Last Friday was pretty busy in terms of getting the book ready. We wound up with a couple of blank pages to fill and it was almost time to send the book to the printers, so I put together a quick glossary of terms and a suggested reading list. I’ve included the reading list below. These are just some of the books I found very useful when trying to recreate Yamada’s world. Yes, it’s fantasy, but it’s fantasy set in a specific time and place and I’ve always tried very hard to stick to the facts of history when those facts are known, as a lot of them are when speaking of Heian Japan. An amazing number, considering that it was a thousand years ago. Anyone with a prior interest in that era won’t find the below list terribly surprising, and I don’t claim that it’s complete, even for my own research. But there’s a lot of good stuff there.
AS I CROSSED A BRIDGE OF DREAMS: Recollections of a Woman in 11th Century Japan, Translated by Sarashina and Ivan Morris (Penguin Classics, 1989)
THE CONFESSIONS OF LADY NIJO, Translated by Karen Brazell (Stanford University Press, 1973)
THE DIARY OF LADY MURASAKI, Translated by Richard Bowring (Penguin Classics, 1996)
THE GOSSAMER YEARS: The Diary of a Noblewoman in Heian Japan, Translated by Edward Seidensticker (Tuttle Classics, 1989)
THE PILLOW BOOK OF SEI SHONAGON, Translated by Ivan Morris (Columbia University Press, 1991)
THE TALE OF GENJI by Murasaki Shikibu, Translated by Edward Seidensticker (Knopf, 1978)
THE TALE OF THE HEIKE, Translated by Helen McCullough (Stanford University Press, 1990)
AN INTRODUCTION TO JAPANESE COURT POETRY by Earl Miner (Stanford University Press, 1968)
A HISTORY OF JAPAN TO 1334 by George Sansom (Stanford University Press, 1958)
THE WORLD OF THE SHINING PRINCE: Court Life in Ancient Japan by Ivan Morris (Kodansha USA, 1994)
HYAKUNIN ISSHU edited by Fujiwara no Teika, Translation by Larry Hammer, Cholla Bear Press, 2011
Really looking forward to this release.
Thanks. I hope it holds up to your expectations.