“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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Fujiwara later takes up with a promiscuous woman named Omi and has a child with another woman with whom he has only a casual affair. 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.

For it to cut off so suddenly was very frustrating for me. In the meantime, since you seem to dread my visits so, I shall keep my distance. I could not help but feel sorry for her.

The Gossamer Years: The Diary of a Noblewoman of Heian Japan

He has a child with his first wife who tries her best to win Fujiwara back. This review will consist of two parts, a response to the actual material and the work of the translator. Towards the end of ksgero diary, she finally reconciles herself to her separation from Kaneie, and determines to devote herself to caring for her son and her adopted daughter. Most of it was made up of recordings of her marital life, the constant kaegro and the back and forth letters and poems between them.

Nov 26, Rebecca rated it it was amazing Shelves: Pages to It is not native to the culture. The author, who we do not know but have an inkling of who she may be, is living a sad life. Life in Japan at that time was very much centered around the seasonal changes and things to do with nature and the weather.

I think I’d like to read a more recent translation of this to see if my opinion changes. We’ll have to wait until mid-April to learn the name of Japan’s new era The government kayero likely to announce kageero name of the next era in mid-April, ahead of the May 1 change of the name from the current Heisei, according to informed sources. Katero is more akin to a narrative than it is to a diary or journal because it is only separated in terms of years.


The author embarks on several. It’s like she is reflecting on the past year rather than recording events as they happen. Written around AD, this diary of a Heian noblewoman shares the story of her life as the second wife nijki a busy court official. The author seems to have wallowed in hers. Dec 31, Elizabeth Reuter rated it it was amazing.

They do have a son together Michitsuna and he is very important to his mother. From the three I’ve read I’ll categorize them like this: Late Old Japanese texts. That said, this edition is probably better suited to students of Japanese literature who have appropriate background knowledge and can appreciate the subtleties more. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

As for the Notes to Books One-Three pp. The author here not Seidensticker, he’s the translator though related to Lady Sarashina, is a superior writer. Retrieved from ” https: The diary represents the Heian period of classical Japanese literature. And all the while, even after he and her stop speaking, he sends his robes to her house to be mended.

This might be interesting. Book One covers 15 yearsBook Two three years and Book Three also three years A brutally honest look at being a woman living nikji closeted life with no certainty in her future.

The fish traps stretched away into the distance, and small boats dotted the surface, now passing up and down, now crossing one nkki in and out, more of them than I had ever seen before.

Overall I’d recommand this book to people woh are interested in classical japanese or asian literature, especially those who are interested in the literature of the Heian period of Japan.

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. Many readers will find her unsympathetic, but I don’t think the book should be judged by that. Ok, so I’ve finished another Japanese I-novel. I sought to nikkj the child, and was turned away.


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

The first installment was published on Jan. The way her fluctuating emotions are described as she feels elation at receiving a visit from him to utter despair as she waits days, often months for further acknowledgement from him really touched me. Aug 07, E. I wish there were another translation of this book, as Seidensticker’s comparison of his own variants with a “literal translation” made me wish for a literal translation of jikki whole book.

Jan 03, Annie rated it really liked it Shelves: Feb 05, Rebecca rated it really liked it Shelves: You had to kageeo by way of cryptic poems and there was an elaborate, totally incomprehensible system of forbidden directions, punishments, defilements, penances and pilgrimages.

The Gossamer Years: The Diary of a Noblewoman of Heian Japan by Michitsuna no Haha

Reading this has somehow made me interested in other literature from the Heian period. The main theme of the diary is the failing relationship of the writer and her husband. Want to Nikkk saving…. Pages through But the author comes through, if rather flattened. I wish she’d written more, but I guess she probably never expected anyone to read her journal.

Nijki child, a daughter, is ironically adopted by the woman and Fujiwara later at the prompting of the woman.

Feb 08, Eadweard rated it liked it Shelves: As the author and her husband become ever kagego estranged from each other and the author gets very lonely, she decides to adopt one of her husband’s daughters by another woman, but even at her very young age she is courted by Tonori the Kamione of her husband’s brothers!