“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 author here not Seidensticker, he’s the translator though related to Lady Sarashina, is a superior writer.

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

Although this book can be described as beautiful in regard to the prose or the nkiki, this book is not just a rose coloured look at life in the Heian age for a woman married to a nobleman of the time. 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.

It’s a good thing you’re not like her, he says to his new lover. The Translation Final Thoughts In terms of my rating, the high marks were mostly garnered from Seidensticker. Trivia About The Gossamer Year Towards the end of the diary, she finally reconciles herself to her separation from Kaneie, and determines to devote herself to caring for her son and her adopted daughter.

Articles containing Japanese-language text.

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

The author here not Kzgero, he’s the translator though related to Lady Sarashina, is a superior wri Ok, so I’ve finished another Japanese I-novel. Women are crazy, he says to the officials. It is amazing to think that it was written as long ago as I couldn’t quite engage with her, I felt her writing was a little remote and over the top at times.


Mar 21, Adam rated it liked it Shelves: I feel bad for her that she is super depressed all the time, and yet she seems like a pain in the ass and seems so proud of herself when she acts like an ass. Sep 20, Florencia marked it as to-read Shelves: She seemed fairly skilled in her wording. She deserved a better life than she had–she deserved that her name be remembered–but I’m glad that what we have was preserved.

The author is not a saint–she writes repeatedly about how happy she is when some misfortune befalls one of her husband’s other lovers–but even accounting for her justified anger and sadness, her husband comes off as a smarmy asshole. Sep 29, SillySuzy rated it really liked it Shelves: Not long after that, the Mother of Michitsuna’s sixteen-year-long marriage came to an end.

Kagerō Nikki – Wikipedia

The third installment will appear in March, the fourth in April. It’s a strange era: Instead, it is a calm yet melancholic memoir of a woman trapped by her era’s institutions. Yes, the author is self-centered and whiny and her complaints got old fairly quickly, but the fact that her diary is so very open and personal shows the hardships that underlie even the most wealthy or well-placed woman in Heian society.

Let me cite three excerpts I prefer for you: Apr 10, CF rated it liked it Shelves: Although Fujiwara never officially returns to the first wife, he continues the relationship for years and has another child with the woman. Sep 28, George rated it it was ok Shelves: Although the woman is ready to accept her life and make the most of it, Fujiwara does not take his marriage vows seriously.

She delivers a not so thinly veiled threat to her husband that if he does not take proper care of their son should she die first that she will avenge him from the grave. The author seems to have wallowed in hers. Throughout the majority of the book, the woman expresses her uncertainty and pain in being married to a man who blatantly flaunts his affairs with other women and visits her only at his whim.


Open Preview See a Problem? Reading this has somehow made me interested in other literature from the Heian p 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.

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

Blame who or what you will — her suffering is real, gnawing, bitter. I read it for a college class, and except for the professor and one friend, everyone thought the woman was whiny.

Most of it was made up of recordings of her marital life, kahero constant bickering and the back and forth letters and poems between them.

Pages to This is mostly due to the fact, that I lack knowledge of the customs of the time, of courting, marriage etc, so some things were never entirely clear. The Nikmi YearsCharles E. It’s easy to think of people in the past as fundamentally different from modern people, and in some ways they were. What kind of husband can a man so distracted be? The author, identified only as Michitsuna’s Mother Michitsuna being the author’s sonis recognized as a talented and artistic writer and poet.

The author spends much of her life waiting for her husband the Prince, Fujwara Kaneie to have some time to spare for her.

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