An Ise monogatari Reader

Contexts and Receptions


An “Ise monogatari” Reader is the first collection of essays in English on The Ise Stories, a canonical literary text ranked beside The Tale of Genji. Eleven scholars from Japan, North America, and Europe explore the historical and political context in which this literary court romance was created, or relate it to earlier works such as the Man’yōshū and later works such as the Genji and noh theater. Its medieval commentary tradition is also examined, as well as early modern illustrated editions and parodies. The collection brings cutting-edge scholarship of the very highest level to English readers, scholars, and students.
Contributors are: Aoki Shizuko, Fujihara Mika, Fujishima Aya, Gotō Shōko, Imanishi Yūichirō, Susan Blakeley Klein, Laura Moretti, Joshua S. Mostow, Ōtani Setsuko, Takahashi Tōru, and Yamamoto Tokurō

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Joshua S. Mostow, Ph.D. (1988), is Professor of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia. He has published monographs, translations, and many articles on Japanese premodern literature and visual culture, including Courtly Visions: “The Ise Stories” and the Politics of Cultural Appropriation (Brill, 2014).

Yamamoto Tokurō, Ph.D. (2001) is Professor Emeritus of Kansai University. He is the leading authority on Ise monogatari and author of several monographs and articles, including Ise monogatari ron: buntai, shudai, kyōju (Kasama Shoin, 2001).

Kurtis Hanlon is a graduate student in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia.
Matters Textual
List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors

Joshua S. Mostow

Part 1: Historical Context

1 The Formation of the Ise monogatari and Its Background
Imanishi Yūichirō

2 The Significance of the Composition of the Ise monogatari
Gotō Shōko
Translated by Imai Kazuhiko

3 The Historical Reality of Ki no Aritsune and the Ise monogatari
Fujihara Mika
Translated by Yevheniy Vakhnenko and Kurtis Hanlon

Part 2: Antecedents and Descendants

4 From Stories of Female Transcendents to the Ise monogatari: Taking Kaimami as a Clue
Yamamoto Tokurō

5 Allusion to and Transformation of the Ise monogatari by “Murasaki Shikibu”
Takahashi Tōru
Translated by Tamada Saori

Part 3: The Ise and Noh

6 Zenchiku’s Noh Play Oshio: Introduction and Translation
Susan Blakeley Klein

7 The Structure of the Noh Play Kakitsubata: Zenchiku’s Method
Ōtani Setsuko
Translated by Kurtis Hanlon

Part 4: The Commentary Tradition

8 The Methodology of Late-Muromachi Ise Commentaries: Focusing on Sōgi and the Sanjōnishi School
Aoki Shizuko

9 Reading the Ise monogatari through The Tale of Genji
Joshua S. Mostow

Part 5: The Ise in the Early Modern Period

10 The Landscape of “The Well-Curb”
Fujishima Aya

11 Playing Narihira: The Ise monogatari in Eighteenth-Century Kibyōshi
Laura Moretti


Family Tree of Principal Personages

Index of First Lines of Poems

Subject Index
All interested in classical Japanese literature, its political and historical contexts, intertextuality, commentaries, and early modern reception.
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