“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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Perhaps, she said to herself, even the story of her own dreary life, set down in a journal, might be of interest; and it might also answer a question: This is a real diary.

KagerĊ Nikki – Wikipedia

I am sorry I cannot find Plate 8! As for the Notes to Books One-Three pp.

The more we read, the more we’d love her and sympathize with her plight or trouble in her mind due to those unpredictable absences by the Prince, her husband, who seemed busy working or merely divided his time to stay with another lady somewhere. 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.

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

Published December 15th by Tuttle Publishing first published Or would she have? She would just as soon have declined the honor. Historically this is of great interest and significance as it was originally a personal diary written for maybe her daughter to read.

Copyrights The Kagero Diary: And this is where I really sympathize with her, because her husband comes to fetch her back and talks about how everyone in the capital will laugh at her. She deserved a better life than she had–she deserved that her name be remembered–but I’m glad that what we have was preserved. This book was a really interesting experience. Jun 07, Judith rated it liked it Shelves: I could see that quote on an Instagram photo.


Jan 08, Rage rated it it nkkki amazing Shelves: I can’t really like the diarist. They go on pilgrimages. Distractions might have helped, but one among many peculiarities of Heian society is its numbing inactivity. 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.

I sought to see the child, and was turned away.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. In itself the content of the book, apart from the historical insight, wasn’t that interesting to me. The Mother of Michitsuna is credited with creating “a new form of self-expression and psychological exploration that expanded the potential of kana prose writing and influenced subsequent woman’s writing, including The Tale of Genji.

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. It was most touching. It was written in the ‘s in a world quite different from ours by not the most likeable of persons – but what she lacks in likeability she makes up for in personality.

Trivia About The Gossamer Year That said, this edition is probably better suited to students of Japanese literature who have appropriate background knowledge and can appreciate the subtleties more. Like the other two books I mentioned, poetry is everywhere in this book.

Reading this has somehow made me interested in other literature from the Heian p I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been to translate this diary, since so much from the Heian period is unknown, compared to other periods in Japan. The second installment of a four-part series. Nov 26, Rebecca kagefo it it was amazing Shelves: She seemed fairly skilled in her wording. Finally, some of the reviews on here say that the footnotes there are many make the book tedious.

She wasn’t- she was just trying to be happy within the confines of her status and society.

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

This review will consist of two parts, a response to the actual material and the work of the translator. They’re like Shakespearian insults but haiku style which I found hilarious. Instead, it is a calm yet melancholic memoir of a woman trapped by her era’s institutions. And all the while, even after he and her stop speaking, he sends his robes to her house to be mended. Moreover, I would like to say something about her high level of literacy as expressed by means of her diary, in other words, written in ancient Japanese for her posterity and the world to see, read and understand more on the custom, culture, nature, etc.


Throughout the first two sections of the book, the misery that her disappointing marriage has caused her is the focal point of her entries and is poignantly obvious to those who read her words some one thousand years later. Tokyo Medical University enrolled applicant at lawmaker’s request Tokyo Medical University enrolled an applicant in its nursing school by passing over candidates with better scores at the request of a Diet member, according to a report by an independent panel Her words are still powerful, nik,i, tactful even kqgero the 21st century, just imagine, while there was no school or education system in Japan or in the world itself she could nobly write her ideas, reflections, sufferings, etc.

Note, Nijo kaero written in a close, but different period of Japan’s history. A brutally honest look at being a woman living a closeted life with no certainty in her future. Her life wasn’t all that exciting as she frequently let us know and her marriage was crumbling because her husband, “the Kagego was an awful person. Call it, this journal of mine, a shimmering of the summer sky. Apr 15, Tina Dalton rated it really liked it Shelves: You had to communicate by way of cryptic poems and there was an elaborate, totally incomprehensible system of forbidden directions, punishments, defilements, penances and pilgrimages.