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Japan Society Book Club: The Gossamer Years. The Diary of a Noblewoman of Heian Japan by Michitsuna no Haha

11 February — 7:00 pm


Monday 11 February 2019 7.00pm

The Japan Society
13 / 14 Cornwall Terrace
London NW1 4QP

Free for Japan Society Members
Book online here

Available from AbeBooks, Book Depository and Amazon
Japanese version available here

The Gossamer Years: The Diary of a Noblewoman of Heian is the English translation of Kagerō Nikki (lit. the Mayfly Diary), a work of classical Japanese literature that falls under the genre of nikki bungaku or diary literature. Written around 974, Kagerō Nikki is considered the first extant work in Japanese prose written by a woman. The author was a court lady known only as the ‘Mother of Michitsuna’ (Michitsuna no Haha).

It focuses on the development of the author’s relationship with Fujiwara no Kaneie (“the Prince”) and how these experiences affect her. The diary entries detail events of particular emotional significance as well as the Mother of Michitsuna’s deep feelings for Kaneie. Using a combination of waka poems and prose, she conveys the life of a noblewoman during the Heian period.

Scholars concurs that the Genji monogatari by Murasaki Shikibu is indebted to Kagerō Nikki. Written a few decades later, Genji monogatari depicts the same world and reflects the same social code and patterns of thinking than Kagerō Nikki using a similar language.

To reserve your place, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email events@japansociety.org.uk or submit the online booking form.

 

Details

Date:
11 February
Time:
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:
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    The Japan Society
    13/14 Cornwall Terrace
    London NW1 4QP