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The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon (Translations from the Asian Classics) Paperback – 9 Dec 1991

4.3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 419 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (9 Dec. 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231073372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231073370
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,920,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon has not only amply filled the long-felt need for a full English translation, but has also made a contribution to Heian studies.... A mine of information... [Morris's] translation maintains a high quality throughout.--Journal of Asian Studies

The Pillow Book is one of the three most important works of its kind in Japanese literature, and Professor Morris has given it handsome treatment.--Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland

Gives all sorts of insights into the court life of the times, and into the worldly character and mentality of its author. It comes over extraordinarily well in this translation, and can rank with any other collection of court memoirs the world over.--Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies

The liveliest and most endearing of Heian writers, and the one who gives the most intimate and vivid picture of life at court.... Its denizens emerge as real and never-to-be-forgotten people.... Morris belongs to the literary rather than the literal school of translators, and his talents are shown here at their best.--Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies

"[Morris's] scholarship is a living thing... he sees through all the painted paper screens.... Outstanding.--New York Times

A beautiful translation.--Japan Quarterly

A mine of information.--Journal of Asian Studies

Shonagon comes through vividly.... [Morris] has given us for the first time in full a delightful and fascinating book which is also a work of notable scholarship.--The Observer


One of the great classics of Japanese literature, The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon is by far our most detailed source of factual material on life in eleventh-century Japan at the height of Heian culture.

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