Kojiki Paperback – 1 Dec 1987
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This is the good English translation. There are no others, and judging by conditions in the world of liberal arts, there may never be any others. In this book alone you will hear the music of 1500-year-old poetry. Due to a nasty feud over the Philippi estate it only ever got one printing, and may never be reprinted. The price of this book will only go up over the decades. Get your copy while you still can.
Highly recommended if you are fortunate enough to find it!
I am a HUGE mythology enthusiast and Japanese mythology is my favorite out of all of them. This translated ancient book's stories and how they are presented are done fairly well. And the footnotes are very nice too. My main big beef I must say is how the names are written.
There are so many hyphens and ō ö ä weird lettering it made this book very difficult to read. Izumo is spelled, "Idumo," Susanoo is spelled, Susa-nö-wo," and Amaterasu is "Ama-Terasu-Opo-Mi-Kami." And Kushinada-hime in this book is spelled, "Kusi-Nada-Pime. And the eight-headed dragon? Well, he has no name. If so it'd probably be translated, as "Jama-ta-nö-Oro-zi."
The out of publication book itself would definitely be worth the outstanding $100 price if it had the characters' names pronounced like they should be, as well as having the literal translation as well as the kanji for the people, places, and things that are named in the Kojiki.
Also, I was hoping to be greeted by some illustrations of the gods to show what they might look like. To some I might be nit-picking, but when it comes to something I have much passion in, I'm very serious about it.
It's really a crying shame that the Kojiki has yet been translated from Japanese into English and done justice by staying loyal to the language and its meaning.
I've read other people's reviews about other versions of the Kojiki that have been published, and most people say that Donald L. Philippi is the best translator of the Kojiki. Admittedly, this is the first translated version of the Kojiki that I have read.
I will look into the others now that I have read this one. The one the majority says tops all of the Kojiki translations.
All in all, this wasn't a bad book. If you can get past the cringe-worthy spellings of the Japanese names, then you'll probably enjoy this. If you can afford it...