10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Agreat portrait of 11th century Japan,
This review is from: The Heike Story: A Modern Translation of the Classic Tale of Love and War (Tuttle Classics) (Paperback)
If you compare it to other Yoshikawa books it's not as epic as Taiko and not as detailed when it comes to character development as Musashi but still it will give you a better understanding of japanese culture and history. I'd say the book is quite good but I give it only 3 stars because of 2 reasons: 1st it's ufinished and ends out of nowhere, 2nd the translation is very bad. Let me quote what it says about translation on the last pages in "Historical background and on the author": "The Heike story has been modified considerably for western readers. Much that is significant and of greate interest to Japanese oudience familiar with the historical setting has been omitted in translation; entire chapters have benncondensed and a large number of subplots and subsidiary characters entirely left out." ...Well thank you very much! There's nothing better than someone deciding for you that you're a gaijin and will not understand the book so better dumb it down. Even sake is translated as wine. If I bought the book and read 630 pages of small font I would have as easyly read 900 if it gave me a fuller picture of this story. A big shame. Otherwise I think itls a good book but I wouldnt recomend it as first read on samurais and ancient Japan.