Read The Shōwa Anthology: Modern Japanese Short Stories by Van C. Gessel Tomone Matsumoto Kojima Nobuo Yoshiyuki Junnosuke Shōno Junzō Shimao Toshio Yumiko Kurahashi Yasushi Inoue Online


The Showa Anthology is the first comprehensive collection of Japanese short stories to appear in English translation in over eight years. These twenty-five stories, most of them newly translated, were composed during the six decades of the Showa period (from 1926 to 1989) by some of the finest Japanese writers of this century. The variety and scope of these works attest boThe Showa Anthology is the first comprehensive collection of Japanese short stories to appear in English translation in over eight years. These twenty-five stories, most of them newly translated, were composed during the six decades of the Showa period (from 1926 to 1989) by some of the finest Japanese writers of this century. The variety and scope of these works attest both to the tenacity of Japanese literary tradition and to the ability of the Japanese writer to absorb and adapt contemporary literary techniques. Most of all, they are vivid artistic responses to what may well be the most turbulent, challenging era in modern Japanese history. The anthology includes stories by authors whose reputations are already well established in the West--Nobel laureate Kawabata Yasunari, Endo Shusaku, Oe Kenzaburo, Dazai Osamu, Inoue Yasushi, and Abe Kobo. In addition, many authors considered of the first rank in Japan are represented, often for the first time in English--Kajii Motojiro, Shono Junzo, Ishikawa Jun, and Shimao Toshio. Six stories by women writers provide a sampling of fiction by a group of authors who have become a major creative force in postwar literature. These authors, much like the classical Japanese painter, are seldom at home producing vast, panoramic landscapes of life; rather they are masters at creating rich genre-style vignettes and brief flashes of inspiration. When these small, reverberating scenes are placed one beside another, the scroll that unfolds before the reader's eyes is a subtle and complex portrait of human experience. In formal literary terms, the works range from the discursive autobiographical sketch to imaginative surrealism; from the gentle lyrical mode to the ultramodern intellectual discourse; from pastoral wistfulness to studies of war and its destructive force. Rendered into English by the leading translators and scholars from the younger generation of Japanologists, these stories will appeal to every literary taste. They clearly demonstrate that literature in Japan over the past half century has been a living, changing entity, responding to and commenting upon the vicissitudes of the society. The Japanese short story, as The Showa Anthology demonstrates, has survived wars and defeats and the advent of high-technology in the present age to evolve into a durable and universal form of literary expression.Contents:Introduction by Van C. GesselKuchisuke's Valley by Ibuse MasujiMating by Kajii MotojirōLes joues en feu by Hori TatsuoMagic Lantern by Dazai OsamuMoon jems by Ishikawa JunThe magic chalk by Abe KōbōBad Company by Yasuoka ShōtarōEggs by Mishima YukioStars by Kojima NobuoAre the trees green? by Yoshiyuki JunnosukeStill life by Shōno JunzōWith maya by Shimao ToshioThe monastery by Kurahashi YumikoUnder the shadow of Mt. Bandai by Inoue YasushiMulberry child by Minakami TsutomuOne arm by Kawabata YasunariThe day before by Endō ShūsakuFriends by Abe AkiraRipples by Shibaki YoshikoThe pale fox by Ōbe MinakoIron fish by Kōno TaekoPlatonic Love by Kanai MiekoThe crushed pellet by Kaikō TakeshiThe clever rain tree by Ōe KenzaburōThe silent traders by Tsushima YūkoThe immortal by Nakagami Kenji...

Title : The Shōwa Anthology: Modern Japanese Short Stories
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9784770017086
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 442 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Shōwa Anthology: Modern Japanese Short Stories Reviews

