Wednesday, April 30, 2008

readin of buddy don: books bout japan

fer the past year or so i bin readin a slew of books on japan, manely them that starts with the tokugawa period, tho i am innerested in the times befor that. heres a list of sum i thank ye mite wonta read yer ownself:
  • The Making of Modern Japan by Marius B. Jansen: thisn is long n full of deetail but tiz hepful in gittin ye orientated to how the cultchur thar changed frum feudal to modurn in such a short time.

  • The Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World. 1852-1912 by Donald Keene: thisn cuvers the life of the man named fer the restorayshun of the emperor to power in japan. i wonted to read it on a counta the emperor meiji writ moren 100,000 waka (also called tanka these days), but thay wuz heaps more to larn. twuz a truly remarkabull period of histry that saw japan modurneyes itself in a lil over a generayshun.

  • Across the Nightingale Floor, Brilliance of the Moon, n Grass for His Pillow by Lian Hearn, together called Tales of the Otori, a trillgy of books bout a place based on feudal japan, witch it gives ye the spirit of the times n teaches a lot bout how stratificayshun of folks into groups lack samurai, farmers, merchants, n eta. ye git a grate feel fer the way folks lived n the constunt battles that wuz fought befor the unificayshun of the shogunate under tokugawa ieyasu followin the battle of sekigahara that wuz follerd by 250 years of peace in japan ere the cuntry wuz 'opened' by the westurn powers.

  • Rashomon and 17 Other Stories by Ryunsoku Akutagawa: a fantastick (in ever sense of the wurd) set of tales writ by a grate early 20th centry author. one of the early teckneeks he uses is to take ole historicull tales n give em a lil twist, witch that hepped all tuther readin i dun fit rite in n hepped me git a lot outta thisn.

  • goodbye tsugumi by banana yoshimoto: after readin all them other books bout makin japan modurn, i wuz innerested in a book set in modurn japan, witch thisn wuz a grate lil tale. caint say it give me whut i wonted, but tiz a fine piece of ritin by inny standurd ye mite use fer pickin books.

  • Narrow Road to the Interior by Matsuo Basho: verr short lil book but one ye kin read time after time n still git more frum it. corse ye caint translate poetry n keep everthang in it, speshly pomes that allude to so minny japanese classicks i aint never had no chants to read, speshly when i caint neethur speak nor read no japanese, but tiz a grate lil book to keep near ye n read when ye git the chants.

  • Hiroshima by John Hersey: bein as i cum frum the hills of east tennessee whar they carved out oak ridge fer the manhattan projeck, i have all ways felt a lil twinge of doubt bout droppin them bombs, witch i wunder whuther i wood even be here otherwise on a counta daddy wuz in the pacifick n sined up fer the durayshun. but thisn is a chillin look at whut ye git after a atomick bomb has landed on a city of folks a'goin bout thar lives in a time of war. i should warn ye that this is a wurk of ackshull jurnalism, witch we aint seen a hole lot of that in the past few years. ye mite could be a lil shocked by it.

  • Shogun by James Clavell: it tuck me a while to find a copy of thisn, witch ye mite could thank thayd be copies all over the place. i finely found a copy in a used bookstore over in brooklyn fer $2. i reckun thays a good chants minny folks readin this have alreddy either red shogun or at lease seen the miniseries. tiz a great read n gives ye a lot to ponder bout the japanese way of livin on the eve of the battle of sekigahara.

  • ifn ye had jes red shogun, ye couldnt pick up no better book to foller it with than Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa. thisn picks up with the mane careackter, miyamoto musashi, a'lyin amung the injured at the battle of sekigahara. i aint finished it yet, but tiz a great read so fer. the innerduckshun to the book calls it the japanese Gone with the Wind. i am still too ignernt to say whuther thats true or not, but i kin say ye caint hardly find a better read than musashi, speshly ifn ye lacked shogun.

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1 comment:

red molly said...

Well, you do have a most impressive reading list. I just finished reading The Yearling and I couldn't believe I had not read it before since it took place not too far from my neck of the woods. It was a wonderful book and I am sure you have read it already.