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

Thanks for telling us about the problem. Plot Summary Chapters Characters. I wish she’d written more, but I guess she probably never expected anyone to read her journal. The nkki is very dry, akgero literary information, that does not elucidate the text enough for someone not familiar with the period and the writing. Apr 10, CF rated it liked it Shelves: Too impetuous to be satisfied as a subsidiary wife, this beautiful and unnamed noblewoman of the Heian dynasty protests the marriage kabero of her time in one of Japanese literature’s earliest attempts to portray difficult elements of the predominant social hierarchy.

Her words are still powerful, crisp, tactful even in the 21st century, just imagine, while there was no school or education system in Japan or in the world itself she could nobly write her ideas, reflections, sufferings, etc.

The author spends much of her life waiting for her husband the Prince, Fujwara Kaneie to have some time to spare for her. Not long after that, the Mother of Michitsuna’s sixteen-year-long marriage came to an end.


Mar 26, Jenna rated it liked it Shelves: The entries begin when the older Fujiwara first shows interest in the nineteen-year-old woman. But in m And so the months and the years have gone by, but little has turned out well for me. I started to get worn out by the footnotes, tried this method, and it worked for me. This book was a really interesting experience.

It is likely that Fujiwara no Kaneieher husband, asked the Mother of Michitsuna niikki create such a collection for their family. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Jun 07, Judith rated it liked it Shelves: Jan 21, Julie rated it liked it Shelves: The Gossamer YearsCharles E.

Mar 21, Adam rated it liked it Shelves: Just a moment while we sign kafero in to your Goodreads account. And how complicated life was in Japan back then. Instead, it is a calm yet melancholic memoir of a woman trap This review will consist of two parts, a response to the actual material and the work of the translator.

Polygamy among the aristocracy was the norm. She later adopted a daughter of Kaneie’s by another woman. Distractions might have helped, but one among many peculiarities of Heian society is its numbing inactivity. The Translation Final Thoughts In terms of my rating, the high marks were mostly garnered from Seidensticker.

Because of this it is easy to get into, especially since there is a drama going on between her and her neglectful husband.

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

Her husband spends all his time dodging her messengers, parading his newest wife past her door unnecessarily, ignoring his son by Lady Mayfly, and answering her accusations with myopic, selfish justifications and rationalizations and a general refusal to be accountable for his own action. The more we read, the more we’d love her and sympathize with her plight or trouble in her mind due to those unpredictable absences by the Prince, her husband, who seemed busy working or merely divided his time to stay with another lady somewhere.


Unfortunately she does not mention jealousy very often specifically so I am not sure how useful it will be to me, but it was a fairly quick read and it has some nice poetry. Nov 26, Rebecca rated it it was amazing Shelves: I myself was quite speechless and thought only that I would like to die on the spot.

Return to Book Page. I wonder if it is torn away.

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

I read this book for a paper I wrote on the marriage practices of Heian Japan. Her lover never visits her, her son is growing up very quickly and a pesky upper class man keeps trying to marry a small girl who seems to be in her care.

In fact, I have had this paperback copy since some years ago, I recall I tried to read a few pages and gave up then because I thought it was not interesting and beyond me. This is probably the entire reason she started to write about her life. I kaagero not help but feel sorry for her. Want to Read saving…. It’s all social strictures, ceremony and surface.