  • David
    2019-01-26 13:17

    Kuchisuke's valley by Masuji IbuseOld man's village is being flooded by the new dam. "Kuchisuke spoke. 'Just how cruel can this lake be.'"Mating by Kajii MotojirōPoet looks at nature.Les joues en feu by Hori TatsuoIt's where Vita Sexualis meets Confessions of a Mask! How's this for an Omi?:"Uozomi was on the discuss-throwing team and seemed twice my size. When he was on the field, he bore a slight resemblance to The Discuss Thrower, one of the Greek statues on the German picture postcards that we circulated among ourselves. Consequenlty, the lowerclassmen idolized him in spite of his perpetual look of disdain for everyone."Magic lantern by Osamu DazaiSecond reading of this one. Still love Osamu Dazai.Moon gems by Jun IshikawaHe's trying to learn how to ride a bike in bombed Tokyo and Kafū Nagai can be glimpsed in the background. Then there's another bombing, and he's not so sure that he wants to bother with the bike anymore. Fin. Very J.The magic chalk by Abe KōbōIt's very Abe Kobo. Does this guy ever surprise?Bad company by Yasuoka ShotaroI love Yasuoka! He was from Kochi, you know. Second time with this story, featuring the strange relationships of unhappy young men.Eggs by Yukio MishimaRowdy young macho types eat a lot of eggs. Eggs then have their revenge. Rowdy young macho types win through and make lots of omelettes. Mental. Unenjoyable.Stars by Nobuo KojimaSobbing for the first part of this. Privates in the army occupying Manchuria, and our narrator hates and bullies his only friend:"'Joji! Please stop - I'll do whatever you want! I'll do your laundry - anything!''You think I could stand being fawned on by someone like you?'I must have said something like that. I was caught in the fury of my mood. Hikida turned his flat, tearstained, frantic face out away from the city, wailed bitterly, and then tried to scale the parapet and leap off the thirty-foot-high wall."Liked this bit, obvs:"Captain Inoma seemed to have worked himself into a rage. He stripped me naked, then energetically tore off his own jacket. he made me sit facing the east, pulled out his sword and wrapped the blade with my shirt, then stepped up to me.'Are you ready? Don't be a coward. Cut your belly open now, and I'll chop your head off for you. Don't worry about a thing.'I didn't have the impression that he was joking. But this was all too sudden to be really happening. I didn't even have time to feel sad. I gazed down at my stomach. My belly button seemed so forlorn, so alone. As I studied my navel, I blurted out:'Look - a star!'"Are the trees green? by Junnosuke YoshiyukiIs a young man to inherit his father's womanising ways?Still life by Junzo ShonoJunzo's OK, but he's not going to change the shape of the universe.With Maya by Shimao ToshioIf Kenzaburō Ōe didn't have his eldest son, we'd all be reading about Shimao and his daughter.The monastery by Yumiko KurahashiShe's from Kochi! Great story: too many roosters in the hen house, and someone's going to have to cut their stomach open....Under the shadow of Mount Bandai by Yasushi InoueMy favourite Inoue story."What remains indelibly burned upon my memory and ringing in my ears is the defiant challenge - 'Blow, mountain, blow! Give it all you've got!' - uttered by those brave children, who could do nothing else in the face of the mountain's awesome power."Mulberry child by Tsutomu Minakami"'Do you know the story of the mulberry child, the child born out of a mulberry patch? It's probably nothing new to a writer like you. In the poor villages of the north country, only so much land is available for fields and paddies, and when there get to be too many children, well, all the people can do is abandon them, starting with the third or fourth boy. 'Thinning,' it's called, and it was tolerated until about 1900. Mothers would come right down to the police station and report, 'It was a boy, so I wet a towel and covered his mouth, and killed him. Please don't be too hard on me.' Well, the officer would pretend he didn't know anything, and arrange it so the higher-ups never found out. In the village where I was born, too, a lot of thinning went on."One arm by Yasunari KawabataSecond reading of this one.The day before by Shūsaku EndōEarly Japanese Christians vs. a chap in a modern hospital.Friends by Abe AkiraWorking for the TV studio, unhappy colleagues kill themselves or have nervous breakdowns."It seems to me that when people choose to die so hastily, they make fools of those who are left behind."Is this Mishima's 'Kyoko's House'?:"A few miscellaneous books lay beside his bed. One of them was a lengthy novel by a postwar writer, a controversial figure when we were in college."Ripples by Yoshiko ShibakiFamily comes into some money. Family behaves badly and ruins it.The pale fox by Minako ObaStrange little story about the three unreliable men in a young woman's life.Iron fish by Taeko KōnoFabulous! Fabulous! Woman, whose first husband killed himself driving a torpedo into an enemy warship, locks herself into the museum at the Yasukuni shrine so that she can climb inside the "iron fish", mourn and remember."She wanted to experience her husband's death all by herself, to feel the loss personally."Platonic love by Mieko KanaiVery po mo. Someone's writing a short story called 'Platonic love'.The crushed pellet by Takeshi KaikōSecond reading of this.The clever rain tree by Kenzaburō Ōe is in this! He and the lunatics are taking over the asylum.The silent traders by Yūko TsushimaSecond reading of this. Cute. Men are such bastards.The immortal by Kenji NakagamiPo mo yawn.

  • Eadweard
    2019-02-17 15:20

    4.5/5Favorites:Ibuse Masuji - Kuchisuke's Valley Kajii Motojiro - Mating Abe Kobo - The Magic Chalk Mishima Yukio - EggsKojima Nobuo - StarsKurahashi Yumiko - The MonasteryNakagami Kenji - The Immortal

