Tandai shōshin roku provides the best source for an understanding of the eighteenth-century Japanese literary figure Ueda Akinari (1734-1809) – a man of many talents and wide-ranging interests: haikai and waka poet, writer of fiction, commentator on Japanese classical texts, doctor of Confucian medicine, keen student of history and botany, tea connoisseur and amateur potter. Sadly, any hope of being taken seriously as a calligrapher had been nipped in the bud by childhood smallpox.
In this highly personal work dating from his last year, when he was almost blind and in poor health, Akinari allows his writing brush to wander at will, giving his unvarnished opinions on contemporary and historical people and events, commenting on various social customs, criticizing friend and foe alike, defending the existence of the supernatural and sharing his love of nature. Akinari’s candour, humour, curiosity of mind and impressive erudition make Tandai shōshin roku an unusual and interesting text that has long deserved to be better known.
Copyright © Wendy Cobcroft 2009
ISBN 978-0-557-20462-5 (paperback & digital versions)
ISBN 978-0-557-25555-9 (hardcover)
View and download Tandai shōshin roku (3.3MB PDF)
Stable URL: http://www.pmjs.org/pmjs-papers/tandai-shoshin-roku
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