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The clear mirror : a chronicle of the Japanese court during the Kamakura period (1185-1333) /
translated, with notes and an introduction, by George W. Perkins.
imprint
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1998.
description
xiv, 342 p. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0804729530 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
uniform title
imprint
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1998.
isbn
0804729530 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
2340037
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 319-326) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
The Clear Mirror (Masukagami) is an account of Japanese history from 1185 to 1333 by an anonymous author, almost certainly a court noble writing around the third quarter of the fourteenth century. During this time, the military government at Kamakura controlled the country, maintaining the emperor with his court at Kyoto as symbolic head of state. Though the imperial court had little real power, it attempted to maintain as much of its former dignity and prestige as it could. The Clear Mirror is at least semi-fictionalized, promoting a picture of a court healthier and more powerful than it really was. Moreover, the work sees the court as guardian of its own traditional arts and lifestyle, and thus provides not only a history of imperial succession and other events but also copious examples of poetic expressions and descriptions of courtly traditions and ceremonies. Because of its attempt to exemplify the best in the courtly prose tradition (it is noted for its imitation of the style of the masterpiece The Tale of Genji), the work has long been valued in Japan as much for its artistic literary contribution as for its historical significance. The present translation makes available to English readers the last significant work belonging to the genre of "historical tales" (rekishi monogatari), another example of which is A Tale of Flowering Fortunes (translated by William and Helen Craig McCullough, Stanford, 1980). The introduction provides a brief summary of the significant historical and political events of the period, together with a discussion of the significance of The Clear Mirror within the "historical tales" tradition, and comments on the literary strengths and weaknesses of the work. A glossary identifies people and places mentioned in the text, and an appendix discusses details concerning the work's authorship, possible dates of initial publication, and other matters relating to the original manuscript.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1999-02:
One of the critical needs for undergraduate teaching of Japanese history is ready access to key primary Japanese texts through good quality translations. Perkins's new rendering of The Clear Mirror is especially valuable because it make accessible to students the most important primary work covering events in the imperial court during the Kamakura Period (1185-1333), a key period in medieval Japanese history. Perkins's English is clear and agreeable to read, and the translation is supported by a number of useful tables. A 25-page introductory essay summarizes historical developments covered in the text and offers some critical insight into its character and its place in the context of other classical and medieval chronicles. Over the years, Jeffrey Mass has provided a remarkable body of work, both of translations and of narrative and commentary, on the Kamakura bakufu and its institutions. Perkins's translation complements this body of work by presenting an insider's view of the history of the court under Kamakura rule. All levels. C. L. Yates; Earlham College
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 1999
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Back Cover Copy
"This is a significant medieval Japanese historical text which has been largely untouched by Western scholarship until now. The translation is very important because it substantially rounds out the availability in English of major primary Japanese texts. The scholarship is excellent and the translation meticulously accurate."Margaret Childs, University of Kansas
Back Cover Copy
"This is a significant medieval Japanese historical text which has been largely untouched by Western scholarship until now. The translation is very important because it substantially rounds out the availability in English of major primary Japanese texts. The scholarship is excellent and the translation meticulously accurate."--Margaret Childs, University of Kansas
Bowker Data Service Summary
Translated by George Perkins, with a full critical apparatus, this work focuses on a medieval history of Japan. A glossary identifies people and places mentioned in the text, and an appendix discusses details concerning the work's authorship.
Main Description
The Clear Mirror(Masukagami) is an account of Japanese history from 1185 to 1333 by an anonymous author, almost certainly a court noble writing around the third quarter of the fourteenth century. During this time, the military government at Kamakura controlled the country, maintaining the emperor with his court at Kyoto as symbolic head of state. Though the imperial court had little real power, it attempted to maintain as much of its former dignity and prestige as it could. The Clear Mirroris at least semi-fictionalized, promoting a picture of a court healthier and more powerful than it really was. Moreover, the work sees the court as guardian of its own traditional arts and lifestyle, and thus provides not only a history of imperial succession and other events but also copious examples of poetic expressions and descriptions of courtly traditions and ceremonies. Because of its attempt to exemplify the best in the courtly prose tradition (it is noted for its imitation of the style of the masterpieceThe Tale of Genji), the work has long been valued in Japan as much for its artistic literary contribution as for its historical significance. The present translation makes available to English readers the last significant work belonging to the genre of "historical tales" (rekishi monogatari), another example of which isA Tale of Flowering Fortunes(translated by William and Helen Craig McCullough, Stanford, 1980). The introduction provides a brief summary of the significant historical and political events of the period, together with a discussion of the significance ofThe Clear Mirrorwithin the "historical tales" tradition, and comments on the literary strengths and weaknesses of the work. A glossary identifies people and places mentioned in the text, and an appendix discusses details concerning the work's authorship, possible dates of initial publication, and other matters relating to the original manuscript.
