The Tale of the Heike

The Tale of the Heike

Translator:

Format
Paperback
Price
$30.00
 
Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780143107262
  • 784  Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult

Overview

From the acclaimed translator of The Tale of Genji, a groundbreaking rendering of Japan’s great martial epic

The fourteenth-century Tale of the Heike is Japan’s Iliad—a moving depiction of the late twelfth-century wars between the Heike and Genji clans. No work has had a greater impact on later Japanese literature, theater, music, film, and manga—indeed on the Japanese people’s sense of their own past. It has also been a major source for medieval-Japan-based fantasy in English. With woodcuts by nineteenth-century artist Teisai Hokuba, a major student of the great Hokusai, Royall Tyler’s stunning presentation of this touchstone of Japanese culture recreates the oral epic as it was actually performed and conveys the rich and vigorous language of the original.

Praise

“Encountering Homer in a vivid translation made Keats feel like an astonished astronomer watching a new planet swim into view. Readers unfamiliar with medieval Japanese literature — and that must mean most of us — may feel a kindred excitement on first looking into The Tale of the Heike, in a taut new rendering by Royall Tyler.”–The New York Times Book Review
“This modern translation of the Japanese medieval classic tracing the rise and fall of the Taira (Heike) clan reads like the Iliad filtered through Akira Kurosawa, with battlefield panoramas and personal tragedies captured in an exquisitely cinematic narrative…Following his noteworthy translation of The Tale of Genji, Tyler offers accessible language while observing literary tradition in names and format. To help both old hands and newcomers navigate the vibrant yet sometimes arduous masterpiece, he provides an introduction, character list, maps, geneaologies, chronologies, footnotes, and glorious 19th-century illustrations.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“An elegant new translation [and] an account of a 12th century civil war that is an important historical document as well as a work of great power and beauty.”–Los Angeles Times
promo_SHOP
promo_EditorsDesk
promo_StaffPicks
promo_FirsttoRead_Small