, Euchi, Okamoto, and Hayashi, together with the acclaimed Tanizaki, Mishima, and Murakami.The introduction by Theodore Goossen gives insight into these exotic and enigmatic, sometimes disturbing stories, derived from the lyrical roots of Japanese literature with its distinctive stress on atmosphere and beauty.… (more)
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» See also 18 mentions

Showing 4 of 4
mixed bag, feel like some of the translations have a lot to be desired but the first story especially was very emotional. interesting overall ( )
  sn_fk_n | May 15, 2022 |
As the editor of this collection notes regarding Mishima's images- they could be bloody and disturbing or they could be delicate and nuanced. It's this odd juxtaposition that partly attracts me to Japanese literature. Added to that, no doubt some sense of 'exoticism' and a sense of the uncanny which comes to fruition in Murakami. This is a varied collection from the modern era with a good representation of women writers. Some authors were familiar while others were entirely unknown to me but just as impressive as the Tanazakis and Dazais. I hadn't read Akutagawa's 'In A Grove' and was amazed at how expertly balanced were his accounts from different points-of-view of the murder. There are too many stories to choose favourites from but I enjoyed Abe's Kafkaesque 'The Bet' and Mishima's delicate portrait of the Kabuki Theatre and the affections and machinations of its occupants. Several stories encouraged me to look up their authors: Enchi's 'Flower-Eating Crone' was intriguing while Higuchi's 'Separate Ways', while one of the older pieces was moving and vivid in a poignant story of diverging fates. 'Desert Dolphin' was a post-modern take on two angels descending to earth and was highly stimulating and unpredictable. Less interesting but still pleasant to read were Yoshimoto and Tsushima. I've only read a couple of Yoshimoto stories but it seems to me she's not too substantial while Tsushima kind of promises more than she delivers here. Despite that this is a very good introduction for the newbie to Japanese lit. ( )
  Kevinred | Oct 17, 2021 |
This volume contains an amazing slice of contemporary (and slightly less than contemporary) Japanese writers. This book is the perfect intro to Japanese literature for those unfamiliar; the short stories within are good representations of their respective author's general style. It's a darn entertaining read, too; I loved nearly every story and and have reread several of them many times. ( )
  g00dnightm00n | May 17, 2010 |
Useful for including more contemporary stories than
Keene's modern Japanese Literature anthology ( )
  antiquary | Jan 11, 2008 |
Showing 4 of 4
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Goossen, Theodore W.Editorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abe, KoboContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Akutagawa, RyunosukeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dazai, OsamuContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Enchi, FumikoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Endo, ShusakuContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hayashi, FumikoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Higuchi, IchiyoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hirabayashi, TaikoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ibuse, MasujiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Inoue, YasushiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kaiko, TakeshiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kajii, MotojiroContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kawabata, YasunariContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kojima, NobuoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kono, TaekoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kunikida, DoppoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mishima, YukioContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Miyazawa, KenjiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mori, OgaiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mukoda, KunikoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Murakami, HarukiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nagai, KafuContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nakajima, AtsushiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Natsume, SosekiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Oe, KenzaburoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Okamoto, KanokoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sakaguchi, AngoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Satomi, TonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shiga, NaoyaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shimada, MasahikoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tanizaki, JunichiroContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tsushima, YukoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yokomitsu, RiichiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yoshimoto, BananaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yoshiyuki, JunnosukeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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This collection of short stories, including many new translations, is the first to span the whole of Japan's modern era from the end of the nineteenth century to the present day. Beginning with the first writings to assimilate and rework Western literary traditions, through the flourishing ofthe short story genre in the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the Taisho era, to the new breed of writers produced under the constraints of literary censorship, and the current writings reflecting the pitfalls and paradoxes of modern life, this anthology offers a stimulating survey of the development ofthe Japanese short story.Various indigenous traditions, in addition to those drawn from the West, recur throughout the stories: stories of the self, of the Water Trade (Tokyo's nightlife of geishas and prostitutes), of social comment, love and obsession, legends and fairytales. This collection includes the work of two Nobelprize-winners: Kawabata and Oe, the talented women writers Hirabayashi, Euchi, Okamoto, and Hayashi, together with the acclaimed Tanizaki, Mishima, and Murakami.The introduction by Theodore Goossen gives insight into these exotic and enigmatic, sometimes disturbing stories, derived from the lyrical roots of Japanese literature with its distinctive stress on atmosphere and beauty.

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