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From the country of eight islands: An anthology of Japanese poetry Paperback – 1981

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Paperback, 1981
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Product details

  • Paperback: 652 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor Books (1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385140304
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385140300
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 14 x 5.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,611,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Sept. 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a Fantastic book. I became interested in Japanese poetry and literature after reading "The Tale of Genji" by Murasaki Shikibu. It was this novel which showed me how important poetry was in the Japanese culture, as the work has many poems included. After reading this novel, I was eager to read more so I looked for a poetry volume which would do the tradition justice. This is that poetry volume.
It is made up of poems from the earlier poets (such as the contemporaries of Murasaki), to Japanese poets of the twentieth century. And this is what I like about it the most. It has helped to reinforce my love of early Japanese poetry, but it has also made me interested in the later poets.
This book serves as a great introduction to Japanese poetry. The notes and introduction are great, and for those readers who want to explore Japanese poetry and culture more, there is a good bibliography for further reading. All I would suggest, is that if this is the first time you are reading Japanese poetry, it may be a good idea to check out "The Tale of Genji" also, as this serves as a background to recurring themes within many of the poems you will find in "From the Country of Eight Islands."
This is a great read, for all lovers of poetry.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Excellent -- from first to last 27 May 2008
By Richard Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If I could only have one book of poetry, this would be it. Stranded on a desert island? Hope to have this anthology with you. The poetry seems to have lost nothing in the translation and the presence of the translators is unfelt. The range is extraordinary (from 400 CE to present day) and all of the poetry is accessible -- with some of it being, quite literally, breath-taking (for me, anyway). There is a delight or a revelation to be found on almost every one of its 652 pages. I have given this anthology to several friends (from a Buddhist monk to a College lecturer in poetry) and each one has been delighted. It is not inexpensive; however, it has a value far beyond its price.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The Book to Carry Along from a Country of Just One Island,,, 10 Jun. 2009
By Hortensia Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
With over 600 pages of a monumental anthology of Japanese poetry, translated and edited by two giants in the field - Hiroaki Sato and Burton Watson, along with an introduction by Thomas Rimer, this is a volume that should occupy a central position on the bookshelf of serious scholars of Japanese poetry. It also contains ample notes as well as a
bibliography.
The difference in styles provides an interesting and insightful study (Sato with his prose-lines - Watson with his verse-lines) which should have both readers and writers alike contemplating such an incredible collection, rich in depth and breadth.
Recommended!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Essential for all lovers of Japanese poetry 27 Oct. 1999
By Michael Watson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
An excellent selection of Japanese poetry through the ages, with translations by two excellent translators. (Whatever Amazon thinks, Hiroaki Sato is a well-known translator.)
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Indispensable 30 Jan. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you write, read, or care in any way about poetry, this book should be by your bedside or at your work table. I gave mine away, but I intend to replace it.
A wonderful find. 12 Feb. 2015
By robert p. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This arrived early and it's quite a happy surprise. This book is in excellent condition. It's obvious that only one person checked it out of the library.
What a shame! This is a goldmine of Japanese poetry, giving a history of the art from earliest times. I'm going to enjoy reading through it very much.
Definitely lucked out in finding this. Poems from the 8th century to the modern times (year of publication of the book is 1981).
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