Man’yōshū

Edited by Alexander Vovin, EHESS/CRLAO, Paris, France
"The Man’yōshū (‘Anthology of Ten Thousand Leaves [of Words]’) is the largest and the oldest Japanese poetic anthology and contains 4,516 poems of varying length. It was probably compiled by the famous Japanese poet and statesman Ōtomo-no Yakamochi (Opotǝmǝ-nǝ Yakamǝti in the language of the eighth century) around 759 AD. The poetry is mostly in Japanese, but there are several poems in Chinese, and a few of Japanese-Korean macaronic verses. Some books, such as Book Five, include beautiful passages of Chinese prose.
The Man’yōshū is not only a poetic anthology, but also an encyclopedia of Ancient Japanese literature, history, mythology, religion, and anthropology. It is also the most important source on the Old Japanese language, its dialects, and historical change. In addition, it contains a sizeable amount of words in Ainu, a nearly extinct aboriginal language of Japan.
Several partial and complete translations of the Man’yōshū into English have appeared in the past. The most the most formidable among them was J.L. Pierson’s (Brill 1929-1963). Pierson’s edition is in the process of being definitively superseded by the present edition which, in addition to the original text, kana transliteration, glossing, and a Romanization, also contains a precise and an up-to-date linguistic analysis of the text, a meticulous and well-grounded decipherment of the most of obscure passages, and a much more detailed commentary.
  • Man’yōshū (Book 20)
    A New English Translation Containing the Original Text, Kana Transliteration, Romanization, Glossing and Commentary
    Volume 20
    978-90-04-26199-0
  • Man’yōshū (Book 19)
    A New English Translation Containing the Original Text, Kana Transliteration, Romanization, Glossing and Commentary
    Volume 19
    978-90-04-37010-4
  • Man’yōshū (Book 18)
    A New English Translation Containing the Original Text, Kana Transliteration, Romanization, Glossing and Commentary
    Volume 18
    978-90-04-31560-0
  • Man’yōshū (Book 17)
    A New English Translation Containing the Original Text, Kana Transliteration, Romanization, Glossing and Commentary
    Volume 17
    978-90-04-28497-5
  • Man’yōshū (Book 16)
    A New English Translation Containing the Original Text, Kana Transliteration, Romanization, Glossing and Commentary
    Volume 16
    978-90-04-44021-0
  • Man’yōshū (Book 15)
    A New Translation Containing the Original Text, Kana Transliteration, Romanization, Glossing and Commentary
    Volume 15
    978-90-04-21299-2
  • Man’yōshū (Book 14)
    A New English Translation Containing the Original Text, Kana Transliteration, Romanization, Glossing and Commentary
    Volume 14
    978-90-04-24300-2
  • Man’yōshū (Book 10)
    A New English Translation Containing the Original Text, Kana Transliteration, Romanization, Glossing and Commentary
    Volume 10
    978-90-04-51878-0
  • Man’yōshū (Book 5)
    A New Translation Containing the Original Text, Kana Transliteration, Romanization, Glossing and Commentary
    Volume 5
    978-90-04-21279-4
  • Man’yōshū (Book 2)
    A New English Translation Containing the Original Text, Kana Transliteration, Romanization, Glossing and Commentary
    Volume 2
    978-90-04-43333-5
  • Man’yōshū (Book 1)
    A New English Translation Containing the Original Text, Kana Transliteration, Romanization, Glossing and Commentary
    Volume 1
    978-90-04-34670-3
Alexander Vovin a Russian-born American historical linguist and philologist currently holding the position of Directeur d’études at the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (Centre de recherche sur les langues de l’Asie Orientale) in Paris. He has previously held appointments at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts in St. Petersburg (1983-1989), the University of Michigan (1990-1994), the Miami University (1994-1995), and the University of Hawai’i (1995-2013). Alexander Vovin’s main interests include the early history of Japanese, Mongolian, Korean, Ainu, Manchu and other Inner and East Asian languages, as well as the early ethnolinguistic history, textology, and literature (especially poetry) of these regions. He is an author or an editor of about 100 articles and seventeen books including A Reconstruction of Proto-Ainu (Brill 1993), A Reference Grammar of Classical Japanese Prose (Routledge 2003), Koreo-Japonica (University of Hawai’i Press 2010), and A Descriptive and Comparative Grammar of Western Old Japanese (a revised edition of which will appear in Brill’s HdO series in 2020). Together with Dieter Maue, Alexander Vovin has discovered and deciphered the earliest Mongolic language from the 6th-7th centuries AD, pushing back our knowledge of known Mongolian text by seven centuries. He is also the editor of Brill’s series Languages of Asia (2003-) and co-editor (with Prof. Juha Janhunen, Finland) of the International Journal of Eurasian Linguistics (Brill 2019-). Alexander Vovin honors being elected as member of the Academia Europaea (2015), receiving the 2015 prize of the Japanese National Institute for Humanities, and receiving a European Research Commission Advanced Grant for the multinational project An Etymological Dictionary of the Japonic Languages (2019-2023).
Edited by Alexander Vovin, EHESS/CRLAO, Paris, France
All those interested in Ancient Japanese Literature, Japanese poetry, History of the Japanese language, Ancient Japan, and students of Old Japanese.