The sweep of Japanese literature in all its great variety and unusual beauty, from earliest times to the mid-nineteenth century, is conveniently presented here in this anthology for Western readers. It is a work designed to be read for pleasure, and the translations have been chosen not only for
their accuracy but for their readability and immediate impact as English prose and poetry. Every genre and style, from the somber beauty of the celebrated No plays to the exquisitely fashioned poetry and eroticism of the novels of the seventeenth century, finds a place in this book. Donald
Keene's substantial introduction, which traces the main developments linking the works presented, helps to make the anthology a book to be enjoyed not only as literature in its own right but also as a guide to the culture of Japan.