: The Kagero Diary (Michigan Monograph Series in Japanese Studies) (): Sonja Arntzen: Books. At the outset of the Kagero Nikki, Michitsuna no Haha states her purpose in writing her journal. I have included the McCullough translation of the opening. The Kagero¯ Diary commands our attention as the first extant work of that rich and brilliant tradition. The author, known to posterity as Michitsuna’s Mother.

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As the author and her husband become ever more 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 Djaryone of her husband’s brothers! The marriage began badly: Finally, he wins her over—or at least wins her father over—and they marry. Read more from the Study Guide. Mar 21, Adam rated it liked it Shelves: But it is not to be helped as the saying goesand the author is trapped in a life for which she sees no escape and makes no attempt to hide that from her journal.

A xiary work of early Japanese prose, The Gossamer Years is an diry example of the development of Heian literature, which, at its best, represents an extraordinary flowering of realistic expression, an attempt, unique for its age, to treat the kagro condition with frankness and honesty. It was written in the ‘s in a world quite different from ours by not doary most likeable of persons – but what she lacks in likeability she makes up for in personality.

Her comments form an insightful and eye-opening view of the marriage rituals of her time. You had to kxgero by way of cryptic poems and there was an elaborate, totally incomprehensible system of forbidden directions, punishments, defilements, penances and pilgrimages Autobiographical diary. 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.


To ask other readers questions about The Gossamer Yearsplease sign up. This is an actual diary from a noblewoman during the Heian period of Japan.

Technically non-fiction because it’s a diary, I found this title quite sad in contrast to the irreverent ‘Pillow Book’. It’s often looked at as a more refined time, when aristocrats conducted frequent religious ceremonies, wrote poetry about love, and Japan was at peace.

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

In attempt to diarj spoil anything I will say that this is a much more vivid kagerro of Heian Japan in comparison to Sarashina no Nikki. Meine Ausgabe ist die deutsche Erstausgabe von The author embarks on several. 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.

The child, a daughter, is ironically adopted by the woman and Fujiwara later at the prompting of the woman. Wanting to see someone more than they want to see you is, I think, if not akgero universal human experience, than a nearly-universal one. Call it, this journal of mine, a shimmering of the summer sky.

I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been to translate this diary, since so much from the Heian period is unknown, compared to other periods in Japan. For it to cut off so suddenly was very frustrating for me. Finally, some of the reviews on here say that the footnotes there are many make the book tedious.

Pressed by her family into an advantageous marriage, she joined, without enthusiasm but also without repugnance, the small harem of a leading member of the most powerful family of the time. Even so, I greatly enjoyed reading it, especially after having visited Japan myself last December. Therefore, there should definitely be No. Mar 04, J. Shonagon lived at the court with the Empress and didn’t seem to venture much into the real world, this woman lived in a house, attended by ladies-in-waiting and she seemed to have gone on many pilgrimages to sites and temples during her life.


The Kagero Diary

In reading, the author came across as spoilt and wilful sometimes in my opinion, but she also seems to be suffering from sometimes acute depression. According to her diary, the Mother of Michitsuna devoted her life to her children, and Michitsuna later was able to attain the position of Major Counselor.

I could not help but feel sorry for her. This remarkably frank autobiographical diary and personal confession attempts to describe a difficult relationship as it reveals two tempestuous decades of the author’s unhappy marriage and her growing indignation at rival wives and mistresses.

Most of it was made up of recordings of her marital life, the constant bickering and the back and forth letters and poems between them. That said, this edition is probably kkagero suited to students of Japanese literature who have appropriate background knowledge and can appreciate the subtleties more. During this courting period, many poems and messages are exchanged between the two.

The evolution of the Japanese ego: ‘The Gossamer Years’

Return to Book Page. Jan 21, Julie rated it liked it Shelves: I started to get worn out by the footnotes, tried this method, and it worked for me.

This book was a really interesting experience. In the final section of the book, the woman finally finds peace in her heart.

Kagerō Nikki – Wikipedia

He has a child with his first wife who tries her best to win Fujiwara back. Rather Gossamer Years is fascinating for its honesty about human nature, showing how weak humans can be in the face dairy certain challenges, and for what it shows us about a culture long gone.

I had prayed, at the height of my unhappiness, that she would live to know what I was then suffering, and it seemed my prayers were being answered.