Main Description
The Clear Mirror(Masukagami) is an account of Japanese history from 1185 to 1333 by an anonymous author, almost certainly a court noble writing around the third quarter of the fourteenth century. During this time, the military government at Kamakura controlled the country, maintaining the emperor with his court at Kyoto as symbolic head of state. Though the imperial court had little real power, it attempted to maintain as much of its former dignity and prestige as it could. The Clear Mirroris at least semi-fictionalized, promoting a picture of a court healthier and more powerful than it really was. Moreover, the work sees the court as guardian of its own traditional arts and lifestyle, and thus provides not only a history of imperial succession and other events but also copious examples of poetic expressions and descriptions of courtly traditions and ceremonies. Because of its attempt to exemplify the best in the courtly prose tradition (it is noted for its imitation of the style of the masterpiece The Tale of Genji), the work has long been valued in Japan as much for its artistic literary contribution as for its historical significance. The present translation makes available to English readers the last significant work belonging to the genre of "historical tales" ( rekishi monogatari), another example of which is A Tale of Flowering Fortunes(translated by William and Helen Craig McCullough, Stanford, 1980). The introduction provides a brief summary of the significant historical and political events of the period, together with a discussion of the significance of The Clear Mirrorwithin the "historical tales" tradition, and comments on the literary strengths and weaknesses of the work. A glossary identifies people and places mentioned in the text, and an appendix discusses details concerning the work's authorship, possible dates of initial publication, and other matters relating to the original manuscript.
Unpaid Annotation
The Clear Mirror (Masukagami) is an account of Japanese history from 1185 to 1333 by an anonymous author, almost certainly a court noble writing around the third quarter of the fourteenth century. During this time, the military government at Kamakura controlled the country, maintaining the emperor with his court at Kyoto as symbolic head of state. Though the imperial court had little real power, it attempted to maintain as much of its former dignity and prestige as it could.The Clear Mirror is at least semi-fictionalized, promoting a picture of a court healthier and more powerful than it really was. Moreover, the work sees the court as guardian of its own traditional arts and lifestyle, and thus provides not only a history of imperial succession and other events but also copious examples of poetic expressions and descriptions of courtly traditions and ceremonies. Because of its attempt to exemplify the best in the courtly prose tradition (it is noted for its imitation of the style of the masterpiece The Tale of Genji), the work has long been valued in Japan as much for its artistic literary contribution as for its historical significance. The present translation makes available to English readers the last significant work belonging to the genre of "historical tales" (rekishi monogatari), another example of which is A Tale of Flowering Fortunes (translated by William and Helen Craig McCullough, Stanford, 1980).The introduction provides a brief summary of the significant historical and political events of the period, together with a discussion of the significance of The Clear Mirror within the "historical tales" tradition, and comments on the literary strengths and weaknesses of thework. A glossary identifies people and places mentioned in the text, and an appendix discusses details concerning the work's authorship, possible dates of initial publication, and other matters relating to the original manuscript.
Table of Contents
Translator's Prefacep. vii
Abbreviationsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Prefacep. 27
Through Tangled Thicketsp. 31
the New Island Guardp. 46
Mourning Attirep. 59
Three Sacred Mountainsp. 67
Snow on the Central Plainp. 72
Descending Cloudsp. 82
Snow on the Northern Plainp. 89
Asuka Riverp. 97
Pillow of Grassp. 110
Waves of Longevityp. 118
Ornamental Combsp. 136
Plovers by the Bayp. 156
the Hills of Autumnp. 162
a Farewell to Springp. 174
Wintry Showersp. 183
p. 197
the Dayflowerp. 214
Reference Matterp. 221
Appendix: Title, Authorship, Date, Sources, and Textsp. 223
Notesp. 227
Glossaryp. 267
Bibliographyp. 319
Indexp. 327
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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