  • Tony
    2019-01-22 15:31

    THE SHOWA ANTHOLOGY: Modern Japanese Short Stories. (1986?). Van C. Gessel & Tomone Matsumoto (eds.). ***1/2.This anthology presents short stories from twenty-six Japanese authors who wrote during the Showa period. The Showa period is that time during the reign of Emperor Hirohito. The word Showa in Japanese means ‘enlightenment and peace.’ In light of the events during this period, it was not a particularly apt name for it. Anyway, each selection from each of the authors was chosen as being representative of his/her work. Many of the authors were familiar to me, and I had managed to have read some of their writing earlier. Others were completely unknown to me, but I was glad to be able to add them to my list of authors to seek out and read more by. Of those known to me, I include Yukio Mishima, Kobo Abe, Yasushi Inoue, Yasunari Kawabata, and Kenzaburo Oe. The editors did provide a brief biography of each author in front of each story, along with a selected bibliography of previous works. The Japanese short story, if the selections in this collection are any indication, is very different from our efforts from the English-speaking world. Their short stories tend to focus – almost microscopically – on tiny moments in time when their main character faces a life-changing event. Their stories, however, spring from the internal dialogs of their characters rather than from interactions with other characters. In all, this was a marvelous collection, and a good introduction to ‘modern’ writers of Japan. Recommended.

  • Stephen Douglas Rowland
    2019-02-11 17:16

    The notable stories, some of which I have read before, in chronological order: "Les Joues en Feu" by Tatsuo Hori; "Magic Lantern" by Osamu Dazai; "Still Life" by Junzo Shono; "With Maya" by Toshio Shimao; "Mulberry Child" by Tsutomu Minakami; "One Arm" by Yasunari Kawabata; "Friends" by Akira Abe; "The Crushed Pellet" by Takeshi Kaikō.The greatest story here that was new to me is Akira Abe's "Friends," though the greatest story overall would have to be Junzo Shono's "Still Life," which is featured in his own collection of the same name (which, in turn, is absolutely essential). Nearly all of the stories written after 1970 are lousy.

  • Ankush Samant
    2019-01-25 20:19

    I firmly believe that Japanese are master storytellers. This belief of mine gets further entrenched after reading more and more Japanese authors. This anthology of short stories is by Japanese authors, who grew up during the turbulent World War period. These authors were attempted to be tamed by Western philosophies - primarily the American ones, they were molded by the hardships of the circumstances - poverty, tyranny of the ruler.., and they were influenced by master storytellers from their past. What resulted was a unique blend of Japanese literature that is unparalleled across the world. If you like short stories, you can't and shouldn't give this a miss!

  • Gianmassimo
    2019-02-16 14:18

    * First nice story met in the anthology: "Bad companies" by Shotaro Yasuoka. The self bad education of three teenager male friends during the anxious period when Japan is entering the 2nd WW. The story is told by one of them. Their relationships and personalities develop in a confuse way, and reflects well the rapid social decay of that time. * I met other two interesting short stories: `Are the trees green' by Junnosuke Yoshiyuki and `With Maya' by Toshio Shimao. In the first I liked the narration of how the main character remembers, and connects past (even not his own) with present events. In the second the exploration of the self-interrogative and problematic waythe character deals with mental problems in a dear person. In general, these japanese stories are very interiorized (they called this style "I-novel") and emphasize small details.Individuals have unresolved personalities: the narration seems a way to manifest their anxieties..* After finishing the book: my favourite story has been `One arm' by Yasunari Kawabata. Unexpectedly delicate use of surrealism to tell about a relationship between a woman and a man.

  • Jeff
    2019-01-22 19:19

    I really enjoyed this book mostly because it was an easy book to pick up and read for a little bit at a time, because it is a collection of short stories.While the stories for each author are not necessarily representative of that author, you get a pretty good idea about the style of each one, and that can give you a good idea of whether or not you want to read one of their books. It really is a good anthology for the fact that it collects all of the very best authors in Japan from the Showa period, and you can see the variety of viewpoints and styles. The 20th century was dynamic in the west, and you can certainly tell that it was in Japan as well because of the dynamism of these authors.

  • Zoe Aleshire
    2019-02-06 13:38

    The most diverse collection of short shories...and the best I have ever read. The translation does not feel awkward or overly americanised and the sheer number of recommendations for great literature this book made was incredible - the stories are, on the whole, well chosen to be representative of the authors.Very peaceful, deep writing that is rarely boring and funny more often than one would expect.This is not "traditional" writing, but the modern age of japan.

  • Michael
    2019-02-16 18:32

    This was a trudge of a read to get through. Some of the stories were amazing like Kobo Abe's, Jun Ishikawa's, and Osamu Dazai's. This anthology came out in the 70's, so the translation seems awkward at times. This book has college text written all over it but very few would read the whole thing.

  • Billy
    2019-02-12 20:44

    There is a great short story called "The Eggs" in this book, I mean they are all prettty fucking awesome, but that one and "The Magic Chalk" are the best stories, translated.Translation. Applesauce.

  • Alexander Páez
    2019-02-09 18:35

    La edición es una porquería y la traducción chirría muchas veces, pero vale la pena para conocer ciertos autores. De todas formas, no la recomiendo.

  • Chris
    2019-01-29 13:18

    3.5 stars due to translation quality in some areas. it's a bit dated. but that's ok..this is a great starting point for those interested in Shōwa period short stories.