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Overview

"Clear-eyed glimpses of human behavior in the extremities of poverty, stupidity, greed, vanity… Story-telling of an unconventional sort, with most of the substance beneath the shining, enameled surface." —The New York Times Book Review

This collection of six short stories, most of which have never been translated before, includes "In a Grove", a psychologically sophisticated tale about murder, rape, and suicide; "Rashomon", the story of a thief scared into honesty by an encounter with a ghoul; and "Kesa and Morito", the story of man driven to kill someone he doesn't hate by a lover whom he doesn't love.

"There are enough Swiftian touches in Akutagawa to show his hatred of stupidity, greed, hypocrisy and the rising jingoism of the day. But Akutagawa's artistic integrity kept him from joining his contemporaries in the easy social criticism or naive introspection…What he did was question the values of his society, dramatize the complexities of human psychology, and study, with a Zen taste for paradox, the precarious balance of illusion and reality."—Howard Hibbett, from the Introduction of Rashomon and Other Stories

Classic Japanese stories include:
  • In a Grove
  • Rashomon
  • Yam Gruel
  • The Martyr
  • Kesa and Morito
  • The Dragon

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9784805314630
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
Publication date: 08/21/2018
Series: Tuttle Classics
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 496,785
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile: 1030L (what's this?)

About the Author

Ryunosuke Akutagawa was the author of over 100 short stories. Described as one of the best-read men of his generation, he received a degree in English Literature at Tokyo Imperial University and published translations of Anatole France and W.B. Yeats. In 1927, Ryunosuke Akutagawa committed suicide at the age of thirty-five.

New Foreword by:
Seiji M. Lippit is Professor of Asian Languages & Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Topographies of Japanese Modernism and the editor of The Essential Akutagawa. He has written widely on 20th century Japanese literature and translated numerous works of fiction and criticism.

Translated by:
Howard Hibbett is Professor Emeritus of Japanese literature at Harvard University where he was Director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies from 1985 to 1988. His publications include many translations and works on Japanese language and literature.

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